Tuesday, March 31, 2020

You Get a Crystal Ball and I'll Get a Pole, Honey

No. Hick and I are not going fishing. He has fishing poles on the brain, lately. All day long, he putters around in the BARn, repairing and sorting some of the hundreds of poles he's bought at the auctions. He does a good business on them at his Storage Unit Store. Now that he can't sell, he's refurbishing his stock.

Hick knocks off his retired work around 5:30 or 6:00. He comes to the house for supper, and to commandeer the living room TV. I think he was watching Cabin Masters, when he said,

"See that? Their stair rail?"

"No. You should have said it when it was on the screen. I don't know what you're talking about."

"Well, I'm going to do that. Only make my stair rail with fishing poles."

You can probably imagine the look I could not keep off my face. First of all, we have no need for a stair rail. Not unless Hick is planning to build some stairs to nowhere. Maybe he's going to be like that Winchester lady and her mansion. More incredible than the lack of need for stairs was my concept of a STAIR RAIL made of FISHING POLES.

"How can you even do that?"

"They wouldn't have the hooks on them, Val. And I'd take off the reels."

"SERIOUSLY? I can't imagine using a fishing pole as a stair rail! A rail is to steady yourself if you start to fall. Or prevent a fall. I can't imagine being able to walk up or down stairs trying to grasp a FISHING POLE! I wouldn't even be able to get a grip on it. Much less support myself on that flimsy thing."

"Fishing poles are strong, Val. They don't break. Or you'd break them catching a fish."

"How could I even hold onto it? They're so thin!"

"Naw. A fishing pole can be as thick as a man's finger."

"That won't support me if I'm holding on to walk down the stairs!"

"Val. The actual rail is still going to be a board. The fishing poles fit into the board. Like the spokes."

"OH! You mean the fishing poles will be the BALUSTERS!"

"Yeah. You can't ever understand nothin'!"

"You don't explain yourself! Nobody could have figured that out from what you said! You said you were going to make a stair rail out of fishing poles!"

"Anyone else would have known what I meant. It's you. You just don't get things."

I beg to differ. Unless everyone else has a crystal ball to see what's in Hick's head.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Val Narrowly Avoids Becoming a Public Enemy Again

HOPEFULLY! The fact is that Val might not avoid becoming a public enemy again at all. It rests in the hands of the United States Postal Service. The dead-mouse-smelling post office, specifically.

See that blue postcard? It's my THIRD NOTICE! Who knew that reporting your personal information that's already on record about eleventy-billion times was so time-sensitive? Not this ol' Val. I got the Census papers a couple weeks ago, I think.When we returned from our mini palooza with my sister the ex-mayor's wife. I set it aside. I was tired from traveling, you know. And then I had to get back in the swing of my daily routine at home, which consists of doing absolutely nothing.

I put that Census envelope in a safe place, meaning to get to it. Then I got a letter. It was from the Census, and I had my original paperwork. So I figured it might be inquiring whether I got the first Census envelope. I set the letter, unopened, with my big Census packet.

Huh. Next thing I know, I get a blue postcard telling me my response is required by law. Ought-O! I opened up the letter. And decided I needed to fill out that Census form. Took about 5 minutes.

I put it in the mail today. Not sure it's going to arrive in Arizona by April 1. I still have a DISH payment that was mailed in February that never got to Pasadena, which is why I usually drive five more miles to the main post office over in Sis-Town, rather than using the local dead-mouse-smelling post office. DISH's issue was resolved with an internet payment on the due date when I saw that my check was still sightseeing out west. I'm pretty sure the Census will consider my info better late than never.

In other news, devoting all that time to providing my Census details did not keep me from playing the scratchers.

Another hundo for Val. Looks like I'll have quite a bit of time to build up my casino bankroll.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Should We Worry About Hick?

That's a loaded question, I know. Loaded, overloaded, overflowing, ready to burst and spray smart-a$$ comments from Val over a distance of six feet.

It's been 13 days since our last casino visit in Oklahoma. Hick and I are healthy as horses, although Hick is a sniffly nag. He's not yet ready to be beaten. No fever or cough or anything but snot. He's had it twice since we came back, and it goes away in a few days. I think he might have a little allergy thing going on. He mowed the front five acres yesterday, right before his sniffles returned.

Anyhoo...it's no secret that Hick is a regular do-gooder. He has promised to drive a friend to a city hospital next week. Twice. Once to get a medical device removed, and the next day to have a chemotherapy treatment. Normally, I would not begrudge this woman my husband for two days. For whatever reason, her grown children cannot take her. She planned to drive herself the first day, but Hick volunteered for that task also.

Here' the kicker. The gal told him two days ago: "You can't go in with me."

That's a good thing, probably. That Hick can't go into a hospital where there might be sick people. But I'd think the least sick place would be the area where they're treating outpatients with chemotherapy. Hick is fine with sitting in SilverRedO, fiddling with his phone. It may take hours. Nobody knows. What has us both concerned is:


The city is on lockdown, according to the local news. Normally, Hick would shop at Goodwills while waiting, and use their facilities. He can go to a gas station, since they're still open to business. But are their restrooms? Even the local Country Mart has a big sign now saying NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS. A buddy told Hick to go to a Walmart. We try to stay out of the crowds lately. But I guess if Hick has no other option, that's what he'll do.

Of course, being Hick, he has his own solution.

"I'm going to take myself a can to pee in, just in case I can't find nowhere."

Saturday, March 28, 2020

When PENNIES Rain On Val, They Pour

It was the best of times, it was the BEST of times! Val had a great week in her quest to become a Pennyillionaire. A great week that was actually a great DAY.

On SUNDAY, March 22, I popped in Orb K for a 44 oz Polar Pop Diet Coke. The Gas Station Chicken Store had forsaken me! With a note on the door saying,

"CLOSED. We decided to go home for the day. See you tomorrow!"

Anyhoo...I was obviously meant to be there at the late hour of 3:35 p.m., because I discovered TWO PENNIES at my feet!

Of course I documented my discovery with individual portraits.

A heads-up 1989.

And a heads-up 2001.

As I was paying for my pop (we don't really call it that here) and scratchers, I glimpsed the most beautiful sight. TWO MORE PENNIES that had been there all along. They're even in the first photo, but I was oblivious.

Yes, towards the corner are two well-camouflaged cents.

Allow me to introduce you to heads-up 1983 Mr. Lincoln.

And his shiny but bratty 2014 cohort, showing us his tail.

You might think Val would have rested on her quadralaurels right about then. Been satisfied with her four cents (enough to inject into TWO separate conversations!), and mosied on home to sip 44 oz of a lesser Diet Coke. But no. This is VAL! The Future Pennyillionaire!

