Friday, September 30, 2022

How Do You Keep Hick Busy?

Sell him 125 sheets of insulation! That will keep Hick plenty busy! 
He's been working on his new storage unit store, the SUS2, over in Bill-Paying Town. The weather has cooperated, with daytime temps in the upper 60s/low 70s. So Hick and Old Buddy Helper have been putting up insulation on the ceiling and walls. PAID FOR BY HICK, you know. So the catty complainers can't justify their bitterness.

They've got the ceiling done, and the lower walls. He might be leaving that pegboard for hanging his merchandise. I'm pretty sure this was taken from the front, looking toward the back. Because I don't see a door, and I can't imagine that Hick would have put in a window, only to cover most of it up.

Yes, that IS a large stack of insulation still left. Seems like 125 sheets IS a lot. But don't you worry about Hick. He will have a use for that leftover reveal until it's official.

Hick has four more weeks to sell at his current Storage Unit Store. I think he'll have this one stocked when it's time to open up. Of course, that will be November. Traditionally not a booming business at flea markets. Just depends on the weather. At worst, he'll have his other project to keep him occupied until springtime at the SUS2.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

A Fine Kettle of Fish Laid Upon My Table

I really must pull Hick away from all of his side jobs, and get him to finish building my proposed handbasket factory. There's going to be a great need for handbaskets. I saw more evidence of society's decay on Sunday, when I stopped by Save A Lot.

What in the NOT-HEAVEN is this:

Looks like slot machines to me! Right there at the end of the dairy case! How is this allowed? Save A Lot is not a casino! It's not even floating, which I think is a condition of a casino in Missouri. It has to be on a body of water, or floating on pontoons in a man-made lagoon derived from a body of water. I don't care enough to look it up. I'm sure you have time to investigate on your own.

Anyhoo... what are these no-armed bandits doing in my grocery store? I mean, come on, we've now accepted that it's normal for grocery stores to give vaccines. But GAMBLING? I'm afraid to think of what might be next.

No, I did NOT try to play these games of chance. Silly readers! You know that Val could not perch her ample rumpus upon such a high stool!

Here's a closeup of the screen:

Somebody won $13.60. Or at least that's what they cashed out, I suppose. This does not seem legal. Or ethical. People who enter a casino KNOW what they're getting into. They know it's a place for gambling. Gambling. Not necessarily winning! They go in with the knowledge that they might lose money. People who enter a grocery store do NOT know that! Well. Other than the outrageous price of food these days. I sure hope nobody spends the food budget gambling on these contraptions.

There's gotta be a loophole, or something about these machines of which I am unaware. I'll keep you posted on what I find out. NO. I am NOT going to try them. I prefer my slots to be the real thing. In a casino.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

She Must Have an Iron-Clad Constitution

Never a dull moment in the Gas Station Chicken Store. While waiting in line Tuesday, the reason for my wait exhibited questionable hygienic behavior.

I was perturbed at first because she was WRITING A CHECK for lottery. Both scratchers and draw tickets. Her total came to $20. Not that it's a lot, but I wish people would just fork over the cash and be done with it! It's bad enough when they use their debit cards (credit cards are not allowed for lottery purchases). But a CHECK! Even slower.

She didn't start writing until it was all rung up, of course. Pulled out her checkbook and thumbed through for the right place. Didn't have a pen. So she used the one on the counter. The pen with a white plastic spoon taped to the other end, for scratching off the bar code on tickets submitted by amateurs!

Anyhoo... as I watched, ready for her to be done so I could move up in line, that old gal LICKED HER FINGER to tear out the check! That's right. LICKED HER FINGER after using the community pen, then tore out her check, picked up the pen again to write the amount in her checkbook register, then PUT THE PEN BACK IN THE HOLDER.

And... the cashier is the little gal who always wears a mask. 

That place is just a little Petri dish and we're all Gas Station Chicken future sicks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Mean Girls Are Already After Hick

By "mean girls," I mean the old men at the new storage unit flea market.

Hick was talking to one of his cronies who also got a storage unit down at the new place.

"He said them guys was talkin', and one of them was really mad. 
 'Just look at this new guy comin' in here. They've got him a locker up front, and they're payin' to put a storefront on it, and insulate it, and they're givin' him electricity!' 
My buddy told him, 
 'Wait a minute. They ain't payin' NOTHIN'! He did all that work himself, and he's the one payin' for it.' 
Then they didn't say nothin' back about that. I knew it was gonna happen. There's always somebody like that who's jealous of what you got, but don't wanna do nothin' for hisself."

Yeah. I think Hick will be okay. He's not a doormat.

Here's the latest picture from his new storage unit store, to be called the SUS2 
(Storage Unit Store 2).

Hick has the front wall done, but hasn't yet painted or doorknobbed his portal! Here's what it looked like a week earlier:

Hick only has a couple hours a week to go work on it, what with selling at his current Storage Unit Store, and working on Back-Creek Neighbor Bev's house in the middle-er of nowhere. Plus he had to drive to the city to get a bargain on insulation panels for his ceiling. Ended up paying $125 for 125 sheets. Didn't have to buy the whole 300-piece lot that was advertised.

Hick has moved in some of his storage racks, but I don't know about any merchandise. He and Old Buddy Helper tried to put in some of the insulation, but it was 99 degrees that day, so they gave up. Not sure of his electrical progress, because I don't know if he found the electric box he wanted.

It's coming along. Thus the feeding frenzy over his facility!

