Val's OLD gambling purse.
Val's OLD gambling purse who?
I'm not really here knocking, you fool! I'm LOST!
When we last convened, Val's OLD gambling purse was missing. Val had virtually torn the house apart looking for it. Had stopped short of calling the milk carton people, or stapling flyers to telephone poles. But it looked like this:
Hick was kicked back in the La-Z-Boy. Enjoying some sweet snack that is prohibited, which he usually ferrets out once Val has gone back down to her dark basement lair after walking and dog-snacking.
"Have you seen my OLD gambling purse? Last time I remember, it was right here on the short couch, when I put my stuff in my new gambling purse the day before we went to Casinopalooza 2."
"Last I saw, it was on that chair in the kitchen."
"Yeah. That was before I carried it in here to switch out my stuff. I'm pretty sure I put it back on the couch, because I was busy gathering stuff to pack for Casinopalooza 2."
"It'll turn up."
"You didn't throw it away, did you?"
"No, Val. I didn't throw away a purse."
"Well, that one time, I put it under the kitchen counter on the box of trash bags, by the wastebasket. Because we were going somewhere, and I didn't want anybody to see it through the kitchen window. So maybe you thought it was there because it was trash..."
"No. I didn't throw away a purse. It's probably down in your office."
"I already looked down there. I DID have it in my office not too long ago, because I was looking for one of my old player cards for Hollywood Casino. For the number on it. To see if it was still good when Genius was taking me there. Then I got a new one anyway. But I'm sure I brought it upstairs since then, to pack for Casinopalooza 2."
"It's in the house someplace. It'll turn up."
"I hope so! It had the last cards my mom gave me in there. And some money in them."
"I tell you all the time, Val, that you need to stop stashing money around and put it in the safe."
"Yeah, yeah. But only YOU know how to open the safe."
"I've been thinking about having a guy come out here to drill them and put in the same combinations for both."
"Well, it's been two years since you brought Dad's safe home, and that other one we've had for at least 15 years."
"I know. I'll get to it when I'm retired."
So...I went back downstairs and looked around there, in the main TV area. When the weather is bad, I bring the valuables down in a Walmart sack to ride out the storm. But I always take it back up the next day. Surely Hick didn't think that was a bag of trash, and throw it away. Oh, come one! We're talking about Hick actually throwing something away. So probably not.
Then I got to thinking about him harping at me over the money. I stood at the bottom of the steps and hollered up to him.
"Hey! Did I give you my OLD gambling purse to put in the safe? I think you were harping at me about the money, and I said I wasn't using that purse anyway right now, and asked you to put it in the safe."
"No. I didn't put any purse in the safe."
Huh. I looked some more in my office. Even turned the light on. THERE! Over by the file cabinet! Behind some boxes that Hick made The Pony pile up in my way after I cleaned out my classroom when I retired. I saw it! A brown strap, peeking out from the bottom of a box stacked on top of it. I made my way through that JENGA maze of educational materials, and found an old new purse that I didn't like and had never used. I'd even offered it to my mom. You know how women are about purses. She'd had enough of her own, and hadn't wanted it.
I went to bed that night, hoping to receive an unconscious clue from my subconscious. I usually have dreams about things I am pondering right before I fall asleep. Alas, the next morning, all I had dreamed about was asking Hick if he put my OLD gambling purse in the safe. So when he got home and fed the animals and swam in Poolio and took a shower and ate his supper...I asked him once more if he could look. Just to make sure. Before I started tearing the house apart again.
"I'm tired tonight, Val. I WORKED today. I'll look tomorrow."
Then next night, I reminded him after he got out of Poolio and took a shower, while he was waiting for me to plate his supper.
"This will be done in a few minutes. Can you go look in the safe for my purse?"
Hick was down there the longest time. I started to think that he had forgotten the combinations. One of the locks is tricky, anyway. And it was too quiet. He was probably going through things, reminiscing, reading old documents. Hick gets carried away with things like that. I walked to the top of the stairs.
"HEY! Did you find it?"
Finally I heard the squeak of the door to Hick's workshop close. And the velcro dartboard that the boys never played with that hangs on it slam against the door.
"Yeah. I found it."
Funny how Hick is always saying that I have a selective memory.
Now my OLD gambling purse is right on the short couch where it belongs. I'd have Hick put it back in the safe, but it smelled like old musty smoke. I'm pretty sure he had it in my dad's safe, not the one we've had for years. Not that I know the combination to either.