Ever vigilant, something caught my eye on the way out. I had to squint. Move closer. Bend over, extending my ample rumpus.

YES! That WAS a penny! Hope you can see it for yourself.

Val lets no penny go unpicked! I set my magical elixir on top of the Sprite tower, to take the photos and harvest the last of my crop.

But wait! Another great day was coming! FRIDAY, March 27, I again found myself at Orb K, because the Gas Station Chicken Store had no pizzazz. No fizz. No carbonation on Thursday. I told the girl behind the counter, and she said she'd check it. But I wasn't taking any chances. I'd made do with Diet PEPSI on Thursday. Not risking it.

I was obviously meant to be at Orb K instead, according to the penny I spied upon disembarking from T-Hoe. I glossed over that shiny bit in the foreground, thinking it was a piece of foil. After stepping over it on the way to snap my penny pic, I noticed that it was, indeed, a dime!

The penny was a 2019, heads up.

The dime, also heads up, was a 2015.

It was a fruitful week in Backroads. Val Thevictorian had a good harvest.


Penny       # 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29.
Dime         # 7.
Nickle      still at 3.
Quarter  0

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, March 27, 2020

A Fate Worse Than Being Exposed to a Closeup View of Val's Ample Rumpus

Simmer down now! Nobody is going to see Val's ample rumpus. Nor are you going to see the worse fate. We're talking hypotheticals here, people. A scenario for which you can thank HICK, of course.

Let the record show that Hick gets a shot on Fridays at 2:00. He drops by his doctor's nurse practitioner's office, gets the jab, and is out of there. He's been doing it for years, with a standing appointment. Now, just this week, only discovered yesterday, the procedure has changed!

"They're going to give me my shot on the parking lot! At 4:30. They aren't letting anybody in the office."

"WHAT? You have to pull down your pants and bend over ON THE PARKING LOT?"

"No. They said they'll give it in my arm. I don't like that. It hurts more."

"Are they just making YOU stay outside?"

"I don't think so. They just called and told me."

"Why the time change? Are they making you their last appointment?"

"I don't know. She said they could give it on the parking lot, or I could watch a video on how to have somebody else give it to me."

"Yeah. That's not happening. Not unless there's no other way around it. People go to years of training to get qualified for that. Unless you want to find some heroin addict."

If every medical office changes their procedures like this, it seems to me that in our area, at least, the possible needs of the few are going to wreak havoc with the day-to-day needs of the many. Some people need their office visits way worse than Hick. This is a small general practitioner. Not an urgent care, not a hospital.

Just sayin'. No need to enlighten me on big-city issues. I watch the news, and believe about half of it.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Road Wage

No trip to Backroads is routine. Like an escaped prisoner on the lam, you never know what obstacles you might encounter. Hick sent me a picture on Monday.

"Someone dumped these in middle of road by bridge. I picked them up for sidewalk."

This is the area by the low water bridge with the signs proclaiming: NO PARKING and NO DUMPING. They're like magnets for parkers and dumpers! Anyhoo...I told Hick that maybe somebody had the bricks loaded in the back of their truck, tailgate down, and when they started up the hill, the bricks slid out. Hick was not having it.

"They had 'em on a blanket! Pulled them out right there, on purpose! I went around them on my way to town, but on the way back, I stopped to get them! I can finish building my brick sidewalk now, out to the carport. Sad thing is, I would have spent a nickel apiece for them bricks."

Sadder for Hick than for the would-be brickillionaire, I think.

Anyhoo...Hick put the picture on his Facebook, complaining, I think, to our local denizens about the state of people dumping. The Bad Hay-Baling Lawyer's Wife replied. "I'll take those bricks!" Heh, heh. The Master Scrounger beat her to them. That's Hick's payment, I suppose, for picking them up out of the road.

The hardest part about this scenario for Val was choosing a title. Other considerations:

Follow the Chucked-Out-Brick Road
Built Like a Brick Hick-House

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Val, Lost in the WayBack Machine

Way back when Hick and I went on our mini vacation 10 days ago, when businesses were still open, when schools were still in session, when our state and the one we visited had a total of 3 virus cases between them...Val had a heart-stopping moment.

We were driving back to Downstream Casino and Resort, in a separate car from Sis and the Ex-Mayor this time, when I reached into my shirt pocket for the room card. It was right there, where I'd been carrying it for two days. Wait a minute! Why wasn't my driver's license nestled right there beside it? That's how I carry them, you know, in a casino. Room card and driver's license. One for a quick check every time Hick asks if I have the room card. The license because it's often requested for identification in a casino.

"Huh. My driver's license isn't in my pocket. I KNOW I put it there this morning when I got dressed. It was there a couple casinos ago. I don't guess I slid it down in with the room card..."

A quick check of that paper envelope showed only the room card in its sleeve.

"Well. Maybe I put it with my insurance card in my casino bankroll holder. Nope! Not there. In my purse, maybe, with my local home player's cards I'm not using now? Nope! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? I've lost my driver's license!"

I started backtracking, searching all possible locations again. No luck.

"All you CAN do, Val, is get a new card."

"Yeah, BACK HOME! I'm sure they have my likeness on file. It's just going in to get it, and a fee. Oh, no! What will I used for ID to get a replacement ID?"

"They'll have a record, Val. Just take what you need when you renew your license."

"That's going to be a lot of trouble. HOW could I lose my license? It's ALWAYS in my shirt pocket. I guess maybe it could have fallen out when I pulled some money out of my pocket in one of the casinos. OH NO! Somebody has my identity!"

"Yep. Your name and picture and address and driver's license number!"

"That's great! I hope whoever finds it turns it in. The casino might mail it to me. The address is on it!"


I was beside myself with worry. And not just because if I won a big jackpot later (I did not), I couldn't be paid without ID. No, I was worried about all the trouble this was going to be for a replacement. I grabbed what The Pony calls the OH BLEEP handle by A-Cad's door, and shifted myself in the seat, to change the position of my legs.

As I leaned forward, a glimpse of white caught my eye. Down on the left side of my seat, between the seat and the console, was MY DRIVER'S LICENSE!

"LOOK! I've GOT IT! Whew! That's a relief! I guess that noise I thought was one of your player's cards falling down was actually my driver's license! It must have flipped out when we got in at that last casino, when I pulled the money out of my pocket to put back with my bankroll."

Man. That was a close one.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Val Prefers a More Roomy Throne

Allow me to share some perhaps unwanted views from our stop at Bass Pro Shop last Wednesday. I didn't go in to shop, I only went in for the bathroom. So that's what you're being treated to!

