Saturday, February 29, 2020

Val Made New Finds, But That Didn't Stop 'Er, One Was Silver, the Other COPPER

You may recall that last week, Val found not a single penny. Her coffers overflowed with nickels and dimes. All silver. THIS week marked the return of the penny. Yes. I know that pennies are now made mostly of zinc, with a thin copper coating. No need to enlighten me.

SUNDAY, February 23, Hick and I stopped at the Steelville Casey's for gas, beverages, and scratchers. While standing in line waiting for Hick to pay, I was pleased to see a PENNY where no interloper would dare snatch it from me.

I unceremoniously said, "MOOOOVE!" like SNL's Your Company's Computer Guy, elbowed Hick out of the way, and stepped in for a closeup.

It was a shiny, heads-up 2019. Meant just for me! It hadn't been there when I first entered, and cashed out my winning scratchers.

MONDAY, February 24, I opened T-Hoe's door at the Gas Station Chicken Store, and saw a welcome sight for a dreary day.

How convenient that a penny had been dropped in that fairly remote area of the lot, where I routinely park T-Hoe by the moat, away from other cars. Obviously, it was meant specifically for ME!

It was a face-down 2009, wet from the early morning rain that almost flooded the creek.

My luck continued on THURSDAY, February 27, at Orb K.

I was actually looking in that rack where I found last week's dime, when I noticed the penny. Thank goodness the gal scurrying to the other register didn't see it and stop! Because it was MINE!

This was a heads-up 1983, among the unswept crumbs of Orb K's concrete floor.

FRIDAY, February 28, I hit the double jackpot at the School-Turn Casey's. It might be hard for your untrained eye to spot my treasure.

See the notch in T-Hoe's door, just under the armrest? Follow that out past the little grease spot at about the ten o'clock position, and you'll see the penny. Don't be fooled by the cigarette butt!

Just after taking the closeup of this heads-up 2000 penny, I spied my double luck!

It was off to the left, at the end of that crack. It's actually visible in the first photo here. I would have gone crazy if I noticed it when blowing up the picture, and realized I had left one behind!

This was a face-down 1989. When I came out of the store, a car was parked in that spot. I'd have missed both cents, were it not for my precise timing. I was obviously meant to have them!

That's 5 cents towards my Future Pennyillionaire Fortune this week!

Penny      # 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.
Dime        still at 3.
Nickle      still at 3.
Quarter  0

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, February 28, 2020

A Winner Tattles on the Losers

Sorry, I've been holding out on you. LAST Thursday, the night before we left on our Oklahoma trip to visit The Pony, I had another scratcher winner. Yep. Another hundo!

I got it Thursday, February 20, at Country Mart's right-side machine. I matched 8 numbers, for $5 each, and hit all 4 of the quick-cash money-bag prizes. That adds up to $100.

So fitting, to win on a ticket named Casino Cash, the day before leaving for a casino trip in The Pony's college town. I assure you, I put that ticket aside, though. Didn't even need it. Had a profitable trip, which will be shared in a few days.

Also, I've been remiss in filling you in on the details of those little Cabin-Trashers. Hick got a call from our next door neighbor, Copper Jack's human daddy, while we were on the way home from Oklahoma. CJHD had messed up the electricity to his shed, which Hick had helped him with before Thanksgiving. Hick said he'd come over in a couple days and look at it.

Wednesday evening, Hick drove over on the Gator. He said that the Cabin-Trashers told CJHD's grandson (who lives with him) that HICK told them they could play in the cabin(s)!

"WHAT? Those little liars! How did you bring it up?"

"I said, 'CJHD, you might want to keep an eye on your stuff. These little neighbor boys up the road have been roaming around on other peoples' property. They got in my cabins and messed stuff up. Took some things, too. They said your grandson gave them permission, but I don't think that's true. I've told him he can look around down there, and we've never had a problem before these kids moved in."

"What did he do? Call the Grandson out and ask him?"