Monday, September 26, 2022

Confide in The (Jaded) Pony, Let the Spinning Wheels Spin

If you sit long enough at the stoplight in Backroads, the whole world will eventually pass you by. Here's a scene I captured on Saturday. Yes, of course I notified The Pony.
"Somebody's gonna lose a tailpipe!"

"Pfft. It's not even rattling on the ground."

"You're the expert! I'm going by NORMAL cars."

So... The Pony didn't seem overly concerned. Not concerned AT ALL. That LLV (Long Life Vehicle) took off like a rocket. Made a left turn, then hit the southbound ramp towards Sis-Town.

I guess it's one of the "CADILLACS" of the LLV fleet, with only a dangling section of the exhaust system ready to drop.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

At Least the Lunch Was a Win-Win-Win

We should have walked right through the casino to the grill! It's the only thing that gave us something for the money we put in!

I thought The Pony might try a new item on the menu, the Toasted Ravioli. He gave it a brief thought. Contemplated the Fried Dill Pickle Chips. Then settled on the Fried Chicken Sandwich. He asked that the pickles be left off, but took the sauce that was spicy, though its name escapes me. Maybe something cajun. He also took the side of fries, as usual.

I didn't get a good angle on the picture, but once The Pony bit into it, that chicken looked delicious! It was a hefty slab of white meat, juice visible, not at all dried-out. The Pony strapped on the ol' feedbag and devoured it!

I had my new favorite, the BBQ Pork Loin Sandwich. It comes on toast, regular bread, not the gigantic Texas Toast. Mmm... I had been thinking about it since we made plans to go to the casino.

OH MY GOSH! I want another one already, just looking at it! I avoided the tater tots in favor of the fries. They're pretty good. Though please notice my portion, and that most of them are the pointed edge fries, not the long center-cut square fries. It's the little things, people!

Hick ordered the Chicken Tenders, with honey mustard sauce, and Onion Rings. I thought that was a mistake, because The Pony has gotten them in the past, and they're just like Dairy Queen chicken tenders. Lucky for Hick, this was a new version.
They look a little overdone in the picture, but Hick said they were good, and ate every bit of them, no offers for tasting. Unfortunately for Hick, his Chicken Tenders came with a side of FRIES! So he had to tell the lady that he had ordered ONION RINGS. She sheepishly agreed, that they had discussed the availability of onion rings, and Hick had ordered them. So she said she'd go have them make an order.

Funny how no matter what Hick orders, he always gets TWICE as many fries with it as The Pony and I receive! Even when he doesn't even order fries!!!

Look at that! A full boat-load, when The Pony and I only got half our cardboard bowl full. AND Hick got the good long fries. He set them in the middle of the table to share. I ate more of his than mine. None of us finished our servings.

Heh, heh! When Hick's Onion Rings came out, he was gettin' no love from the kitchen! I've never seen him get that few onion rings before! They acted like he was running a scam to get fries AND onion rings, I guess. 

They're usually fatter, too! But Hick was satisfied once he finally got them.

Oh, and check out THIS new item: the GIANT KETCHUP BOTTLE on all the tables!

The ketchup is bigger than the soda cups! Not that I'm complaining. It's a bit awkward lifting that bottle when full. Almost takes two hands!

Yes, Hick ordered his usual slice of cheesecake. I can't give you a review, because it came while I was in the bathroom, and Hick was licking the last morsel off his fork when I returned to the table! Of course The Pony had Hick's back when I chastised him for not letting me get a picture.

"To be fair, Mom, your people have seen Dad's cheesecake before..."

Yeah. I guess you have. But you missed out on the pleasure of ending (or beginning, as with Hick) your virtual meal with a sweet treat!

Lunch is never a loser at this casino.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

A CENTSless Exercise in Futility

The landscape was bare this week, my friends. BARE! Bare as a baby's rumpus on a bearskin rug in 100-year-old photos.
Not a single penny put itself in my path. My Future Pennyillionaire Fortune had to tighten the virtual belt on its ice cream sundae goblet.
Still, I present the stagnant stats:

That's 0 COINS this week, for 0 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny          still at 92.
Dime            still at 17.
Nickel          still at 6.
Quarter       still at 6.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, September 23, 2022

Sweaving Ms Daze-y

Thursday was our casino trip with The Pony. Don't ask! Nobody left a winner. Hick was probably the smallest loser, by way of spending less than The Pony and I. The Pony lost his shirt, and I lost my shirt and pants and socks! Good thing I didn't take my whole wardrobe with me!
Anyhoo... on Sunday I'll show you our lunch pictures, which was the high point of the trip. Today we shall be concerned with the trip itself, and Hick's logic. Hey! Stop laughing! Hick DOES have logic. Just a different form than most people in the world.
You may recall that Hick's method of driving is best described as SWEAVING. It's a combination of swerving and weaving. He'll drift towards the center line, or those wake-up bumps signifying the shoulder, and then yank A-Cad back.
I was chatting with The Pony most of the way, and only dared complain when were were about to veer under the belly of a semi truck like the Griswald family getting their tree in Christmas Vacation. As Hick's excursions go, this one felt fairly safe. UNTIL THE LAST 30 MILES HOME.

We were off the interstate, and back on a curvy, hilly, two-lane blacktop lettered highway. Hick had finished eating his giant 3 Musketeer candy bar, and had taken a break from tossing his head back to swill Diet Mountain Dew. He put the pedal to the metal. So obvious was the transition that I thought:

"This is like being on one of those rocket sleds NASA used to see how much G-force the astronauts could take!"