Let the record show that Val makes use of the handicap stall if it is available. Those handrails are a must in hoisting her knees back into standing position. Funny how the handicap stalls are always the farthest from the door!

That's taken from in front of the handicap stall, after I hiked down past the others.

Anyhoo...lately I seem to have found such stalls to be arranged in a less-than-optimal manner. For example, having the toilet right up against the handrail! Almost as if the handicap stall was put in as an afterthought, building the partition around an existing toilet.

This may not look too close, but I assure you, as I sat on the throne, my shoulder was rammed against that handrail, and my elbow knocked the partition. It's not like there wasn't room to have that toilet a more comfy distance from the partition and the handrail.

The stall was roomy enough in itself. Palatial, actually! With a private sink. I took this picture standing beside the toilet. Not even up against the partition, in front of it. Lots of room! Room for a wheelchair rodeo!

Anyhoo, it was a nice restroom, very clean, and in good repair. If you're ever in the neighborhood, it's worth a stop to use the bathroom.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Pro Door-Holder

On our return trip from Oklahoma last week, Hick decreed that he HAD to stop by Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, to get some parts to repair his fishing poles. I was not keen on the idea. I hate riding for five hours, and this would add an hour. Also, he kept fiddling with his phone while driving 75 mph on the interstate, because he was too stubborn to pull off in the parking lot before we left the hotel, to set the Garmin.

I know my way around Springfield, having lived there for three years. I knew right where Bass Pro Shop was. But Hick wanted to go in from the north side of town, when we were coming from Joplin, on the south side. Which would have added more time to the detour. I'm not well-versed on south side geography, but I told him a major expressway. Hick chose to fiddle with his phone at 75 mph.

Anyhoo...once we got there, Hick asked if I was going in. Yes. Because we were an hour behind our regular rest area stop. And my legs were already tired of riding. Hick parked as close as he could without being in the handicap spaces. Of course he never thought of dropping me at the door...

Anyhoo...I hobbled across that lot on my stiffened car-riding knees. Hick held himself to only 10 paces ahead of me. I know I'm really slow, but it doesn't pay to try and speed up. That's when I get a trick-knee semi-collapse. So I putter along.

At the door, just as we were within arm's length, a guy and his gal darted in from the left side. Hick might not have even seen them. He's blind in that eye. But this guy grabbed the door handle just ahead of Hick's grasp, and pulled it open for us. A nice gesture, but not one I was wanting.

"Oh, that's okay! Thanks, but we can get it. Go ahead."

"No, no. I promise I'll keep my six-foot distance away!"

We went on in, me rushing more than I should, trying to explain that it was just my SLOWNESS that was the issue. Not being afraid of this guy breathing on us.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

It's Gonna Getcha IF It's Meant to Getcha!

Let the record show that Hick and I were on a mini getaway early last week, with my sister the ex-mayor's wife, and her husband the ex-mayor. They had planned a weekend trip, and asked if we wanted to meet up in northeastern Oklahoma for a mini casinopalooza on Monday and Tuesday. We were game.

Let the record further show that at the time this plan formed, there were no reported cases of The Virus in Missouri or Oklahoma. When it was time for Sis to leave on Friday afternoon, I think there were 2 cases in Oklahoma, and 1 in Missouri. Not near the areas where we were going. So off we went on Monday.

Sis and Ex-Mayor parked on the big lot at Downstream Casino Resort, where we all had free rooms, to reconfigure their luggage for easy access when the got the valet. The guy driving the shuttle stopped to see if they wanted a ride. When they explained their plan, he said, "Be ready to have your temperature taken when you go in. They're checking everyone."

Good to know. Precautions being taken. A release from the casino had also revealed their extra sanitizing and preventative methods. The Ex-Mayor was convinced we were all going to die, but we talked him down from the ledge. He had brought the face masks he wears when mowing the lawn, and some rubber gloves. Sis told him to wear them, and act like he didn't know us. In the end, he decided not to wear them.

Anyhoo...Sis tipped us off about the temperature-taking. We still pulled our suitcases into the lobby, knowing that we did not have fevers. Hick asked the valet if the casino would be closing. He said, "I don't know. I don't work inside. But I've heard rumors. The thing about rumors is that they're just rumors."

Anyhoo...security had a podium set up at the entrance. The thermometer was like the kind I used to use on my kids' ears, with the little clear plastic sleeve that fit over the pokey part. Only this one just touched against your forehead. Or was supposed to, according to Sis, who had used one on her granddaughter the week before, when she took care of her all week with the flu. But security put the thermometer against our temple. No big deal. We all passed. Got our rooms. Then found out they were also checking at the casino entrance. So to get inside, you had to pass two temperature checkpoints. And wash your hands with sanitizer from their dispenser. We didn't mind.

I may or may not tell some casino stories, but today we're on the VIRUS. It was business as usual at the casino. Nor more, no less people than a Monday afternoon would warrant. Plenty of space to avoid sitting next to someone. We left to start our rounds of other casinos in the area, and discovered that two of them were closed. No others had a temperature check.

Tuesday evening, when we returned to Downstream from our casino rounds, we discovered that Downstream Casino was closing at midnight, and hotel guests had to be out by noon. As we went down to breakfast (no buffet, only table service), Hick noticed that all the pretty plants under the floor-to-ceiling windows had been removed. Only concrete troughs remained. "I guess they're planning on being closed for a while! They called the florist to come get the plants!"

All of us are feeling fine. No ill effects from our trip, although Hick has a cold that he was coming down with already on Monday, caught from his buddies at the Storage Unit Store. Really snotty now, but never had a fever or a cough. In fact, he was over it by Saturday.


Friday night, I read in the online local paper that TWO people with The Virus, from out of state, had attended a wedding of 200 people on the Saturday before our trip. And it was held one block from the dead-mouse-smelling post office! RIGHT IN BACKROADS! Five miles from our house! Furthermore, they had been SYMPTOMATIC at the time! And two of the wedding guests work at Walmart, and had been going to work every day, until Friday, when Walmart found out, and made them go home for two weeks. The county health department is trying to track down all wedding attendees to tell them to self-quarantine.

Heh, heh. The Ex-Mayor was freaking out about catching the virus in Oklahoma, when two actual cases were RIGHT HERE AT HOME, the weekend we left for our trip.

No need to worry about Hick and Val. Still feeling fine.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

OOOOOklahoma, Where the PENny Comes Flushing in the Rain

Only a single solitary cent was found this week! Better than nothing. And in an odd place. We were on the way to Oklahoma on Monday, fighting rain the whole way. I think Hick is trying to conserve the rubber on A-Cad's windshield wipers. I could hardly see the road to criticize his sweaving!