"Actually, the Grandson let me in. CJHD must have been in the shower after work. He came out in his pajama pants and a tee shirt. The Grandson was standing right there. He said, 'I took them down to show them the cabins. And they said, 'We know. He said we could come down here and look in them.' They didn't go inside while I was there, though. I never told them they could play inside.'"

"Did you tell Grandson that he's still welcome to come over?"

"I did, but CJHD told him not to even go down there. Just in case, so the Cabin-Trashers couldn't blame him for anything. He also said he thinks the Cabin-Trashers might be moving. I don't know how he would know that."

We can only hope.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Goodwilling's Fine in Oklahoma, Oklahoma, OK

Hick had a grand old time Goodwilling in Oklahoma. Here are (his) pictures of what he got, and his own descriptions. I'm not sure how he managed to get such unfocused photos. It's an art, I guess.

Baebie doll $20 orement $1 ducks $2 each keeping all these for me

That's actually a Coca Cola Barbie that Hick didn't have. Uh huh. He collects Barbies. The Coke version, anyway. I think he already had two or three. One given to him by Genius, and one by me. I'm not sure about the ornament, or the flying duck. That decoy-looking duck is cool. It's solid wood, but the head is stuck on with a big wad of visible glue. The Pony said its eyes were creepy. It had a nice smooth feel, though I doubt that Hick has time to sit around caressing it.

Bought guitar for $22 should sell for $40-50 bought sleigh for $18 should sell for $35-40 glasses $0.50 sell for $1 each

Looks like Hick forgot to mention that skinning knife. Heh, heh, good to see that he bought two glasses to haul 490 miles to make a hefty profit of 50 cents each!

I forget the brand of that guitar. He had the name, and a number, I think. Hick looked it up online, and also send a text to his musical instruments guy. The Pony got into the act with his phone, and the consensus was that the guitar would sell for $145 to $160 IF it was in good condition, with the case. The Pony also noticed that one of those twisty things that tightens the strings was not original, but different from the others. Hick's not greedy. He'd probably sell that guitar for a dollar profit!

I think Hick might have to sit on that sleigh for a while. Like until Christmas season!

Anyhoo...those are Hick's latest treasures, ready for resale when the weather warms up enough to get business booming again at his Storage Unit Store. Won't be long now!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Val is the Best Dinner Companion Ever

You might want to get on my calendar now, before I'm all booked up. I know hungry people will beat a path to my restaurant table, because I GET FREE FOOD!

Friday night, we took The Pony to a steakhouse. He wasn't very hungry, so only had a small steak. Along with a baked potato, butter only, and cooked apples. Also, about 4 rolls!

I had the teriyaki chicken with glazed pineapple on rice, and broccoli. Also a Caesar salad for my second side dish.

The salad was the best thing about the meal. It must have had some of THE Asiago cheese in it, heh, heh! (Thanks, joeh, for giving me that idea!)

The chicken here was kind of tasteless, skimpy on the teriyaki sauce. You'd think they could have sprung for TWO pineapple slices. And not ruined the whole thing with diced green onion on top. WHO eats green onion on their pineapple teriyaki chicken? Not this ol' Val, that's for sure! You can see where I picked off the green onion, beside the good-enough broccoli.

Oh, that bare space on my plate? That wasn't due to poor plating. I had A GIANT SCHOONER OF CORN that I didn't order!

There it is, in front of Hick's plate of steak, loaded baked potato, and shrimp skewer on rice. Next to his Michelob Ultra draft. I tried a bite, and YUCK! I was hoping it might be that delicious corn that we had TWICE in my whole 28 years of teaching, when I suppose the cafeteria got a shipment of frozen corn. Not this stuff. It was straight out of the can, nothing added. If I want that, I'll go to Save A Lot with my can-opener and a spoon.

Still, it was FREE corn. I told the waiter I didn't order it. At first I thought he was going to snatch it back, but Hick said, "I'll eat it." So he saved some other poor patron from getting recycled corn. Maybe or maybe not asked-for.