Okay. I actually said it out loud. Hick was in the middle of snorting and saying, "No. No it's not," when THUNK! A bird crashed into the windshield!

"Mom. Was that just a bird?"

"Yeah. I bet he's not flying anymore. I thought it was coming through the windshield to kill me! Dad is going so fast that even a bird couldn't get out of the way!"

"Oh, malarky! He was probably coming in for a landing."

Just then, Hick topped a curvy hill, and almost sideswiped a small red sedan. I gasped and threw myself against the passenger door.

"What are you doing?"

"You almost sideswiped that car! You were riding the center line, and he was riding the center line, and I thought I was going to die! You have to stay on your side when you're going over a hill!"

"I don't know why you're so jumpy."

"You just knocked a BIRD out of the sky! I'm still in a daze. Who can blame me for being jumpy!"

"I wish you would try shutting your left eye and try to drive!"

"I wish YOU would try shutting your... mm... hahaha, your mm... hahaha, your mm..." 

I was laughing so hard I couldn't talk. I could form my lips to say the word MOUTH, but I couldn't make any sound. It was one of those hysterical laughing fits. The Pony was watching me from the back seat, shaking with laughter, unable to help me, though I'm pretty sure he knew what word I was trying to say. I finally got it out, with much gasping and wheezing. I reached up to smooth down some tendrils of hair that had fallen onto my forehead (the party-in-the-back of my Lovely Lady Mullet is migrating to the front), and RIGHT THEN, a brown leaf blew against the windshield in front of my face, and skipped off.

"Mom. Did you think that leaf was coming through the windshield?"

"No. I just happened to be fixing my hair. And trying to figure out what Dad is wishing for! Let me get this right... You want me to CLOSE MY LEFT EYE, and drive like you, so I can endanger our lives the same way YOU do??? What kind of wish is THAT?"

Never a dull (or safe) moment when you ride shotgun with Hick.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Breaker, Breaker, Some Why-in'

I haven't been descending the 13 rail-less basement steps to my lair since I returned from my Unfortunate HospitVALzation. At first it was due to lack of breath, while recovering from my pneumonia. Then it was because my knees don't like the return journey. Going down isn't too bad.

Anyhoo... Wednesday night, I wanted to watch a couple TV shows during the time Hick watches Dr. Pimple Popper. He was kind enough to volunteer to hike down those steps and sit in my warm vibrating OPC (Old People Chair). My shows started at 7:00. Imagine my surprise when I walked to the living room and saw Hick in his recliner.

"Hey! You said you'd go downstairs and watch."

"I know. I went down at 6:30, but the TV says NO SIGNAL. So I came back up. This one's working."

"Wait. What do you mean NO SIGNAL? The weather is fine."

"It's supposed to get bad later."

"It's fine now! Look outside. Just an occasional lightning flash."

"Well, the screen is black, and down in the corner it says NO SIGNAL."

"That's not from weather. WHAT DID YOU DO TO IT???"

"Nothing. I just turned it on. Then it said NO SIGNAL."

"Did you get a picture at all?"

"Yeah. When I turned it on. Some man was talking. Channel 29."

"We don't get Channel 29. We get 30 and 24. Nothing in between. Do you mean 129?"

"No. I'm pretty sure it was 29. Then it just went black. When I put it on 183 for my show."

"Did you give it time to come on?"

"Yeah. But it went black and said NO SIGNAL."

"How did you turn it on?"

"Just like up here. I hit the red button to turn on the TV, and then the other button here for the satellite."

"Wait. You need to hit BOTH red buttons! One is TV, one is satellite. You hit something else and got it in the wrong mode!"

"No I didn't. I hit the red buttons."

"That is NOT what you just said and showed me on this remote! I know what you've done. It will take another remote to fix it."

"I'll just sit up here and watch my show at 8:00."

"Nooo.... mine go until 10:00. I'll go down and see if I can fix it."

"You don't have to do that. Pony can fix it tomorrow when he comes out."

"That won't help you watch your show."

"No. Don't. You'll hurt your knees. That's why you didn't want to go down and watch."

"I can't stand knowing that you BROKE THE TV! You can't do ANYTHING by yourself!"

"It's fine. I don't have to watch."

"I'm going down there, as soon as a commercial comes on. I have to put it back on HDMI 1. That's what you've done. It's in the wrong mode. And it takes one of those other remotes."

"I'll go back and check."

"DON'T touch another remote! Then I won't be able to figure out what you've done."

"I'll just look at this remote again."

I heard Hick turn the TV on and off about five times. It made that little BING sound as it came on. But I never heard a show. He finally came back up.

"I can't get it to work. Just black screen and NO SIGNAL."

"I'm going down. DO NOT touch this remote here, unless it's to MUTE if I holler at you. You do know where the MUTE button is, don't you? Don't touch anything else!"

"I know how to mute, Val."

Anyhoo... I went down those steps. Slowly. Sat down in my OPC. Turned on both red buttons. Got a black screen with NO SIGNAL. Picked out the TV remote. Found the MODE button. Pushed it once. That brought up a column of settings. It was on the top one, marked TV. I pushed the down arrow to HDMI 1. VOILA! The screen came to life with picture and sound. I put it on Channel 183 for Dr. Pimple Popper. Hollered at Hick. And he came down to watch.

I hoisted my ample rumpus back up those 13 rail-less stairs. Might as well have gone down there myself to watch, since I had to go down and up the steps anyway!

