Hello and good day!
A man sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway.
He had a terrible day at work.
Everything went wrong from the moment he set foot on the job site until he finally punched his timecard to leave for the day.
Supplies hadn't shown up.
A team member quit in the middle of the day and walked off the job.
The client complained about the project falling behind schedule.
And now, to top it all off, there was an accident that closed the right lane, and everybody was merging over.
What should have been a twenty-five-minute drive home had already taken more than an hour.
He looked at himself in the rear-view mirror.
Under normal circumstances, he thought that he was a rather handsome fellow, at least for his age.
He still had a fairly discernable jaw line and a nice head of hair.
But today, sitting there in the car's cramped driver's seat, looking in the mirror, with deadlocked traffic all around, his hands on the wheel and his back hunched, all he could focus on were his neck and jowls, and he was sure he saw the beginnings of a double chin.
His hairline seemed to be riding up higher than usual and too much of his forehead was showing.
"What am I doing with my life?" he asked himself out loud.
"You do it for your family," he answered himself.
That answer brought him a moment's solace.
Then another thought popped into his mind.
"I still have half a bag of the Fortunato Chocolate dark chocolate mangos in the pantry."
He nodded to himself in the mirror and snapped his fingers.
The bright fruity center and the dark chocolate coating.
He planned to eat what was left of the bag as soon as he walked through the door.
This would dissipate his terrible mood and prepare him to spend a tranquil evening with his family.
The mangos were a beacon, a ray of light, offering hope at the end of a long and dark day.
He made it home and turned up his gravel driveway to park amongst a grove of pines. His wife parked her minivan under their only carport, located in front of the house.
As a result of parking under cover, she never had pine sap or bird droppings on her car. The man had a black car and white bird droppings forced him to visit a car wash every three or four days.
If it was just the pine sap, he could have held out longer.
He walked by his wife's spotless car.
It looked lovely, clean, and protected, as he made his way to the front door.
Inside, the house was bright and warm and cheery. The kids, a little boy and a little girl, came running to him.
"Daddy! Daddy!" they shouted as they clung to his legs.
"Hello kids!" he said.
He patted them on their heads while they sat on his feet.
He tried to walk, but the kids were holding on tight. He almost tripped because the weight of the children made it difficult for him to step forward.
"Come on now kids. Let daddy come in." But they didn't immediately comply.
"Kiiiiidddsss!" whined the man, in drawn out, mock exasperation.
The kids laughed and let their father make his way into the living room.
His wife wasn't there.
She was in the kitchen, and that worked out nicely, because that is where he was headed.
His wife was at the counter preparing a cup of tea and sorting through mail.
"Hello honey!" said the wife.
"Hello sweetheart," said the man before kissing her on the cheek.
He didn't linger, but rather walked straight towards the pantry.
"How was your day honey?" asked the wife.
But the man wasn't paying attention.
He was desperately searching for the half full bag of dark chocolate mangos.
"I asked how your day was. Are you going to answer?"
The man was becoming frantic.
"Have you seen the dark chocolate mangos? I had half a bag here," said the man.
"Dark chocolate mangos? They should be there. I left them there for you."
"Well, they're not here. Where are they?"
"I don't know. I didn't touch them. Is everything ok?"
"I had a hell of a day today honey. All I want is those dark chocolate mangos and I'll be fine."
The kids had been standing in the kitchen doorway listening to the conversation but when they realized what was happening, they wisely disappeared.
The man rifled around for another twenty seconds and then breathed deeply.
"KIDS! Get down here right now!" shouted the man.
"Take it easy honey. What is going on?" asked the wife.
"The kids ate my mangos honey. That's what's going on. I needed those! Especially today."
The little boy and little girl walked into the kitchen, looking down at their feet.
"Whoever ate my dark chocolate mangos is in big trouble! And I mean big trouble! Now who did it!"
The kids, sensing the danger of admitting the truth, opted for the safer alternative.
"I don't know," said the little boy.
"I don't know either," said the little girl.
"And you don't know?" asked the man, looking at his wife.
His wife didn't appreciate the tone of the question.
"I already told you that I don't know. You don't need to keep asking me."
''Somebody better fess up to this right now. Or else!"
But nobody did fess up and the man stormed out of the kitchen in a rage.
He went to his room, changed into house clothes, and laid in bed staring at the ceiling for the next half an hour.
When the existential storm had passed, somewhat, he came back downstairs and sat on the couch.
"I'm not angry anymore. There will be no punishment. I just want to know. Who ate the mangos?"
The little boy and little girl came over and climbed into his lap.
"We ate them," said the little boy.
"We're sorry daddy. We didn't know how bad you wanted them," said the little girl.
"Do you promise not to eat my chocolate in the future? When I have a bad day, I really look forward to those."
"Ok daddy," said the little girl.
The little boy nodded in agreement.
Please take a look at the image at the top of this message.
That is a cartoon that my great aunt Opal saved and pasted into a scrap book that she put together for me when she was 95 years old.
I've always liked it.
If somebody thinks that you are going to get mad at them or judge them or argue with them, they might decide to opt for the easy way out and lie to you.
They may do this even if they are generally a very honest person.
I was going to include a story about a couple I saw just the other day in one of our chocolate shops, but I am out of space.
An older fellow came in and drank a hot chocolate.
His wife came in a few minutes later and she looked like she was itching to nag.
"Did you drink a hot chocolate?" she asked in a disapproving tone.
The fellow winked at me.
"You know I wouldn't do that honey," he said to her.
It isn't part of my job description to rat out customers to their spouses.
If you want the truth from somebody, it is better to be empathetic and not scare the daylights out of them before making your inquiry.
Thank you so much for time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!
Click here for wonderful chocolate made with pure Nacional cacao.
Learn About The Fortunato Chocolate Newsletter.
Follow us on Instagram - @fortunatochocolate
To learn more about our word-of-mouth program, click here.