Thursday, August 31, 2023

Hick's Struggle Is Real, and It Continues

Hick went to play bingo again on Wednesday night. He didn't win anything! I had asked him to at least get a picture of his food, so I'd have something to report. In true Hick fashion, he FORGOT to take a picture of his food. Which he said was some nachos.

"With meat?"

"Yeah. With hamburger. And salsa. And jalapenos. And the stuff you put in nachos."

He DID take a picture of the grand prize:

"Tonight's big prize was a computer! My buddy came to play for the first time, and he won it! But a lady won it, too. Them two tied. So they had a tiebreaker, and the lady got it."

Huh. I'd be really disappointed if I won a Chromebook on my first night playing bingo, and had it taken away in a tiebreaker! Hick said there were some "little prizes" too, but I don't know what he was talking about, because he didn't describe them, and I don't really see them in this picture. I DO notice what seems to be that insurance salesman Mayhem in a commercial on the big TV.

Anyhoo... Hick also took a picture of his table.

"I knew I messed up when I forgot to take a picture of my nachos until after I ate them. So I took a picture of our table."

As happy as they appear here, I'm pretty sure Hick's chums didn't go to play bingo with the purpose of having their faces splashed all over my blog. The little gal in the back would have been smiling, but her "face" was behind that tool on my photo editor that let me choose the ink color. So every time I tried to give her a smile, it took me out of the picture and said it was "letting my ink dry."

Anyhoo... it looks like a jolly group. Though they might be in need of their own Johnny-On-the-Spot, what with all the drinks on that table!

I'm sure Hick will play again. Maybe even win something...

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Hick Must Be In Cahoots With The Universe

I am grateful for Hick's assistance in my unfortunate loss of power on the Save A Lot parking lot. Really. And for him taking T-Hoe back to town for a new battery. However...

Hick must be in cahoots with The Universe, conspiring to make my life more difficult right after making it better! When he left to get the new battery, I instructed him not to mess with any of my settings. He is notorious for changing radio stations and volume and seat position, then not returning them to their starting states.

When I went to the garage the next day, T-Hoe was parked where the driver's door would not open completely! That's because Hick left him too far back, where the door hit an electrical box mounted between the 2 x 4 studs of the garage wall.

Good thing I checked the seat. The lever moved it back four inches. When I wiggled myself up into the seat, it felt like my head was going to hit the ceiling! And I was tilted back so far I was ready to launch into space. I pushed the button on the door labeled "1" and my seat lowered and tilted forward. Hick had NOT returned my seat, but left it on his own "2" setting.

My clock read 11:55 a.m. Even though my phone said it was 3:49 p.m. Also, the date revealed that I had traveled back in time to January 1, 2005. T-Hoe wasn't even born then!

The driver and passenger windows were halfway down. That is not recommended! What if a mouse got in there overnight???

My radio was still on the same six stations I had left it on. But the information showing was the name of the radio station. Not the name of the ARTIST, as had been my setting.

As far as I could tell, Hick had not changed the position of my mirrors. Likely that's because the inside controls don't work...

As I went up the driveway, Hick was mowing the front yard/field. He waved gaily at me. I'm pretty sure he thought I was waving back, though in all actuality, I was shaking my fist.

Hick later said that he did NOT mess with my radio or clock. His excuse was that when the battery was off, the stuff reset itself. Hmpf. When that battery was dead as a doornail in town, before Hick gave me a jumping, the radio and clock were just fine.

No excuses were made for the bad parking (he's been lectured before!), or the windows down.  As for the seat position, Hick swore that he pushed that "1" button to get my settings back. And that probably it didn't work because the door was open with the ignition off. Not so fast, Hickster! It works like that.

Anyhoo... T-Hoe is rolling again, and I have reset the settings to my liking. At least until the next time Hick drives T-Hoe.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

The Universe Continues Conspiring Against Val

I left for town a bit early on Monday, to get to Save A Lot before the after-prison and after-school crowd. I parked facing the store, hoping to come out before the car next to me left, and a close-parker took the space.

The shopping went well. I got everything I went in for. Bananas, dill pickle spears, paper plates, salsa, green beans, and individual mini bags of assorted potato chips. Along with some hamburger and bratwursts that looked too good to pass up. I was second in line, and had an efficient old-lady checker. Sturdy boxes were up front under the bagging counter. So I was out of there within 20 minutes of entry.

Back outside, I stowed away my groceries, returned the cart to the corral, and started up T-Hoe. And started up T-Hoe. Um. T-HOE WOULD NOT START!

Well. That was a fine kettle of fish. I called Hick, hoping he would answer. He did! Not only that, but he was just across the street at the Do-It Center. I had power to put the windows down. At least it was a balmy 82 degrees, rather than 102. I opened T-Hoe's door and closed it, so the radio and power went off. You never know if that's a good thing, when your car won't start.

Hick arrived within 10 minutes. 

"What's it doing? Will it turn over?"

No. It would not. Just a little clicky noise. 

"Your battery is dead."

Hick popped open the hood and jiggled the battery cables. Told me to try again. Nothing.

"I need to go borrow some jumper cables. I'll go up to Mick's and get a set."

"How are you going to be able to reach my battery?"

"I'll park across from you. I'll have to wait until that car leaves, then try to get around there before someone else parks in it."

Of all the people not to carry jumper cables, I would never have picked Hick! Even The Pony carries a set of jumper cables, and he doesn't even know how to use them!

Anyhoo... Hick returned with not just jumper cables, but a little case that is a charger thingy, so all he had to do was hook it up to my battery. Started first time.

"At what point are you? Do you still have to shop? You're good unless you turn off the car."

"No. I got it already. But I was going to get some lottery tickets. I don't guess you'd like to ride along and sit in the car while I go in..."

"Just leave it running. Nobody's going to steal it around here."

What an insult to T-Hoe!

"I'll take this charger back, and follow you home."

"Wait. If it's going to run, why would you need to follow me?"

"To bring your car back to town to get a battery put in!"

Oh. Nevermind. I felt funny leaving T-Hoe running while I went into the Gas Station Chicken Store. But Hick was right. Nobody took T-Hoe.

I am now $253.80 poorer, and one battery richer. I asked Hick how old my old battery was.

"I'm not sure. Five or six years, maybe. I think the last time I got you one was before I retired. So even older than that."

Yeah. Hick retired in 2017. He really needs to take better care of me T-Hoe. What if he hadn't answered his phone? Hick said I could have called AAA. Huh. That's why I have HICK! 

Monday, August 28, 2023

It's Safe to Say The Pony Has a Sweet Tooth

Man does not live by bread alone. And The Pony does not survive on savory treats. A few weeks ago, he sent me a picture. I was too consumed with looking at photos of The Pony's dog bite leg to consider this one. But here it is now...

This was the day after The Pony's dog bite. He went by the store on his way home from work. As he said:

"I went snack shopping. The perils of going to the store while hungry."

