Fresh on the heels of my pointed ignoration (is that a word? I don't think so. But I'm making it one here. IGNORATION: the act of ignoring) of the shumbling (is THAT a word? Definitely not, so we'll create it, too. SHUMBLING: a gait comprised of shuffling and stumbling) old man on the parking lot of the gas station chicken store, I encountered another inconvenience at a convenience store on Thursday.
It's not so much that this lady acted like a weirdo as the fact that she had problems that Val couldn't solve. Not for a lack of trying, though, because Val was empathy-self-shamed on Wednesday by her commenters who harbor a compassionate bone in their body. Here's how it went down.
I went to the Casey's General Store where I always buy T-Hoe's gas. Not for gas this time. Just for scratch-off tickets. I have a favorite parking space by the big dumpster. They don't reserve it for me, but if it's open, I take it. From there, I can walk up onto their sidewalk where it gently slants, like a concrete ramp. When I get gas at the pumps, I have to walk up the blacktopped hill to the door, AND step up onto that sidewalk. A hill OR a step is bad enough, in the opinion of Val's knees, but the double whammy is barely surmountable. So...when I'm not getting gas, I park where I can walk up the ramp.
The handicap spot is right in front of the ramp area, but this space is almost always taken by people putting air in their tires from the wall-mounted pump and hose just in front of it. Perhaps it was designed that way in case wheelchairs need more air in their tires. I don't know. All I DO know is that every time I park there and go in, somebody has that air hose stretched across the sidewalk when I come out, so I have to step off the sidewalk and downhill anyway.
But that's neither here nor there today, just setting the scene to drag out the story. A car was already in my dumpster spot when I pulled in. I waited in a drive through area beside the pumps for it to back out and open up my space. A lady in an 80s model gray sedan pulled up next to me on my left, to the gas pump, while I was waiting. It took a few minutes for the dumpster driver to get backed out and exit the lot to the side road. I steered around the end of the pumps to take my rightful spot.
As I was climbing down from T-Hoe's running board, the lady from the sedan walked up the lot and stepped up on the sidewalk. She was mid-40s, maybe, with dark hair and the same fashion style as Val herself. She was about 30 seconds ahead of me to enter the store. Of course, being paranoid, AND a gambler, I thought, "I hope she's not buying the winning ticket right before I get in there!" Once inside, I gave her proper space at the counter while I eyed the ticket selection behind the clear plastic display. Lady was swiping her card. I didn't see any items on the counter. Whew! Dodged THAT bullet. She wasn't buying tickets.
"I'm sorry. It shows CARD DECLINED."
"What? Are you kidding me?" Lady was befuddled. She looked at the scan thingy. Looked at her card. Put it in her pocket. "Oh...just go ahead." She backed away from the counter and started pacing along the aisle entrances. Down to the donut case, back up to the door. I don't know if she was calling or texting. She didn't speak, so she got no answer, or was on hold.
I figured she had pumped her gas, and now her card couldn't pay. I always pump my gas and pay inside. Of course, I'm also going in to buy lottery. Hick uses his card at the pump. That's too techy for me. I use
As I was handing over my cash to pay for my tickets, Lady walked out the door. I saw her open the door of her gray sedan. I figured she probably had some cash or another card out there in her purse, and was getting it to bring back in. I took my eyes off her to step down off the sidewalk and down the hill, thanks to a guy in a white pickup parked in the handicap space with the air hose stretched across the sidewalk. Once on solid footing, I looked back at the lady in the gray sedan.
She put it in gear and drove away.
Huh. So much for my intended good deed. Maybe she'd wanted to pre-pay. Maybe she wasn't a drive-off deadbeat.