Saturday, March 31, 2018

Val, Rakin' 'Em in Cents 2017

When it rains, it pours. Just ask the Morton Salt girl, or my internet weatherman. This week was no exception here in Val's Future Pennyillionaire World.

SUNDAY, March 25, on my 44 oz Diet Coke procuring mission, I happened across that rare unicorn of coin finds, the DIME. Okay, it's not so rare as a nickel, but I may never find another nickel, and get to use that unicorn reference.

I spied my dime at the Gas Station Chicken store itself, as I was exiting.

It's really much easier to find my precious coins as I'm entering. Then I don't have to juggle a 44 oz Diet Coke in a foam cup in my left hand, along with scratcher tickets tucked between my fingers, and keys in my right hand ready to click T-Hoe's door locks. A find on the way back to T-Hoe means it's hard to get to my phone in my left pocket. The scratchers end up between my teeth (not very sanitary!) and my magical elixir gets tucked into the crook of my right elbow with hopes that I don't squeeze it like Lenny in Of Mice and Men.

This 2006 specimen was hard to spot, especially since I had pennies on my mind, not dimes.

TUESDAY, March 27, I hit a double. Again at the Gas Station Chicken Store. Since I don't like getting all moist in the rain, I was happy to see that my rightful parking spot closest to the door was open. I was so busy patting myself on the back for garnering this space that I was startled to see TWO pennies looking back at me when I opened T-Hoe's door to climb out.

Even in the rain, one was glinting at me. In real life, I could tell it was a shiny penny, not a dime. Don't think I missed one up above. That is some kind of smashed bottle cap. It fools me every time I park there. I need to just pick it up and chuck it into the grass, since the Gas Station Chicken Store long ago removed their outside trash can.

This was a shiny 2016 on the right, and a 2014 on the left, which I find particularly stunning with the rain droplets on top.

FRIDAY, March 30 was again doubly delicious in sating my penny appetite. I found one in Waterside Mart on the way to mail the boys' weekly letters, when I stopped to get two tickets to tuck into Genius's envelope.

Sorry for the poor quality of this photo. It's almost as if Val had been imbibing the contents of the shelf in the background! In reality, I was rushing to snap that picture while the new girl bent over to get my tickets out of the case. She seemed suspicious when she raised her head.

This was a 2012, showing me its tail side. Oh, the impudence of that cheeky cent!

Walmart provided the second dose of Val's prescribed penny regimen. Again, on the way out, making the capture a bit awkward. I saw it while crossing over, but did not stop in the middle and risk getting run over by raging parking-spot seekers on that, the busiest shopping day since December 23, what with Easter coming Saturday, and people getting their electronic checks on Friday. I parked my cart off the beaten tire-path, and stepped back when the coast was clear to snap my pictures and nab that penny.

Let the record show that the image in the lower left of the photo is Val's head, along with her shadow-hands and phone camera. It is NOT a snapping turtle french-kissing a swan.

Likewise, this silhouette is Val's elbow and jacket pocket bulge, NOT a boob and belly roll. It's like that optical illusion picture of the two ladies in hats, or a vase. Sorry the closeup is not very close. There were people walking by and another car waiting to gun it. I was risking my life non-weirdo reputation to capture this shiny 2010 specimen.

For 2018: Penny #26, 27, 28, 29.
For 2018: Dime  # 8.
For 2018: Nickels still at #2.

Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Penny #104, 105, 106, 107.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Dime #14.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was still Nickel #2.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Back-of-the-Book-Blurb #98 "The Umm-Try-ers Seek Facts"

Blog buddy Sioux is hosting Back-of-the-Book-Blurb. I have 150 words to convince you to fake-buy my fake book. If you've even known a teacher, or toiled in the trenches as one yourself, you know one thing for sure...every 4-8 years, a new teaching model is mandated. Yes, you'd better jump on the bandwagon, or risk getting thrown under the bus. Sometimes, change for the sake of change is not in the best interests of the students. Oops! Did I type that out loud? Makes me no nevermind any more, because I'm RETIRED, by cracky! This week, Val makes use of her many years of indoctrination experience, and presents her latest fake book, an expose' of the latest fake classroom craze. In the future, in a classroom close, close to you...

The Um-Try-ers Seek Facts

Mrs. Snowflake's fourth grade students are busy trying out their new research skills. The school has banned books, internet connections, and guest speakers, in favor of the new Self-Education curriculum. Students spend class time sitting atop their desks, letting enlightenment flow into their developing brains. This is achieved as they softly chant, "Ummm..."

A rogue parents' group has petitioned the school board to stop the new curriculum. Or at least scrap all desks, replacing them with stand-up desks. In addition, games at recess have been prohibited. Parents complained that not everyone could win, and they did NOT want their child to be termed a loser. Now proper playground procedure requires each student to play with himself/herself.

Will the movement for stand-up desks have legs? And will the little blond girl lurking in the background find an answer to why she has been excluded from the all-brunette classroom? (147 words)


Fake Reviews for Val’s Fake Book

Sit N Spin..."My head is dizzy from trying to read Thevictorian's fake book! She goes round and round, never making a point." 

Sitz Bath..."I must give this fake author credit. Since she started fake-publishing fake books, I have been in high demand. Apparently, her fake writing gives people a giant pain in know."

Sitar..."I feel like Thevictorian is just stringing us along. I look inside her and see her heart is painted black. I will make sure that my buddy Ravi Shankar does not sing her praises."

Centaur..."I have been pacing since I fake-read this fake book. It made me feel like I'd been rode hard and put away wet. I've got half a mind to trot on over to Thevictorian's fake address and kick her in the patootie. She is trying to make her fake fortune on the backs of others. It's time to put her out to pasture. Or give the ol' nag a one-way ticket to the glue factory."

Sitcom..."There is no audience for this fake author's fake books. She will NOT be laughing all the way to the fake bank if I can help it. Her fake rise to fake fame must surely have been scripted by The Powers That Be in return for as-yet-undiscovered fake favors. Thevictorian should cancel her efforts, and stop broadcasting teasers for any of her upcoming fake work."

Sitka, AK..."There's something fishy about this fake author. I wouldn't let her live here for all the gold in the Yukon. Her fake books are a waste of good pulp. Somebody needs to remind Thevictorian that no gal is an island, but I am situated on one, and will pass legislation to ban her fake books so that her intended fake-readership (and their pocketbooks) are never exposed to her folly."

Mike "The SITuation" Sorrentino..."I think that, quite possibly, Thevictorian is disliked more than ME! Too bad she's allowed to roam free while I have to go to prison for tax evasion. Her fake words make my own words seem like the quotes of a genius."