I don't begrudge The Pony his purchase of sweet treats. I suppose if I had a dog bite with a spreading bruise, I might want some comfort foods, too.

Let the record show that The Pony only shops about once a month. So this was not all going to be consumed in one sitting. Though I suspect it's probably gone by now.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Scarlett Doghouses Herself

Our new dog Scarlett, the Australian shepherd we took in from a local law enforcement officer who didn't want to keep her in a crate in an apartment for 12 hours a day, has outsmarted herself. Put herself right in the doghouse. Figuratively.

When I come home from town, I give the dogs a treat. It's some form of leftover, often stale bread that has been swiped through meat juice. The current treat consists of week-old hot dog buns dredged in the pan from green beans cooked with bacon. The crusty treats sit on the kitchen counter on a paper plate, near the back door.

Scarlett finally learned to STAY HOME and not roam the countryside, waiting on other people's porches until they called or contacted Hick on Facebook to retrieve her. She is a spirited young thing, very flighty and bouncy and hyper. A rude shove to her shoulder taught her not to jump up and rebound from Val's belly. She has more or less been behaving herself for weeks now.

Friday, I had groceries in a box from Save A Lot. There were actually two boxes, but I fit most of it into one box when I got home. Carried it from garage to side porch, where I placed that box on a chair. I went to unlock the kitchen door and put my purse inside. The dogs know they don't get their treat until everything is carried in. Well. Jack knows. Copper Jack knows. My Dear Departed Juno used to know. Scarlett seemed to understand...

Upon carrying in the box, I dropped a bag of hot dog buns. The box inside, I went back around the corner to grab those buns. Scarlett has a habit of running into the house. Not far. Just to the kitchen table. When I tell her GET OUT, or GET BACK, she does. Backs up to the doghouse that used to belong to Juno, right outside the kitchen door, and waits for me to dole out the treats.

When I rounded the corner with my bag of buns, I saw Scarlett in the kitchen, JUMPING UP TO THE COUNTER AND GRABBING THE PLATE OF TREATS!!! It crashed down on her, scaring her, and she didn't get a chance to eat one before I bellowed, "SCARLETT!!! BAD DOG!!!" She pranced out of the house and past me, realizing her faux pas.

Here's the thing. Scarlett is too smart. She is a breed that has been developed to herd and protect, and solve her own problems. She knows where the treats are located, and can leap like a kangaroo, though not actually hailing from the land down under. She wanted her treat, didn't have patience to wait for it, and helped herself.

I'm not having it! I have a "persuader" at the ready, for the next time Scarlett dares set foot into the kitchen. No more allowing a few steps in and telling her to get out. Zero tolerance from now on. On the counter lies a catalog for whacking. 

Not a catalog like the Sears Fall and Winter. It's an advertisement. My kids call it a magazine. Not a magazine like Vogue. A thin circular. Specifically, B.A. Mason, a footwear advertisement, from which I ordered The Pony's work shoes. I am not out to maim Scarlett, but only wish to get her attention. It's not like I'm going to roll it up to clobber her with a home-run swing from a Louisville Slugger. I aim to startle her by holding that B.A. Mason by the spine, and swatting her with the flappy pages, while shouting, "SCARLETT!!! NO!!!"

On Saturday, when I opened the door to go out, both dogs came running as usual. But Scarlett did not leap in front of me as if on springs. She trotted around, saw my face, and skulked. Turned around to wait for me to go to the side porch. Did not approach the door. She remembered her shaming!

When I got home, the dogs followed me to the kitchen door. Scarlett sidled around the garden window of the kitchen, biding her time, not trying to rush in when I opened the door. I had my B.A. Mason at the ready. But she did NOT step over the threshold. She waited beside Juno's doghouse until I tossed her crusty bun.

I think our little girl is a fast learner, though somewhat stubborn when she thinks she can get away with it. 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

One Singular CENTsation

Better one than none! It was not a banner week for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.

MONDAY, August 21, Even Steven found me at my new store, the Sis-Town Country Mart. I was wheeling out my cart/walker when right outside the main door, I spied a penny! I could not stop for a picture. The parking lot slopes down, and my cart/walker would have run away from me down the grade, had I taken my hands off to take a picture. I'm not some long-fingered wizard who can take a phone picture with one hand. Anyhoo... I held onto the cart/walker and ample-rumpused my way to snatch that penny from the pavement.

Here it is on my kitchen counter. It was face-down when I found it. A 2021 shiny penny.

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


Penny           # 74.
Dime             still at 13
Nickel           still at 1
Quarter        still at 3


Penny           124
Dime              21
Nickel              7
Quarter             9


Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, August 25, 2023

Flippin' Hick

Hick has been working steadily on half of the Double Hovel flip house. I'd show you a few pictures, but in his typical photographic style, he has given me tight closeups that make it hard to discern which room is represented. Kind of the opposite style of his portraits of people, which show a tiny subject you must find in a vast sea of surroundings.

Anyhoo... both bathrooms are pretty much done, with toilets installed, and running water. Drywall is up in the bedrooms. Flooring is down in the bedrooms. Wednesday, the air conditioning guy put in the AC, but something isn't working, so he's ordered a part.

Thursday afternoon, a call came in on the house phone, with no message left. I saw the name and number, and asked Hick if it was somebody he knew. He said it was the guy who called him before about buying the flip house. The guy who didn't get back to Hick after Hick stood firm on the price we were asking for the property we didn't really want to sell. No idea what he wanted, but much more work has been done now, with added expense, so I'm sure that guy really wouldn't like our current asking price. Hick did not care enough to give him a call. 

You'd think somebody was advertising our property! A few hours later, the house phone rang. No name on the caller ID. No message. Immediately after the machine hung up, my cell phone rang. I rarely answer numbers I don't know. I had a hunch the previous day, and picked up, and it was my doctor's office scheduling an appointment for November. So this time, I also picked up, not seeing a SCAM LIKELY notice pop up. 

It was a guy asking for Hick, about his Double Hovel property! I have no idea how he got my number, but I handed over the phone. The guy said he noticed (?) that Hick had several properties throughout the county, and was he interested in selling any. He did not seem at all interested in the double lot in Backroads, which is suitable for building a single family home or a duplex. He wants to look at the Double Hovel on Monday.

At least I have the weekend to add up our expenditures, and discuss a new minimum sale price with Hick. You never know. Hick is willing to part with it for the right profit.

Funny how an hour later, The Pony sent me a text about a property he saw for sale that would make a good flip house. It's almost like The Universe is trying to tell us something.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Mainstream Bingo Ain't That Easy

A couple weeks ago, Hick joined some of his Senior Center cronies to play bingo at a local sports bar. He won NOTHING! And affirmed my comment that it must be harder to win when playing against people who are younger than Methuselah's granddad, who actually pay attention, and can see their bingo card.

Hick was disappointed that he didn't win a "price." But he got over the shock. In fact, he went back last night. It costs nothing to play. I'm sure the sports bar makes a profit on their eats and drinks. Bingo must be a good tactic to fill the place on a Wednesday night. Hick said that last time, there were 197 people playing. The grand prize was a kayak. To win it, you had to be the first person to bingo with an X in the ninth game, the last game of the night.