Halfway up, I made sure to tell Hick: "YOU'RE WELCOME!"
I don't know why a man who worked on million-dollar machines and wired a factory from scratch can't turn on a TV without breaking it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The One That SHOULD Have Got Away

Fresh off our Pony-job celebratory meal last Thursday, Hick and I were open to eating some fish. Some family non-business took Hick over to Bill-Paying Town last evening. So of our fast-food choices, Captain D's was in the forefront.

Well. It has certainly changed since I last ate their food way back before my Unfortunate HospitVALzation. Hick got us both a fish dinner. And two orders of breadsticks, which each include 2 sticks at this venue, though the one in another town gives 4.

Anyhoo... the fish is now in rectangular pieces, looking like pressed fish. And it tastes FISHY! Never used to. It used to be nice and flaky. Don't get me started on the breadsticks! Instead of 2, my order was 1.75. At least the taste of the breadsticks was the same.

I posed one of my fish next to my 1.75 breadsticks. It was still crispy. The batter itself had not changed. Unless possibly to include half a dump truck of SALT! It was almost inedible, but you can bet I ate every crumb. 

I felt like I had eaten free salsa in a retail shop where a hipster doofus had "accidentally" dumped a packet of desiccant. [2:23 minutes of Kramer as H.E. Pennypacker]

Oh, and I told Hick to ask for "lots of tartar sauce." This is what was put in his bag:

ONE container. It looks big there, but it's smaller than the base of my red Solo cup in the background. Just the size of a ramekin. Chivalrous Hick went without, and allowed me to have ALL of that tartar sauce! You'd think somebody doesn't quite grasp the concept of "A LOT," or else it was just the window person being passive-aggressive.

Anyhoo... this meal from Captain D's doesn't deserve to be called a Fish Dinner. I suppose we've been spoiled by our last-week feast. Or we expect too much of fast-food workers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Hick's as Excited as a Hoarder in a Junk Store

Hick is excited. I know that, because those are the exact words that came out of his mouth: "I'm excited about this."
He is making plans to trick out his new Storage Unit Store. I guess maybe it shall be called The SUS2. He went to check out the flea market surrounding it on Sunday afternoon. Hick's plan is to put in electric, set up his surveillance cameras, blow in insulation so the metal roof won't drip condensation on his merchandise, and get a storefront ready.
Poor Hick. The owner approved his request to put in electric, but he can't find the right box thingy he needs. Everyplace is out, with none expected for three months. So he's going to look nearer the city, or try to get one online. Also, he found out that blowing in insulation would cost around $1500. So he decided to go with the sheets of insulation. 
A lady at another unit told him, "Oh! I wish I would have known. I just took down the insulation from my ceiling. I thought about holding onto it to sell, but figured it would take up room while I was waiting, and I just threw it away this week." Bummer. It would have fit Hick's roof exactly, since it came out of the same kind of roof.
However... Old Buddy found that kind of insulation online. It will require a drive to the city, but it's 300 sheets for $300. Hick is hooking up the trailer to go get it. Not sure how many trips that might require. He has measurements and knows how high a stack is, and how he can lay some sideways. 
Hick can't work on Back Creek Neighbor Bev's new old house this week, because she's sick. So he and Old Buddy came out here and worked on Hick's storefront over at the BARn.

Looks like Hick is building a Chinese Nesting Unit! You pull up the garage door, and there's another door! This is just the beginning stage. The framed-out front wall. I suggested that it might have been easier to move all his stuff INTO the unit before building a wall and fitting it through a smaller door. But Hick declared that the HAD TO get that wall up first, so everything will fit right. Whatever. I'm not a carpenter. 

We all know that Hick is happiest when he has at least one project underway.

Monday, September 19, 2022

The One That Got Away

Can you believe that Val FORGOT TO SNAP A PICTURE OF HER FEAST before eating it??? What in the Not-Heaven is wrong with me? On our special night out (okay, 3:53 p.m culinary expedition) to celebrate The Pony's "promotion," I let a fantastic photo op get away from me. I blame gluttony.
We went to a local catfish house. Haven't been there in a few years. Last time it was lacking, compared to previous visits. Then we didn't feel like strapping on the old feedbag over our mandated masks. But a visit to this place has been simmering on the back burner, just waiting for a special occasion.

We chose the all-you-can-eat option. Seriously. Did you really think we'd just order a dinner? There are three meats to choose from, and we chose them all: catfish, shrimp, chicken. We were also allowed three sides. Those were SLAW (my choice), baked beans (Hick), and potato wedges (The Pony). The dishes are served family style. You can ask for more if you run out of something. The catch is... you can only take home the leftovers in a box if you DON'T ask for more. Otherwise, they charge you to take your leftovers, which THEORETICALLY (and probably legally) they can't re-serve anyway. But I guess it cuts down on grifters who pay $16.99 for all-you-can-eat, and then want to take home what they can't eat.

Anyhoo... when that platter arrived, it was a thing of beauty! Potato wedges, hush puppies, catfish, shrimp, and chicken piled high. Leaned inward like outer logs on a just-built campfire. All our mouths were gaping. I'm pretty sure a gasp escaped my pie-hole.

Sadly, by the time I remembered to take a picture, this is all that was left:

Yes, I AM embarrassed that our feeding frenzy robbed you of your rightful vicarious feast. All that's left on the platter are potato wedges and hush puppies. There's a bowl of fish that we got extra. Don't worry, we polished them off. Nothing left behind except one hush puppy, and a couple potato wedges. I didn't have room to eat a hush puppy. They used to provide ramekins of honey butter, but not any more. The Pony loved slathering that on his hush puppies.

