Hick finally won something on a scratch-off ticket! I know. He almost needed smelling salts as well. It was just one number that matched. The very first one. He expected to win $5, but it was $20. That's really good for him. Of course, I kind of rained on his parade when I showed him my $15 winner and $50 winner for the same day.
Anyhoo...Hick wanted me to cash in his ticket and get him four more. I
agreed. I was heading to Walmart the next day anyway.
After shopping, since it was nearby, I decided to go in the Casey's that
took over the Waterside Mart at the corner where we used to turn to drive to school.
I was wanting to save part of my
winnings. I figured I didn't want to cash in the $50 and the $20 winners
there, and buy Hick's tickets, because they'd probably give me back
a fifty dollar bill from under the money tray. I don't like fifties. So
I cashed in the $50 and the $15 winners, bought Hick's four tickets,
and was due $45 in change. In my head, I imagined this would take the
form of two twenties, which I'd stash away, and a five.
clerk was shunted off to the other register by a higher-up, possibly a
manager. She scanned the winners, announced, "That's sixty-five
dollars," and started tearing off the four tickets I selected for Hick. When she went to the register, she changed her mind, and stepped
back to the one she'd started at. Didn't matter to me. I was standing
between them, by the ticket display. A register's a register.
rang up the four tickets, looked at the receipt she'd printed for my
winners, and lifted the money drawer. She took out a stack of fives, and
started rapid-counting them like a bank teller. She stuttered there for
a minute, and counted again. Then handed me the stack of fives: "Here
ya go. Forty-five dollars."
I took my (Hick's)
tickets in one hand, and the stack of fives in the other. There was a
lady customer behind me, and I folded over the fives, stuck them in my
shirt pocket, and headed back to T-Hoe. Well. That didn't go as planned.
So much for getting my two twenties and a five. I started T-Hoe toward The Gas Station Chicken Store for my 44 oz
Diet Coke, and to cash in the $20 winner to get some tickets of my own.
on the parking lot of The Gas Station Chicken Store, I counted out
correct change, and put a $1 bill in my pocket for magical elixir
payment. I took out the stack of fives, which were taking up
considerable room in that pocket. I straightened them all to face the
same way, and counted them up, planning to set aside 8 of them.
WAIT A MINUTE! ALL I HAD WERE 8 FIVE-DOLLAR BILLS!
should have been 9, you know. I was due back $45, and the clerk had
even said so as she handed me that stack of rapidly-counted fives.
What in the NOT-HEAVEN! No way would she believe me if I drove all the way back
(okay, just about 3 miles) to Casey's (formerly Waterside Mart) to tell
her of my short-changing. Dang it! Why didn't I count it right there at
the counter before putting it in my pocket? It's even CALLED a COUNTER,
Of all the bone-headed moves made by Val
that she has later regretted, not counting those fives is near the top
of the list. Which might tell you something about the number and
severity of Val's boneheaded moves. They don't happen often. Not regrettable ones, anyway.
No, I don't
think that clerk deliberately scammed me out of five dollars. I guess
they might have noticed the register being $5 over at the end of the shift, but maybe not. There
was more than one person working out of that register.
I guess $5 is cheap enough tuition for the School of Hard Knocks to teach Val this valuable lesson: always count your change before leaving the counter.