Monday, May 25, 2020

3 Bags Fool

There's some funny business afoot in my lair. I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation. I just haven't discovered it yet.

In the kitchen Saturday afternoon, I was distracted by a phone call from Hick, just as I was picking up my lunch and magical elixir to carry downstairs. The Pony volunteered to take them for me. By the time I got down to my office, I was still discombobulated from Hick's jabberwocky.

When I stepped through the portal, I noticed a gray plastic Walmart bag on the floor by my newest rolly chair. The one I don't sit in because the length of the seat makes me unable to lean back without a gap in the lumbar region when my feet are on the floor, or unable to bend my knees over the edge if my back is against the chair back. I DO have a stack of plastic bags on the chair. I recycle them for trash bags.

"Pony! Have you been in my office--oh, wait! You were just there, carrying my stuff."


"There's a Walmart bag on the floor by my chair."

"That was NOT there when I just came out."

"It's okay. You must have created a draft when you walked by. You're faster than me. I guess your wake stirred them up."

That's logical, right? Because I haven't added or removed any bags from the chair lately. None have fallen off. So it must have had something to do with The Pony stirring up a current of air. I pushed the bag out of the way with my shoe toe, and proceeded to my old rolly chair in front of New Delly.

I'd been there a little over 10 minutes when I heard something behind me. A rustling. I turned to see a second gray Walmart bag on the floor! Well. That was a bit curious. There are no heating/cooling vents in my office. Nor outside the doorway. I was sitting still. I doubt the tap-tap-tapping of my fingers on the keyboard created enough breeze to disturb those bags. Huh. Maybe once The Pony's wake had caused one to fall, the others were more precarious. Yeah. I'm sure that was it.

With such a logical explanation, I thought no more of it, other than to tell The Pony while I was upstairs during supper time. He thought it a bit curious, but a bunch of nothing compared to some things that happen around here.

My evening hours in the lair proceeded as normal. I didn't get down there with my own supper until around 8:30. I prepared three blog posts ahead. Watched some YouTube. Read some local news. Bemoaned the dearth of conspiracy videos over the holiday weekend.

Wait! What was THAT? A rustling... over my left shoulder. I turned to see a white plastic bag from Country Mart slowly rolling down some assorted bags on the counter along the wall of my lair. What in the NOT-HEAVEN? As I looked, it stopped. It was kind of wadded-up. It hadn't been sliding. Rather, it was rolling over. Rolling toward the edge. Yet stopped when I saw it.

I have no explanation for that one. Third time's a "DARN!"

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A Game of What's-That and House

With The Pony home from college, I have a sometimes-companion in my dark basement. He comes down around 10:00 p.m. to watch assorted DVR-ed shows with me. Mostly cooking competitions. We are currently enjoying Supermarket Stakeout, and Camp Cookout (in Martha Stewart's field).

Most nights, we hear activity upstairs. Tuesday, The Pony had already gone up to bed around midnight:30. He first goes to the kitchen for ice in his water cup. I heard something in his bathroom above my head in my OPC (Old People Chair).

"That's you, right?"

"I'm getting ice, yeah. It's the freezer."

"No. I heard something in your bathroom."

"It's not me! I'm in the kitchen. But I'm going that way."

I heard him walking down the hall by the piano and wall of family photos.

"You're not going to believe this, but I heard it in the bathroom as I came up to the door. And when I reached in to flip the light switch, I heard it MOVE in the bathroom! It's like the noise when you step on a certain part of the floor, like over by the thermostat. Only IN MY BATHROOM! Like something was trying to get away as I reached for the light."

Wednesday night, I heard walking in the front corner of Genius's room, while The Pony was in his own room across the hall. Although The Pony said, "Maybe it was the dogs." Not unless they opened the front door with their paws, and went into Genius's room. The thud of a footstep on carpet is different from the thump of a dog flopping down on the porch boards.

Look what The Pony discovered when he went into his room after our errands on Thursday!

Walked in and exclaimed, "You'll never believe what's on the floor of my room!" That could have been many things, but luckily it was only a PENNY, heads-up, from 1994. That's the year Genius was born. Looks like somebody, or SOMETHING got the wrong room!

Even more mysterious, that penny photo disappeared from my PICTURES file, where I'd saved it the day before, and from my email, where The Pony had sent it! Not in SPAM, not in trash, not in FILES, not in my computer at all, even with a search. So The Pony had to re-send it. It had nothing at all to do with my new used iPhone 8. Only The Pony's phone, and New Delly.

It's almost like the house is re-calibrating, now that The Pony is back.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Val Is the Captain of the PENNY-Four...