Here is my plate at the time I remembered to take pictures:

I didn't eat MORE than Hick and The Pony. I just ate slower. There's a piece of catfish I broke in half. Potato wedges. And CHICKEN! I love the chicken. It's my favorite. It might look burned, but it wasn't. Just right. So moist inside. Boneless white meat chicken. I made the mistake of honestly answering The Pony's question about its boniness. HE HAD A PIECE! "All this time, I thought there were bones in the chicken!" Oh, well. That cat is out of the bag. I still had TWO pieces of chicken for myself. There's the sweet and sour sauce for the chicken on the right. You have to ask for it special, because they keep it in the fridge, not on the table. Also, there's about my third serving of SLAW, and some tartar sauce, and some ketchup.

Here's a picture of Hick's belly, the baked beans and slaw, our icy jars of water (The Pony had Sprite), and the fish bowl, cocktail sauce for shrimp, and tartar sauce bowl:

Oh my gosh! I'm full all over again, just looking at the aftermath! I devoted myself to the chicken and fish. Hick had the fish and shrimp. And The Pony had shrimp, fish, and chicken. Plus most of the hush puppies, because Hick and I can't be bothered with that filler! If only I could have brought home the rest of that slaw. It's my favorite, a close tie with Captain D's slaw. I'm pretty sure that dumping the bowl into a baggy in my purse would have been frowned upon.

Dang it! I truly regret forgetting the picture of that towering platter of fried goodness. We may have to go back, just so I can capture the meal in pictures for you. I'm selfless like that.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

It's Official!

On Saturday, The Pony will join the ranks of the regulars. He will officially become a City Carrier for the USPS. 
He has not yet received his official official letter, but he has been informed. Sadly, he lost a portion of the 3 days of leave he had accumulated as a City Carrier Assistant since his 1-year anniversary in April, because there was no way to fit them into the schedule on short notice. Ain't THAT a fine how-do-you-do for being frugal with his benefits, and even working with his steak-oil-burned hand peeling like a molting reptile! 

Anyhoo... The Pony is not complaining. He received his handbook of benefits, and is shopping for different health insurance, and contemplating 401k contributions.

We already took him out for a celebratory meal, and a casino trip is planned for an upcoming day off. Congrats, my little Pony, on a lifelong career opportunity, with job security and benefits. Such a thing is rare as hens' teeth these days.

Tomorrow, a few pictures of the aftermath of our meal...

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Future Pennyillionaire Fortunes from Little A-COINS Grow

It had to happen sometime. Val can't harvest a hefty coin crop every week! Only A SINGLE COIN was waiting for Val this week, and at the very last moment.
FRIDAY, September 16, I sighed with relief upon spying my first and only penny!
It was at the Gas Station Chicken Store, in front of T-Hoe's tire, as I started to walk inside.

This was a heads-up 1984 penny, with some greenish discoloration on Abe's suit.

That's 1 COIN this week, for 1 CENT towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny          # 92.
Dime            still at 17.
Nickel          still at 6.
Quarter       still at 6.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, September 16, 2022

While I Don't Find His Plight Funny, I Can't Help But Laugh

Thursday evening, Hick and I took The Pony out to dinner. Yes. We ate at 4:00. We're OLD FOLKS! More on this dinner at a later date. Heh, heh, as if I would do it at an earlier date!

Anyhoo... we were back on the highway, taking The Pony home, shortly after 5:00. Around here, that's when most workdays end. Hick veered A-Cad onto the off ramp, putting us in a line of 3-4 cars waiting at the light. I was distracted, turned back talking to The Pony, who was fishing out money to give me for buying him some scratchers as we stopped by the Sis-Town Casey's on the way to his house.

I had noticed a guy in a bright green t-shirt and orange safety vest with the gray reflector strips, standing at the top of the off-ramp. 

"Here's a guy beggin'."

"Oh. I thought he was a worker. That's what the guys working on our bridge were wearing."

"Well, he's got a cardboard sign, and he's walking along the cars..."

I was busy grasping The Pony's bills over my shoulder, counting them and folding them to put in my shirt pocket.

"He thinks you're giving him a donation. He's looking at you."

"WHAT? I was getting Pony's money! We were doing it all the way up the ramp."

I looked at Beggar. [He looked like that character Chuck, who works with Mike at the quarry in the TV series "The Middle." I really like that character. This guy... not so much.] I couldn't tell what his raggedy brown cardboard sign said, but I saw his face. He was LEERING at me! Like, "Oh, yeah, girl. You got me covered, babe." He had a smirk, and gave me a little head nod. And started walking back towards A-Cad!

The light turned, and Hick hit the gas. We sped by Beggar. I couldn't look.

"HA HA HA HA HA! I can't help it! I WANT to feel bad for him. But I can't!"

"Well, he WAS begging, and you WERE counting that money right in his face. No wonder he thought he was getting it."

"It had nothing to do with him! We were getting the money as we got off the highway. He shouldn't have been looking in our car!"

"I don't like how they beg at the lights. These days, anybody can get a job if they want to work. It might not be what they think they deserve, but they could have a job instead of begging."

"Sorry! I just can't stop laughing. HEH, HEH! The only way that could have been crueler is if we fanned out those bills and waved them in his face as we sped by! I really WANT to feel bad. I just can't!"

Really. That Beggar shouldn't have been looking in our window. I made no premise of proffering him that money. I counted and folded. Hick took off as I was shoving it in my pocket.

Too bad, so sad. But kind of funny...

