I’ve got to stop going to the Dollar Tree store in Kingwood.

It’s been open less than a year, but earnings at the Kingwood store must be the best of any Dollar Tree just because of my multiple purchases – $1 at a time.

I need to stay away when I see Barbara at the check-out line.

She’s the pleasant Dollar Tree cashier who appears to enjoy her job, smiling at everyone and chit-chatting, and she knows how to close a deal.

“You’re not going to buy that book?” she asked me as I pushed my cans of Libby’s green peas and men’s body wash onto the scanner.

Barbara saw me looking at a stack of books – $1 each – as I waited. One caught my eye, “Move Your Blooming Corpse – An Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery.”

I haven’t purchased a book since I got my Kindle years ago. Humble City Council Member Norman Funderburk tried to wean me off it when he sent me an autobiography of John Fogerty. Fogerty may be a terrific singer and songwriter, but he managed to take what should be an interesting life and made it an absolute slog on paper.

But that title, “Move Your Blooming Corpse,” intrigued me just enough to pick it up, peruse it, and Dollar Tree Barbara closed the deal.

“I’m going to read it, too,” she told me. And then the clincher, “It’s only a dollar.”

That settled it. I added it to my pile of necessities – 50-cent greeting cards, doggie bones, seasoned collards and Lance Toast Cheese Crackers.

After all these Kindle years, it’s been strange turning pages, not tapping the screen. I can’t check my email on it between chapters and I can’t instantly switch to another book I’m reading, but there is something soothing about focusing solely on that one printed page and then turning it.

Thank you, Dollar Tree Barbara.

On to more important news. Here’s a statistic we can be proud of. The No. 3 small city with the most fast-food restaurants per capita? Our very own Humble, Texas!

It's true. I saw it on a website from a company called Datafiniti that compiles this sort of stuff.

We lost out to (gasp) Katy, which is No. 1 in the most fast-food restaurants per capita. The red line has been drawn in the sand. It’s time for the Lake Houston Chamber to step up to the plate and recruit more restaurants. We want to be No. 1.

My last two “Tales” were all about why vodka is great for your health and, frankly, after all the reader comments I received, I’ve decided that “vodka can bring us all together.”

I thought I was done writing about vodka when Tommy Denman sent me a quote. I had to break my promise – never to mention vodka again – because Tommy’s better half, Carolyn, was one of my fave volunteers I worked with at Memorial Hermann Northeast, and because it’s funny and probably true.

So, here’s my very last comment about vodka, articulated by one of America’s wisest intellectuals, 95-year-old Betty White, who, according to Denman, when asked how she’s managed to live such a long and fulfilling life with minimal health issues, said, “It boils down to always indulging in vodka and hot dogs, probably in that order.”

And what do you indulge in to live a long life? Tell Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.