Anyhoo...we stopped at the rest area just before we hit Springfield. Hick walked in ahead of me. He's faster, and had to go worse. I hobbled along, and noticed it right away!

A penny! Meant just for me! Laying in the state of Oklahoma on the big floor map.

It was a heads-up 1992. Hick had carelessly walked right over it. Said he didn't even see it. I'm lucky he didn't kick it under the vending machine!

Sadly, this penny did not bring me luck in Oklahoma.


Penny       # 23.
Dime        still at 6.
Nickle      still at 3.
Quarter  0

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, March 20, 2020

Update On Hick's Road-Runner-Offer

Remember when Crazy Stick-Road Dude ran Hick off the gravel road a couple weeks ago? Something may come of it.

We got home from a 3-day trip on Wednesday evening, and saw a message from Monday afternoon. It was from the local prosecuting attorney's office. The victim's advocate. Hick called back and left a message. Heh, heh. I'd told him: "Good luck getting a live person at 4:45."

Hick wasn't sure what it was about. Not that he's a perpetual victim, with a lot of court cases pending. He's supported Back-Creek Neighbor Bev in her court dealings with Crazy Stick-Road Dude. He's on the legal paperwork for the minor owners of HOS House. And we have that complaint against the weirdo who punched a dent in A-Cad. Then there's a theft from his Storage Unit Store a few weeks ago. So Hick was eager to find out what this was about.

He got a message on Thursday, that a call would be made to him at 10:00 this morning. No word on that yet, since I write a day ahead. Normally, there's an in-person meeting with the "victim" before proceeding with prosecution, but these days that is discouraged, so a phone interview will do.

Yes, it's about prosecuting Crazy Stick-Road Dude for running Hick off the road. I don't think there's enough evidence for that. But Hick thinks maybe they are tired of having complaints filed against Crazy Stick-Road Dude. Maybe he'd been warned about causing any more problems on the gravel road. Or maybe he did something when the Deputy tried to talk to him right after the incident. You never know. Some people bring problems on themselves.

Anyhoo...Hick was left with the impression that there wasn't a strong chance of prosecution, after talking to the Deputy that day. Like when he said if Hick had been hit, he could arrest the guy right then. And that Hick should have left SilverRedO in the position where he was run off the road.

We'll see what happens during the call.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Don't Stop, Thief!

Oh my gosh. I'm living in a den of in-your-face criminals! Nobody gives a crap any more! Take, take, take! What's yours is mine!

I was on the way home Sunday afternoon. Already on the big bridge over the Big River. That's its name. Big River. Literally. Anyhoo...I'd already signaled my left turn. I saw an oncoming red pickup truck. It wasn't exactly oncoming. It was facing me, parked on the slim shoulder of the county lettered highway.

As I was preparing to turn, the red pickup started moving. Towards me. Veerrry slowly. Pulled onto the road, and signaled a right turn onto my county blacktop road.

Well. I had to yield to oncoming traffic. I assumed he was going to be there any second. I didn't know he was going to creep along at idle speed. Anyhoo...as he turned, and I followed, I KNEW why he had been pulled off the side of the road.


That's right! He stole a cedar log! MoDOT has been trimming trees along there for weeks. They first cut them down. Then the next day they come and trim the cedars they've cut, grinding up the small limbs in their traveling woodchipper. They leave the logs, stacked by size, for later pickup. I suppose the Missouri Department of Transportation has a use for such logs. Fence posts, maybe. Or they give them to the Department of Corrections so the inmates can each have one to whittle into a toothpick. If MoDOT didn't want them, they'd have chipped them.

Now Red Pickup Man had TAKEN one! It must have been pretty heavy to hoist into his truck bed. You can't see it very well, unless you can zoom in. It's pretty hard to open the camera app on my hand-me-down Genius phone when I'm driving! So the photo is all akimbo like something in a spy movie!

I asked Hick if taking such a log was against the law.

"YEAH! You know that place where I used to dig up my yucca plants? When I lived at the apartments, and then when we moved out here? NOW they have signs saying STATE PROPERTY, and that people who take stuff will be prosecuted!"

Oh, well. It's not like I was going to report this guy. If his license plate was readable, I was planning to block it out. I just wanted to show Hick the nerve of this cedar-stealer!
Yucca Yanker, meet Log Looter.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Val Raises a Stink Over Hick's Smelly-Good

There's something rotten in Backroads, and it isn't just Val's attitude.

I know we've covered this topic before. But you're not getting off the hook. No siree, Bob! If I have to relive it, YOU have to relive it. You only have Hick to blame. If he could follow instructions, or even demonstrate a modicum of common sense, we would not be in this leaky boat right now.

Last Thursday, I ascended the basement stairs to make my own supper. Hick had been out living it up with HOSS (Hick's Oldest Son's Son) having pizza, and paying his respects at a funeral home. With each step, my nostrils flared farther, my sinuses steamed severe-er, and my exasperation grew exponentially.


Hick has been warned before that this fragrance makes my eyes water, my nose burn, and gives me wheezing and a headache. Not saying I'm allergic or anything, that's just the reaction I have when Hick's cologne saturates my home atmosphere at 999,999 parts per million. I can only surmise that Hick continues to marinate himself in cologne because a) He doesn't care about anyone but himself, or b) He's trying to kill me.

There sat the premeditating murderer himself, kicked back in the La-Z-Boy.

"ACK! I can't believe you did that again! I've TOLD you I can't breathe when you wear that stuff."

"It's aftershave. I just splashed a little on."

"You always use TOO MUCH! It's like you drenched a ZZ Top beard in it! Not a little splash."

"Oh, Val. It ain't nothin'"

"It's like the Seinfeld car! If I tossed you to a bum on the street, he would TOSS YOU BACK!"

"I can't even smell it."

"The stench is unbelievable. You need to be encased in a HAZMAT suit to prevent your spread!"

"I only put on a little, when I got dressed up for the funeral."

"Here's some news. This is 2020. They don't stink anymore! You don't have to overpower the smell of the dead!"

"Oh, Val. You're so dramatic."

"I won't be able to sleep tonight. STAY OFF MY PILLOW! Each step I take toward the bedroom, it gets stronger! Yuck! The bathroom is contaminated! It's like GROUND NEGATIVE ZERO! I can't. I'll hold it until I get back downstairs!"

"MY LORD! You're the only one who can smell it!"