Thursday, September 15, 2022

A Peek At Hick's New Unit

Hick has not heard back from the guy selling the old beauty shop and house. That might still be an option for an eventual flip property, but Hick is forging ahead for business purposes. Many of his Storage Unit Store cronies have picked up shop and moved to another flea market, over in Bill-Paying Town. Hick looked into it. The guy running it said for his cronies to tell him that he was welcome there. In fact, they really wanted him there! Heh, heh. You know what he sells that makes them want him! No need to go into that here.
Anyhoo... the guy said he had a unit for Hick that was up front. The first one in the row. Hick likes it for the prime location, where people see it coming in. Near where they park. The drawback is that there is no electricity to these units. Hick needs electricity for his surveillance cameras. And lights. He is considering some kind of solar set-up. Another drawback is that the units are separate. So Hick can't get a double unit by moving out a wall, like in his current Storage Unit Store. On the bright side, Hick drew out his floor plan, and says his display cases will fit perfectly, with a few feet left over.

Hick has paid for three months, and is going to give it a try. He doesn't have to rush to move stuff. He's paid through the end of January at his current place. He can keep "storing" his stuff there, and move some at a time, once that flea market officially closes at the end of October.

Now he has to get his FFL transferred to the new location. If it isn't possible, Hick will have an auction to liquidate his inventory, then surrender the FFL. Also, he needs to find out about the business license for that town. Pretty sure he's not getting a refund for the Backroads business license he just renewed for a year effective August 1. 

I think Hick will be happier here than in a storefront by himself. He's a people person.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Bowling Alley Rails, Adult Leashes, and Bumper Car Rubber Skirts

The current loss of common sense calls for some products to keep people safe. Namely, to keep VAL safe from having a conniption fit when confronted with the Common Senseless.

I've adapted to dealing with the Common Senseless close-parkers. It's no secret that I cheat over to the edge of the parking space lines, so as to leave space for T-Hoe's giant driver's door to open, allowing my partially-bendable knees to get my feet back inside. 

Let the record show that I do NOT park on the lines, nor over the lines, unless I'm on the end of a row, where nobody can park on my right. I'm always quite proud of myself when I return to T-Hoe, and see that such instincts were correct.

That's the latest example, from Country Mart a few days ago. You will notice that the spaces are quite generous. The sensible drivers in the row behind me were parked in an acceptable manner. Good thing I cheated over when I parked. Nothing was beside me then. When I came out, that four-door truck was riding the line for no reason! Nothing on the other side of it. Just crowding me like a Common Senseless loon! Of course I had to document the occasion. If I hadn't given myself extra room, I might have been tempted to open T-Hoe's door and repeatedly bang the Not-Heaven out of that truck!
The solution for these line-riders is BOWLING ALLEY RAILS! They automatically pop up when a vehicle approaches the parking space. You can get close to the line, but not cross it or park on it! 

No pictures for the following examples. My shaking hands would  have betrayed me.

As I left the Save A Lot on Monday, I backed out of my parking space and followed the proper flow of traffic through the lot. That aisle was one-way. I barely avoided a car coming the wrong direction. I'll give her a pass, because that lady could barely see over the steering wheel of her large silver sedan. She looked like Clara Peller, the "Where's the Beef?" lady from the classic Wendy's commercial. And she had handicap license plates.

HOWEVER, Mrs. Peller barely avoided running over a Lot-Walker. There are no sidewalks. No walkways. Back in my days of traversing parking lots on foot, we were taught that cars have the right-of-way. That cars weigh more than people. That cars will always win a confrontation with a human. I guess nobody is teaching that concept any more!

The Lot-Walker was perhaps mid-20s, with long black hair, a feminine t-shirt, and jeans shorts. She never varied her pace. Strode along like she owned the place. I had to slam on my brakes as she walked out in front of T-Hoe. And do you know what she did??? She turned to give me the stink-eye! Like I was in the wrong, for driving T-Hoe the right way up the aisle in a parking lot! Whatever happened to looking both ways before venturing out into moving traffic? The Lot-Walker reminded me of the best footage of Bigfoot, lumbering along, swinging arms, then turning to look right at me.
This was not an isolated incident. The Common Senseless do this all the time. I understand that drivers need to be aware of foot traffic when backing out of convenience store parking spaces, and when pulling in. People go from the store to the gas pumps, and vice versa. If they're already in the driving lane, wait for them to cross. The key for the Lot-Walker is:  if a car is moving, don't walk into its path! Stop and wait until the coast is clear!

The solution for these Lot-Walkers is ADULT LEASHES. Somebody needs to be at the other end of their tether, to yank them out of harm's way like that dog-walker in National Lampoon's Vacation, when Clark Griswold fell asleep at the wheel.

Our last Common Senseless creature is the Battling Rammer. He barrels onto parking lots ready for a showdown. Usually in a pickup truck that has a little paint missing. Like the one who charged me at the Liquor Store on Tuesday.

I was parked up against the building, in the last space on the left, next to the ice machines. To leave this space, I have to back up, veer T-Hoe's butt to the right, in front of the building, avoiding the cars parked along the front, and the cars parked in the double row of three spaces perpendicular to the road. Then I can turn the wheel left, and pull up to the exit. Essentially, I make a sideways V shape in my backing-up pattern. 

The Battling Rammer flew in the exit (it can be an entrance or an exit, it's not marked). Rather than put on his brakes and wait his turn while I was midway into my V, he forged ahead into a parking space by the front of the building, causing ME to slam on my brakes! 

Funny how they used to teach drivers that if a car is backing out of a parking space, already IN MOTION, you slow down or stop until it's out. Not zoom into its path! I guess they're not teaching that concept any more.

