Okay, which one of yous wise guys is trying to force an intervention on Val?
Could it be the scaly quacker who prefers Diet Pepsi to Diet Coke? Or the campground seamstress/gardener/dog-lover who associates the diet variety with he who provides her extra chores? The formerly-portly motormouth who thinks diet root beer would give Val the same kick? The disgruntled elder fellow whose palate is so undiscerning that he and his statesmen don't know the difference between dirty water and spirits in their drinks? The madam who used to prefer her beverages from the secret workplace maragarita machine over Diet Coke? The unofficial mentor of Val whose veins would gush out chicken soup if she sliced her thumb like an onion? Surely it's not the sparkplug who used to wear short shorts to cross state lines, since he understands that Diet Coke has no comparison.
C'mon! Fess up! One of you is behind my recent misfortune. This is only PART ONE, my interveners. Tomorrow you will get the rest of the story. But for now, let's stick to yesterday. Yesterday...all my troubles hit before midday. Now it seems as though y'all did betray. Val's Diet Coke was not okay.
First cat out of the bag, I headed to town to pick up my magical elixir. Uh huh. I even got up early. By 8:00 o'clock! I showered and headed for town. Planned to have my 44 oz Diet Coke home by 10:00 instead of the usual 1:00. Hick was coming home, and I wanted to leisurely sip my precious beverage, not chug it in two hours, or let it get all watery while I sat on the front porch to catch up on his trip.
Wouldn't you know it? On a SUNDAY, mind you, I came across Ameren UE putting in a new utility pole down on the county road before the low water bridge. I could drive five miles out of my way to go around, or wait until they were good 'n' ready to let me through. I waited.
Once in town, I went to cash in some lottery tickets and trade them for more. That was accomplished at the Casey's General Store. I hadn't bought any tickets there in a while.
Whose bright idea was THAT? The gal clerk was ragging on the guy clerk over some problem her customer had with the gas pump. Something about $2.00 he paid but it didn't show up. Hick on a tuxedo pumping a handcar! I'd have given the dude two dollars to shut up and leave! Guy Clerk had already scanned my tickets. This kerfuffle was keeping him from forking over my new tickets. And he had nothing to do with the situation. He told Gal Clerk she could go out and look at the pump, and how to deal with it. WELL! She was madder 'n Hick finding poop on his Toronado! She stomped out there so huffily that I think the customer would have paid another two dollars to slink away unnoticed.
Can you believe I only won $20? And it took up too much time. My time is worth more than $20 per 15 minutes! I'm retired, you know.
So...I figured I'd get my soda from Orb K. It's cheaper than the gas station chicken store, and the one I got Saturday when I picked up chicken was not all that great. As I turned off T-Hoe's ignition, I observed six people walk through the door of Orb K. And they all looked like soda-drinkers!!! Of course they were. But only four were in line, because one gal was getting three sodas. So I waited my turn. Disgruntledly.
Imagine my surprise when I pushed my cup under the spigot at the Polar Pop fountain at Orb K, and saw CLEAR LIQUID running in!
I took that cup to the pay line. Val was not gonna get arrested for not paying. I'm not sure of Orb K's policies, but the gas station chicken store has a sign that if you pull a cup, you pay. Of course those soda-drinkers were all in line. I was customer #7. The guy working was an old geezer I'd never seen there before. So of course they gave him a shift on Sunday. That's the weekend, you know. When convenience stores with a 10-bay gas pump area right off the highway are kind of busy.
Once I got my turn, I waved that cup. Said, as I stepped up, "Don't bother to ring this up. I'm not paying. I just wanted to show you that your Diet Coke is out. See? It's clear. I'm going to take it back and pour it out. I just wanted to show you."
And do you know what that slow-motion guy said to me? He said, "Do you want me to go fill it?" I don't know about you, but I was a bit dubious as to whether this guy knew what to do. What was going to happen to all those customers backed up behind me? It would probably take him five minutes to even walk back there. Then he'd have to ask somebody what to do. Nope.
And then do you know what that slow-motion guy said to me? "Don't you want a different kind?"
I went back to the Polar Pop soda fountain and poured my clear Diet Coke in the drain trough under the spigots. A lady was holding a 44 oz cup, scanning her choices. She gave me the eye. "Might I suggest that you don't try the Diet Coke? Because it looks like THIS!" If only I had a button to push for that Psycho soundtrack stabby music! That lady said, "Oh, I tried it first, and I see what you mean."
You know what I had to do, right? I had to drive back under the overpass and get my 44 oz Diet Coke from the gas station chicken store. Which I could have done earlier, since it is only two doors down from Casey's, if I had only known the Diet Coke situation at Orb K.
So who did it? Which one of you planned this subtle intervention? I'd like to thank whoever it was, because compared to what happened at home, this was small potatoes...