Texas Tall Tales and Great Guffaws

backwardsmanJan’s intro

Dave pasted a grin on my face from day one. Let me count the why’s…He bought a

pedometer for his mom. Sons buying pedometers for their mothers always lights

my smile.  I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that a pedometer can be life changing

if it gets one to walk more. Ergo, buying one for his mom looked more like an act of

love than not. He bought two pedometers which always makes an entrepreneurial

ME happy. He waxed helpful and creative by offering his accounting services

should the need arise. Helpful is good. He watched our setup video; such diligence

always delights. Lastly, he took time out of his busy day to touch base with me.

Thoughtful customers like him remind ME to be a better customer…nay, a better

human. Oh…I almost forgot…Dave is funny. Really funny.


One day, Dave sent me a perplexing story. I feebly offer my passion for seller

ethics and customer satisfaction to explain what happened next.

Dave’s Story

Who knew how much fun a pedometer could be?!  Yesterday I was going to mow the

lawn and was happy that pushing a mower would add to my step count.  I’m hoping

this silliness of looking at the OT [OneTweak] every little while will wear off.  A

few times a day should suffice!


Let me begin by telling you that I live at the beach, XXXXXX Beach to be exact, so

I live in the sky so to speak.  That is that my home is on pilings 15’ high.  Beneath

my home is mostly concrete and then the grass grows around the perimeter.


With the mower fueled up, glasses on, ear plugs in, gloves on, check, check, check.

Last thing, look at the OT for the count.  Off to battling the high grass after the

recent rains I go.  All the while, I’m thinking of your online story — inspired me to

make my own story — and all those glorious steps the OT is counting.


After about 45 minutes of battling tall grass, side stepping toads, cactus (yes, we

have cactus at the beach), the occasional palm frond, weed-eating and blowing off

the concrete my job was complete.  So I grabbed a cold water and the nearest

bench to survey the masterpiece that is a freshly manicured yard AND to take a

gander at the trusty OT strapped to my side.  Ahh, the satisfaction… until, 357



Now, this yard is by no means Texas-size, a mere ¼ acre abutting a canal off the

Intracoastal Waterway and a scant 800 yards from the beautiful Gulf of Texas

(the maps incorrectly refer to it as Mexico’s Gulf), but 357 steps?!  After nearly

an hour of activity that only Richard Simmons would frown upon?  What gives OT,



But wait, could this apparatus that has appeared to perform flawlessly these whole

four days I’ve owned it gone plumb loco in just an hour.  It was working fine before

my landscaping handiwork.  Take another sip of water I tell myself and think this



Now, as I mentioned, the yard isn’t a boring rectangle of green nothingness.  There

are many little things to mow around, the fire pit, the pit smoker, a couple of palm

trees, the birdbath, etc.  So there are very few long runs when cutting this yard.

There are many back and forths, forths and backs.  Could what I suspected a

malfunction only be the ultimate in accuracy?!  Stand up I did next, straightened,

and took 10 paces backwards.  Well done OT, Accuracy be thy name, the new count

347 steps.


Did you know that walking backwards removes steps from the OT pedometer?  I

wish that worked for a few cars I’ve sold in my lifetime!  So then, flummoxed as I

was initially, how could I be upset at such a precision instrument?  I’ll now be

attempting to set the record for the most negative steps ever recorded on the OT

pedometer.  Look for me in the next Guinness book of records!


Now before you think me whacky (although my friends definitely think so too),

consider that mowing the lawn, while taking some physical exertion, doesn’t always

require much from the ol’ gray matter between the ears and allows for a

considerable amount of thinking.  While I really was thinking of the steps my OT

was counting, I did hatch this Tall Texas Tale whilst pushing said mower around the

yard.  Then this morning while waiting my turn in the barber’s chair was able to

quickly crank this out.


I hope it pastes another smile on your face.  I enjoyed thinking it up.  🙂  Have a

great day.


Jan’s Response

Humor jumped all over Dave’s Mark Twainian tale. After my great guffaws

subsided, though, I felt bewildered. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the

nonsensical step-count dilemma he presented. Here’s where I got ‘stupid.’

Somehow, I had missed the “Tall” in “Texas Tall Tale.” I actually walked backward

with ten pedometers; all ADDED steps. Then I thought, perhaps the low step count

happened because each time he stopped, he lost steps UNLESS he walked a ninth.

When I cut my grass — as seldom as possible, mind you — I  stop and start a lot to

accommodate turns and mowing around obstacles. I only walk continuously on longer

straight stretches. Maybe this explained part of the conundrum.

My ‘stupid’ only grew.


I relayed the above to Dave and told him to do the watch ‘n walk test to check the

accuracy. I told him to walk forward this time — it should not make a difference in

the count — because walking backward is more perilous. I closed with this, “Color

me delighted that my story inspired your story.”


Dave’s Response

Uh-oh!  My Tall Texas Tale was purely a tale spun for my mischievous pleasure.

My OT works perfectly.  I think I got about 1,800 steps doing my yard.

I promise not to bug you further, except when I order another unit for my Sis.

All the best and much success to you and your team.

… Dave

Jan’s Ending

Eventually, my red cheeks subsided and my gratitude grew. And grew. I had

received his tale right after I heard about the Dallas massacre. Cue me wallowing

in dejected muck. Too much awfulness. The next day, I received Dave’s “Uh-oh.”

The truth of the tale – that is, the lie of it [as in “tall tale”] – made me laugh

uproariously. Laughing at myself felt wonderful. Dave had given me a delicious

guffaw-making story that I can pull out and dust off for the rest of my life. I can

give his gift to others. I’m still smiling.

I told Dave he had a way with words – weird because he makes his living with

numbers – and asked whether I could share. Dave said it was the least he could do

for pulling my chain. Actually, he didn’t say that – I embellished – but he happily

agreed. And now you know the rest of the story.