The next day, we went to The Pony's pick, Steak n Shake, for lunch. I am not a fan of their fries, but I AM a fan of their slaw! So I ordered my Western BBQ and Bacon burger with a side of slaw. That's how I said it, too. "I'll have the Western Barbecue Bacon burger, with a side of slaw." I'll be darned if that waitress didn't bring me a plate with my burger and fries!

"I'm sorry. I ordered a side of SLAW, not fries."

"Oh. Did you?" She consulted her ticket. "Yes. I'm sorry. I'll get your slaw."

So there you go! FREE FRIES! No way could she ask me to scrape them off my plate. Even though I did so, onto The Pony's plate, because he loves the fries.

So...if you want a dining companion to share some clever repartee, and some FREE surprise food, let me know when you'll be in Oklahoma, and we'll meet up to scam some servers.

Let the record show that this waitress also brought Hick fries instead of onion rings, but I'll not have him stealing my dinner dates!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

This Seems to Happen Regularly During Our Pony Visits

Our journey to Oklahoma took forever this time. We got caught up in a couple of road incidents. NOT caused by Hick fiddling with the Garmin! We'd planned to arrive around 3:30, but it was 4:25 when we pulled onto The Pony's apartment parking lot. As he was getting situated and strapping on the seatbelt, you'll never guess what song came on the radio:

How Can I Help You Say Goodbye. The song that reminds me of my mom, and comes on when I'm thinking about her, when we talk about her, or when we're reunited with family. It was a pleasant occurrence.

Later than night, after dinner and some casinoing, Hick brought A-Cad to the back entrance to pick up The Pony and me. I was changing my shoes before I stepped in. The Pony was already in the car. When I finally closed my door, he said, "MOM! Listen!"

"What? I don't know what you mean."

"On the radio! Hear it? Our other song! Holes in the Floor of Heaven. Grandma's song."

Well. I'll be darned. So it was. The radio was cutting in and out, from A-Cad being under the roof that spanned the area between the casino and hotel, and I hadn't noticed. What a nice surprise, to make me feel like Mom was around us. Those songs, and the dime I found that night, and the penny I found on Sunday, on our way home.

Anyhoo...enough of that. I wanted to inform you that I think I might possibly have this IRONY thing nailed down. I even ran it by The Pony, and he agreed.

Somewhere on I-44, just after we enter Oklahoma, but before we get to Big Cabin, where we diverge from the turnpike...there's a sign that we don't see in Missouri.


I pondered that yellow sign this time. I asked Hick,

"Do you think the prisoners make that sign? You know, as one of their jobs while they're in prison? Because I'm pretty sure that if they do, that would be considered IRONY."

Monday, February 24, 2020

What We Have Here Is a Failure to Garmin Navigate

We spent the weekend in Oklahoma with The Pony, celebrating our February birthdays. Hick wasn't the birthday boy, but he made sure we did something HE found entertaining. We went Goodwilling on Saturday afternoon. By that, I mean that Hick went traipsing through several Goodwills, and The Pony and I sat in A-Cad and talked about him.

Here's the thing: Hick didn't remember where all the Goodwills are. He asked The Pony, who only had a vague idea, since he, himself, is not much of a Goodwiller. Hick decided to consult the Garmin. I was not happy that he did this while in traffic. I encouraged him to pull over and type in his quest. At least Hick consented to searching only while stopped at traffic lights. I told him when it turned green.

The Pony was a backseat navigator.

"Um. You realize Goodwill is ONE WORD, don't you?"

"Oh, yeah," said Hick, feverishly re-typing.

"No. Nope. It's not GODwill, either. And you put two Ds in Goddwill."

"I didn't mean to do that."

"Uh. No. It's not GoodWELL..."

"I know. THERE. I got it."