The new grand prize is a wood-pellet grill and smoker. Hick said if he wins that, he will keep it, not sell it. He also said there are several other "prices," but didn't explain what it takes to win them. No, it's not toilet paper, or a Duck Dynasty Si that talks when you pull his beard. Some are cash, like $100. One was a 72 inch flat-screen TV. The one Hick most wants to win is the jackpot you get if you can bingo in less than 11 numbers, I think. That "price" is up to $10,000 !!!! Again, I'm not clear on where this money comes from if there is no fee to play. Hick says this sports bar is linked up with a lot of other businesses for this bingo game. So they're not the one giving out $10,000 (or more).

Anyhoo... this new hobby keeps Hick off the streets, and I don't have to cook supper for him.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Val Tries To Be a Cool Customer

I had a package delivered on Tuesday. I try to steer away from that. I was hoping my item would be available for pick-up at Walmart, since Hick had volunteered to swing by there. It was actually his idea. But of course the item I needed was not available in store. NOR was it available to be shipped to the store. But it could get to my house by the next day. What kind of dark magic is THAT?

Anyhoo... it came by FedEx. We do not have good luck, or even reasonable customer service, with FedEx. I got an email that my package would arrive between 10:20 and 2:20. I was home. I was ready. The plan was to call off the dogs as soon as I heard them start dogging. They live to bark. They sometimes even work overtime at it, into the wee hours of the night.

Anyhoo... it was SO HOT. Heat index supposed to be around 114. The Pony had the day off, giving me more time to get ready to worry about him on Wednesday-Friday. Thinking of my poor little Pony, I had some sympathy for the FedEx driver. I put a bottle of lemon-lime Gatorade in FRIG II, after giving it a quick-cool in the freezer for 30 minutes.

When I heard the dogs, I grabbed that Gatorade and put it in the pocket of my sweatshirt. I opened the front door, and saw the FedEx truck parked behind the garage. I called to my dogs. Jack immediately trotted across Hick's brick sidewalk and up onto the porch to prop his front feet on my leg and lick my petting hand. Scarlett is not a very enthusiastic barker. She came to the porch, and stood halfway between me and the end, giving a gruff woof every now and then. Copper Jack continued to bark his fool head off. He doesn't take orders from me. 

This FedEx guy was not dogphobic. He carried my package up onto the porch without flinching. He was a chubby cherub of a guy (as opposed to an emaciated cherub) with reddish curls poking out from under his cap. I signed with a finger on his phone thingy. Then I offered him the Gatorade from my pocket.

"I have a cold Gatorade if you'd like it. Terribly hot today."

"No thank you. I'm good. But it's really hot and muggy out here."

Maybe he didn't like Gatorade. Maybe all the houses gave him some. Maybe he's allergic to it. Maybe he thought I was a serial killer who injected it with poison in a syringe. But I tried. 

I'd like to think that people do the same for my little Pony. He said that the previous day, a house had a sign that said, "Knock if you want some cold water." He didn't, because it was his last walking loop, and he was headed back to the office. But somebody tried, anyway.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Freebie, Freebie, Who Got the Freebie?

C'mon! You know darn well it was HICK! 

I was chatting with Hick before he left for the auction on Monday, and he said,

"Did you see my whiskey?"

"No. What do you mean? I just bought you a bottle the other day."

"My buddy give me one. A bottle of Wild Turkey 101. So I bought him a $3 lunch at the Senior Center. The other day down at the lockers we was talkin' about the heat. He said he sure liked a cold beer, and I said I liked a cold mixed drink with Wild Turkey. Then I was gettin' out of my truck for lunch, and he said, 'Come over here.' And he handed me a bottle of Wild Turkey! What's that cost, about 20 bucks? The regular size bottle."

"You mean like a fifth? That's probably $26 with tax. It used to be cheaper. I think around $22 when I first started getting it at Country Mart. But last time it was around $26. They're pretty high on things. But I'm pretty sure it would have been over $20, wherever he got it."

"I cain't figure out why he'd give it to me. Unless it's because I gave him some insulation. And I told him he could have however much he needs, because I cain't use it all. That stuff I bought from HOS. So maybe he's just thanking me for the insulation."

"That's probably it. Most people don't go around handing out fifths of whiskey. Even to YOU!"

Monday, August 21, 2023

The Blind Trying to Lead the Not-So-Blind

Hick had cataract surgery on Friday. He has been trying to persuade me to schedule an appointment, but I am having none of that. My eye doctor did not say my issue was immediate. Though that was several years ago...

Anyhoo... according to Hick (before his surgery), it's a simple procedure. Only takes 10 minutes or so. They don't knock you out. You sit in the exam chair. His buddies who had it were driving the next day. Piece of cake, according to Hick. BEFORE his surgery.

The Veteran came out at 5:30 a.m. to pick up Hick and drive him to his 6:30 surgery. It was over in Bill-Paying Town, which is a 30-40 minute drive, depending on the route. Hick had to be there by 6:15. Well. Nobody bothered to update me on the proceedings. By 9:30, I was getting a little worried. Hick only has vision in one eye, you know. So this was not a procedure that I took lightly.

At 10:00, the patient and his chauffeur arrived home. According to The Veteran, Hick was back in the surgery area for two hours. Hick had a cotton ball taped to his inner wrist/thumb area. He told a tale that curled my eyelashes!

"I had to take off all my clothes except my underwear, and put on a hospital gown. They laid me down on an operating table. The doctor asked me if I wanted to pray with him and his helper before the surgery. The worst part was when they taped my top eyelid and my bottom eyelid to my face, and the nurse scrubbed my eyeball three or four times. I was awake, but I didn't really care because of the anesthesia. 

I have to put in my eyedrops every four hours, and wait 5 minutes between them. I cain't see, so the bottles are different colors so I know which ones to use first. The doctor says I will probably need new glasses, but to wait a month before doing that. To get a pair of cheaters to wear so I can see close up."

Hick had the option of getting a lens to see far away, or up close. He considered the choice for about a day. I said I'd get the close-up lens, because then I could see my phone and be able to read. That I could wear glasses to drive an see far away. But it would be a pain to put on a pair of glasses every time I wanted to look at my phone.

Hick disagree, and got the long vision lens. So he can drive and see the TV, but needs glasses for his phone. Hick spends a LOT of time on his phone! In fact, he looks at it while driving (!), which is now against the law here in Missouri. We'll see how long before he bemoans his long-distance lens.

Anyhoo... Hick had a follow-up appointment that afternoon at 1:45. He said he was going to DRIVE HIMSELF! And that before that, he'd be driving himself to lunch at the Senior Center. No bingo, though, because he COULDN'T SEE! He said the doctor told him he would be okay to drive, as long as he didn't feel like the anesthesia was still affecting him.

