A Nice Story

You may have seen me respond to a comment or a group post with the single word, “Nice.” I was asked a while ago by an online associate why I do that. I figured it might be worth while sharing the story here.
My father worked with numbers and specifics and, though not officially an engineer, he considered that a good foundation in logic was, well, a good thing to have. He taught me to mean what I say and, more importantly, to say what I mean. If we were sitting at the dinner table and I asked, “Dad, can you reach the butter?” he would extend his arm and say, “Yep. Just.”
It was frustrating but I guess it sunk in. By the time I was 17 I must have learned my lessons in logic well and was ready for the big test, though it came as a surprise to me, and all the more so to my father!
My dad had some friends over for the evening. I don’t remember who or why. It was probably a couple of business associates and at one point they were standing around the living room chatting with cups of coffee in their hands. My mom had got out the best china and as I walked past my dad, who was speaking to one of the others, he touched my arm and said, “Son, would you take this into the kitchen and heat it up for me?” as he handed my his cup and saucer.
So I took that cup and saucer out to the kitchen and filled it with hot coffee, then I put the cup over the gas flame on the stove and, holding it with tongs, I heated that sucker until it just about glowed. I set it carefully back on the saucer and carried it through to the livingroom and offered it to my father.
Dad reached out without looking, took the saucer and then went for the cup handle between thumb and fingers. The surprise drew a quick breath followed by some unintellible outburst as the cup tumbled to the floor, spashing coffee on the carpet. I expected to be sent to my room or to be otherwise thoroughly chastised. The room fell silent and I felt all eyes on me.
My Dad paused for a second, looked at my quizically for a second, obviously thinking over what he had asked me to do, and then said simply, “Nice.”
The word has stuck with me as a form of high praise for an act, event, or accomplishment that excels well above the rest.

4 Responses to A Nice Story

  1. Serena Curran October 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    also giggling…
    Serena Curran recently posted..Believing is the KeyMy Profile

  2. katrina October 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    heh heh – gotta like that story!!!!
    katrina recently posted..What are you reading?My Profile

  3. Ali Bierman October 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Sometimes I do that too, mostly not.
    Ali Bierman recently posted..Television: The Master HypnotistMy Profile

  4. Alana (@RamblinGarden) October 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Your Dad trained you well – nice! (and at least, he realized he had succeeded rather than reading you the riot act – what is a riot act, anyway?). I have a brother in law with a developmental disability called autism. We have to be very careful how we speak to him. When he was younger – if he had entered a room and the person within said “take a seat” my b.i.l. may well have walked out with the chair. I wonder what he would think if we asked him to heat up a cup of coffee.
    Alana (@RamblinGarden) recently posted..Fall Fancies – The Cruelest MonthMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Include link to your own last post.