Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Will Val Ever Come to Her Senses at the Gas Station Chicken Store?

Yesterday was quite eventful for Val. Unfortunately, headlines here were take up by Hick's court appearance.

I might have mentioned in passing once or twice that I've been finding coins randomly on parking lots over the past few months. Okay. More than once or twice. It happens all the time lately. So I now am on the lookout for such coins. I might as well watch a pot for signs of boiling. When you're expecting a special surprise, it never arrives.

So...I headed off to town yesterday, stopping at Casey's and the bank and Walmart. No matter where I parked, or how wide a radius I cast my glance, I found absolutely ZERO coins. My last stop, at the gas station chicken store for my daily 44 oz Diet Coke, was delayed by 10 minutes due to parking congestion.

People are crazy parkers there. My favorite first space by the building was taken. My acceptable space next to the owner's SUV was blocked by a pickup pulling a trailer holding a Bobcat. That darn Bobcat puller almost blocked my way over to my stand-bye parking by the moat that separates the lot from Hick's pharmacy, CeilingReds. I had to finagle and finesse my way between his bumper and the gas pumps. Just as I cleared both, a dump truck pulling a trailer holding a backhoe parked longways, taking up all of the 10 spaces there, as well as the area by the diesel pumps. I yanked T-Hoe over to the parallel parking on the other side of the building, by the air hose. No sooner had I put the shifter in PARK than a gray pickup came up alongside me, eyeing the air hose.

I'd had enough of that scene, so went out the back exit and made a right up to the other Casey's, and then out onto the street to take a little ride past the dead mouse smelling post office until traffic cleared out.

When I came back, the Bobcat puller was just leaving, and the dump truck had disappeared. So I parked over by the moat and hiked across the lot, my nose still out of joint that I, a regular, had to deal with these rightful-parking-space stealers. I opened the door and stepped inside, and saw


WooHoo! Found money! I bent over to pick them up, my ample buttocks keeping the glass door from closing completely. The little Asian guy was clerking.

"Anybody want some floor money?"

Asian Guy Clerk raised his eyebrows. He shook the dish on the counter where he takes pennies to pay off odd cents for people. DANG IT! I really wanted that floor money! Not because I needed 11 cents, mind you, but because it was PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, by cracky! My rightful money, in that place at that time, meant for me to find it!

However...I didn't want to be that person who appears greedy. Or the type to need 11 cents. AGC is a sweetheart. He tells me what number the tickets are on if I ask him. And sometimes, he'll say, "You probably don't want that ticket today," if he knows somebody just got a big winner. So I took my floor money and put it in the coin dish on the counter.

I proceeded to the chicken counter to order a small mashed potato with gravy for Hick. While I was filling my 44 oz Diet Coke as the girl dished up the potatoes and wrote up my ticket...a new customer came in. She was probably early 40s, reddish hair pulled back sloppily in a ponytail, wearing shorts, face kind of flushed. She stepped straight to the counter and asked AGC,

"Do you sell drinks here?"

"Our liquor is on the shelf." AGC nodded his head to the shelf behind me, across from the chicken counter, where the tall bottles of alcohol were stocked.

"Oh. I mean drinks, not bottles."

"No, Ma'am."

"My friend told me she bought some alcohol at the gas station across from the liquor store. The one that has good chicken. And you're the only gas station I know that sells good chicken."

"Yes, we have good chicken."

"I was over at the liquor store, and they didn't have vodka for the price my friend said they did. How much is your vodka?"

"Uh...I don't know. I can go to the back room and check for you. We don't have any out here."

"Never mind. How much is your whiskey?"

By this time, I had taken my soda and mashed potatoes to the counter, and Red had mosied over to the chicken counter to peer at the pints and half-pints of alcohol that were on the wall behind the chicken warmer.

AGC walked over and picked them up one by one, and read her the prices for McCormick and Kessler. Which I think was $3.59.

"Oh. I'm short." Red waited. For AGC to spot her the money, maybe, or barter with her. She was out of luck. "Go ahead and help her. She probably doesn't want to wait for me to decide."

"I'm not in any hurry." Seriously. Where did I have to go? Home, to Hick, who was on his way back from court. If I delayed long enough, he might just make his own lunch. The mashed potatoes were to go with his supper.

AGC came over to wait on me. I cashed in a $10 scratcher ticket. I was buying a $30 ticket, and two $5 tickets, and the soda and the potatoes. But AGC said they were out of one of those $5 tickets.

Red came over and stood at my left elbow. Not too close. As AGC was scanning my winner and stapling a receipt to it, she looked at me and said, "I don't guess you have a spare dollar..."

"I don't know. Let's see what change I get back." You know. Not committing to anything. Maybe somebody else would come in and distract Red.