Hick had a pair of black Roy Orbison glasses. The Veteran told him to put them on, then took a picture of him, snickering. Hick said he could already see better at a distance. So I'm glad that worked out for him.

For a week, Hick has to tape a clear patch thingy over his eye at night, to make sure he doesn't scratch his new lens.

Turns out cataract surgery is a little more complicated than the tale Hick was spinning...

Sunday, August 20, 2023

ClerkTales With Val: The High and the Flighty

Friday, Val was again clerkily challenged. Two of the three cashiers I did business with could have used a job coach to bolster their skills. That is not to say they were unpleasant. They were polite and welcoming. But not quite up to par on the demands of their job.

One guy is fairly new at the Liquor Store. He'd waited on me a couple days previous, and was sweet as pie. I think he might have transferred there from another location. He's really slow, but seems to know what he's doing. I'm pretty sure the reason for his slowness is the inhalation or ingestion of now-legal weed.

Nothing ruffles HighBoy. He has long flowing locks, and an easy-going personality. He eventually gets the job done. The first time he waited on me, I was the only customer in the store. He cashed out my winners, and got my other scratchers. His motions were comparable to being underwater. So slow. He made eye contact, was pleasant, engaged in a little small talk. In addition to my scratchers, I bought a bottle of Hick's whiskey. 

I usually have the exact amount ready for my scratchers, but the cost of whiskey threw me off. I got back some bills, and 93 cents in coins.

"Sorry about that. I usually have correct change."

"Don't you ever apologize to me! I am here to make change. It's fine. Good luck on your tickets. You be safe out there, and enjoy the rest of your evening."

I put the 93 cents in his tip cup. Just because. I figured he could use it more than Hick. I don't deal with change any more, now that I don't get my daily 44 oz Diet Coke.

This time, I paid in exact cash. So no tip. Not because he did anything wrong. He was just so very slow, and there were five people behind me by the time I was done. There had been three ahead of me, and I waited quite a while for that turn. 

The next clerkily challenged cashier was a new gal at the Backroads Casey's. She was barely into her 20s. Dressed presentably. Long hair pulled back out of her face. Polite. But barely able to do the job. I think it was more a case of being new, rather than not caring or being incapable.

I asked for my scratchers by number. Paid cash, so she didn't even have to scan any winners. At least she laid them down face-up on the counter as she scanned them. I saw right away that she had given me a $3 bingo ticket in place of the $3 Froot Loot that I had asked for. I pointed that out. She pleasantly put the bingo back in the case, and got my Froot Loot. Yet when she rang it up, the fee was $3 over what it should have been.

"No, that's $3 too much. See? You've forgotten to take off the bingo ticket you put back."

NewGal corrected the register. I paid her with exact cash. She apologized, but I told her it was not a problem, that I just wanted the tickets I had asked for. Not a big deal.

Yesterday, I was back in the Backroads Casey's. I waited in line at the right register, which is next to the display of scratchers. NewGal was working at the left register. She was finished with her customer, and had nobody. Yet I waited in the right line. She caught my eye and nodded her head that I could move to her register.

"Sorry. I can't see the lottery numbers from over there. I'm fine."

She gave me the thumbs-up. No malice. I was not avoiding her. I'm sure she would have done fine this time, IF I could have seen the ticket numbers to tell her what I wanted.

It was a relief to get to the Gas Station Chicken Store, to interact with my favorite cashier. She has been there for years, off and on, and is always cheerful and efficient. The others will eventually get to that point, I think...

Politeness and a pleasant attitude can make up for less-than-perfect service.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

COINcentration Is Required

Finding coins throughout the week is not a simple task. Val must keep her head in the game, watching the pavement coming and going. Many a penny has been spied on the way back to T-Hoe, when none was apparent on the trip in.

That's what happened SATURDAY, August 12, at the Liquor Store. No penny observed on the way into the store, but there one was upon my exit.

Do you think maybe it crawled out of that crack while I was inside? Me neither.

It was a face-down 20. That's right. A 20. I could only read the first two letters of the date, due to scratching from cars running over this little gem.

THURSDAY, August 17, I found a treasure on my way into the Sis-Town Casey's to pre-pay for T-Hoe's gas. Good thing I waited for a car to drive by, or it might have hit me while I was in the handicap walkway where I found the penny. Since you can see that the driver did not understand the meaning of parking LINES. That car actually had a handicap license plate, and was at least halfway parked in the handicap space.

I was a bit uncomfortable taking my picture and picking up my penny, being so close to the side of that car. I didn't notice if anybody was in the passenger seat. They could have flung open the door to thwart my efforts if they thought I was up to ne'er-do-well-ness.

It was a shiny, shiny, face-down 2015 penny. But WAIT!

On the way back to T-Hoe to pump my gas, ANOTHER penny demanded my attention!

It's under the stain blob closest to the yellow line. SOMEBODY who works at that Casey's needs to get out there with the hose and clean the parking lot!

This one was a face-down 2012, a bit rougher than his look-alike buddy.

That's 3 COINS this week, for 3 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny           # 71, 72, 73.
Dime             still at 13
Nickel           still at 1
Quarter        still at 3


Penny           124
Dime              21
Nickel              7
Quarter             9


Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, August 18, 2023

Askin' For an Axin'

Once again, I found myself in line at the School-Turn Casey's on Thursday. The pleasant bearded clerk was still working the register on the left. He didn't mention the thrice-scan technique for the card-reader, so I'm guessing that issue was fixed. 

This time, the register on the right was also open. Not that it made service any faster. Bearded Guy was again bagging a dude's items. Too many! This is not Walmart! The gal on the right looked just like the sarcastic character Mona that Kat Dennings played in The House Bunny. [2:34 trailer on YouTube] Gotta say, that's one of my favorite movies, and one of my favorite characters. 
Sullen Gal, the clerk, not so much.

She had the short black hair, a facial piercing or two, and the black hoodie of the Kat Dennings character. I don't mind the first two. People can style themselves as they wish, as long as they are presentable in the workplace. Sullen Gal was NOT! She was wearing the hood UP on that freakin' hoodie! Not a good look for a business, unless it's in the business of selling hoodies.

Both customers ahead of me were done. Bearded Guy was trying to deal with two slips of paper that are the receipts from winning draw tickets. I'm sure they must be accounted for in the cash drawer, or a lottery bag. Sullen Gal kept walking over to talk to him, phone in hand as it had been during the previous guy's transaction. Not just holding it. Actively swiping it. Complaining that she was denied her password for the THIRD TIME, and had to reset it AGAIN.

That seems like personal business to me. Not only was she taking up MY time, and that of other customers waiting in line, but also that of Bearded Guy, preventing him from doing his duties. Sullen Gal could not have been less interested in helping me. I was encroaching on her time with her phone, and whatever site she was trying to get into.