"Because you've chemically burned out your smell receptors! OH, NO! Did you drive THE ACADIA to the funeral home? DID YOU? I can tell by your non-answer that you DID! You'd better put the windows down, and leave them down all weekend!"

Seriously. I'm surprised you can't smell it through the computer screen, one week later! Here's a little clue. Hick refers to his cologne (I can't call it aftershave, because HICK DOESN'T SHAVE! He has a beard!) as "smelly-good." Imagine what kind of fragrance would be "splashed on" by a guy who wore THIS SHIRT for his son's college graduation pictures:

Uh huh. I thought you'd understand.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

It's Hard Out Here When You Limp

In (the outer limits of) Backroads, nobody can hear you scream (at Hick).

I was in the kitchen making supper last week when my right hip was virtually wrenched from its socket. One minute I was cutting up some Romaine at the counter, turned to grab a tomato, and COULDN'T! My right foot was stuck to the floor!

Let the record show that I rarely wear shoes in the house, the exception being my Crocs on occasion, which are indoor shoes. Mainly I putter around in my black Doc Ortho crew socks, or in the morning before dressing for town, bare feet.

I'd had no problems at the counter that morning. Nothing grasping my sole like flypaper on steroids. I'd written out two checks while standing there, sent texts to The Pony and my sister the ex-mayor's wife, and sealed and stamped letters for the boys. No issues whatsoever. That floor was as clean as the day the linoleum was put down. HA HA HA! Sorry! I just about gave myself a hernia laughing. The floor was as clean as it normally is, heh, heh. You could eat off it...there's enough crumbs to sustain you for a week! My point is: the floor was NOT sticky when I left for town.

In the ensuing 90 minutes, before I returned, Hick had come back from the BARn, and prepared himself a lunch of two leftover BBQ hot dogs. I smelled a rat. Make that a BBQ hot dog.

"I can't even WALK in here! There's something sticky on the floor! I'm pretty sure you dropped a BBQ hot dog, and went through the motions of cleaning it up!"

"No. I didn't drop a hot dog."

"Suuure. You SAY. I can tell! By the way it holds my sock to the floor, before I can wrench my foot free."

"I didn't drop a hot dog, Val."

"Will you lick the bottom of my sock, and tell me what it tastes like?"


"This is miserable! I walked all over this kitchen today, without a problem."

"Well, I DID eat them for lunch. And you were in there when you came home, without an issue."

"I still had my shoes on when I got back, while standing there getting my lunch ready."

"If I'd done it, which I didn't, you would have noticed it then."

"Maybe, if I walk into the living room, your dirt and gravel and cedar shavings will stick to it, and allow me to walk freely again. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to make it down the stairs like this. My right foot will hold me back. At least I won't have to worry about falling! I'll be suspended until I'm freed..."

"I wish you could hear yourself."

"I wish YOU could hear me!"

The issue was still unresolved when I went downstairs, prying my right foot loose on each of the 13 steps. I put on my old walking shoes down there. When I took them off upon settling into my OPC (Old People Chair), I had to pry my foot out of the shoe. This was getting ridiculous. Surely whatever was on there (leftover BBQ hot dog juice) would have dissipated by now.

I turned my foot sideways. Huh. That didn't look like leftover BBQ hot dog juice. It was white. Whitish gray. I reached with the intent of picking the blob loose with my fingernail. Nope! The Blob had other intentions. I picked and picked, until I got a smidgen of it loose.

That looked like (and felt like) STICKY TACK! The stuff used to hang posters on walls! The rest wouldn't come loose. It remained sticky, but allowed me to walk without as much hold-up to lifting my foot.

Attempts to wash it off my finger were not quite successful. Soap and water did not remove the whiteness that remained in my fingerprint whorls. It was like paint or putty. None of which I have in my kitchen.

I interrogated Hick the next day, but he had nothing to do with it. That was his story, and he was stickin' to it like some white putty substance on my Doc Ortho sock!

Funny how Hick had spent all morning in the BARn, repairing fishing plugs. According to him, all he did was clean them with baby wipes and put screws in them. He DID concede that maybe he had picked up something off the BARn floor that had been there a while. Caulk, perhaps.

He refused to let me inspect the soles of his boots.

Monday, March 16, 2020

This Is Where Things Get Dicey

Last Saturday, The Pony informed me of another paranormal event at his apartment in campus housing at OU.

"OK. So, one of my dice was missing since last Wednesday."


"Well, it was sitting in the middle of my carpet when I came home from lunch today. As in, where multiple people would have stepped on it in the intervening time if it had been there."

"Funny how that happens."

"Another weird part is that now a different die is missing. The 6-sided one that had been on the table is now gone."

"All dice are 6-sided..."

"Nope. Standard dice are. There's 4, 8, 10, 12, 20, etc. The missing one was a d20."

"Oh, you must mean devil dice for your rituals!"

"They're for gaming with Bestie and Second-Bestie."

"Like I said...your rituals!"

"Gaming is not a ritual! You don't use dice!"

"How can a die have 4 sides? It would be two-dimensional!"

"Mom... tetrahedron."

"Oh. A pyramid!"

"I see they didn't each you geometry in high school either. Or at least the same person taught it as did geography."

[I could not let that pointed reference to my late-life discovery that ENGLAND IS AN ISLAND go without defense.]

"I and my valedictorianship have no need for such knowledge, when I can win on scratchers. Besides, my geometry teacher had a student teacher for a semester. Time was spent with certain inquiring minds asking her if she had a d*ldo, and if she'd ever had a menage a tois. My spelling might be off, because my language teacher was a pervert."

"I genuinely have no idea how to respond to that."

"Valedictorianship comes with a price."

 At that point, The Pony ceased communication. I guess we both learned something.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

I'm Pretty Sure There's a Special Place in Not-Heaven Reserved for This Guy, But if Not, He'll Find a Place Anyway


As I drove through the light (GREEN) on Friday, I was happy to see that my favorite parking space was empty at Orb K. As well as most of them on that side of the door. That left me feeling jolly, almost humming a tune, as I entered the lot and proceeded to my space.

REEEEE! That's not the sound of T-Hoe's brakes. That's the sound of my best-laid plans gone awry. My parking space, and those beside it, would have been empty. Except for all six of them being blocked by a red pickup truck hitched to a trailer.

I was beside myself with outrage! I drove around to the end of the store, and parked in the last spot. I do this when my rightful space near the door is taken. It gives me extra opportunity to find pennies! The summer months are quite rewarding. But this day was cold and sprinkly. I did NOT want to park in the last spot. I wanted my space next to the painted handicap walkway, where I can open T-Hoe's gigantic door completely, without risk of a car parking too close.