As luck would have it, my total came to $38.29. AGC took my two twenties, and handed me back a dollar and a handful of coins. He had kind of a strange look on his face. Huh. I was expecting more. But that's what he gave me. I palmed the coins, and put the one in my left hand and reached it sideways to Red. "Here you go."

"Oh, thanks, bud."

"No problem. I just found 11 cents when I walked in the door!"

Uh huh. I know I'm an enabler. But that dollar was just 2/3 of a 44 oz Diet Coke to me. Anybody who needs a $3.59 bottle of whiskey at 11:00 a.m. needs that dollar more than I do.

I started out the door as Red turned back to look at the half-pints. AGC said, "Oh, here." He held out a $10 bill, the money from my winning scratcher. Clever of him to withhold it while Red was waiting for my change.

So...my gas station chicken store experience might show that I am lacking in sense, but at least I found some cents there.


  1. Val--If you could see me right now, you'd see my mouth is gaping open.

    1) You found 11 cents and then announced it, so then you HAD to give it to the store?

    2) You pay $3 for a 44-oz. soda? Wow. Prices are high for you country folk.

    1. You might want to close your mouth, Madam, before a ladybug or something flies in. Or people use you as one of those bean-bag toss games like we had at the school carnival.

      1) I felt like I had to give it to the dish, because nobody else was in the store, and AGC saw me pick it up, and he DOES tip me off when I shouldn't buy a ticket right after a big winner.

      2) The Truth in Blogging Law says that I must reveal the price of my 44 oz Diet Coke as $1.69. That's WITH tax. The price of the mashed potatoes I don't have memorized. It's not a daily thing. Hick does not live by mashed potatoes alone.

  2. Whisky for $3.59??
    I don't know for sure what Whisky costs out here, but I don't think it's under $20. I should probably check, but it's not important to me.
    Needing it that early in the day doesn't seem like a good thing either.

    1. Maybe I didn't eavesdrop accurately! It was for a half-pint, and it was the off brand. I know it wasn't one of the big bottles that they keep where people can pick them up off the shelf.

      Maybe they have trouble with people slipping the smaller bottles in their pocket (if they can't find somebody to give them a dollar), so they keep them behind the chicken counter.

  3. A penny AND a dime? You're moving on up, just like the Jeffersons.

    1. I REALLY wanted that floor money! I wanted it more than the dollar. Next time, I think I'll just say, "FLOOR MONEY! Finders keepers!" I might need to practice my assertiveness.

      Fish don't fry in my kitchen, and beans don't burn on my grill. Hick often gets a little sugar-free mini pie from Walmart. So yes, I'm movin' on up with that 11 cents that I didn't keep. Dang it! I really wanted to keep it, too! Did I mention that?

  4. AGC is sharp. I don't mind an occsional handout, I just hate when they ask if you have any spare money. It is not extra money with no other place to go.

    1. AGC used to be in the military. Maybe he was some crafty spy, trained to do secretive things like pretend to give back the wrong change until the grifter was distracted by demon whiskey.

      At least Red made no pretense about what that money was going to be used for! It's not like she said she needed it to buy milk for her crying infant. She was pretty crafty, too. Like those guys who stand at intersections with a cardboard sign that says, "Need money for weed."

  5. Well she is certainly a bold one and you should never announce found money. Have you never heard Finders Keepers Losers Weepers? You need to be more sly. I'm wondering of AGC is looking out for you or thought about taking a cut and then reconsidered. Retirement...we make our own fun, don't we?

    1. Well, AGC saw me stoop to pick it up. So I didn't really announce it to HIM. And I'd already given it up when I told my new best friend, Red.

      AGC had that look on his face when he handed back my change, or else I might have thought he was just forgetful.

      Now that I'm retired, I can travel the back roads, spreading dollar bills to alcoholics in convenience stores.

  6. I can't imagine how happy you were to finally find some money, and then had to give it back. Stuff happens I guess. Hopefully next time its in a secluded place. Greetings!

    1. Maybe, like that saying, "not the triumph, but the struggle," I should think of my circumstances as, "not the keeping, but the finding."

  7. I like how AGC handled that, he was looking out for you, but you are a regular and I wouldn't expect any less.

    1. Of course! And I'm pretty sure I helped him get rid of Red. I imagine that she made her purchase and hit the road. Hopefully not as the one behind the wheel.

  8. HeWho has daily customer for a cab ride to the convenience store. The old guy lives in a motel along the interstate and buys all of his needs from this gas station chicken store ...... mostly alcohol. He shells out $20 for every ride and buys his liquid entertainment in the half pint size. He says he does this to keep from drinking an entire quart ........ but he buys two at a time. Sometimes twice a day. I doubt HeWho would notice any coins on the floor, he would be one dropping them.

    1. Well...I hope that guy finds a lot of patsies willing to hand him a dollar!