Yes, Val has hunches and inklings and seems to be in the right place at the right time to buy winning lottery tickets and hear special songs and see ladybugs in various forms. Perhaps Val is simply a wishful thinker, and these random incidents are only that: random incidents.
Let the record show that last week, I had The Pony on my mind a lot. Not that there's anything wrong (that I know of), just that he's 19-going-on-11, and he's been away at OU since the first week of January, and he can't come home for Easter dinner because they don't get any extra time off, having already had their spring break, and all I get is a random text here and there. My helicopter is grounded due to lack of a pilot, and I worry about
On Wednesday, I drove to the Walmart over in Bill-Paying Town. I wanted to check out their deli selection, and Hick assigned a mission to search for small Cardinals or Blues trinkets to add to his sports collection that he houses in his Little Barbershop of Horrors. I browsed around for quite a while, and picked up too many gewgaws for Hick. I also found a delicious BBQ chicken wrap in the deli that my regular Walmart does not have.
With this trip being twice as far as I usually travel, and the journey taking place in the morning, after the dosing of blood pressure meds, I had a need to use the restroom facilities before I would arrive back at the homestead. Not an emergency. But you KNOW that it's going to be if you wait that extra 45 minutes before you get home. I still had to stop for my 44 oz Diet Coke, you know. And don't even suggest that I use the facilities at the gas station chicken store. They have His and Hers doors right up front by the register, and though I've never been in them, I imagine they have probably been there unchanged since the mid 1940s.
I paid for my many memorabilia, and parked my cart by the restrooms on the front wall of Walmart. It had a handicap stall and a regular stall. I could see the door to the handicap stall was standing open. Believe me, I have no qualms about using the handicap stall. In fact, I prefer it. But what was going on inside the other stall made me reconsider. I heard rustling. Lots of crinkly rustling. Some grunting. The woman in the stall was either standing sideways, or her legs were terribly misshapen, in which case she really, really needed to be in that handicap stall. Her pants were not gathered around her ankles, but of proper length, right at the top of her shoes that pointed toward me, not toward the front of the stall. Her feet were at a 90 degree angle to the toilet.
While the odd configuration of this woman's feet inside the stall flitted through my mind, TWO ITEMS FELL TO THE FLOOR INSIDE THAT STALL! I was so shocked that I did not fully gather what they were. Not big. One was yellow and about the size of a rubber ducky, only soft-looking, with a price tag held on by a clear stringy thing that's so hard to get off. The other was a bit bigger, aqua in color. I have no idea what they were, because I turned and sped out the door. Val was not going to be caught up in a shoplifting sting. No siree, Bob! I wanted no part of being mistake for a 'lifter, nor subpoenaed as a witness.
I went right back out and pushed my cart out the door. A man with a cart kept right beside me. I don't think he was undercover. I think he was just a regular Bill-Paying Town weirdo feeling the pull of my magnet. I would swerve left to go around him, and then find him catching up on my right after passing. "I wonder where my car is..." he said. To me, not rhetorically.
"Huh. I don't know. I'm thinking I shouldn't have put my glasses on top of my head, because these sprinkles are going to leave spots on them." I sped off as fast as I could after that attempt to be polite. He pinballed from one side of the parking aisle to the other, but I tossed my stuff in T-Hoe's hatch and got out of there.
I thought I could stop by the Sonic that's just across the highway from Walmart. They have a restroom down on the end. I used to stop there all the time when I had business more often in Bill-Paying Town. Of course I would also order a Route 44 Diet Cherry Coke while I was there. Just to be polite. But on THIS day, the three bays along in front of the restroom were taken. TAKEN! What's with these people eating lunch at 10:50 a.m.? It's not like they're teachers on their lunch 22-minutes in the school cafeteria.
Anyhoo...I drove on by. I figured I could go at the Waterside Mart halfway home, even though it was a couple miles off my route. I could pick up a lottery ticket while I was there. But when I got to the curve by the local junior college, it occurred to me that I could stop at Hardee's and use their restroom. I haven't been to that Hardee's for at least a year, back when I was still working, and I met my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel there for breakfast when I took a sick day for a doctor's appointment.
I pulled in and parked out on the big lot of the mostly-abandoned shopping center. It's hard to back T-Hoe with his backup beeper not working. I stepped up on the sidewalk and started in. Something was laying on the sidewalk, but I stepped over it and continued about my business. I didn't feel a need to buy anything from them. I don't really like their soda, and I had my BBQ chicken wrap for lunch when I got home.
As I came outside and started back up the sidewalk to T-Hoe, I paused to see what was on the ground.
It was a PONY! There he is, prancing across the dusty wasteland of T-Hoe's dash, one inch tall from hoof to ear. Of course I picked him up! He's a sign from the Universe that The Pony is okay! Isn't he? Why else would I stop at a place that I don't patronize, and find him right there where I have to walk?
Yep. I bent over and picked up that little pony and didn't give an obese rodent's patooty if the Hardee's dining room was full of witnesses, and possibly a crying toddler who lost it. He's mine now, by cracky! That little pony is standing on the desk in my dark basement lair, up on a pile of CDs, in a clear plastic holder of square memo papers, right next to a white plastic MOM with nesting, spinning Os that Genius made on a 3D printer.
I think my life is on track. Every little delay put me right there, right then, after a spur-of-the moment decision on where to take a pee...to find a dropped toy, which could have been anything. Except it wasn't. It was a pony.
Let the record show that I typed this up on Saturday night, scheduled it to post this evening, and then today, Sunday, in Walmart...
The ladybug made an appearance on the CLEARANCE aisle. Even though that tag says it's a bumble bee...you can't fool Val. That's a LADYBUG!
I had just finished loading my cart with too much sugar for my too-spoiled boys for their Easter treat. The CLEARANCE aisle was just on the other side of the last Easter candy aisle, so I thought I'd take a stroll along there.
Glad I did. Although the only thing I bought there was a roll of tape to close up the box for mailing The Pony's treat.