The passenger walked out, carrying a six-pack of beer. My hand-me-down Genius phone wouldn't open the camera app fast enough to commemorate his walk of blame. This is after I had time to zoom in, and record as evidence one leg of the driver. Little did I know, until back home on the big monitor of New Delly, that my first picture contained a surprise guest.

Look at that! I captured the driver (not literally, I'm pretty sure that even in Missouri, there are laws prohibiting such behavior) on his way out. He SAW me, too! If you can zoom in, he's looking right at me. Don't worry about Val! She left T-Hoe running, in case a quick getaway was necessary.

As they pulled away, I backed up and drove around to claim my regular parking space. Lest you doubt me about how many spaces that hog devoured, take a gander at THIS:

As you can see, there is plenty of room along the edge of the parking lot, for buses or semis or campers or trucks pulling trailers. Not where that car is driving. That's way over on the highway exit ramp. Both these guys were younger than me, walking on two good legs apiece, without limps, and should have been capable of walking such a distance. Let the record show that normally, these spaces next to me are full. In fact, two cars parked there before I came back out.

I guess these entitled, beer-swilling, trailer-truckers thought they could get away with such heinous behavior. Okay. They kind of did. Must have been from out of state, because I saw no rear license plate on the truck.

Or maybe that's a law they didn't feel like complying with...

Little-known or cared-about fact: that line of red doors in the upper right corner of the picture are part of the storage facility where Hick has his Storage Unit Store. Although his is on the other side of the compound, parallel to these.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

There Are None So Blind as Val in a PENNY Frenzy

Down to the wire it went! No pennies for the Future Pennyillionheiress Val all week. In fact, The Pone even raised that question by text on Friday afternoon: "Any pennies?"

"NO! It might be a shut-out!"

Heh, heh. From Val's mouth to Even Steven's all-hearing ear. Two stops and 30 minutes later, on FRIDAY, March 13, I hit the trifecta in Orb K.

It was a penny, waiting for me in that nook. Not the drop of spilled soda. I snapped a picture

of this face-down 2018 penny, and was about to pick it up when my attention was drawn

to my right, where ANOTHER penny awaited my harvest.

This one was heads up, looking right at me, a 1997 version.

But WAIT! As I was juggling my scratchers and phone, trying to keep my balance to pick up those two pennies, I saw that I had missed a THIRD PENNY. It had been there all along in my first picture, but because of the light coming in the window, I hadn't seen it on camera.

THERE! By the candy! It was actually more obvious in the first photo.

A face-down 1993. I picked up all my meant-for-me pennies, and thankfully had enough pockets to keep them separate until I could see their dates. Because I'm a stickler for details like that. That's normal, right? Nothing weird about such a habit...

Well. You'd think I could be happy with three pennies. But upon closer inspection, I see ANOTHER penny hidden under the rack by the FritoLay penny! I hate to leave a Lincoln behind, but there's no way I could have rescued him.

Sooo...Val will have to settle for 3 pennies this week.


Penny       # 20, 21, 22.
Dime        still at 6.
Nickle      still at 3.
Quarter  0

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, March 13, 2020

Lured, Out of the Lair

Hick spent Thursday morning in the BARn, rebuilding 60 fishing lures. That's his estimate. Most of them were given to him by one of his storage unit buddies, who doesn't deal in fishing equipment. They do stuff like that, Hick's junking cronies. Buy things at auctions that they know somebody else sells, then trade off items. A bargain is a bargain.

I abandoned my dark basement lair to do my weekly errands a day early, at my leisure, so I wouldn't have to rush to the main post office Friday morning by the crack of 11:30. It was cloudy and getting cloudier when I sent Hick a text around 10:45. He doesn't always receive them in the BARn, perhaps due to all the junk piled around, blocking the signal, or the metal roof. He didn't answer right away, but 20 minutes later, responded with:

"I get messages when I go out to pee"

TMI, perhaps. Hick agrees with Jeff Goldblum in The Big Chill: "That's the great thing about the outdoors, it's one giant toilet."

Anyhoo...I determined that I didn't need a jacket, and left for town. I made a stop at the cemetery, since I missed last week due to a funeral in progress. While there, the wind started kicking up. No rain, though.

At 12:49, I got another text from Hick:

"Be careful weather looks nasty"

"Saw black clouds in my mirror. Okay here at the post office."

I figured Hick was sitting in the La-Z-Boy, having leftover BBQ hot dogs, looking out the front window. Perhaps he had a twinge of conscience for all those times I'm pretty sure he was trying to kill me. Like Sunday afternoon, when he grilled those hot dogs, spilled them on the back porch where I give the dogs their treats, and then said, "We can still eat them!"

Anyhoo...I made it through my errands with only a spatter of large raindrops as I returned to T-Hoe after paying for gas. The rest of my trip was uneventful. The dark clouds moved around to the south. Not a bad day at all, just overcast, and 55 degrees.

The state highway department was directing traffic on the lettered highway, just past my turn at the blacktop county road. They were picking up a bunch of trees they had trimmed earlier in the week. About a half mile deeper into nowhere, I noticed branches and broken limbs on the county road.

"Huh. They sure are messy. Unless this is from the new owner trimming trees by the sheep guy's house."

The deeper I went into nowhere, the more limbs I saw on the road. Huh. Surely they wouldn't have driven their truck this way.

There were even errant sticks all over our gravel road. I was starting to think maybe a storm had passed through. I made a mental note to ask Hick when I got home.

Well. There was my answer without a consultHICKtation.

That's not where the dumpster belongs! It goes by the post behind the Gator. The dumpster has blown over on a couple occasions, right where it stood, but never sailed 40 feet away!

The boys' basketball goal has never blown over, either! Hick has gone out to lay it down on occasion, when we were in a tornado path. He had trouble pushing it back in place when he came out to set it up. The bottom if full of sand.

Here's my little Jack, licking his nose, coming to greet me.

Jack probably rode out the non-storm under SilverRedO, while Juno shook with fear in her house on the back porch, out of the wind.

Hick said he hadn't noticed any storm or excessive wind. Only the black clouds. We were under a tornado watch until 11:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

There's a Chance That Hick Temporarily Thwarted a Crime

Technically, the crime Hick temporarily thwarted was most likely intended to rob him blind.

Hick met a fellow Storage Unit Store proprietor up at "The Units," as he calls it, around noon on Tuesday.

"We noticed that the fence on the back side of my unit was flapped away from the post. You know that metal woven fence. We went to look closer, and somebody had undone the part where it connected to the pole! So they could just push on it and come in or out. It was still hanging in place, but if you looked, you could tell it wasn't attached."