Yes. Finally, Hick had a computer voice to tell him where to go.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Backroads Stop

Genius called last week. He said he's been taking the train or bus to work at his new (since last October) job at OOBER. He really likes his job in the driverless car division. The driving to work, not so much. His commute is three miles. Which I guess seems like forever in city traffic. So now, depending on what time he's leaving, he either walks across the street to catch the train, or a bit farther for the bus.

"It's great! I can catch up on my emails, or do other stuff. Traffic here is INSANE! There's something called the "Pittsburgh Left." They don't have left turn lanes here! So if somebody is signaling, waiting to make a left, the ONCOMING TRAFFIC STOPS to let them across! It's crazy!"

Huh. I've never heard of the "Pittsburgh Left." But Thursday, I became way too familiar with the "Backroads Stop."

Let the record show that I was only out and about for 90 minutes. But THREE TIMES, the scoff-lawing rapscallions who had somehow been issued (or not) drivers' licenses, made my life a living Not-Heaven!

The first was over at the four-way stop by the furniture store where we got The Pony's cheap basement couch to lie on for gaming. This guy, in a small white SUV with a handicap plate, sailed through on the turn of the car in front of him! That's not allowed! The first car took its turn. Went straight across after stopping. WHITE SUV rolled through on his tail, and made a left, while we other three law-abiding drivers sat there, jaws unhinged.

As you might imagine, my mouth was writing checks my bank would probably question me to cash, as I tooled along in T-Hoe, behind that WHITE SUV that just happened to be going my way. I really hope he looked in the mirror to read my lips.

The second Backroads Stop occurred down by the river, beside the closed farmer's market, in Sis-Town. A dude in a white pickup truck, pulling a flatbed trailer, barely tapped the brakes before scooting out in front of me from a side street to my right. Shame on him. He got into the left turn lane (too bad Genius doesn't read here, or he would feel nostalgic) at the three-way stop. I was going straight there, and passed him on the right. My grip on the steering wheel may or may not have isolated a certain finger.

The third Backroads Stop was at the School-Turn intersection by Casey's. It was a rare instance of three lanes of traffic arriving at the stop signs at the same instant. But wouldn't you know it, the ONLY GUY who was a hair later that the three of us was the one who blew through that intersection like he had no brakes. Made no pretense of pretending to take a turn. Gunned that gray pickup like he was entitled to bypass a big red sign with S T O P on it in white letters.

My dad used to say he thought the automobile factories had stopped putting blinkers on the cars. I think they've stopped installing brakes.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

This Week, Val Is Silver Rich, But PENNY Poor

Val's Future Pennyillionaire's coffers (I almost typed coffin!) grew fuller this week, with her first find on MONDAY, February 17, at the Gas Station Chicken Store.

I had already paid for my magical elixir, and started toward the door when I saw a NICKEL meant just for me!

I had to set 44 oz of Diet Coke on the counter to take the picture. Good thing the guy behind me was paying cash, and didn't need the card-reader there!

It was a heads-up 2008. I was ready to rumble if the customer coming in the door tried to grab it while I was taking its photo!

Little did I know that I was headed for ANOTHER treat just down the road at Orb K. I had scanned the floor for pennies, almost tricked by a clod of flattened dirt, when my attention was pulled to the not-floor.

Do YOU see it? I'll not think worse of you if you don't. After all, you are amateurs, and I'm a professional. Here's a clue: it's in the rack. Still too hard?

You snooze, you lose! Here was a pretty heads-up 2018 dime, ripe for the picking! Got 'im!

On THURSDAY, February 20, I was running my Friday errands a day early, to accommodate weekend plans. I stopped by the Sis-Town Casey's for T-Hoe's gas, and scratchers. While second in line, I had my eye on THIS beauty:

See him there, under the Mini Airheads? Don't aspire to become a Future Pennyillionaire if you don't!

It was a face-down 1996 nickel. Worth five pennies!