Seriously, people. Buy stock in handbaskets. Put a down payment on a handbasket. Give one a test drive. The world is about to take a ride south, and you want a sturdy vehicle for the journey.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

In the Other Corner of Val's Not-Heaven

Should Val find herself in Not-Heaven for eternity, with no electricity, flush toilets, internet, drinking water, showers, nor refrigeration... and then miraculously get a reprieve, the likelihood is that she would then find herself in line at a convenience store to buy scratchers. And that line would move at the pace of an arthritic nonagenarian snail. Like the line at the School-Turn Casey's on Wednesday.

Only one register was working. Somewhat. Gotta give credit to the clerk. He was as cheerful with each customer as humanly possible. No matter how doddering and infuriating they might be. Explaining to each that the card-scanner was not working properly, and they would need to insert their card and go through the process THREE TIMES, at which point it might work.

Three people were ahead of me. That's not bad for that store. The Pony has been lined up around the corner to the bathrooms, when trying to get a snack on his work break, in danger of his scanner calling him out for being stationary for too long. Really. How long could it take for three people to check out at a convenience store? That's not a rhetorical question. The answer is 16 minutes. 

I thought I was going to grow a long white beard, have time to braid it, then turn it into some futuristic pattern like a resident of The Capitol of Panem in The Hunger Games.

The first guy was a middle-aged man in shorts, paying for gas and a fountain drink and a slice of pizza and some things in a bag. If you need a bag at a convenience store, you have bought too much! He dutifully shoved his card in the reader three times. It worked.

The second lady was old, with a 44 oz fountain drink that was green in color and looked quite refreshing. She was also there for scratchers. She fell out of favor by asking the clerk, "What number is number 15 on?" When he told her number one, she took it. Then she asked, "What number is number 20 on?" When she found out it was number fifty-four, she didn't want it. So took a number 13 instead. Her total was $11.90. She tried her card three times. Nope. Didn't work. So she paid cash. Finally.

The third guy was an old man. He seemed a bit restless while waiting. Like maybe his knees hurt as bad as mine. He leaned on the counter a couple times, making me jealous that I was not close enough to do that. He had his card ready in his hand to pay for his gas. Oh, and he also got two PowerBall draw tickets. His card didn't work. So he got out his billfold to pay cash. Not sure of his total, but he got $2 back in change. Which he not-so-promptly slid one by one into his trifold wallet while resting it on the counter, before double-folding it and shoving it into his back pocket.

That clerk was as polite to me as if he'd just come on shift after hearing that a raise was imminent. I was shocked that there was not a line behind me. However, only two people had entered the store after me, both young men, together, who were either price-comparison shopping, or stealing Casey's blind.

Of course I paid with cash winning scratchers. No cards for Val in an inconvenience store.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Val Misses Paying Exorbitant Prices for Expired Foodstuffs

It has been 11 days since Country Mart closed for remodeling. I am sorely missing this establishment. I was in there every day to get my $3 scratchers out of their two lottery machines. Two or three times a week for bananas, and of course other items I felt like I needed since I was already there.

It behooved the buyer to beware while shopping in Country Mart. If you weren't careful, you'd find yourself at home, putting away goods that you noticed were EXPIRED! I had learned to take my glasses, and inspect the dates on every item before putting it in my cart/walker for purchase.

The prices were higher than those at Save A Lot and Walmart. But it was convenient to have parking spaces where I could guarantee that my door would not be blocked upon return. Also that I didn't have to hike the equivalent of the Appalachian Trail to gather groceries.

Well. Last week, I went to the Country Mart over in Sis-Town. It has two lottery machines, and the same stuff as the closed one. I did not notice any expired items, but then again, I didn't buy much. Mainly just the fried chicken dark meat Monday special and bananas and a 3-pack of Puffs With Lotion. It was not a rewarding experience. I hate new things.

Yesterday, I ventured into Save A Lot for my bananas. I made sure to go before the prison shift ended at 3:00, sending workers shooting out of their parking lot like crazed crackheads merging onto the autobahn. Imagine my surprise when those vehicles were already barreling at T-Hoe's side at 2:45! I guess some workers got off early for good behavior! Note-to-self: go shopping at 2:00 next time.

I found a parking spot facing Save A Lot. They have one long row of parking down the whole front of that mini mall that includes a Subway on one end, and a Dollar Store on the other. It's not nearly enough parking. All the spaces closest to the stores were taken, so I looped round to the opposite side. There were cars on both sides of T-Hoe. I could get the door open fully, because there was a tiny compact car on my left. Of course when I came out, a big pickup was there. So I could only get the door open one notch and a half. Which meant I had to hold onto the door while trying to wiggle my ample rumpus and unbendable knees back in.

Anyhoo...  here's the thing. No sooner had I pushed a cart/walker inside than people rushed in like the running of the bulls at Pamplona. I got trapped by the banana table while people just KEPT coming in, pushing their carts, forming a solid line from the bread racks, past the potatoes and onions, curving past the fruits and lettuces and corn, down the special sale shelves to the cheeses. I felt like I was on the infield at a NASCAR event, or perhaps a leg of the Triple Crown.

To make matters worse, it was apparently TRUCK DAY, and every employee save two were busy doing nothing but standing next to piled pallets of merchandise, casually chatting about how much work they had to do. It was enough to drive a teetotaler to drink! Which, by the way, would have been convenient, since Save A Lot NOW SELLS ALCOHOL! Not by the drink, but by the bottle. Never thought I'd see that happen. 

Anyhoo... I was still trying to navigate around the non-workers while the throngs started checking out. So there was only one customer ahead of me by the time I was ready. My checker was talking over her shoulder to the other checker.

"I know! It's been like this every day since Country Mart closed. The afternoon rush!"

Had I not just experienced it for myself, I might have thought they were full of bull. Country Mart never looked busy when I was there at this time. But somehow all those people had showed up at once. They weren't dressed like prison workers. And they weren't towing kids like will happen when school starts later in the week.

Looks like I'm going to have to start getting up early to avoid the crowds.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Bargains Cling To Hick Like Shrink-Wrap

Monday is the day for the dark meat fried chicken special at Country Mart. Now that the Backroads facility is closed for remodeling until November, we can only get it at the Sis-Town location. Probably after November, too, since one of the workers told me that the "new" version of the store won't have a deli.

Anyhoo... Hick was over at the Double Hovel flip house, stowing away some paint he'd bought. So I asked if he'd run by and get us some chicken. It's less than two miles from the Country Mart. He agreed. 

Hick arrived home with a box of chicken.

"They didn't have enough dark meat. So she gave me some white meat and said she hoped that was okay."

"She probably charged you for the 8-piece chicken."

"She said she didn't."

"The dark meat special is 12 pieces. Six legs and six thighs. For $8.99. They only have it on Mondays."

"I don't know what she put in there."

"Was it that young girl?"

"She was young. But not THAT young. Maybe 30. I think she said the manager forgot to order dark meat this week."

"Well. That's good customer service if she gave it to you for the dark meat price. They'd never do that at the Backroads store!"

When I got out the chicken to warm Hick's supper, I saw that the box contained three legs, three thighs, three wings, and three breasts. The receipt showed it was $8.99, plus tax.