The solution for a Battling Rammer is BUMPER CAR RUBBER SKIRTS. For all cars, because you never know when you're going to be the Rammee.

Surely there must be an investor itching to mass-produce these products to save the Common Senseless from themselves AND FROM US...

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

A Reuben For the Rube

Hick's favorite place to have lunch is the Senior Center over in Sis-Town. It's on Main Street, just a few blocks from The Pony's house. So it's handy when he's working there. If The Pony happens to be having a day off, and Hick has the trailer hitched to SilverRedO for tractor or lawn mower purposes, The Pony generously lends his Rogue for Hick to drive to lunch. He stops short of accompanying Hick, though!

Hick says the price of a lunch is $3 if you're over 65, and $5 if you're not. He has bought lunch there for Old Buddy a couple times, at that outrageous price of $5, heh, heh.

Anyhoo... Hick was off in the middle-er of nowhere Monday, working on Back-Creek Neighbor Bev's house. Old Buddy called out sick, so Hick finished up earlier, not having help with some of the items that he can't do alone. He was thrilled to get to the Senior Center before they stopped serving lunch at 11:30. 

I was home minding my own business and taking calls for Hick's business when I got a text at 12:46.

"I got a seniors meal for you I'm bringing home they had an extra on bringing it to you"


"It's a Reuben sandwich and salad"

At 1:15, my meal arrived. It was tied up in a white plastic bag.

"Who tied this, MY MOM???" She had a habit of double-and-triple-knotting the loops of those plastic bags, like the items inside were going to jump out and run away.

"No. The gal at the Senior Center. Here." Hick whipped out a pocket knife and started slashing. Inside was a styrofoam container with sections, and a small square container on top of it.
There's a Reuben sandwich (I cut it in half), a salad of iceberg lettuce, sliced ham, boiled egg, and the Blue Cheese dressing I added out of FRIG II. It came with a packet of Honey French dressing. I'm not one for a sweet salad dressing. In the back left section are sliced beets. And on the right, some Thousand Island dressing that I poured in, also from FRIG II, to use as a dipping sauce for my Reuben.

It was sweet of my Sweet Baboo to bring me lunch. I give it mixed reviews, though I would much rather have had it than not.

REUBEN: I'm not sure where the Senior Center got their recipe. They had the marble rye, which was great. I can't find it when I make my own at-home Reubens. The meat was not corned beef, but slices of beef like you might get in a Buddig lunch meat package. There was a generous portion. The cheese was white, not sure if it was Swiss or provolone. There were a few strands of sauerkraut, but I swear that most of the vegetable on that Reuben was shredded iceberg lettuce! I am not a fan of iceberg, and kept burping old iceberg after eating. I didn't notice any sauce on this sandwich, so I'm glad I had my Thousand Island.

SALAD: It was okay for an iceberg lettuce salad. The meat and egg were plentiful. No cheese, but it had shredded carrots. I don't like carrots in my salad. At the bottom I found a lump. I thought it might have been a piece of egg yolk covered with my Blue Cheese, but it was a crouton! A single crouton! Not crunchy, on the bottom of my salad.

BEETS: Don't know. Never gonna know. I don't eat beets. Not even a taste. No siree, Bob! Not for me.

DESSERT: That was the small square container. It was Peach Crisp, I think. I opened it up, and the sweet smell almost put me into a coma! Hick swore that it was delicious, so I closed it up for him to have later. He's way more sweet-toothed than I.

Looks good enough, though I have a feeling it wasn't very "crisp."

"How long was my food tied up in a plastic bag?"

"I don't know. I ate at 11:30. Then they were closing. They had 3 dinners left. People had ordered them for pickup, but never showed up."

"Did you pay for it?"

"No. They didn't want money. They gave one to me, and the other two to two other guys. So they didn't waste it. I didn't feel bad, though, because I didn't have three ones to pay for mine, so I put in a five. So they got extra."

"I'm just asking how long, because it was served at 11:30, and I didn't get it until 1:15. So I don't know where you were, and if it was sitting in the hot truck, all tied up in that plastic bag. I hope I don't get Senior Center's Revenge! My salad and sandwich were the same temperature!"

"I'm sure you'll be fine."

Notice Hick STILL did not say where my food had been all that time!
"I wish there'd been more kraut. I swear they put shredded lettuce on my sandwich! Maybe they ran out of kraut..."
"It probably WAS shredded lettuce. They had the shredded mixed with the regular lettuce for the salad, too."

Anyhoo... it was nice of Hick to bring it to me, and it was tasty enough. I didn't even stab a gum or break a tooth on that little bone I found in the sandwich...

Monday, September 12, 2022

The Dogs Are Onto Hick's Tricks

Poor Hick. He can't even outsmart Jack and Juno.
Hick bought the dog food they don't like. Granted, our fleabags are finicky. They used to LOVE the cat kibble I gave them as a treat. With no cats, we have no kibble. That stuff had multi-colored nuggets in the mix. So Hick thought he was doing the dogs a favor by buying dog food with multi-colored nuggets. 
Several times over the past couple years, Hick has bought the multi-colored dog food. I don't know the brand. Hick dumps it in a plastic trash can with a lid, then throws away the bag. Every time he buys this food, I have to point out that the dogs don't like it. Won't eat it. Hick is in denial.
"When I leave for town, they both have a full bowl! They are not eating the dog food. They don't like that kind."
"They eat it. When I come home around 5:00, their bowls are empty."
"That's because the squirrels eat it. And the birds. It takes them all day. With the old food, it was gone when I left."
"They DID used to start eating it as soon as I put it out. They must not be hungry in the mornings when I put this food out."
"They don't eat it! You need to get them regular food like they've been eating. Juno is old. She's got stick legs! She only looks normal because her fur is matted. It's her molting time."
 Hick would not admit defeat or wrong-doing, but he DID buy dog food a few days ago.