Otis Redding..."I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay, watchin' the ships roll away, and wishing Thevictorian was on one of them. Talk about TIME-WASTING! Thevictorian puts me to shame in that category. These arms of mine are burning to fling every last one of her fake books into the bay."

Sit Ups..."We can hardly stomach this fake author's writing. It's an exercise in futility. In fact, we find it ABominable!"

Little Jack Horner..."This fake book makes me lose my appetite for my Christmas pie. I think Thevictorian needs to sit in the corner. She's plum untalented. I do NOT give this book a thumb's up!"

Little Miss Muffet..."This fake author frightens me more than a spider! And she's not even fake-writing horror. I have a mind to throw my tuffet at her, but I'll be darned if she gets to SIT in the corner! She can stand."

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Has Anybody Here Seen My Old Friend Sunny?

I looked around, and he was gone.

Gone, baby, gone! For the past seven days, in fact. Nary a glimmer. Rain, rain, and more rain. So much rain.

HELP! I'm being washed away! Oh, wait. I'm parked on a bridge. Lucky for me, a not-very-low-water bridge, replaced several years ago by the county bridge department. Or else I WOULD be washing away. This is my alternate route home, because the bridge I normally traverse is under water. And probably under log as well, even though a previous one was chainsawed apart and removed from it yesterday morning after THAT flood receded.

Juno seems not to mind the deluge. The yard is just one big water bowl to her.

Jack needs to be careful and not wade into it. I think it might be over his head. He DOES enjoy a good swim, though.

Tomorrow might see the return of the sun. I'm not holding my breath. Hick is hoping for a clear day, since it will be the first (monetarily speaking, due to the 1st falling on a Sunday) weekend of the month, with people ready to blow their money at his Storage Unit Store.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hick's Never-Ending Unit

Slow news day here in Backroads. I DID see five law enforcement vehicles at the BP convenience store earlier, but I don't know what was going on. They don't sell chicken there.

With nothing to complain about (mark your calendar), I have nothing left to share but previously unmentioned items Hick found in his 18 storage units.

Any burgeoning flautists or flutists out there? C'mon! I know some of you are musical. And I'm not just talking about tooting after consuming the magical fruit, beans.

Perhaps you like to flout your bling while on stage fluting for the masses. I would suggest leaving the StL dogtag home if you're playing Chicago.

Leather is always a good look, but please wear something under your chaps. PLEASE!

You might need a belt to hold up your chaps, and a helmet in case the crowd gets whipped into a frenzy when you're rockin' the flute. Proper footwear is a must.

After your concert, you might want to slip your tootsies into something more comfortable. But don't use these flip-flops! They're concrete! Like a yard ornament.

Don't get the crowd too hyped up, or you might get arrested for inciting a riot! Ain't that right, Axl Rose? You know what I'm talkin' about!

Yes, Hick still has some more unmentioned items. Some of them are unmentionable, and some of them haven't had their picture taken yet. More on Hick's never-ending unit as it unfolds...

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Grandpappy of 'Em All

Hick and I have ended our quest for FREE casino luggage. Saturday was the final installment, and we each got our large American Tourister on wheels. Hick took them right out to T-Hoe, but other patrons insisted on pulling their giant suitcases around the floor, impeding the flow of foot-traffic, blocking aisles, and pretty much acting entitled, like YOU were the one in the wrong for daring to compete for the same patch of gaudy-patterned carpet with them.

Crowds again limited my playing ability. But as with the first Saturday of FREE Luggage, when I hit $1000 on a $5 slot machine...I turned this luggage lemon into the sweet, sweet nectar of winning luggage lemonade. I didn't accomplish this until after lunch, though. Let the record show that at the time of my over-cooked, well-done, medium-requested burger, I was ahead $1.43. So of course I was all giddy and full of myself.

After lunch, I headed to my old-fashioned 4-game slot machine, back in the area of Wonder Woman, Hick's favorite, who had been spirited away to parts unknown, Willy Wonka taking her place. My slot machine is in a row of five of the same kind. I prefer the one on the right end. It had been occupied earlier in the day. Now, as I approached, it looked as if there might be a vacancy.

I rounded the corner and saw that the other four machines in that row were indeed being played. Mine was empty! BUT...the stool was moved over next to the adjacent slot, and a blond woman, balanced on the stool belonging to THAT machine, with her husband or paramour...was leaning her right hand on my stool! Normally, I would have sighed heavily, muttered under my breath, and moved on. Not this day! I stood a minute, surveying the situation, and that Blondie removed her hand. I pointedly grabbed the stool, and drug it over in front of my rightful slot machine.  A Wonder 4 that plays Buffalo, Pompei, and two other games I don't even remember, because every time I sit down, people are playing either Buffalo, or Pompei.

I normally feed this machine $20, and then if it hasn't paid me, another $20, and sometimes punch in my free play as well. This time, I'd put in the two twenties, and was ready to leave, but had a hunch that machine was going to pay me something soon. Besides, I was up $1.43! So I put in another twenty, and hit a bonus on the first spin. That's nothing to get excited about on this machine. It's no Buffalo Gold. The bonuses are pretty much pathetic, usually paying under ten dollars. My wins here come on getting a screen mostly covered with Queens or Kings. It generally pays between $100 and $200.

Anyhoo...I hit that bonus, and was watching my pitiful bonus unfold. There's an air vent right above that slot, and even in my jacket, I was FREEZING. Once I played out this money, I was leaving for warmer climes. I think they make that area so cold because that is a machine that will pay you back.

Anyhoo...I was kind of distracted. Blondie was getting all horsey every time she hit a bonus on her Pompei. Her man had abandoned her. I don't chat with fellow players, and I certainly was in no mood to chat with Blondie. She had the gall to light up a cigarette, and even the whoosh of frigid air from above was not keeping that smoke away from my pristine, rural-air-accustomed lungs. It's like the movement of air pulled her smoke into my realm. Like shower water pulls the shower curtain in on you. Like how an airplane can fly. It's the Bernoulli Principle, people! Look it up.

Anyhoo...I was inwardly fuming at the befouled air I was breathing, and starting an involuntary shiver, my mind not really on my business...when, in Game 5 of my 8-game screen filled up with buffalos. BUFFALO!!! My blog buddy Linda will know what I'm talkin' about. I think all but 4 blocks of the 20 blocks on that screen were filled with buffalos. And one of the remaining blocks was a sunset, which is wild. What I didn't notice was that THIS sunset was the 3X symbol. My machine started playing the jackpot music, and spewing a video fountain of gold coins.