That's a really good deal. I doubt they would have given it to me. Only to magical Hick.

Monday, August 14, 2023

The Package Deal

You may recall that The Pony had put a hold down on a mail route he likes in Backroads. The regular who held the route let him know that he'd be gone for a while, and might not return. The Pony doesn't have enough seniority to win a bid on that route. It is in demand because the day off is Monday, which gives the route-holder an actual weekend, since regulars don't have to work Sundays. The Pony knew when he got the hold down that it wouldn't last forever. Minimum was a month, but he was hoping for more time as the bids were sorted out, and the route assigned.

The Pony's hold down ended on Saturday. So at least he had six weeks of the route, rather than four. He was a bit apprehensive on Friday evening. Afraid he would be assigned to the route that the other regular had just vacated. The Pony does not like this route, which is over in Bill-Paying Town.

"I'll have to ask if I'm getting that route, or if I can get the usually undertime route over there, and just some extra work in and around the office to make up the hours. If the managers don't want to move me, I'll ask one of the CCAs (City Carrier Assistants) I like if they will put a hold down on it if they want it, because I'm explicitly NOT going to, and then the rules say they will get the hold down. Then I can get the undertime route that ends at Steak N Shake."

"What's the day off? Won't somebody else want that route he's giving up?"

"Some regular might want it. The day off is Tuesday, same as mine now. But that would take a month and change to resolve the bids. A month is a long time to be stuck on one you don't like. The vehicle isn't air conditioned. It's downtown Bill-Paying Town. One-way streets. Businesses. The courthouse. That's why I don't want it. Two of the CCAs like Bill-Paying Town more than I do, in general. I never put a hold down over there."

Talk turned to leave time. The Pony gets 13 days a year. After being a regular for three years, he will get 20 days a year.

"I'm thinking about volunteering for some holidays. You can get 8 hours of leave instead of the holiday pay. Labor Day and Columbus Day wouldn't be bad, since I still have my Tuesday off. Like, a three-day weekend if I don't work it. Or eight hours running packages, then not having to work the next day."

"Do you like packages?"

"PHRASING! And eh, for routes you know, they're easy."

"Heh, heh! I didn't think of my phrasing!" [Didn't consider the slang meaning of package.]

At 4:26 on Saturday, I got a text from The Pony:

"Forgot to say on my break. They gave me what I wanted-the undertime route, and I just pivot/case extra. I'll have an AC vehicle most or every day unless they move me to cover routes on callouts. 40 hours a week, but probably some over, which is fine."

So The Pony is happy, not being assigned to the route he detests. No definitive word on his package proposition.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Hick Gets Toweled Off and Dolled Up at Bingo

While I was moping around with nothing to do, bemoaning the loss of my internet... Hick's life continued as usual. Including bingo at the Senior Center on Wednesday. Surely you won't believe this, but he WON A PRIZE. It took several tellings for me to get the details. If you think Val is the master of a non-linear story, you should try to make sense of Hick's tales.

This is what he actually won:

Oh, look! Some towels for my kitchen! But that is NOT the picture Hick sent me while having his lunch of pork loin and salad, hoping for leftovers to bring home, but being offered none! Nope. 

THIS is the picture Hick sent me of his win:

A DOLL! A likeness of Si Robertson, from the show Duck Dynasty. If you pull on Si's beard, he talks. Supposely famous sayings of his from the show. I wouldn't know, because I never watched a full episode.

Anyhoo... Hick was telling me about his special "price," and then mentioned that he tied with a lady for it. Didn't make any sense to me. I had to drag the truth out of him, while he was busy telling me I cain't understand nothin'!

"Did you win that doll or not?"

"Yes. I won it. In the end, with the coverall bingo. Me and another lady (another? Is Hick calling himself a lady?) both got it at the same time. She said she'd trade me for my towels."

"Wait. What towels?"

"The towels I won in regular bingo. A pack of towels. That lady wanted them. So she said she'd trade me."

"Did she actually win the doll? Because how else could she trade you?"

"Val. I won the towels before. But that lady would rather have them than the doll. So she said if I'd give her the towels, she'd give me the doll. I don't know why you cain't understand a simple story!"

Well. I'm not sure how that doll was hers to give, if she and Hick tied for the "price." But anyhoo, Hick gave her the towels, and brought home Si Robertson. Left him in SilverRedO. Says he can sell Si for $10 at his SUS2 (Storage Unit Store 2). I guess there are fans that would like to yank on Si's beard.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Val Travels Through the Week in eCOINomy Class

This was a blue-collar week for Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune. Nothing flashy, nothing extravagant. Just a couple of finds that got the job done.

SATURDAY, August 5, I stopped by Orb K for my scratchers. A truck was in my preferred parking space. I pulled in next to it, and while I was gathering my phone and winners, the driver came out and left. So I backed up and re-parked. When I opened T-Hoe's door, I found a treat:

There it is, at the end of the door shadow. Don't think there are two. That other spot is gummy gum, which I avoided. There's something that pleases me concerning the geometry of this photo.

It was a face-down 1969 relic, which I pocketed, and headed inside, smugly congratulating myself on my good fortune. The minute I stepped through the door, the power went off! The kid clerking said loudly to his co-hort, "We're EFFED!" Only he said the real word. He called the manager, on speaker phone, saying the backup generator didn't come on. She said, "Get all the customers out of the store. Watch them closely!" What in the actual Not-Heaven? Because were were thieves, or in case we might throw ourselves onto the tile and claim injury for a lawsuit? Anyhoo... I had to leave without my scratchers, and take my business to the Liquor Store, where I won $30.

SUNDAY, August 6, I was back at Orb K to get those scratchers I had wanted. Again, my favorite parking spot was taken. I parked beside the white sedan in it. This driver was not so swift at taking care of business, so I went inside. Got my scratchers. Came back out, and that car was gone. Which revealed my prize that had been under it.

I opened T-Hoe's door while I took the picture, to prevent some speedy entitleist from ramming my ample rumpus while I took the closeup photo. You can see how far T-Hoe's door extends, even though I of course have parked him as close to the opposite line as possible. Parkers tend to shy away if somebody is entering or exiting their vehicle.

It was a face-down 1992 penny. And all my scratchers were losers. Day late, dollars short.

Not a great week, but still a week where pennies threw themselves into my path. ________________________________________________________________

That's 2 COINS this week, for 2 CENTS towards Val's Future Pennyillionaire Fortune!


Penny           # 69, 70.
Dime             still at 13
Nickel           still at 1
Quarter        still at 3


Penny           124
Dime              21
Nickel              7
Quarter             9


Penny        124
Dime           14
Nickel           7
Quarter         6

Friday, August 11, 2023

It's BAAAAAACK! And So is Val.