"I got their other food."

"Oh. So are you going to give away the kind they don't like?"

"No. I'm mixing it together."

Sounds reasonable in theory. But Hick is forgetting that dogs have a pretty good sense of smell. And Jack and Juno are still not eating their food. It was there when I left on Sunday.

That's Juno's bowl. Technically, it's the pan Hick uses to scoop the dog food, sitting IN Juno's bowl. Juno gets a full pan, and Jack gets a half. Which is still too much food. Even when they eat it, some is left for the squirrels to scavenge. Even the squirrels don't care much for this food, for so much to be left in that pan midday. You can see two kinds of food. But dogs can't pick out what they like. When I got home, Jack's small food bowl was empty, but I suspect it was eaten by Copper Jack, who lurks on our porch most of the day.

I guess Hick needs to readjust his ratios if he wants to trick those dogs into eating food they don't like. In the meantime, I'm doing him no favors by doling out hearty treats at the kitchen door. They enjoyed their half-thawed chicken burritos greatly.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Technically, It's Still Summer

I suppose Labor Day signifies the end of summer. Don't worry, I'm not planning on wearing white. I'm just wondering how much more retailers can rush the seasons.
Country Mart has had Halloween candy on display by the registers for about a month now. And on FRIDAY, they had a Halloween display set up outside! I didn't take a picture then, because the sky was overcast. But Saturday, I snapped it:
I couldn't get a better one, because I don't park in the handicap spaces. No need to here, since the parking lot is level, and there are spaces with those striped walkways that allow T-Hoe's door to open unmolested, even if a close-parker crosses the line.
Those are some shapely pumpkins. They are advertised as jack-o-lanters. I suspect some are not pumpkins at all, but gourds. The wildly colored ones. I believe the prices are $8 for both the pumpkins and the hay bales. I have no idea if that's a bargain. Probably not. It's most likely highway robbery, considering the food prices inside!

Anyhoo... I gotta admit, the slant of the sun DOES make it seem like fall already.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

DIMES In Sight Waitin', Never Keeping Them Gems

I coulda had a trifecta. But no. My honesty's too much. And I'd have to (do more than) close my eyes to hide! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
SUNDAY, September 4, I switched up my plan and went in the Liquor Store instead of Casey's. There on the floor was VALidation for my choice.
Looks like they did NOT throw away that problematic rug, but perhaps rotate it with the plain (clean) one. I think this one needs to be retired!

It was a face-down 1975 penny. Old Abe was probably gagging with his face in that rug!

TUESDAY, September 6, I found a treasure on my way out of the Gas Station Chicken Store. Shining so bright I couldn't miss it.

Storm clouds rolling in, but the sun was bright for my discovery!

It was a face-down 2013 NICKEL! I lurrrves me some nickels! You can bet that beauty went straight into my shirt pocket.

Now here's the tragedy. At my first stop on Tuesday, at the Sis-Town Casey's, there was a DIME ON THE COUNTER! It was out of view of the cashier. In front of the card-scanner thingy that I have to type in a number so Hick can get his rewards. No rewards for scratchers, though! Just for gas or merchandise. 

Anyhoo... I WANTED that dime, but I daren't touch it! That doesn't seem fair. I harvest my coins from the ground and floor. Taking one from the counter would be like going on safari and bagging a critter that was tied up with a leash! So I left that sleeping dime lie. I don't need a bad mark on my permanent record. But I mourn the loss of a penny/nickel/dime trifecta.
I also found a nickel in my dryer on Sunday, after Hick did his laundry. I put it on top. Didn't take it. Again, it didn't seem fair. Ooh, the silvermanity this week!

WEDNESDAY, September 7, I was back in the Liquor Store, bellied up to the counter, when I surveyed that travesty of a rug.

Icky-poo! I feel like I need a tetanus booster every time I pick up a coin off that nasty rug.

It was a heads-up 2021 penny, so clean on that dirty surface.

A quick right turn out of the parking lot, then an immediate left, put me at the Backroads Casey's. I was thrilled to have time in line to snatch a penny from the left, while an old man at the register detailed his gas woes.

The object of my desire was NOT too far under the rack for my toe to reach!

It was a face-down 2015 penny. BUT WAIT! It had a buddy on the other side of the waiting line.

Ripe for the toe-picking! Surely dropped by a different person, since it would be hard to have one bounce so far to the left, around the case of some kind of beverage they've placed awkwardly.

It was a face-down 1991 penny, showing some character with a nice patina.

The unearned coin plot thickens! Friday afternoon, I put a load of clothes in the washer. When I went back to transfer them to the dryer, a DIME was clanking at the bottom! Let the record show that the items in the wash were: 3 bath towels, 4 panties, 1 pajama pants. NOTHING with a pocket, nothing that would have held a dime. What in the Not-Heaven? I did not claim this dime, either. Though it seems it was meant for me to find. Hick hasn't done laundry this week. The last load I had in was underwear, socks, and towels.

That's 5 COINS this week, for 9 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune! [And two dimes and a nickel that I rejected due to suspicious circumstances!]


Penny          # 88, 89, 90, 91.
Dime            still at 17.
Nickel          # 6.
Quarter       still at 6.

Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6