FRIDAY, February 21, I was gambling in Pony-Town. I looked down and saw this

special dime meant just for me! It had to be, right? Casinos don't dispense dimes in their cash machines. Only quarters, nickels, and pennies. So this little dime had to work awfully hard to put itself on the gaudy casino carpet by the chair I was pulling out to sit on!

It was a heads-up 1994 dime. That's the year Genius was born. I pocketed that beauty forthwith!

That's 30 cents this week, as the Saturday CENTSus goes to press!

2020 Running Total
Penny     still at 14.
Dime       # 2, 3.
Nickle     # 2, 3.
Quarter  0

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, February 21, 2020

Convenience Store Counters of the Broken-Word Kind

Val is a little short of material this week, but she can always work herself into a rant. With hardly any effort!

Hick has become obsessed with his Casey's membership thingy. You can earn points with every purchase, and get offers for free stuff. He somehow locked himself out of his own account, so started a new one using my phone number! But that's not the rant!

Every time I buy something at Casey's, like scratchers or gas, I now have to punch in my account number. It takes extra time, but I do it. For Hick.

On Wednesday, I knew I had earned some really good points for Hick. He usually just buys donuts every morning (secretly, he thinks), and gas once a week. I buy scratchers at a Casey's, several times a week. They cost more than donuts.

I was over at the School-Turn Casey's after getting a trim of my lovely lady-mullet at Terrible Cuts. I had $45 worth of winning scratchers to cash in. I bought four $5 tickets, and took the rest back in money. I told Hick when I got home,

"I got you however many points you get for a $20 purchase!"

Hick was excited. "I got 20 points for my...stuff, and water, and it only cost two dollars."

He looked up his account. It showed three purchases that day. Two of them gave him points, and one did not.

"I was at Casey's twice today. It gave me the points. But your transaction didn't."

"I have the receipt! It's still in my purse. She gave it to me, so I just stuffed it in there. Does it show points on it?"

"I don't know. I usually don't take my receipt. Let me look. No. There's no points showing. Wait! Maybe they don't give points on lottery."

"They've always asked me if I have an account, and if I want to enter my information."

"Huh. Maybe it was because you didn't pay for your tickets. You cashed IN tickets."

"Why should THAT matter? They didn't give me scratchers for FREE! Those winners were worth money. I could have taken the whole $45 back. In CASH."

"Yeah. That doesn't seem right. I'll ask them girls tomorrow when I  get...when I go there."

So...Hick was told that I didn't get the points because I paid with lottery winners. We devised a new plan. I won't cash in my tickets at Casey's. I'll cash them in at The Gas Station Chicken Store, or Orb K, and spend the CASH on tickets I get at Casey's.

That's what I did on Thursday. Paid only cash, for scratchers and gas. This was over in Sis-Town. The clerk told me to have a nice day, as I was waiting for that little card-reading gizmo to let me enter my points.

"Wait. I was putting in my account number for the points."

"Oh. I already cleared out the register."

"But I was trying to enter my points."

"Well, I'm pretty fast about ringing things up. Do you want me to void it?"

"Yes. So I can enter my points."

She punched a lot of buttons on her register. Asked for my phone number, which is the account number. Then said,

"Okay. Your points are in."

When I got home, I told Hick I wasn't sure about that transaction. It seemed kind of fishy. I thought she was going to re-enter it so I could put in my points. But then SHE did it. He looked up his account.

"There's no transaction on there. You didn't get the points."

"DANG IT! That was a $35 transaction!"

It's bad enough that Casey's doesn't count cashed-in scratchers as money for a purchase, even though they will hand you cash when you redeem them. It's bad enough if they just tell you that you're too late to put in your account number and get your points. But to deliberately LIE about putting those points in FOR you...

That's a whole 'nother level of ranting.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Watching TV With My Little Buddy

Monday night, around midnight-thirty, I left my dark basement lair to sit in the main room of the basement and watch TV. Hick was at the auction. I'd booked rooms for our upcoming trip to visit The Pony and celebrate our February birthdays, and sent Hick a text.

