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
A DIME AND A PENNY ON THE BROWN ENTRY RUG!
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."
"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.