My Future Pennyillionaire Fortune is still smiling on me, waiting patiently for my arrival.

SATURDAY, May 16, at 2:46, after the Saturday CENTSus had already gone to press, I discovered two pennies waiting for me!

On the left is a 2015 penny that was found heads-up under the counter of Orb K, with a new used iPhone 8 that committed hari kari, in my hand. On the way back to T-Hoe, I found ANOTHER one, a 1973 face-down penny on the yellow stripe that marks the handicap walkway.

On TUESDAY, May 19, I left that blasted phone in T-Hoe when I dashed into the Gas Station Chicken Store for my daily 44 oz Diet Coke. Of course I spied a penny next to the brick support post holding up the gas pumps roof.

It was another retro coin, a face-down 1966, posed here on a future losing ticket. I wish I knew why that phone lets me take a picture in T-Hoe, but shuts down immediately when I try it inside the store. Hick says he'll drive me to get a new phone on Thursday. We'll see.

FRIDAY, May 22, I found a sweet cent right in front of the door to the Backroads Casey's. I thanked the man who held the door for me after he went in, but then let it close to bend over, showing ample rumpus and risking empty noggin, to pickup that penny from in front of the other double door. No wasted energy carrying a bum new used iPhone 8 in my pocket. So I noted that it was heads-up, and later had The Pony snap it, and tell me it was a 2012.

Here it is, courtesy of The Pony's Samsung, perched on his $10 winner, our new favorite ticket.

Four cents this week, and still sailing towards the Port of Pennyillionaireville!


Penny       # 54, 55, 56, 57.
Dime         still at 11.
Nickel      still at 3.
Quarter   0

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, May 22, 2020

There's a New Weirdo in Town

Val is sucking weirdos into her orbit like a boss! Like a supergiant star, her gravitational pull traps weirdos passing by. Giving them no choice but to enter Val's driveway and draw ever-closer.

The Pony and I had just returned from an ill-fated trip to town on the Thursday errands. I was standing in the kitchen, still in my town clothes, when the dogs went crazy. I attributed it to their delicious snack of bread soaked in chicken juice, and the chewable bones left from the previous day. Juno will shoot out of her house like a wily eel, to grab any morsels Jack has not yet hoovered off the porch boards. Juno also objects to Copper Jack eating the treats I toss to him behind her house. There's often a ruckus once I close the kitchen door.

"Um. There's a strange truck coming down the driveway," said my early warning system, The Pony.

"What do you mean? What does it look like?"

"It's a black truck. With a camper on the back, maybe..."

I went to the front door and stuck my head out. There was a man in a flannel shirt and jeans, with unkempt hair and a white beard, walking under the carport where SilverRedO would be parked, if Hick was ever home to protect his loving wife. Copper Jack was barking his fool head off. As if an air conditioner repairman had dared invade his our territory. White Beard paid him no mind. No flinching, no picking up rocks to arm himself.

"Hey, there. Is Hick home?"

"No. He had to take a friend to the emergency room."

"Oh. Hope it isn't anything serious."

"Well, she had a procedure at the hospital yesterday, and isn't feeling well today."

"That doesn't sound good. I was just hoping to find Hick. My tractor quit, and I thought he might know about it."

"Is it in the road? Can it wait? Because Hick IS really good with tractors, but I don't know when he'll be home."

"It's on my land, on the other side of the trees. I ran over a shoe. I don't know WHERE that came from. But now my tractor won't run."

"JACK! JACK! No, not you, little buddy. JACK! That big dog's name is Jack, and so is our little dog here." I patted my Jack's head as he stood with his front feet on my leg.

"MY name is Jack."

"Oh. Sorry. That dog isn't even ours. He barks at me like that, too. Well, I can give Hick a message that you came by, and about your tractor. Or I could give you his number."

"I might have it here. Or I could give you MY number to give him."

"Well, I don't have anything to write with, and I'm not smart enough to put it in my phone. I don't have it with me either."

"You know his number? [DUH] Go ahead and give that to me. Okay. I'll call him right now. That way the number will be in my phone."

So off went White Beard, walking back down Hick's brick sidewalk with his phone to his ear. I told The Pony it must be a pretty weak tractor, for a SHOE to make it stop running. I thought tractors were tougher than that. The Pony said he obviously meant a HORSESHOE. I disagreed. Any fool knows where a HORSESHOE comes from! Several people out here have horses, and ride them along the roads.