I was comfortably ensconced in my OPC (Old People Chair) at 1:35 a.m., watching a DVR of the Below Deck reunion, part two, when a movement caught my eye.

Say hello to my little friend. He wasn't in my way, so I didn't shoo him off. He didn't stay long on my OPC arm.

Nope. He moved right to my actual arm! Up and over the Garmin brand fit-bit thingy Genius gave me two Christmases ago, when he still worked for Garmin. This situation became a bit ticklish. I enticed that ladybug onto my finger, and set him on the wooden TV tray, given to us by my mom many Christmases ago, where I keep the remotes and my bubba cup of ice water and a box of Puffs Plus Lotion.

He didn't like that much, and flew up onto the bendy lamp that my mom gave us seven or eight years ago. She had one like it by her recliner, and used it for doing Sudoku and cross-stitch. My little buddy sat there until I went to bed at 4:30 a.m. I'm sure he was sensing warmth from the lamp, or getting an electrical buzz.

I'd like to think he was keeping me company.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Escalation of Tresspassation

New developments in the case of Hick's cabin intruders!

Hick was at the auction Monday night, minding his own beeswax, when he got a text from a guy up the road. Don't tell anybody this, but it's the guy some long-term landowners out here call The Nudist. That's because very few people lived out here 25 years ago, when we bought the land, and this guy and his wife used to mow their yard au naturale. Not that there's anything wrong with that... Well. There would be NOW, because people live here. But they don't do it any more.

Anyhoo...T-N sent a picture by his front porch camera, on Sunday evening at 4:50. "Do you know who this is? I don't mind people hunting on my property if they ask for permission, but I don't want strangers up here."

It was a picture of two boys carrying guns. Standing on the patio of T-N. I don't know about hunters in your area, but around here, they typically don't hunt from a patio. According to Hick, they were carrying either BB guns, or a BB gun and an AR-15. Which is like the difference between sleeping on a pea under a stack of mattresses, or laying down on a medieval mace. You'd think Hick would be able to tell the difference, as well-schooled in weaponry as he is. Maybe it was not a good picture. But imagine if somebody else encountered these boys, and could not tell the difference.

Hick sent back, "Yeah. I know exactly who they are. You need to take that picture and talk to the parents. They already gave those boys a lecture about staying off people's property."

THEN, on Tuesday morning, Hick talked to another of his cronies, who lives two houses up the road from us. He said he'd seen two boys with guns walking around his shed in his back yard. When he went out to question them, they left! At least he verified that they were carrying BB guns.

Okay. I believe in giving people (especially kids) a second chance for most things. But this, to me, is the last straw. Second AND third strike! The gloves are off. No more coddling. Throw the book at them! Who do they think they are, walking within 10 feet of somebody's front door, carrying guns? Skulking around backyard sheds? Especially after being told to stay on their own (rental) property.

I told Hick that he and T-N and Crony should call the sheriff's office, and make a report with a deputy about the trespassing. Show them the picture. Maybe a visit from the men in uniform might make an impression on these young 'uns. At the very least, a report will be on file, and the kids (and parents) will know that the next time something (more valuable than a bottle of turquoise) goes missing, or is damaged, theirs will be the first door knocked on.

Those kids better hope they never set foot on Crazy Stick-Road Man's property...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

It's Better Than a Red Milk Crate Screwed to the Front of the House, But Not Quite as Useful

Ever since Genius's bison leather wallet, monogrammed, with RFID blocker, from Sharper Image, was partially eaten by our little dog Jack, I've recognized the need for a safe receptacle to receive packages.

I've been after Hick to put a box out by the garage for package delivery. Our dainty FedEx and UPS drivers don't much care to get out of their vehicles. They think tossing the package out into the driveway is sufficient. Our dogs think so, too.

Anyhoo, last week, Hick must have tired of hearing my suggestion, (can you imagine THAT?) and announced that he had put up a box for package delivery on the ugly, unwanted, Tom-Sawyer-makeover-needing picket fence.