I was so startled that I mumbled, "This will be a good one." Not fishing for Blondie's compliments, mind you. Just muttering to myself. Blondie heard the jackpot music, and looked over. "Congratulations! How much IS that?" I could have told her "Nunya." You know what that means, right? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. But I bore Blondie no ill will. A jackpot will do that to even the most surly curmudgeon.

"I'm not sure, but it says 900 x 54."

It's a penny machine, you know. So 900 means $9.00. Times 54. That hit paid me $486. I didn't get a picture, because I had not been paying attention, and then I was distracted by Blondie, and then the machine went right on with the bonus. So it wasn't like the screen stopped, waiting for me to hit a button to continue. By the time the bonus was over, it was more than $500. I cashed that out and left Blondie to the spoils, if she so desired. Hick also had a good day, and hit an after-lunch bonus of $300-something. Of course, we had put money in to play, so it wasn't clear profit. But we both still left with our pockets full of bills. And assorted change.

That's another thing...why do those machines that cash out your casino tickets not give dimes? Or ten-dollar bills? Is that a bad luck omen? I can't figure out why I get quarters and nickels and pennies, but no dimes. And never a ten. Always fives.

Hick was slow meeting me at the front. I normally wait for him before I cash my tickets. Better safe than sorry. But this time, it was only women in line. I figured I was safe. Women chat with each other, you know. About how they were paying the casino. No luck. Gave it all back. Yet still, they have something left that they're cashing out. When men are in line, they don't talk about it. I just nodded and smiled at those gals. No way was I telling people what I had in my hand, because I still had my winning tickets from before lunch, too.

Let the record show that Hick has now been officially weaned from the joint-bank-account teat, and must from this point forward provide HIS own casino bankroll like I do.

On the way out to the parking lot, Hick told me why the entrance-guarding employees make you lift your free suitcase up over the turnstile/scanner thingy. There's no revolving bar, like a proper turnstile. But two metal half-wall thingies you have to pass between. I always thought they were metal detectors, but apparently they're just counters.

"They said to lift up the suitcases, because the machine will count them as a person. And that it will raise their taxes if suitcases are counted as people."

Huh. Who knew that casinos would be concerned with paying out money...

Monday, March 26, 2018

Now It's a Scavenger Hunt

Gotta hand it to Hick! His retirement makes my everyday life so much more interesting.

Wednesday night, I was washing up the day's dishes. In case you have long-term AND short-term memory loss, and poor reading comprehension, along with complete blindness...Val has no dishwasher, save hand left and hand right. Hick had already gone to look for a new auction, quite some distance away

Because he's a prince, Hick had declared a supper holiday for Val on Wednesday. "I'll be leaving around 4:30, so you don't have to make supper for me." Such a gift Hick was bestowing upon me! I usually get all caught up doing other things, and don't finish lunch until around 3:30. You can bet that I didn't want to rush upstairs to cook for the culinarily-challenged Hick so he could be done eating by 4:30.

Hick wasn't sure that he would even want a meal by then, but since it's not a good idea for him to skip one, and he wasn't likely to return from the auction until after 10:30 p.m., he decided to have a bite. He warmed up some leftover Walmart deli pasta. I think this one was chicken and penne and a white sauce, with mushroom and shredded parmesan that I'd added. I figured Hick was capable of preparing such sustenance for himself.

He came into the homestead around 3:30. I heard him stumping around upstairs. Heard the microwave beep. Did you know our built-in microwave had two drawer knobs for the handle? I'm pretty sure I mentioned that a couple dozen times. After Hick tried to repair the regular door with SuperGlue, and it broke off the first time he tried to open it. Anyhoo...drawer knobs are better than using pliers to open the microwave, like that lamp I had to turn off and on with them.

Hick came halfway down the basement stairs to sit on them and tell me about his storage unit sales. I kicked back in my OPC (Old People Chair) to listen. There's not much give-and-take with Hick. He's all about the give, and not too fond of the take. When he was done talking at me, he said it was time to leave for the auction.

Anyhoo...there I was, around 7:00, washing up the dishes. I was also preparing my own supper. I opened the drawer to get a little paring knife to cut my chicken into smaller pieces. I was mixing it in with a TV dinner of Sesame Chicken, which turned out to be quite delicious with the addition, and also some extra baby corns and water chestnuts.

WHERE was my knife? It's not like some teenage girl had stopped by, and dropped it into the wastebasket when she threw away her plate. I know how many paring knives I have. Four. Two were in the sink, one was on the counter, about to be immersed, and the other was missing. Sure, I could have dried one from the sink and used it. But I wanted to know where my knife went. Seriously! I looked in the drawer three times. I looked on the tray I use to take meals down to my dark basement lair. Elsewhere on the kitchen counter. The cutting block. No knife.

Wait a minute! The other night, Hick had used one to cut up the chicken in the first eating of that Walmart pasta. I bet he took one this night, and left it by the La-Z-Boy. Uh huh. Like my second-best old ex-teaching buddy Karen would say, "I know him like a book." I went to the living room and looked around the end table. No knife. This was not fun. Not like an Easter Egg hunt. More like a desperate search for a penitentiary escapee, but without the baying bloodhounds.

I'll bet I looked for that paring knife for 15 minutes. I finished up the dishes. Used one of the clean knives to get my food ready. Started for my lair, and FOUND THAT MISSING KNIFE!

Plus a bonus fork! I didn't even know a fork was gone! I guess Hick had set his La-Z-Boy eating paraphernalia on the back of the long couch when he came halfway downstairs to converse with me.

Life with Hick. Every day is an adventure.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Rainbow Not So Bright

Hick found a Rainbow Vacuum in one of his 18 storage units. Supposedly, they're all the rage, and quite costly. Hick says it's worth $1500. One of his Storage Buddies said he takes his used vacuums to a store over in Bill-Paying Town, and they buy the vacuums from him for resale. Hick drove his Rainbow to that store, and the only person working at that time looked like a teenager.

"That kid looked at my vacuum, and said, 'Oh, we just sold one like that yesterday.' So I said I was looking to sell mine, and he said, 'We don't buy vacuums.' So I took my Rainbow and left."

"How much did they sell that one for?"

"I don't know. I was so surprised that he said they didn't buy them, I forgot to ask. I guess I'll try to sell it on my own."

Wednesday, Hick put his Rainbow for sale on the local Buy/Sell/Trade. Wednesday evening, he had a story for me, told while he sat on the wooden steps down to the basement, before heading off to a brand new auction, with me a captive audience in my OPC (Old People Chair).

"I got a call from a lady about my vacuum already. I put it on Backroads Buy/Sell/Trade for $800."