"Well, they HAVE broken in before, and stole that camper."

"Yeah, but them people DROVE RIGHT THROUGH the fence. At the back gate. These undone the fence, to come back later."

"Well, if it was right behind your unit, you can bet that YOU are the target! They want a fast way in and out."

"They'll have a hard time breaking in the back door. They'd need a vehicle to ram into it, and there's not enough room. Just a gravel path that you can barely drive a car down."

"It's metal. I'm pretty sure they could just cut a hole right through the door. Get in, and then open up that door."

"They COULD, I guess."

"I'm sure they're after your guns. Nothing else would be worth enough to risk getting caught."

"They're in a safe, bolted to the floor. I know I've seen people ramming ATMs to steal them, but no way can they fit a vehicle inside my unit, with all my junk in the way. You can barely walk through the little aisles."

"I guess they'd have to cut through the safe, then."

"Yeah. That might take a while, without any electricity. I think I'll talk to our insurance guy, about renter's insurance, anyway."

"Probably a good idea."

"Me and my buddy called the owner, and he come up and fastened the fence back to the pole. It wasn't like that on Sunday afternoon when we left, so it had to happen Sunday night or Monday night."

"Heh, heh! You and that guy should sit inside one night, and if you hear a noise, throw that door open and surprise those thieves! The owner should have put a note on that part of the fence, 'We have you on camera. Come on back.' He DOES still have cameras, doesn't he?"


"How long does he have the recording?"

"I'd say probably 30 days. So he can look back and see who it was."

"They probably had on hoods or masks, and took off their license plate. But still, he could see the car or truck. I doubt they'd park far away, because they'd want to escape fast if they got caught."

"Yeah. He'll probably look it over."

Let the record show that Val is just a logical person. She has not and will not rob a storage unit. Everybody analyses a crime scene, right?

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Does Hick Need a Shorter Leash?

Hick and I had plans to go vote yesterday, at 11:30 a.m. Yes, I know I'm barely out of bed at that excruciatingly early hour, but I made sure Hick gave me a wake-up call at 9:30 so I could get ready in time. Not that Val is high-maintenance, of course. But there are medicines to take, and blogs to check, sometimes communique with The Pony. A text for my sister the ex-mayor's wife to call me back. Shower. Anyhoo...turns out we didn't go until 12:30. I could have slept in!

At 11:45, Hick called.

"I'm on my way to my storage locker to see a guy about a gun. I'll be home by 12:30."

Fair enough. He'd said the night before that he might not be here exactly on time, because he had some work to do for Back Creek Neighbors Bev and Nick. Hick does odd jobs for them now and then. They pay well, and sometimes GIVE him stuff that he can re-sell. Like the most recent gift of FREE wood flooring, when they put in carpet. He only had to remove it.

Imagine my surprise when I heard the pertinent details.

"I really hated to go put back Bev's baseboards for free. I didn't know that was part of the deal. But I figure they DID give me that flooring, so I went. I was all done, ready to leave, when Bev got to talking to me. She said she had a video she wanted me to see...

[STOP IT! Stop that boom chicka wow wow PR0N music running through your head!]

She used to be a videographer, you know. She'd put together this video about Indians, and different religious groups. I was wondering HOW I was gonna get out of there! But then my buddy sent me a text about that gun, and I heard my phone, and told her I had to make a call, and that I had to leave to meet a guy. Whew! I was really lucky on that one!"

"So let me get this right. You were supposed to come pick me up so we could go vote, but you were WATCHING A VIDEO WITH BACK CREEK BEV???"

"Yeah. But she made me do it. She's LONELY, Val. She's got a lot of wacky ideas like you. You'd probably like talking to her."

"Well, she won't leave her house. So I'm not going to make house calls to entertain her. And YOU shouldn't be doing that either! All you had to do was tell her you were done, and it was time to pick me up to vote."

"I DID. And she started in about how voting doesn't matter, it's all rigged, she gave it up years ago! I had to hear that before she started the video."

Seriously. Hick is a grown man. You'd think he could get away from a housebound nutty lady.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

It Takes an Image to Assuage a Val

Here we go again! Why do weirdos lurk around the isolated areas I frequent each day?

I've been leaving for town around 1:30 these days. I always park T-Hoe and get out for the mail. I leave him running, just let the driver's door lay without latching. All I have to do is walk across the blacktop road to EmBee and withdraw our mail from her gullet.

Monday, rain was falling at a rate which required an umbrella. I'd ferreted it out of A-Cad's rear before leaving the garage. When I neared Mailbox Row, I saw a red car parked over on the gated dirt road across the bridge, where I've seen people dumping trash. Huh. That was odd. Even odder, a man was standing at the end of the bridge near mailbox row.

Had it been a sunny day, I might have not been as suspicious. But WHO stands in the RAIN, to look into a creek with barely any water? A WEIRDO, that's who!

This weirdo might not have bothered me, had he turned to look at me, and perhaps nodded a greeting, or tipped his hand in a wave. That's what country people do. Yet this Camo Weirdo (of course he was wearing a camouflage jacket and hat) kept his back to me.

I momentarily considered going on by, and stopping when I returned. But I knew I'd have cold food in T-Hoe, and it would be near time for the school bus drop off, so cars might be parked where T-Hoe needed to be. You can bet that I turned OFF T-Hoe, and kept the keys in my hand, as I held my red umbrella aloft with the other one. I kept an eye on Camo Weirdo's back. In case he made a run for T-Hoe, I'd click the clicker and lock the doors.

Camo Weirdo sidled across the bridge, over to the side by our gravel road. He went to the middle of the span. All the while, keeping his head turned away from me. I got back to T-Hoe, folded up my bumbershoot, and climbed inside. I'd decided to snap a picture of this suspicious fellow and his auto. Just in case anyone said their mail was missing. All I can say is that he didn't take my Sprint bill.

Anyhoo...I picked up my phone, and put down the window part way. Rain was still coming in, even though it doesn't show up in my photos. As I focused on that red car, I noticed that Camo Weirdo was GONE! What in the Not-Heaven??? I snapped the picture anyway. As I zoomed in for another one,


Later inspection of the photos on the big screen of New Delly revealed that Camo Weirdo had been HIDING BEHIND A TREE during the first photo! Seriously! Zoom in, and you'll see him.

You might have to look closely, because he IS wearing camouflage! He's behind that big tree on the left side of the bridge. I had to zoom in. I don't know if you can do that with my picture.

Anyhoo...I got him crossing the road.

I showed Hick. He said that car is nobody who lives out here, and neither is that guy. We zoomed in on him.