As you might imagine, I was excited! Not excited enough to run to the door and look. I'm not a child on Christmas morning. But I was interested in scoping out that receptacle on my way to town the next day.

Let's just say that the reveal was anticlimactic.

Hick put up a regular mailbox. How is THAT going to receive a package? Sure, maybe a bison leather wallet, monogrammed, with RFID blocker, from Sharper Image. Or a package of checks. Even a TurboTax CD. But not a regular package.

I suppose it's better than a red milk crate screwed to the front of the house. But not quite as useful. Or maybe it IS just as useful.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Val Thevictorian: Evil, Evil Do-Gooder

Let the record show that despite recent allegations of her bank branch concerning up-to-date identification, Val tries to do the right thing.

Saturday afternoon, I stopped by the Backroads Hardee's for some chicken tenders. I am a frequent tender-buyer, and I knew that total before the drive-thru speaker told me. $7.14.

In the manner of old people everywhere, I dipped into my change cup on T-Hoe's console. No need to get back a handful of coins. I always pay with a twenty dollar bill, a dime, and a nickel. That way I only get back one penny in coinage, and a ten and three ones in bills. I don't use exact coins, because I don't want to get back exactly 13 dollars! And I don't want to use up my pennies that I need for my 44 oz Diet Coke exact change. It makes sense to me.

Anyhoo...I paid the high school girl working the drive-thru. She handed me back a ten, a five, and a penny. At first, I was like: "YES! An extra two dollars!"

Even if I DIDN'T make this purchase regularly, I would have known, from calculations in my head, that my change should have been $13.01. I'm a former VALEDICTORIAN, you know!

I considered letting his error slide. I stuffed the ten and the five into the side of my purse. But my old people conscience was bothering me. Did I NEED that extra two dollars? No. Would it make a difference to that high school fast-food worker? Yes. She might have her pay docked if she came up short. Or she might get fired!

When HS Gal handed me the bag of chicken tenders, I was still wavering. People were in line behind me. I opened the bag for a quick peek to make sure I had my honey mustard sauce, not that untasty HoneyQ they gave me by mistake twice. Besides, they've been shorting me a sauce. Two is standard.

"I'm just checking my sauce. What? I only get ONE?"

"Oh, here. Let me give you more." She handed me TWO more. Well. That sealed it.

"I think you gave me too much change back."

"I gave you the penny!"

"I know. But my bill was $7.14. You gave me the penny. But I should only have gotten back $13 from the twenty."

"Um. Can you come over here with your key?" She called to the high school boy 'supervisor'. He unlocked the register, and WALKED AWAY as she was explaining her predicament.

"I'm only trying to help. I wouldn't want your drawer to come up short. Here. Take back the five, and give me three ones."

She did. She looked at me like I had three heads. Horned heads, with glowing red eyes. Like I was trying to cheat HER! Kind of scared of me.

I wish she would have just trusted me. Sadly, she would probably proceed through the day, mis-changing customers all willy-nilly, and then blame ME for her shortages at register close-out.

Here's the kicker. Later that evening, I looked at the receipt. She had originally punched in the wrong amount when I handed her $20.15. Then she tried to correct it by putting in another amount.

I folded the receipt so as not to expose her name. She would only have been off by a nickel if I kept that extra money! According to what she punched in, her register would have been 5 cents over. But because I made her give me the actual change I was owed, she was instead over by $2.05.

SHEESH! I sense that this gal is not a future valedictorian. I'm hoping she erred enough on the other side to balance out her drawer. It's a shame that people can't do math in their head these days, without a cash register or calculator. They don't understand why you don't just hand over a twenty, and take a pocketful of change.

I hope she didn't pay the price for my honesty.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Val, Now Public Enemy #4, Has Apparently Been On the Lam For Over a Year

I need to stop by Terrible Cuts to get a trim for my lovely lady-mullet. I'm pretty sure I'll be having my picture pasted far and wide in post offices throughout the midwest. Can't be looking like my old driver's license photo!