"I thought you were going to ask $1000."

"It's worth $1500. That's what they're asking on eBay."

"So your buddy doesn't want to sell it for you on eBay? Like your ceramic candlesticks that just made $49?"

"Nah. The shipping would be a headache. So I just put it on Buy/Sell/Trade here for $800. The Rainbow didn't work, so I took it apart. It had a spare belt in the bottom. In a little compartment. I guess it was meant to hold spare belts. It runs fine with the new belt on it."

"Do you think she'll pay $800 for it?"

"She just called to ask how much it was."

"But it SAID $800."

" went on there as $80,000."

"Whew! I bet she thought you meant $80, and she was really going to get a bargain!"

"I'll take less, but not $80...oh. She just sent back, 'I know it's worth $800, but I couldn't begin to pay you that much.' That's okay. Somebody'll buy it."

That was Wednesday. On Thursday, Hick had more story to tell.

"This morning, a guy put on there, 'That belongs to my brother. His number is xxx-xxxx.' I don't even know what he wants me to do. Call his brother? Why would I do that?"

"Yeah. Because when somebody doesn't pay their storage bill for 6 months, and somebody else buys the contents...they're just supposed to give it all back? That's crazy! How does he know it's his brother's Rainbow?"

"I don't know. There's no markings on it. I took the picture over in front of my Freight Container Garage. I'm not calling him."

"Good. It could only cause trouble."

"Another gal left two messages. I didn't see the first one, but at 12:20 a.m., she left another one, saying she saw my vacuum, and she had some questions, and to please call her. She wanted to know if it was running, if it had its filters cleaned, if the belts were in good shape, and if it was a good vacuum."

"Sounds like she really wants that vacuum."

"So I called her this morning. She asked the price, which is on there, and I told her, $800. So she says, 'Well, that one is used. There's a brand new one, in the box, on eBay, for $800.' So I told her, 'Sound like you need to buy THAT one!' I don't care if she buys mine. It'll sell. If she'd offered me maybe 300, 400, 500 dollars, I'd a probably took it. But she didn't offer nothin'!"

This feels like a case of Rainbow Not So Bright. For those inquisitive buyers...and for Hick, asking $80,000 for a used vacuum.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Val Hits the CENTury Mark!

No, I'm not THAT old. Feel like it sometimes. But we're not talking about 100 years. We're talking about 100 PENNIES! Look out for that confetti cannon! It could put your eye out if you're not wearing bifocals to read this. Here. Have one of those blow-horn paper thingies that unreels. WHOOP-TI! That's the noise they make, right? Maybe we'll have some ice cream and cake later. A cake with "100" on it. And an Abe Lincoln head.

Yes, blogfriends, it has been a very good week for Val's passive penny business.

It actually kicked off LAST WEEK, because once again, after I had set my Saturday post to publish, and headed to the casino...I stepped out of T-Hoe on the casino parking lot, and saw

So kind of that 2017 penny to place itself in that very location, out of all locations available on the parking lot, so Hick could park there and Val could step out and find it.

Face down, though. Maybe that had something to do with our casino luck...

Sunday, March 18, I was forced to park out of my comfort zone at Orb K. They were busier than a public school teacher at the end of the quarter. I had to park in front of the store, on the end where there's a sidewalk. Near the drive-thru exit. Sometimes it's handy to step from T-Hoe onto the sidewalk, without sliding down over the running board. But that sidewalk makes it hard to cut the tires when backing out.

WooHoo! Saw a shine, and further inspection (this is the store that fooled me with that clear button bauble thingy) revealed a DIME!

That little piece of part-silver, a 2015, was also face down, though you can't tell it from the closeup.

Good thing I had to park in that spot, or somebody else would have gotten my dime. It's as good as 10 pennies, you know!

MONDAY, March 19, I found myself third-time-lucky when I spied a penny at Waterside Mart.

I was so excited that I tossed my scratcher money on the counter (not many winners lately) while I took a picture. The guy was bent down getting the tickets out, and looked at me askance when he stood up. "Don't worry. I'm not a weirdo, and I'm not a secret shopper. I collect pennies, and I just went over 100 for the past year."

As if he cared, that barely-21 dude not making a career of convenience-store cashiering. At least this 2005 version was face up, though Honest Abe was standing on his head. And don't worry that I missed a silver coin in that first picture. It was a piece of trash.

I was a little disappointed Tuesday and Wednesday, not finding any coins. But THURSDAY, March 22, pulled double duty. I was actually inside T-Hoe, leaving the Country Mart parking lot, when a glint caught my eye. Yeah. I even spot pennies while I'm driving now! Lookie there!

I was in the right place at the right time, I guess. I turned left and parked on the other side of that school bus. It's always there during the day. No other cars park up at that end, on the way to the exit drive. I walked around to take a picture and nab my rightful penny. But I didn't see it! That's ridiculous! How can a penny disappear? I was starting to feel foolish when I turned and the sun hit it just right again.

This poor thing was so scraped up that I could barely decipher the date, even with my bifocals and a magnifying glass. I'm pretty sure it's a 2014. I saw the 4, and I think this style is too new for a 2004. Face down again, though. Not that I care. I'm an equal-opportunity pennyphile.


I was pretty pleased with my take for the week, that bus-penny riding in my shirt pocket as I got out to get the mail from EmBee. Well, well, well! Wouldja lookit that!

NOW the pennies are coming to Val, rather than Val going to the pennies! It still counts, right? I found it in my mailbox! Addressed to ME! No question it's MY rightful penny!

A 2017, all shiny and clean. That would be a lot easier, you know. If pennies just mailed themselves to me every day. Or even three days a week. It would cut down some of those "you're a weirdo" looks I get when I hunch over one on the parking lot or convenience store floor.

Now...gather round, and we'll cut the cake. Only four corners, and I'm calling one! It's vanilla cake, with buttercream icing. Nom nom! Sure, it's virtual cake. No guilt. Join me in this pretend pleasure. And while you're at it, may I offer a scoop of French Silk Ice Cream?

For 2018: Penny #22, 23, 24, 25.
For 2018: Dimes # 7.
For 2018: Nickels still at #2.

Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Penny #100, 101, 102, 103. PASSED THE CENTURY!
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Dime #13.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was still Nickel #2.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Back-of-the-Book-Blurb #97 "The Great Doll Purge of 3000"

Blog buddy Sioux is hosting Back-of-the-Book-Blurb. I have 150 words to convince you to fake-buy my fake book. It's been a while. I've been on sabbatical, taking a much-deserved rest from fake-writing my fake books. I'm happy to announce that overnight, I came up with a new one! That's right. My fake spirit has been renewed, and I might be churning these babies out again like there's no tomorrow. Jump back on the bandwagon, and pony up your fake money for my latest fake release!

