I decided to dedicate this post to something that is very dear to everyone around here. Chapstick. I use the word 'Chapstick' like our culture has come to use the word 'Jello' to refer to gelatin. Sure, it's a brand name but it seems to be the word we use to cover all forms of lip balm whether it be Carmex, Blistex, Burt's Bees, etc. The air is very dry here and we sell a lot of Chapstick because the first area of the body to feel the effects are the lips. You will never find me without a tube of it in my pant pocket (except for the day when I was leaving for work and I grabbed something tubular and small off my desk and stuck it in my pocket. An hour later when I was going to lather up my lips I pulled out a AA battery).
I'm not the only one to carry a tube around. Ralph had also come into the habit of applying it on a regular basis at work. What become a normal function soon became a game between us: Chapstick Races. One of us would say "Ready?" and we take our stance: feet spread apart and hands by our pockets but instead of six-shooters we had Chapstick. Someone would say "Go!" and whoever could reach into their pocket, grab their Chapstick, apply it and replace it in their pocket was the winner. This was a game that was strictly reserved for the backroom of the store. Word got out about our game and we had to demonstrate it at the employee Christmas Party. I had a bit of a winning streak for awhile and Ralph nicknamed me Quick Draw though Ralph was certainly a worthy opponent. Ralph and his wife Veronica left this morning but I'll always remember them as I apply my Chapstick. I guess that means I will be thinking about them at least 20 times a day.
So the next time you are packing for your visit to Yellowstone don't forget to bring along some Chapstick. If you forget it we'll have a tube waiting for you in the store.