I'm thinking of starting my own museum. Pretty sure Hick would build me a shack for it. I'd call it Val's You'd Better Believe It, By Cracky! That's because Ripley already took the other name.
Yesterday (Tuesday) I was only planning a short jaunt to town. Oh, town is the same distance from home. It hasn't moved. But I didn't have a lot of extra running around to do. No shopping, no bill-paying, no letter-mailing, no gas for T-Hoe to guzzle. Just a short trip, for a 44 oz Diet Coke and scratcher tickets. I had that $100 winner, you know, to cash in. Which didn't mean I was spending it all! Some of that was earmarked for my casino bankroll.
I got a late start because I baked a ham. It's not like I'm a gourmet chef, sticking pineapple slices and cherries and cloves and all manner of hammy garnishes all willy-nilly over a giant hogleg. It was a pre-cooked prepared ham, sliced, that I was just warming up so it had the baked flavor, for Hick to eat at will when he wants a sandwich. I figured Tuesday was as good a time as any, while I was up early due to a disturbing awakening by a random noise, and the house not yet heated up by the 100-degree weather.
Once the ham was out of the oven and back in Frig II (seems kind of pointless, right?), I took off for town. The plan was to buy a ticket at Casey's, and then come back next-to next door to the gas station chicken store to cash in that $100 winner, get a couple more tickets, and pocket the change. Unless, of course, there was an alcoholic needing whiskey, or a beggar needing a bus ticket to St. Louis.
You know what happens when Val plans, right? I think I heard Even Steven slapping his knee as he enjoyed a late-morning blueberry muffin with Karma and The Universe. I had smartly chosen to make a left turn and go into Casey's by the back way, cutting across the parking lot of Hick's pharmacy, CeilingReds. But when I came to the cross street, I saw that Casey's was getting their weekly supply shipment. I know Tuesday is truck day for Casey's. I used to work at one. But you never know what time the truck is going to be at which store. There are three of them that I frequent.
Ever the eternal optimist, I pulled onto the lot and squeezed T-Hoe in beside the only other car that fit there, which was blocking the front end of that semi that had pulled parallel to the front of the store. "Oh, well," I thought, "I won't have to wait on other customers in line." That's right. Because there was no line, because neither I (nor anyone else) could get inside. That rolling-bar ramp that they slide boxes down went right from the side of the truck into the left double-door of Casey's. The right door was closed, and I couldn't get to it unless I did the limbo under that rolling-bar ramp. Val's limbo days are over.
Plans foiled, I got back in T-Hoe and went to the gas station chicken store to do my business there. No problems at all. They always cash the big tickets for me, whereas Casey's is usually kind of pissy about it, sometimes with a handmade sign saying nothing over $50, and Orb K's clerks jaw at you to see how much it's worth before they'll commit to cashing it.
Since I missed out on getting a ticket at Casey's, I stopped by Orb K as I headed out of town. What luck! My rightful parking space by the sidewalk slope and sewer grate was open! I patted the won money in my shirt pocket, and hopped out to get a ticket. Of course I took a moment to eye-scour that sewer grate to see if I might find a penny. Nope. I was three for three on being fresh out of penny-luck.
WAIT A MINUTE!
This kind of borders on the unbelievable! No way am I finding a penny for the THIRD DAY IN A ROW, AT THE SAME STORE!
Oh, yes, my blogfriends. I DID!
Almost missed it, so dirty and camouflaged it was, there on the pavement! This one was 1994. At last, a date with significance! That's the year Genius was born. Not that I knew the purpose of that connection.
Until five hours later, when Genius called me at home. He never calls. I'm lucky to get a one-line text every 10-12 days, if he needs money early. But last evening, he called me with some good news. That will have to wait for another time.
Right now I'm happy with the news of my own. Looks like I'm well on my way to becoming a pennyillionaire!