The Great Doll Purge of 3000

Times are dire. The Imperial Exalted Ruler has decreed that by the year 3000, the possession of dolls by the general public will be a crime punishable by death. Children will be raised without feelings. Without opinions. Without love. Efficient workers don't really care about helping people.

Hardcore doll enthusiasts are going underground. Hiding their collections. The less scrupulous are forming a new industry. Providing clandestine services. An hour of doll play brings them an exorbitant profit.

Will the Powers That Be find a way to purge the the world of dolls? Or will revolutionists make a crybaby out of The Imperial Exalted Ruler? (104 words)


Fake Reviews for Val’s Fake Book

Chatty Cathy..."I have a lot to say on this subject! A world without dolls is not one that I want to live in. And a world WITH Val Thevictorian churning out fake books is also a world that I don't want to live in." 

Betsy Wetsy..."The very thought of Thevictorian fake-releasing another fake book makes me tinkle a little bit. It's time for a change."

Mrs. Beasley..."I hope I shan't have to go into hiding! Buffy would miss me terribly. Mr. French would have to neglect his manservant duties to Uncle Bill, and spend all day searching for me. This fake author should hole up in her squalid shack, and stop trying to scare the bejeebers out of little orphaned girls in New York penthouses."

Chucky..."The fake books of this fake author make me feel all stabby. I wouldn't fake-buy one if I was you..."

Estelle Costanza..."I hope nobody ever makes a doll that looks like Val Thevictorian. Nobody wants something that creepy sitting on their shelf. Just like nobody wants her fake books sitting on their shelf."

Dolly the sheep..."Surely this fake author can't be the real thing. Her fake work needs to be kept secret, lest others copy her, and set in motion the downfall of humanity."

Dalai Lama..."This fake author has singlehandedly destroyed my faith in humanity. I hope she is never reincarnated."

Dolly Madison..."This fake author has no social graces whatsoever. Her fake book suggests dire consequences for society. If Thevictorian had been in the White House that fateful day, I would have gladly left her behind, to suffer any and all indignities of the British soldiers, while George Washington's portrait and I made our getaway."

Dolly Madison..."This fake author is a ding dong! She might think her fake books have the shelf life of a Twinkie, but she's wrong. She needs to take a powder, and cease production of her self-professed gems. The public will NOT be clamoring for more when Thevictorian's fake work is removed from the shelves."

Holly Madison..."Wait a minute! What am I doing reviewing a fake book? There are lots of fake things about me (which Hef really loved), and I've written my own book that some call fake. But I have no desire to review a piece of trash like this, even if it gives me 1 more minute of fame past my original 15. If Thevictorian was the girl next door...the neighborhood would be emptier than Chernobyl."

Baby from Dirty Dancing..."Somebody needs to put Thevictorian in a corner."

Babe Didrikson Zaharias..."I excelled at a lot of things. But Thevictorian cannot even master one. She needs to be a sport, and give up this fake-writing dream of hers."

Babe Ruth..."Thevictorian didn't hit a home run with this fake book. She should definitely let the fear of striking out get in her way. If she's remembered in the future, it will be as the Sultan of Crap."

Baby Doll Nighty..."Fake-reading this fake book was sheer torture. What a snoozefest!"

Baby Blue (ratty) Sweatshirt of Val Thevictorian..."I hope Val has thick skin, because she is going to be ripped more than me by the time the fake critics are done fake-reviewing her fake book."

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Till the Cows Come Home

Hick was supposed to be selling at his Storage Unit Store on Sunday. I say supposed to, not because it's some requirement put forth by law or by word of Val...but because that's where Hick said he would be. He generally stays open until 1:00 or 2:00, when the crowd dwindles.

Saturday is of course the best day for selling, with Sunday usually a close second, and the first Friday of the month a respectable third. This past Sunday was cold and dreary, so I was surprised that Hick stayed so long. We are only 10 minutes away from that location, so sometimes he calls it quits early, and comes home to do nothing here, rather than there.

At 12:20, I got a text.

"Bought a tiller. $40."

"Just what we need."

Silly me. I thought Hick was thinking about planting a garden again. You know, since he has all day, every day, to find something to do. We had a garden many years ago, with tomatoes and corn and watermelons and carrots and pumpkins and radishes. Sadly, the deer ate our watermelons and corn, and rabbits ate a lot of whatever was just sprouting, and the tomato hornworms grew fat and and sassy off our untreated tomatoes. Anyhoo...we enjoyed having the garden, if for nothing else than cursing the worthless cats and dogs who laid along the edge, WATCHING those critters fill their gullets with the sweat of our brows.

Anyhoo...back then, Hick had borrowed my grandma's tiller to get the garden plot ready. I thought that maybe he was feeling all green-thumby again. Hick is good with plants. Me, not so much. It soon dawned on me that Hick wasn't buying that tiller for personal use.

"I'll clean it up and make sure it runs. It oughta bring $150, easy. The guy has a unit close to mine. He wanted $50 for it, but I told him I could only go $40."

I'm not really sure Hick started his Storage Unit Store for selling purposes. He would buy junk until the junk-buying curfew siren sounded. Not that there IS such a thing. But it would be pretty cool if there was. Because then Hick would know when to quit.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hick Had It in the Bag

Oops! I forgot the pictures of our newest free American Tourister luggage, the shoulder bag. We got them at the casino giveaway last Saturday. Which was St. Patrick's Day. Aside from a good crowd at the restaurant we walked past on the way in, and the green mint shake offered at Burger Brothers, and the old guy sitting on the half-wall of a plant decorations thingy wearing a green bowler hat...we wouldn't have noticed that it was St. Patrick's Day.

There WAS a large crowd that closed the valet parking, but it was for a wedding, Hick said. He was privy (heh, heh) to this knowledge due to his extraordinary observation skills in the men's room on our way home. He said a little boy was washing his hands, and an old man asked, "Are you ready now?" And the kid nodded, dried his hands, and said, "I hafta go do my job!" He was apparently performing some official duty in the wedding.

People were milling all around the long corridor when we left. Well-dressed people. Not the attire you would wear to a casino to sit next to people smoking like chimneys. Suits. Long dresses. I would have suspected a wedding RECEPTION, not the actual ceremony, but Hick insisted. Even VAL would not schedule her wedding at a casino.

