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The Miracle of a Little Cap

Sometimes God's hand is obvious. This is one of those times.
[additional-authors]
January 3, 2024
Photo by Mark SchiffPhoto by Mark Schiff

When I walked over to say hello to my friend Yosy, what immediately struck me was his tie. I said, “What a beautiful tie.”

“You like it?”

“It’s great.” Within seconds, he removed the tie and handed it to me.

“It’s yours. Enjoy it.”

I am not sure how long Yosy owned the tie, but to me, it was my brand-new tie. Yosy magically turned something slightly used brand new again. That’s what happens when you give things away. They become new again. 

For me, the unexpected gift is the best gift of all. I think of Yosy every time I put on that tie.

Now I need to tell you about a nice thing I did. I know you’re not supposed to toot your own horn, but I was so moved by what happened, I need to share it.

A few minutes later, the “cap” waiter passed by our table, looked at me, and said, “I like that shirt.”  I thought about it but realized if he kept this up, I’d be driving home naked.

It happened to be Christmas Eve when my wife Nancy and I wanted to go out to dinner. I went online and made a reservation at a neighborhood restaurant. Within seconds I received an email confirmation. A few minutes later, I received another confirmation. When we arrived at the restaurant, it was closed.

I googled another restaurant close by, and their website said “open, but closing in one hour”. We rushed over only to be told they weren’t seating any new people.  

With two strikes, we decided to head home. Walking back to the car, we spotted an open restaurant. Looking in the window, we saw three people having dinner. Even though 3 people on a busy night can be construed as a bad sign, we decided to give it a go.

A woman at a podium greeted us. 

“Would you like to be seated?”

“Yes.”

“May I have your phone number?” I thought asking for my number was strange, but I gave it anyway. Just then a waiter walking by with an arm full of plates and said, “That’s a great cap, sir.”

“I got it in New York.”

“It’s a beauty,” he said.

The lady seated us. After studying the menu, I told Nancy, “You know what? I’m going to give the waiter my cap. He seems to like it a lot.”  Usually, when I do something odd, my wife speaks up.  This time not a peep. 

I looked over the cap and saw it was in good shape.

When our waiter, a different guy, came over, I said, “Did you happen to hear when the other waiter said he liked my cap?”

“Yes.”

“When we’re done, I’m going to leave the cap on the seat; would you give it to him? I think if I offer it, he might refuse.”

“Done.” 

A few minutes later, the “cap” waiter passed by our table, looked at me, and said, “I like that shirt.”  I thought about it but realized if he kept this up, I’d be driving home naked.

As promised, I left the cap on the chair. My phone rings an hour after arriving home, and it’s the “cap” waiter. 

“Mr. Schiff?”

 “I think so.” I heard him laugh. 

“This is Todd from the restaurant. I got the cap you left me. I can’t thank you enough for this great gift.” 

“You’re welcome, Todd,” I said. 

“I need to tell you why I liked the cap so much. A few months ago, my father died, and I miss him terribly. I think about him every day. Your cap is a replica of the type of hat my father always wore. I love it. You made my Christmas a happy one.” 

“I also lost my dad. It’s not easy. Merry Christmas, Todd.”

Now it’s clear as a bell why we were turned away from the first two restaurants. Now it’s clear why I was asked for my phone number.   

Sometimes God’s hand is obvious. This is one of those times. I wear a 7 ¼ cap if you want to gift me. I thought the story ended here but I was wrong.

I recently finished a project with my friends Mark and Deborah Goldenberg. Without knowing anything about Todd and my cap, the very next day, the Goldenberg’s gifted me with a very similar cap from Bloomingdales as a thank you. I get it. God, you’re real.


Mark Schiff is a comedian, actor and writer, and host of the ‘You Don’t Know Schiff’ podcast. His new book is “Why Not? Lessons on Comedy, Courage and Chutzpah.”

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