You may recall that I've been whining concerned about my internet for a few weeks now. It started with the loss of certain websites. No rhyme nor reason in my small mind. I could still get YouTube, but my hometown online newspaper wouldn't load. I could get some sites, but without comments. No Reddit would load. So it didn't seem to be subject matter, nor how much internet thingies I was soaking up trying to open certain websites.

We tried the old unplug it and then plug it back in technique, with moderate success. It would work fine, giving me all access for five or six hours. Then just a handful, like Blogger, YouTube, and Spotify. So I could still blog and read them, but no news or Facebook favorites like the lottery or casino.

Tuesday, my world came crashing down when I returned from town, and had NO INTERNET AT ALL! No storms. Nothing different. I was just cut off. BUT we still had internet access on our phones. I went so far as to leave the comment that I was internetless. But no way was I blogging on a phone! That's unnatural! What kind of psycho does that?

Genius tried his best to troubleshoot from Pittsburgh. I sent him the messages that popped up when I tried to access selected sites. He said it seemed like a combination of things wrong. Some seemed like HIPPIE, my laptop, who is at least 6 years old. Others were like a modem problem. Genius said to put our phones on AIRPLANE MODE, then turn wifi back on while in airplane. We had nothing. Which he said meant that our phones were just falling back on that amazing invisible juju that lets you get internet while you're driving around. NO! I don't mean I play with my phone while driving! I mean while being a passenger in a car. So the problem with my internet was coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!

Wednesday, I called DISH, which is how we get our internet, over a little satellite that is different from the TV. After a 5-minute wait (I know, I was shocked at how speedy it was, too!), I got a guy named Clarence who sounded like he was in India. He was polite enough, and understandable enough. But he kept asking me, "Now WHAT is your TV doing?" Finally he said he would get me to the right department. That's when I talked to Tony, who sounded like a chill nerd who was talking me down from a crisis.

Tony listened to all my explanations, said he was running a test, and said that our modem was not talking to him. He thought it could be repaired, and set up and appointment for me on Thursday morning. I got an email confirmation, and then on Thursday morning, a notice that our repairman would arrive within 45 minutes. And he did!

I won't use his real name. Let's call him RP. Hick was home, and let him in, and promptly showed him to the basement where we keep the router under Genius's old desk, and the modem in the workshop, by the back door. Hm. Lots of puttering and rattling and talking and traipsing about from basement to porch, where the DISH is mounted. 90 minutes, a new modem, a new router, and STILL the internet would not hold a signal. So RP went back out to the DISH, and discovered that it had a bad eye.

Hick said the clear cover was gone off the eye. I don't know. I never looked my DISH in the eye. Hick's theory is that it got damaged from a limb (no trees around it!) or my suggestion of hail. And that maybe it got a crack, and moisture got in, which would fluctuate, and give me limited access, depending on how the sun hit it and caused evaporation. Good thing Hick isn't a detective, because the same five-or-six hour scenario happened in the dark of night, if Hick reset it in the evening.

Anyhoo... RP had a new satellite receiver eye on his truck, and installed it, but it didn't work. He called his supervisor, and discovered the closest one in our area was 2.5 hours away. OR he could pick one up the next day at the city warehouse. Which was the decision he made. Scheduled us a new appointment. Took back the new modem and new router. Nothing is ever easy for Val...

Friday morning, RP called Hick. He was on his way earlier than the scheduled noon-to-5:00 time slot. Got here before Hick could show up from his SUS2 (Storage Unit Store 2). I let RP in, and he went to the basement with a box under his arm, to let himself out the basement door, which has a springy deadbolt. I asked if the new eye was going to fix it, and RP said he hoped so, that he'd never had such trouble. Hick got home and couldn't find him. Finally they reunited. More puttering. 

When I sounded like they were just chatting, I tried it. Got my basic sites. But not the others. RP was starting to leave, so I hollered that I couldn't get all websites. He tried one, and couldn't get it. So not my HIPPIE. Back to the drawing board. Finally figured out it must be our router, which according to Genius is 15 years old. We have a teenage router!

Anyhoo... RP said he could put us in a new router (takes 2 to cover the house), and that we could get them cheaper elsewhere. Hick came up to discuss it. We (meaning ME) decided that since he was here and could do it RIGHT THEN, we'd go ahead. Cost us $350 plus some tax or fee, so around $375ish. Genius said that was worth it, since the new mesh something-or-other routers are around $250 minimum, and worth the rest to just GET IT DONE. Of course I would have been happier with the free repair of a modem, but since that was not the problem, I'm okay with the purchase and set-up of a new router. That's why I keep a miscellaneous fund!

I am back to annoying the innernets with my finger-jabbering, and happy as a clam with full access to any information or disinformation I desire to peruse!

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

There Are None So Helpful, Nosy, and Butt-Inconsiderate as Sis-Townians

With the Backroads Country Mart closed for 11 weeks due to renovations, I have to shop at the Sis-Town branch. Monday was my first time in there since we lived in my $17,000 house just up the street. I was tipped off by one of the closed-store employees that the Sis-Town location still has their deli, and the dark meat chicken special on Mondays. 12 pieces for $8.99!

I found the deli, finally, which is on the opposite end of the store from where it used to be. I asked the gal behind the counter if they had the dark meat chicken special, since I didn't see any sign denoting such. She must have been barely 16. Nice enough, but not very knowledgeable.

"Um. I don't know. Do we have a dark meat special?"

The other guy might have been 18. He looked at something on the wall that was not for customer eyes. "Oh, yeah. This is Monday. We have boxes already made up on the hot bar."

My look must have tipped him off that I had no clue what he was referring to.

"I'll just go check." He returned momentarily, saying they didn't have any ready. "I'll have to get some from the back."

"Wait. I think we might have enough out here. What do I do, just fill a box?"

Maybe she was new. Kind of odd, with school starting next week. But she folded a box into shape, and began tonging out chicken. I couldn't believe my good fortune! She was filling my box with mostly THIGHS! I don't think they're supposed to do that. I think it's supposed to be 6 and 6. Then she told that guy:

"Whew! We barely had enough. There were only two legs!"

Not complaining at all! When I got home, I also discovered that one thigh was a breast. Hick can have that one. He likes legs, and I like thighs, and he also likes white meat.

Anyhoo... the deli was my last stop, because I had headed the opposite direction when I came in. After first stopping by the lottery machines for some scratchers. I was still getting my bearings as I went down my first aisle and grabbed a 3-pack of Puffs With Lotion. At the end of the aisle, as I was trying to read the hanging signs to find the soda, a woman stopped me.

"I saw you buying lottery tickets when you came in. Did you win?"

"Uh... I haven't scratched them yet. But I heard there was a big winner last week at Casey's. $10,000 on a $20 ticket!"

"Oh, my! That's a lot!"

She was nice enough, but that's kind of forward, don't you think, stopping a shopper to ask about their gambling habit? It would be different if she was also buying tickets, but I didn't see her there.

Anyhoo... the soda aisle was next. I found the Mountain Dew section. I saw a pink price label on the shelf, which means a sale. And the notice of 3 packs for $11. Another lady came down the aisle, and sidled up beside me. She grabbed that notice and read it. 