Anyhoo...those darn people had to stand RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of that corridor. On the wide carpeted part down the center, where it's kind of cushy to walk on. Eschewing the leather benches along the wall, and the tile part on each side of the corridor that left plenty of room for schmoozing, and the entry area to the event center, which was off the beaten path. Good thing we didn't have luggage on wheels as the giveaway that day.

Our shoulder bags were not as big as we anticipated, but they were FREE. They came all flattened down, and Hick decided that he was not going to take them back to the car. "I'll just put them under my arm. They'll be easy to carry."

"Yeah. And you'll set them down, and walk off without them after your first slot." Seriously. I do NOT give Hick gambling money so he can leave our FREE luggage behind!

"No I won't. I'll remember."

"If you were smart, you'd put one inside the other, and wear it on your shoulder. Like my gambling purse!"

I think I learned about that tactic from a college professor. The if you were smart preface. So people don't think you're telling them what to do, and of course they want to look smart. Either that, or my second-best ol' teaching buddy Karen taught me that, as a method she used with her 4th graders.

"This one will fit right in!" Hick had my bag stuffed inside his in no time. When I saw him later, that bag looked like an anaconda that had swallowed a deer. "I put my coat in there, too!" Hick was rockin' the man-purse. "I put the strap over my knee when I sit down to play, so I don't forget it when I get up."

This Saturday is the grand finale of the luggage giveaway. The grandpappy of baggage, the large suitcase on wheels. I'm pretty sure that Hick will take them back out to the parking lot. And that everybody else won't.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Val Is a Virtual Ray of Sunshine

You already know that, right? My sunny disposition, my effervescence, my eternal optimism, my Pollyanna-ishness comes across on the page, I'm sure.

I have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Sioux, my sometimes nemesis long-time blog buddy. Thankfully, the requirements for this prestigious award are much less strenuous than finding a MEDALLION in order to cash in 200 Series EE savings bonds. All I have to do is answer some questions, and bestow the Sunshine Blogger award on three other deserving folks. Easy peasy! Because I'm selfless like that, and there's nothing I'd like better (except maybe 44 oz of Diet Coke and some crispy gas station chicken), than to share the sunshine!

Even though they may not want such an arduous task a prestigious award, I am showering the following blog buddies with this gift:

joeh, the Cranky Old Man

River, drifting through life

Jimmy, with his opinions

They are welcome. No need for effusive thanks. I know you're all three clearing space on the mantel for it now. However...if you have a more pressing agenda, like

Playing some golf or shaking your fist at a Beemer driver or kicking back with a dirty water cocktail...

Or going for a walk or taking some thought-provoking pictures or writing a story that draws people into the setting and characters...

Or building a skunk trap or taking your dog for a ride on the golf cart or swimming around your MiniPOOLIO underwater...

Don't worry! This isn't a chain letter. Nothing bad will happen to me if you choose not to participate. Right, Sioux? Right??? I'll put the official rules and my questions for my nominee/award winners below, after my self-absorbed exercise.

Here is more than you'll ever want to know about Val Thevictorian.

1. What was your first singer/movie star crush? That would be the gorgeous David Cassidy, of Partridge Family fame. My sister the little future ex-mayor's wife got the fan magazines like Tiger Beat (I preferred MAD Magazine, probably no surprise to you), and I snuck them out of her room to gaze at my precious. She never knew, as long as I didn't mess up the Donny Osmond posters that she would hang on her wall.

2. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be, and why? Probably England, because they speak English there, and they have some castles. But I'm not too keen on that whole ISLAND thing, so I'd make sure I had a boat, or learned to swim for a really long distance.

3. What was the riskiest thing you ever did? Fell off a ledge above a roaring stream in the Alaskan wilderness while exploring away from our vacation cabin with my sister the future ex-mayor's wife. It was NOT intentional, I was merely getting a better look at two poachers who were on the other side, snagging salmon with giant hooks, and I slipped on the mossy footing. My sister (TFE-MW) grabbed the back of my CPO jacket and saved me. Pretty sure it was only because she was afraid she'd be blamed for my demise if she returned alone.

4. What great TV show or movie have you seen recently? Nothing really recent, though I DO enjoy the show Shameless on Showtime. There's an instant every episode where I'm totally shocked, and say, "Oh, crap!" Even though I know they're...uh...shameless.

5. If you had a theme song (like Ally McBeal did), what would it be? It would be an original creation, sung by Curtis Armstrong (best known to me as BOOGER in Revenge of the Nerds, and MILES in Risky Business, and it would involve the lyric, "Sometimes, you just gotta say WTF."

6. If you could have dinner with five famous people--either living or dead--who would be sitting at the six-top with you? Dolly Parton, Goran Visnjic, Billie Jean King, Robert Duvall, and my mom. Yeah. I'm not a world-saver, or politically motivated. Oh, and sorry, David Cassidy...the table only seats six.

7. What would make up your favorite meal? In other words, what dishes/foods would be on the table for your favorite breakfast/lunch or dinner? It would be a feast, and not necessarily definitely not a healthy balanced meal. I'd have PEEPS, Gas Station Chicken, BBQ Pork Steak, 7-Layer Salad, my mom's crescent rolls, Springfield (MO) Cashew Chicken, green beans wrapped in bacon, and chocolate ice cream with caramel and chocolate chunks. With bottomless Diet Coke to wash it all down. I hope my dinner guests enjoy the spread!

8. What book have you read recently that you would recommend? It's been a good long time since I read anything new. So I'll go with a timeless favorite of mine: The Stand.

9. If you had to "travel" to another era to live, which one would you not choose, and why? Back in the Gangster Era, during Prohibition. Because the movies about that time bore me, and if I lived during then, I'd probably need a drink.

10. Describe a "brush with greatness" you had. When I was in high school, our doorbell rang, and there stood JIM HART, quarterback of the St. Louis football CARDINALS! Yeah. I'm pretty old. Jim was looking for an upholstery business across the road from our house. I don't know why he thought a brick split-level home was an upholstery business, when the other place looked all businessy, and had a parking lot. Maybe Conrad Dobler and Dan Dierdorf let Jim's noggin get thumped a few too many times.

11. What do you most enjoy about writing/blogging? I enjoy telling a story, perhaps with a few embellishments, and I rarely go a day without cracking myself up. I'm a pretty easy audience.

Now, for my little rays of sunshine, here are the official rules I followed, and you must, also.

1. Thank the writer who nominated me. Thanks, Sioux.

2. Answer the questions. (You don't have to use complete sentences, and you can make up words. Like gubba.)

3. Nominate other bloggers for the award. (Good luck with that.)

4. Write the same number of questions for the blogger who nominated me. (I think I can manage that. I kind of made a career of making up questions.)

