I had planned to walk in with him this time. He usually drops me off at the front door, and goes to park the car in the free outdoor parking lot. Valet parking is free, too, but Hick never uses it, even though my favorite gambling aunt does. Anyhoo...the weather was clear, the temps in the upper 40s, and my casino-legs bolstered by daily walks on the washboarded/gravel-duned/pockmarked driveway. Since I was going to take a day off from the driveway, I figured I could substitute casino walking.
Well. Hick declared, before we were even on casino property, that he was going to visit a nearby flea market that
"If I'm ever going to mug someone at a casino, do it on their way IN to the building, when they are most likely to have money on them."
You know, unless they're one of those freaky modern folks who use the casino credit system thingy. What's the world coming to? I just got used to the extinction of slot tokens! Jabbing in bills and getting back tickets is not nearly as fun, though hands do remain a bit cleaner.
Anyhoo...Hick came back after squandering some of his gambling stake [!] (given to him by ME) on flea market finds. After hitting the slots for a couple of hours, Hick declared that the Goodwills were open now, and he left again to go find more bargains. Never mind that on the way home, we'd have to stop by two more Goodwills for his shopping pleasure.
When Hick returned, we ate lunch, then he allowed me another hour. Because it was my birthday celebration, by cracky! We had an enjoyable 2/3 of a day, and then headed out to the parking lot. I usually walk out with Hick anyway. You never know when he might forget me if I let him pick me up out front.
Of course there was a ne'er-do-well parked right up against us, on the passenger side. Tires right on the line. Val needs to open T-Hoe's door completely, people! It only has two notches when it opens. Not far enough, and all the way. Even though there's a running board for Val to stand on and get situated before plopping into the seat, she has trouble bending her knees more than 90 degrees. It takes some finagling to get both feet inside the vehicle.
"I'll pull up for you," said Hick, knowing the drill, even sometimes parking a little more toward his line to leave room for my door. Which is a good deed kind of negated by a close-parker on the other side. To make matters worse, the person was IN the car! And to make matters worser, the person pulled forward slowly as Hick pulled forward!
Let the record show that I don't think it was a case of asshole-y-ness so much as a case of paying attention to a cell phone and not understanding what was going on outside the car. Like maybe that person was getting ready to pull out of the parking lot, and was creeping up trying to see if anything was coming around the front end of T-Hoe. Or...she was just an asshole.
Anyhoo...with that driver right next to me, encroaching on my door-space, I sprang to the running board and plopped onto the black leather seat and dragged my legs in as fast as I could, then closed the door. Hick started out of the lot so as not to block traffic.
"Uh...where's my seatbelt?"
Let the record show that Val uses a seatbelt extender. It is not required for buckling after all these wise choices, and was not actually required before, but is more comfortable, what with the path the shoulder belt takes across Val's breastesses on her ample chestal area. I leave it buckled into the regular clicky thing, and it has another buckle at the end of a 2-3 inch segment of seatbelt webbing. Hick inherited with his brother's stuff ten years or so ago, and I took to using it, because it fits our GM vehicles.
"I don't know where your seatbelt is! Why do you think I did something with it? It's YOUR seatbelt! Why would I mess with it?"
"I don't know. Why WOULD you?"
"I didn't! Maybe you're sitting on it."
"Maybe. IF somebody flopped it over onto the seat instead of leaving it like I left it."
Indeed. I WAS sitting on that buckle, which I found out by feeling where it went from the regular seatbelt connection. Val is certainly not Pea Princess royalty, what with being unable to feel a metal buckle under her rumpus!
But that's not all! A few miles down the road, I wanted to blow my nose. To get all that casino cigarette soot out of my nasal cavity. But the four-or-five Puffs With Lotion that I keep laying on the console, down by T-Hoe's cup holders, were nowhere to be found.
"What did you do with my Kleenexes?" Yeah. That's what we call our Puffs out loud. Branding is a magical thing.
"I didn't do nothin' with your Kleenexes! I didn't touch them!"
"Well...I notice that my change cup is gone from the console. I guess you don't know anything about THAT, either."
"Oh. I put the change cup INSIDE the console. So nobody would break in for the money."
"Did you think they would break in for my Kleenexes? Is that where you put THEM, too?"
I opened up the console, and found my change cup, but no Puffs.
"Val. I told you I didn't take your Kleenexes. Where were they?"
"Right HERE! And now there's nothing. Just the bare fake wood."
"Did you throw your seatbelt buckle on them? Maybe it dragged them off."
"Why would it DRAG them off? How did my seatbelt buckle get in my seat? Were you going THAT fast, that when you rounded a curve, it slung a seatbelt buckle over there? Or did you put it there on purpose, so I'd sit on it?"
"Val. I don't know why you keep accusing me!"
"Um...maybe because YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE IN THE CAR? TWICE? Without me in here. And when I got out, everything was where I left it, and when I got back in, stuff was missing! I don't know who else you're going to blame it on."
"Just look around."
"Well, they're not back here behind the console on the floor. But here are the nail clippers that The Pony left on the console by the change cup about six months ago!"
"Oh. They must have fell off when I opened up the console."
Let the record show that Hick and I searched our respective sides of the car cabin, and down in between the console and our seats. Those Puffs were gone, baby, gone!
"Maybe you're sitting on them. Like the seatbelt."
That was crazy logical, coming from Hick. So I hoisted myself up and fumbled around. But unlike Hick, unable to find his own butt with two hands, I found my Puffs with ONE hand!
"Huh. Here they are. I don't know why you had to put them on the seat for me to sit on."
"Val. I did NOT put them on your seat!"
Yeah. He can sing that song till the cows come home. I know that I didn't LEAVE my Puffs and seatbelt on the seat. Whether they got there by inertia from Hick's reckless driving, or his unthinking hand...Hick was the deliveryman of their distribution.
Now you should be able to answer the riddle:
"Which Is a Bigger Pain in the Butt? Hick, a Seatbelt Buckle, or Four Puffs With Lotion?"