Let the record show that if you stand on the road in the rain, and hide behind a tree in Outer Backroads, you might have your picture taken!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Never a Dull Moment When the Hickster/Dude-Fest Reconvenes

Just when I'd run out of tales to tell, Hick came to my rescue in SilverRedO! He called on the way home from his Storage Unit Store around 3:45 on Sunday afternoon.

"I have a county sheriff's deputy coming out to the house to talk to me."

Of course I wondered what Hick had been up to now. There was some Storage Unit Store business last week that required law enforcement contact at Hick's request. So I thought it might have something to do with that, or Hick's recent purchases.

"What's going on?"

"I was driving home from the lockers, and I could see a truck behind me on the county road. It was a regular distance behind me as I came down Mailbox Hill. I put on my signal and turned in. Before I was even past the bus-waiting shack, a maroon F250 roared up beside me. I was driving like everybody does out here, kind of in the middle of the gravel road. This guy gassed it and cut in and ran me off the road! Good thing I didn't run off in the creek!

No way was I letting that go. I took off to try and get a license plate number. I couldn't get close enough. Down by the sharp turn, going up that little hill, he almost hit a red car head-on! I don't know who drives that car, or if it even belongs out here. I didn't know who was in the F250, either.

He tore up the big hill there in front of HOS's [Hick's Oldest Son's] old place. Then he ran off into the woods at Crazy Stick-Road Dude's land. It was CRAZY STICK-ROAD DUDE! He didn't pull into his regular driveway, because he knew he'd have to stop and get out and unlock the gate. So he went down the path through the woods, with all the tree limbs and potholes in it. He knew he done something wrong! That's why he was trying to get away from me!

I called the sheriff's office, and told them I knew they couldn't do anything, because that's what they always tell us out here. It's on private property, and they can't deal with it. Whoever I had said nobody should tell us that, because even if it was on my own land, nobody can run me off the road like that. They would send a deputy to take my statement."

I got the details over supper.

"The deputy went up there and looked around. I told him no way was that guy going to come out, and the deputy couldn't drive down in there because of the gate. He said, 'I can climb over that gate!' In the meantime, I'd called Back Creek Neighbor Bev, to get Crazy Stick-Road Dude's address off her court papers from the restraining order. 

The deputy looked around both places, but with the roads so dry right now, he couldn't see the tracks. He said the best thing for me to have done would be to leave my truck right where it happened, so he could get pictures when he came out. But then I wouldn't have known who it was in that truck, and wouldn't have a license number. He said if the guy had hit me, he could take him in right then for leaving the scene of an accident. 

I don't know if he got to talk to Crazy Stick-Road Dude or not, but it was a little while before I seen him drive back out. I know he couldn't do anything, but a report has been filed."

Before you jump to the conclusion that Hick is hard to get along with, and bringing these problems upon himself...he's really a pretty easy-going guy (unless he's pissing me off). He didn't ask to get run off the road, and he didn't ask for kids to break into his cabins multiple times.

Hick didn't even know it was Crazy Stick-Road Dude, the guy who used to hammer stakes into the center of the gravel road, saying his property line was there. He's been an ongoing problem since before 2017. It really escalated when Back-Creek Neighbor Bev moved in, and Hick and some others tried to help her out in court.

Of course now I'll think it's Crazy Stick-Road Dude prowling around, every time I hear the dogs bark in the wee morning hours...

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Sell Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)

Hick's Storage Unit Store is stocked with eclectic merchandise. He sent me a picture of his latest investment.

"Did you see the turn table they are $133 at Walmart"

"Yours looks old."

"No brand new"

"Old people like your brother will buy them to play Elvis records."

"They will hook up to computer and in phone"

"Speakers would be easier."

"Probably ill sell them for $40 gave $15"

 From Hick's original email with the picture: "$15.00 i bought 2 they list $179"

Maybe I'm old-school, but I still have a turntable and giant speakers to play my handful of old albums on. It seems inconvenient to be plugging this turntable into a phone or computer. I guess maybe to convert the music into a different medium?

Then again, I'd think you could just about download anything you want these days, without going through the turntable process...

I'm probably overlooking something. I AM a technology simpleton.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Prevail On, Silver Val. Beat That Guy. Your DIME Has Come to Shine.

Heh, heh! Remember way back on Wednesday, when Val was all worried over that Santa-Man who snatched a quarter off the Country Mart parking lot just before Val walked by? No worries now! Like a nudge over bungled quarters, Even Steven has eased her mind.

THURSDAY, March 5, I stepped out of T-Hoe at the Backroads Casey's, and glanced back to see a shiny DIME waiting for me!

I guess it's a good thing this Casey's hadn't hosed down their parking lot before I got there!

It was a heads-up 2016, in the path where people walk from the gas pumps into the store.

Of course I was giddy with excitement as I headed over to Orb K, to get a 44 oz Diet Coke Polar Pop. The Gas Station Chicken Store had a cashier with a hefty cough the previous day. Val's not pushing her luck with unnecessary contamination! So I bypassed the GSCS.

Anyhoo...you're not going to believe this, but as I stepped out of T-Hoe at Orb K...

I glanced back to see a shiny DIME waiting for me! How's that for The Universe telling me I'm on the right track? One way or another, I was going to find a dime next to T-Hoe as I climbed out! Heh, heh! Looks like Val outsmarted The Universe, and nabbed them BOTH. The Backroads Casey's had not been on my original plan for the day. I took a last minute detour due to traffic, to avoid the School-Turn Casey's I'd been headed to.

This was a heads-up 1994. The Genius year! You realize, don't you, that these heads-up dimes would have been gone if Santa-Man stopped there before me!

FRIDAY, March 6, I continued to reap coinage as I braved the Gas Station Chicken Store for my magical elixir. Different gal behind the counter! I was double lucky. Although I didn't realize the Part 2 of my luck until I went out the door clutching my beverage and a scratcher.

Don't you hate it when you're carrying 44 oz of Diet Coke and a lottery ticket, and find a dime that requires you to take a one-handed photo with your son's hand-me-down six-year-old phone?

This 1995 version was face down, and technically would have been safe from that marauding Santa-Man. I took no chances, though. A car had been parked over it when I went inside with two good hands for picture-taking.

That's 3 dimes for Val this week! I'm certainly not complaining for lack of pennies. Do you know how many pennies it would take to accumulate this week's 30 cents? I'm pretty sure you do. I hear that Future Pennyillionaire train chugging down the track!


Penny      still at 19.
Dime        # 4, 5, 6.
Nickle      still at 3.
Quarter  0 (Darn you, Santa-Man at Country Mart!)

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5