5. Notify the bloggers I nominated. (You are hereby nominated!)

Here are your 11 questions:

1. What would be your dream job?

2. Have you ever narrowly avoided a catastrophe? Explain.

3. How many laws have you broken? List them. (I won't tell. Promise.)

4. Describe your favorite school lunch meal.

5. Tell us about a time you made someone genuinely happy, with a thoughtful act or gift.

6. Did you ever have one of those giggle-fits where you can't stop laughing, at a time you're supposed to be quiet? Where, what about, and who were you with?

7. If Hick could build you a themed shed, what would be your theme, and what special features would you like to see inside and outside?

8. Would you rather pick up pennies off the parking lot/convenience store floor...or have ladybugs randomly land on you inside your house?

9. Assuming you were in your prime employment years, and not currently retired, how do you think you would fare as a teacher of 13-to-18-year-old students? What subject would you teach them?

10. Would you rather walk alone through a dark graveyard after midnight, or walk alone through a dark church after midnight?

11. Do you think you're a leader or a follower? Do other people see you the same way?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Poparm, the Safety Crusader

It's no secret that Hick recently retired. That he now is boss of no one, save Val. His days of overseeing the safety of a saw-blade manufacturing factory are over. Hick is having withdrawal symptoms.

On Monday, he was at Walmart. The automotive department. You didn't actually think he would help out with the shopping, did you? Hick can't buy his own food. Not even if he could decide what he wanted. No, he was there to have his 2002 Chevy Trailblazer inspected, so he could renew the license.

While he was waiting, Hick spied a safety violation. In fact, he had spied it a month previous, when he went to get an oil change for T-Hoe. Let's forget momentarily that Hick wanted to build his Freight Container Garage, with that car lift thingy, now clogged with the contents of 18 storage he could do his own automotive work.

Hick saw this:

An open electrical receptacle, in the waiting area of Walmart's automotive department. The one he had talked to a the manager of the automotive department about, one month ago. Had pointed out the dangers to young children, and gained the assurance of the automotive manager that the receptacle would be fixed. Which involves the installation of a cover. Not rocket science. Val herself could probably do it. Two screws and a plastic plate.

So...the Trailblazer didn't pass inspection Monday. While Hick waited, he took this picture of the open electrical receptacle. And put it on his Facebook page. Let the record show that Hick DID mention that it was Walmart who seemed to be uncaring in the matter of safety, brought to their attention by him one month ago, with an assurance that the issue would be remedied. He did NOT specify which store. The photo was fairly generic, not giving away the location.

When Hick took the Trailblazer back on Wednesday, after repairs, so it could pass inspection...he saw that the receptacle had indeed been covered.

"You idiot! I'm pretty sure your picture is why your car didn't pass inspection the first time!"

"No, Val. It was broke. I didn't even post that picture until AFTER it had been inspected, and didn't pass."

"Well, good luck NOW, driving your Trailblazer! Who knows WHAT they did to it! Sabotage! Because they have your name, and they know YOU are the one who made them look bad on Facebook!"

"It's fine. They wouldn't do that. I didn't say WHICH Walmart. Nobody could identify that one store."

"Yeah. You go on believing that."

Right now, Poparm is on his way to therapy for his Poparm, in a town 30 miles away. I hope his Trailblazer drives okay.

WAIT! I had to go out to the garage for a forgotten grocery bag, and discovered that Hick had taken A-Cad on his therapy trip! NOT the Trailblazer! I guess maybe he's pickin' up what I'm layin' down...

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Inside the World of Hick

I showed you the outside of Hick's Storage Unit Store. Here's what it looks like when he cranks up the door.

Hick has a little bit of everything. If you can't find what you're looking for, come back next week, and it might be there. Hick says he sells at lower prices than some folks, just so he can move the merchandise and make room for new (old) items. As long as he's making a dollar or two off his sales, he'll bargain with you.

He gets new merchandise almost weekly, by going to at least two auctions. Here's a picture he sent me with the caption "auction trip."

He has since sold one of his guitars for $8. He got four of them for $18. An old guy was trying to bargain with Hick on Saturday. He wanted to give $5 for the guitar, but Hick told him he wanted $10, but would settle for $8. The guy said he wanted it for his grandson, but he didn't want to pay $8. Hick said, "That's okay. Somebody else will want it." He sold it for $8 later that day.

The NEXT day, that man came back and said he wanted to buy the red guitar for $8. Hick told him it was in the back. He had two of the red guitars. The old man came to Hick and said, "No, I want the one with the WHITE guitar pick, not the black guitar pick." Hick said, "Oh, I sold that to a guy for $8 yesterday." This old man left without buying a guitar. If he hadn't been so hard-headed about besting Hick in the bargaining process, he could have had the one he wanted the first time.

Hick cleaned out his last remaining storage unit this week. Here's some of what was left inside.

He says there's a lot of stuff for crafts and scrapbooks. I told him that ought to sell pretty fast. I don't think he's put it out yet.

Hick also had some cookware, new, in the box

that he sold to back-creek neighbor Bev for $70. I saw it online at assorted stores for $90-$140.

And he found two plates and two bowls (like large flat soup bowls) with a marking on the bottom. I looked them up, and I think Walmart or some other chain sells them, but I don't know if it's the ones with this dotted mark.

I believe I saw them on eBay for about $17 a plate. Hick says he's going to sell all four pieces for $10 total. Because dishes don't sell very well at the auction, or at his store.

Hick has already told one of his buddies to let him know the next time he hears about a storage unit auction. A busy Hick means a happy Val.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Hick Doesn't Make Cents

Hick called me Thursday afternoon to report that his 2002 Trailblazer did NOT pass inspection. The license is due this month. Which he can't get without a completed inspection. He also sent me a picture, which I'll share with you, in an attempt to placate any antipennyites who are also gearheads. Any antipennyites who are NOT gearheads will have to be happy with a pictorial on my OPC (Old People Chair). But I'm getting ahead of myself.

You may leave a diagnosis in the comments if you know what this is, and why the Trailblazer didn't pass inspection. And guess how much it cost to repair. No prize! Not even a penny! Just the satisfaction of a diagnosis well-guessed.

I had no clue what this was. I sent back a text to Hick telling him that Genius might as well send me a picture of the inside of a computer. It would be just as meaningful to me. I don't know why Hick assumes I will understand what he's showing me.

Here, by popular request, is my OPC

I hope I don't break my arm patting myself on the back, but I think I've captured the ambience of the dark basement pretty well here. Of course it has overhead lights, but I prefer the warm glow of the table lamp, and the ray of illumination from that adjustable floor lamp. You can almost hear the footsteps overhead, can't you?