As much weirdo traffic as we've been getting, I almost suspect Hick of putting up one of those tear-off papers in the grocery store, for a Help-Me Man service.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Hick the Secret Heavy Drinker: Episode 5 of "This Is the Time of Day When We Talk About the Most Recent Things You've Done Wrong."

You think you know somebody...

I went to Country Mart on Tuesday. They had a sign on the door that they'd be closed for inventory on Wednesday. Hick says that's what they SAY, but he knows from teenage experience working in a gas station that a new owner has to close a business for at least 24 hours, or he's responsible for paying all the taxes. Of course I don't know anything about that stuff. So Hick might have made that up on the spot.

Anyhoo... I was not surprised to see a sale on the soda aisle. They had six-packs of bottled Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Coke at 3 for $9.00. That's not cheap compared to Walmart's $2.50 apiece, but it saved the gas to Walmart, and the annoyance of traipsing through that one-way maze.

I bought 3 six-packs of Diet Mountain Dew, and 3 six-packs of Diet Coke. When I got home with the groceries, that little weirdo kid threw me off my game. I had told The Pony he could leave the soda until the next day. Of course Hick went to bed at the crack of dusk. 9:20 p.m., to be exact. So I didn't have a chance to tell him about the soda. I didn't even go up for supper, because I'd brought him a deli meal from Country Mart.

Imagine my surprise when I got a text at 10:30 a.m. saying:

"Got soda and water didn't get diet coke saw one on table"

"Okay. I have 3 of each in the back of the car."

It would have been nice if Hick had TOLD me he was going to Walmart! Of course there were other things he could have picked up. Which brings us to 

Episode 5 of "This Is the Time of Day When We Talk About the Most Recent Things You've Done Wrong."

No, it's not even about going to Walmart without telling me! When Hick came in from mowing the front yard/field, I asked about the text, and he handed me the receipt. According to him at that time:

"I was out of soda, so I went to get some. You was asleep when I left. I didn't know you got some."

"You were asleep last night when I hollered up to tell you at 9:20!"

THEN I looked at that receipt, once I got down to my lair. I'd already written the total in the checkbook, and would have thrown the receipt away, except I had written Hick's Sunday profits from his Storage Unit Store on it, to update yesterday's tale.

Again, not a big deal. I threw away the receipt once I added Hick's profits to yesterday's comments.

THEN, after I'd made supper for Hick and The Pony, I was sitting on the short couch while they ate, Hick in the La-Z-Boy with chicken tacos, The Pony at the coffee table with lemon pepper chicken and baked potato. The Pony set it off, just making conversation after I'd asked him if he wanted me to get him some Sprite at the store. He did not.

"Dad, I can't believe you bought all that soda! Mom has some out in the car."

"No she don't. I carried it in."

"Yeah. Now you have 9 six-packs!"

"No I don't! I only bought 4."

"Uh. No. You bought 6."

"Yeah, Dad. There's way more than 4 on your chair in the kitchen."

"Because I brought in the soda from the car."

"I saw it on your receipt! You bought 6."

"No. I bought 4. I bought 6 strawberry waters."

"I saw the waters. But you also bought 6 Diet Mountain Dews!"

"Well, if I did, that was just a mistake, because I went through the self-checkout. I might have SCANNED 6, but I only GOT 4."

"THAT'S EVEN WORSE! That means you PAID for two extra that you didn't get!"

"Well, I might have done that. But I'm pretty sure there's only 4 on the receipt."

"I still have it in the trash down in my office. I'm going to dig it out!"

Okay. I did. And I was as wrong as Hick. He only paid for 5, when he got 4. But STILL...

This was definitely the Time of Day When We Talked About the Most Recent Things Hick Did Wrong.

Shhh...we're not telling Hick that I spent an extra $3.00 over Walmart's price, getting those Diet Mountain Dews and Diet Cokes at Country Mart, while he spent an extra $2.50 (plus tax!) on a phantom six-pack of Diet Mountain Dew.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Vampires and Weirdos

Will social distancing stop a vampire? I don't know. What I DO know is that it won't stop a weirdo. You know. A weirdo, who can't resist the pull of Val's weirdo magnet. Not all weirdos are bat-crap crazy. But all weirdos are still weirdos...

Tuesday, I came home from town around 3:30. I saw a kid walking along the gravel, on the dog-groomer neighbor's side of the road, even with our driveway. He looked about 14. As I turned in, Kid waved at me. Just that hold a hand up, howdy neighbor kind of gesture. So I did it back, through the window of T-Hoe, not even turning my head to make eye contact.

