Yes. It's about time for another woeful tale from the annals of Val's life. But this one is very recent history. Hot off the calendar. Twelve hours old. Not even ready to be termed "day old" and set on the counter at half price.
Perhaps I've mentioned what a great help The Pony is when he accompanies me on the weekly shopping trip. He's a real go-getter. I tell him several items I need, and he goes and gets them. Kind of like a scavenger hunt with no prize, and he's the only participant. This week, I sent him for a giant bottle of Germ-X, three packages of neon index cards, baby wipes, a three-pack of Puffs With Aloe, and a can of Febreze. We don't go though those every week here at the old homestead. Those items were for my classroom.
Have I clued you in that The Pony is a real go-getter, but lacks the quality control gene? He grabs shelf stock without inspecting it for flaws. Yes, The Pony has a penchant for picking up the most damaged goods in each section. I almost had hope this week, when he returned to my cart, about which he orbits like a satellite, to tell me that the plastic containers of baby wipes were all stove-in. I sent him back for the plain ones. My white board isn't getting diaper rash any time soon. Yes, I almost had hope. But there it was, at the end of the evening, as I sat back in my basement recliner and reached for my National Enquirer: a rip about halfway down the second page. I hadn't noticed at first, due to the folded-down edge at the corner.
The school accessories lolled about T-Hoe's rear end until this morning. No use carrying stuff in the house that will be carried right back out. This morning we had time to take it into my classroom. And by we, I mean The Pony. He packed that stuff in right quick. Left it on the first row of desks.
I grabbed the Febreze out of the gray plastic bag, and put it on the next-to-top shelf of my cabinet. Hmm...that didn't smell like Febreze. I hefted the Germ-X through the top of the crinkly plastic, and put it beside the Febreze. Then I carried the bag with the three packs of neon index cards to my desk. That was all we brought in this morning, besides my usual school bag. Just the necessities. Let the record show that teachers are germ-free, non-smelly, and bright.
I thrust my arm elbow-deep into the crinkly sack to retrieve the neon index cards. Something was seriously amiss! My delicate sense of touch screamed with indignity. There was goo in that bag. Like the viscous gel that buffers Vienna Sausages from the cylindrical walls of their pop-top metal prison. But this goo was more bereft of meat than even the Vienna Sausages. The Pony had selected a giant bottle of Germ-X that some wily customer had seen fit to screw with, thus enabling the push-spout. Unsafe for transport in a shapeless plastic bag.
I set out my neon index cards onto my desk, pack by pack. Grabbed one of my remaining Puffs (with aloe) to wipe it down like a momma Clydesdale's tongue cleaning her newborn commercial-destined foal. The first two were unslimed without incident. The third time was not a charm. That last package of neon index cards eluded my grasp like an overtired toddler refusing to have his face polished clean of melted chocolate. It squirted through my palms faster than a greased pig at an Iowa county fair contest. But without squealing, and lacking that cute curly tail. It was recaptured near my left foot, and swiped clean of its clear antibacterial coat. Val does more exercise before 7:30 a.m. than most Olympic athletes do all day.
The world, and sometimes The Pony, inadvertently, conspire against me.