Oh, and Thursday night, right after I turned on that floor lamp and cranked back in my OPC...the ladybug appeared, made two orbits around the lamp, and landed on my left shoulder, where it sat still for a couple of minutes, then took off for parts unknown.

Here's a view from the back of my OPC, with it cranked open:

That's a reflection on the leg part, I guess, since my OPC does not yet have any blemishes or worn spots. There's the throw blanket I won one year at the Christmas Eve party of my sister the ex-mayor's wife. And way down there, piled on the end of the coffee table Hick brought into our marriage...are the Jolly Rancher Candy Canes that came off the Christmas tree. Don't judge.

Okay, pennyphiles, here's what you've been waiting for...

SUNDAY, March 11, I was off to a good penny-finding start this week. I was in line at The Gas Station Chicken Store, waiting for a man to finish scanning his credit card to pay for gas. I saw a penny at his feet, but I didn't want to invade his space and bend over with my head near his nether regions. There was a lady waiting behind him, though she had come in after me. I didn't think she was a penny-nabber. But just in case, I set my 44 oz Diet Coke on the counter, and took out my phone to get a picture. Effectively calling dibs on that penny.

The Waiting Lady gave me a look that said, "Weirdo," but I made lemonade out that sourpuss by saying, "I collect pennies that I find. I've found about a hundred over the past year." Waiting Lady kind of grunted, humoring me, I guess. But she didn't act alarmed.

The minute that paying dude stepped off, I grabbed my rightful penny and put it in my shirt pocket. It was a 1999, face-up for a change.

I had two near-misses through the week. Technically, they were ACTUAL misses. At Orb K on Tuesday, there was a single penny laying on the counter by the little coin swimming pool thingy at the end of the little coin slide thingy that came out of the cash register. In the past, I've claimed such a penny, but I didn't want to seem greedy to the guy waiting behind me in line. I left it. Regrettably.

In Waterside Mart on Wednesday, I could see a penny peeking out at me from under a black display case of Old Camp little liquor bottles. I think that's the name of it. Looks like some kind of whiskey, and it's twice the size of those little airline bottles that they keep in a glass case. I could have slipped that penny out and pocketed it, but I didn't want the barely-21 clerk to assume I was messing with the alcohol. Because, you know, the opinion of a convenience store clerk matters to me. So I left that one, too. Again, regrettably. But that's okay, because

FRIDAY, March 16, I was on the way to mail letters to Genius and The Pony, and stopped by Riverside Mart again, and when I opened the door, I saw these two beauties:

Yep. Waiting for me. If I'd parked like a normal person, and not cheated over to the right in that space (last one on the end, so not infringing on anyone else's door space), I would have been parked on top of them. I don't have good closeups, though I DID take them, despite a lady in a car three spaces over giving me the stinkeye. The penny on the left was a 2016, face down, and the one on the right was a 1963, face UP. They are on the kitchen counter right now, awaiting transport to the penny goblet in the bedroom.

For 2018: Penny #19, 20, 21.
For 2018: Dimes still at # 6.
For 2018: Nickels still at #2.

Since 2017 (the beginning), this was Penny #97, 98, 99. ALMOST TO A CENTURY!
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was still Dime #12.
Since 2017 (the beginning), this was still Nickel #2.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Don't Worry About Hick, He's Used to Doubling Up

The title is brought to you by Mrs. Floyd, owner of the Monarch Boarding House, in the original True Grit, when Mattie Ross of near Dardanelle in Yell County is trying to rent a room. The Monarch is full to the brim, because everyone has come to town to see the hanging. Which has nothing to do with Mattie, who has come to claim her father's body, and hire Rooster Cogburn to catch his killer, Tom Chaney. I won't give away any more of the plot, because, you know...some of you might not have caught the original True Grit back in 1968, and I don't want to ruin it for you...

Anyhoo...Mrs. Floyd reveals that Mattie is expected to share a room and bed with Grandma Turner, a little old lady shown snoozing away under the covers. "Don't you worry about Grandma Turner, she's used to doubling up."

Well, the title doesn't mean that Hick is used to sleeping with strangers in a boarding house. It means that Hick has recently DOUBLED THE MONEY he spent on those 18 storage units. Indeed, he paid back the original $1100 investment within two weeks, and as of this week, has taken in another $1200. AND he still has a lot of stuff to get rid of.

It helps that he had a major Tupperware buyer in Bev, our backcreek neighbor. And that Hick has connections at a couple of auctions. He knows a lady who buys furniture and sundry items there, to resell at her shop halfway to the city. Hick is an astute businessman, or maybe just an incredibly nosy busybody. He knew how much that lady usually bid on stuff, and what she bought. So he told her after the auction last weekend,

"I have some stuff you might like. I bought 18 storage units, and I've got my new garage (the Freight Container Garage) full of furniture and Tupperware. I'd sell it to you for what you pay here at the auction, and you'd know how much, without maybe losing it to a higher bidder. It would save me the trouble of bringing it up here to sell, and also the 20% commission from the auctioneer. You can come look at it, and if you can't haul it in your SUV, I'll deliver it with my trailer."

You probably won't be shocked, nor was I, though Hick was somewhat taken aback...that Auction Lady brought her brother with her. I told Hick that she would have been a fool not to. She doesn't know him! He could be some crazy creeper, luring her to her demise. Even with his Poparm, I'm pretty sure Hick is stronger than most women he meets at the auction. Besides, I doubt that Auction Lady had any intentions of carrying furniture by herself.

Anyhoo...Hick agreed to meet Auction Lady at 1:00 in the afternoon, on Monday, to give her a private showing of his storage unit inventory. She liked what she saw, and bought $300 worth of end tables and lamps and Tupperware and dishes. She said it was exactly the stuff that sells well in her shop. She is planning to come back another time to see about the dresses Hick has with tags still on them, brand new. And more Tupperware.

Hick is also keeping some items for himself. Like this scoreboard, that actually works.

Hick is planning to put it in his sports-themed shack. The Mayor of Shackytown has been neglecting his burg lately.

Thursday, Hick spent the majority of the day re-organizing his Storage Unit Store for the upcoming weekend of selling, and sorting out his fishing pole inventory. He said he has 45 rods and reels in good condition, with another five of them that need some work. He says he'll get $5 apiece out of them. The guy a couple units down sells them for $12, and tells Hick that he's giving them away. However...Hick has pointed out that his are gone, and he's got money in his pocket, while that guy's fishing poles are still hanging there.

Hick is having a blast with this storage unit stuff.