I continued toward the house. It's a driveway 1/10 mile long. I had told The Pony I would honk to let him know I was home, so he could carry in some groceries. At the carport, I gave a single honk as the garage door opened, and pulled in. I could see my little Jack, and Copper Jack, behind the house on a squirrel chase. They scatter when I come home.

Once I'd maneuvered T-Hoe inside without folding in the mirrors (only one works), I sat in the garage to await The Pony, and open the hatch. A movement caught my eye as the people-door opened. I assumed it was The Pony, and looked up, only to see


"Uh? Yeah? Did you need something?"

"Oh, I heard your dogs barking, and came down to see if something was wrong."

"No. Nothing wrong. They chase squirrels behind the house every time I come home."

"Oh. They're good dogs."

"Yes... my son is coming out to carry groceries for me..."

With that, The Pony appeared. Kid moved away from the door, and began petting the dogs on the side porch. The Pony came into the garage, and cut eyes at me. If he was more sophisticated, he might have done the crazy twirly temple finger.

"I KNOW!" I hissed. So as not to be heard by the interloper.

"I mean, WHAT?"

"I don't know! He said he heard the dogs barking, and came to see if everything was okay."

The Pony gathered up the groceries and abandoned me. I closed the main garage door, and went out the people door. The Kid was still there. I did not appreciate him waltzing onto our homestead and poking his head into the garage! What if he was one of those cabin-breaker-inners!

"Where do you live?"

"Way up the road here, on the hill."

"Oh, did my husband give you a ride in his red truck?"


"He's not home right now. He took a sick lady to the hospital."

"I wondered if maybe he might have some work to do. I'm really bored."

"Yes, especially with school out for so long. I think I saw you guys down in the creek a while back. That's something to do."

"Yeah. It's nice."

" I said, my husband isn't here. I don't know if he has any work. You could ask him next time you see him."


Still, the Kid sat on the side porch, petting the dogs. Copper Jack was on the brick sidewalk.

"That one isn't even OUR dog!"

"I know."

"He hates me. He lets anyone else pet him but me."

Kid snapped his fingers. Copper Jack started forward, but my little spotted Jack jumped off the porch and snarled and jumped up to hang onto Copper Jack's snout. There was a scuffle as they went around the corner.

"That little one is really jealous. They fight like that a lot..."

I kept walking around the porch toward the kitchen door. The Kid finally said, "Later." As I was out of sight.

He's just a kid. But I don't want him thinking he can come hang out here. I didn't mean to invite him just by waving. Now I'm afraid it's like inviting a vampire into your home. You can't really rescind that invitation. The vampire can come and go as he pleases.

I hope vampire rules don't apply to weirdos! Even KID weirdos.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Hick Needs to Keep a Closer Eye on His Purse

With the lifting of our Stay-At-Home-Down, Hick has been having booming business at his Storage Unit Store. He sat in the La-Z-Boy Sunday night, riffling a stack of cash at me and The Pony. Still miffed at the lost opportunity that time day, to discuss Hick's most recently wrong-done things, I made an attempt to snatch that cash stack out of his hand. Who knew Hick had such youthful reflexes, even with his Pop-Arm?

Anyhoo...Hick began droning about items he'd sold, mostly metal things that propel other metal things at a lickety-split rate when stimulated.

"Whoa! I don't care. All I hear is 'blah blah blah cash blah blah blah cash blah blah blah,' so you might as well just skip all the specifics, and tell how much you took in, and how much was profit."

"Oh, you remember that money bag your best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel gave me? The black one with the red-and-white striped lining? That looked like a lady's make-up bag? I've been keeping my gun receipts in it. I usually leave it in the refrigerator. The cabinet that I can lock. But it wasn't locked. Anyway, Saturday I found it laying UNDER the cabinet. So I picked it up and put it back. But then today, after everyone left and I was putting stuff back, I couldn't find it! It wasn't inside where it should have been, and it wasn't laying under like before. I finally found it, though, stuffed down in a crack. Somebody's been messing with it!"

"Well, you should know better. With important stuff like that, you need to lock it up! Or keep it in your truck."

"Them dang people get into EVERYTHING!"

"Yeah. You should know better! You can't leave it unlocked. It's like trying to hide Christmas presents from kids. They'll FIND IT, wherever it is, if it's not locked up."

"It's locked up now."

"You need to walk in there and see what people are doing."

"I did follow one kid in there today. I didn't trust him. And that one guy I suspect took my gun hasn't been back. Not since I put on my Facebook that I was pretty sure I knew who took it. That should tell you right there he's guilty!"

"Well, you should watch people closer, or not complain if they take something."

"Yeah, I know. You can't trust anyone these days."

Ain't THAT the truth!