Lately I've been cruising around Backroads with impunity, in a 2008 Tahoe with one deflated tire, living my best life, slurping down Diet Coke, providing my demanded birthdate to purchase scratchers, and generally *swinging the world by the tail. Little did I know that I've been law-bending again...

Friday was 16 degrees when I left home for my weekly errands. I did not especially want to get out of T-Hoe any more than absolutely necessary. So I used the drive-thru at the bank, to make a small deposit into The Pony's account to cover his credit card gas purchases for last month, and to withdraw the weekly cash for Thevictorian household. Not a big deal. I've made such transactions numerous times, both inside and at the drive-thru.

Imagine my surprise when the teller did not send out my cash, but instead interrogated over the loudspeaker, such that the other two drive-thru-lanes' customers could also hear,

"Val? Did you recently get a new ID?"

"Um. No? Nothing recently that I recall."

"I know who you are, but your account says we need to update your ID."

"I got a new driver's license A YEAR AGO..."

"Would you mind sending that in so we can get a copy?"

"Nope. I don't mind."

SHEESH! The only person who would mind sending in their ID would be AN IMPOSTER who was trying to drain my account of money! I sent it in, and the teller sent it back in the envelope with my cash and receipt.

Apparently, I've been stealing money from my own account for over a year now! I renewed that driver's license this week LAST YEAR! It's not as if I haven't been doing these weekly transactions for 52 weeks. And cashing in savings bonds. Cashing two big Missouri Lottery checks. Depositing cashier's checks from another institution. I know they asked for my ID on the bonds. You'd think my account would have been updated since my old license expired in 2019.

It's always something. I try to live life like a law-abiding person. As if my actions are being recorded on my permanent record. Yet somehow, I've now become Public Enemy #4. Most likely in the minds of those other bank customers hearing my business over the loudspeaker.

Oh well. I DO have a checkered past of Public Enemy-ness...

Public Enemy #1 for trying to order a phone sent to the store

Public Enemy #2 for daring to try and deposit a check from my own credit union up the street

Public Enemy #3 for taking a picture of my slot machine bonus in a casino

* I first heard this phrase from Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, in "Before I Met You."

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Take Care of the Dollars, and the PENNIES Will Take Care of Themselves

Val was sweating it this week, in the 16-degree weather, with nary a penny to her weekly name. Lucky for her, on FRIDAY, February 14, she found one on the parking lot of her credit union.

I swear, I walked right past that spot on the way in, and saw NOTHING. Not for lack of looking. At the end of the week, I'm desperate to avoid a shut-out. I was there to make a DEPOSIT, rather than a withdrawal. I'm at the credit union at least once a month, dealing with The Pony's college account. He got a mid-three-figures refund this semester, from scholarship money in excess of his tuition and fees. Can't beat that with a stick!

This was a face-down 1959 penny. Sorry, Pony! It's going in my collection, not into your account! The Pony is a lucky fella, still having not touched the funds his grandma deposited for his college education when he was just a young 'un. I know she would be so proud of his scholarship.

THURSDAY, February 13, I found a nickel in the dryer, at home in my laundry room. Technically, it IS money found by ME, that didn't belong to me. Hick does his own laundry. So I'm claiming it toward my Future Pennyillionaire Fortune, though I am a bit ambiguous concerning its authenticity.

It was sideways in the lint trap, so neither heads-up nor face-down. It's the 2014 version, with the unflattering image of Thomas Jefferson. However, it IS less embarrassing than a perceived image of him sitting on a boot, taking a crap.

As a corollary to the title, I suppose you could also say: "Take care of the laundry, and the nickels will take care of themselves."

This gives me 6 cents for the week. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to sneeze at!

2020 Running Total
Penny     # 14.
Dime       still at 1.
Nickle     # 1
Quarter  0

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5