"Huh. Only good one more day. Better get some now." 

I'll be darned if she didn't grab a 6-pack of Diet Mountain Dew that I'd been looking for. At least I knew where it was now. But there was only ONE 6-pack left! And the deal was for three. So I don't know why that butt-insky was so hyped up to get ONE 6-pack. All she did was ruin it for ME, because I could have taken those two, and thrown in a Diet Dr. Pepper, which Hick will drink on occasion. But not two 6-packs worth. No way was I paying regular price of $5.99 for one 6-pack.

Nobody's ever butted-in on me like that at the other Country Mart. Nor asked me deep in the store about lottery tickets they saw me buy. And the deli workers there knew their own specials, and had them written on a whiteboard on the wall and a smaller one on top of the glass case.

This is going to take some getting used-to.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Hick Continues to Gloat About His Bingo Prowess

Oh, who am I kidding? Hick doesn't gloat about his bingo prowess. He doesn't know what "prowess" means. This is the man who calls his bingo prize a "price."

Previous engagements, and working on the Double Hovel flip house, have been keeping Hick away from his bingo den, aka the Senior Center. That, and the fact that it has been closed due to lack of electricity a couple times.

Hick made it there on Wednesday, before the next electric-killer storm hit. When I first saw the picture of his latest "price," I thought it was a lovely wooden jigsaw puzzle. Then I put on my glasses.

Oh, well. At least the box is attractive. Though the product inside might feel like it's composed of wood chips. That's what the design makes me think of. Not sure I would have chosen it to represent a box of TISSUES, the brand name of which is SILKY. Surely even Darren Stephens, at McMann & Tate, would have known that was not good advertising!

I suppose Hick can use his "price" as a substitute for his previous "price" of toilet paper. I know he won't be using them for their intended purpose. He uses a paper towel to blow his nose. And he's sure not going to be crying me a river.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

The Third Time is Not So Charming

When The Pony woke up on Thursday morning, I'm sure he thought his continued lack of electricity was going to be the worst part of his day. If only...

Going about his workday, The Pony sent me a couple of pictures of downed trees. Then at 1:27, he let me know that the inside door handle at Domino's was missing. By 2:06, his day took a dramatic turn.

"Juuuuuuuust great. Bitten by a dog."

"NOOOO!" Do you know where it belongs? To see if it had shots?"

"Yeah. Because the people were out there."

"So now what? Do you report it? It was probably acting worse BECAUSE the people were out there, and in its mind they needed protecting."

"It was a fat little Corgi mix."

"Did you protect yourself with your satchel, per regulations discussed during training? Unsuccessfully, I mean!"

"Well it ran up behind me from nowhere after I'd put in their mail and talked to them. So no."

"Dad is on his way to meet HOS about some insulation for the flip house. In case you would need a ride to the doctor, he's around, so call him."

"Nah. You saw the picture, it's fine."

"Did the people offer to pay for your series of rabies shots? It looks like one small puncture. But still, it at least needs disinfecting from that butt-licking mouth."

"Considering the dog was still out and unleashed, I'm sure you get why I kept walking."

"Did they see it happen? And not say anything? I guess you won't have to deliver to that house now!"

"They were talking. Yes. 90 percent sure they said he'd had his shots, but you know my memory and listening skills."

"Rabies is rare in town, and also uncommon our here. What are the odds of a dog being bit by an animal that actually has rabies? Slimmer than Dad's chance of winning a hand pay while betting 40 cents. Dad says to make sure you tell your manager."

"I did. Sent her pictures. But it's 100 percent not worth dealing with workers comp and [REDACTED] again."

"I agree. Considering the odds of rabies in a town dog."

"They're supposed to force me to see a doctor since it's bleeding, but since I really don't want to deal with workers comp and [REDACTED] in Kansas City again, I'm just gonna clean it when I get home."

"Will you get in trouble for not going?"

"No. Management would. It's a 'don't mention it to co-workers or the union' thing, since it's ME that doesn't want to deal with the doctor." 

"It's a no-win situation all around if you go to the doctor. First you have to find one that will treat workers comp. Also, doctors are mandated reporters. They have to report the dog bite. If it hasn't had shots, the dog's brain has to be sent off to test for rabies, which of course kills the dog and saddens the owners. Unless maybe they pay to have it boarded for a couple weeks to be observed for rabies. But then it would be too late for you since you'd already have rabies! If Jack bit ME, I wouldn't go to the doctor. I'm pretty sure he doesn't have rabies, even without shots, and chasing all kinds of wild animals."

"Yeah. Like when Copper Jack bit me when I gave them all treats that one time. I still have the scar from it."

"Maybe you're immune to rabies, heh, heh!"

About three hours later, The Pony sent me an update:

"Bruising and teeth tracks. Only about 45 minutes left till I'm home."

"I knew it would bruise. Make sure to wash it good with soap, and use triple antibiotic ointment and a bandaid."

"You'll have quite a blog saga out of this!"


After he was home, The Pony sent another picture:

"Cleaned off. It bled a bit more after I wiped away the scab."

"That washes out germs. You don't want a puncture wound sealed off to ferment! Slather it with antibiotic, then bandaid."

And now we begin the colorful journey that was Friday. 

"Ugh. Didn't sleep great. Current bite."

"It looks good! Keep up with the ointment and bandaid for a couple days, just in case."


"A warrior's wound."

"Since when are we Vikings?"

"You battle the streets every day!"


By 11:30, The Pony felt the bite.

"Leg is sore and slightly leaky, going by the bandaid."

"Sorry it's sore, but good that stuff comes out rather than being trapped to fester."

"Yeah. Bruise is still growing a bit."

"It's a crush injury, mainly, with a puncture. Those jaws crack bones. Your body is clearing the damaged tissue."

"Yeah, a bruise spreads out. Especially if you're walking on the leg. And gravity."

"Just keeping you updated so you don't worry!"

The 4:40 picture was not so pretty:

"More yucky without the bandaid."

"It was bumped-up and swollen right after it happened. So damaged cells to be carried away. That's why injuries swell. The plasma coming to wash away those dead cells. Hope it's not too painful for you."

"Not really painful. Just slowing me down more than I thought."

"You're not superhuman. You have an injury. Allow yourself to slow down."

The latest update, from Saturday morning:

"I think it's fine without a bandaid today."

"Looks like it's healing."

By Saturday night, it was looking better:

"Just the bruise right now."

"That's good. Watch in case it gets red and hot with infection. Your hole looks good, heh, heh!"

"Yeah, it's only a bit warmer than the other calf. Your comment made me choke on my cheetos."

Let the record show that The Pony keeps his legs shaved smooth. Not sure if it functions like a swimmer having less drag in the water, so he finishes his route quicker... or like cyclists keeping their legs shaved so that road rash heals faster when they wreck. I think with this incident, it's the latter.

Short of showing up to work foaming at the mouth... I think The Pony is going to make it.