“No, I don’t need this dollar!”

Despite the voice in my head that said “Dick, do NOT go out to the store today – and if you INSIST on going out to the store today, ABSOLUTELY do NOT go to the Walmart today; I IMPLORE you not to do so! Stay home and order your sundry items (Dick Jones has NO idea what a “sundry item” IS, but he LOVES the way it sounds!) online, like you now do with virtually EVERYTHING. If you go out to the store today, and specifically, if you go out to the Walmart today, you’re gonna come home angry – even if you happen to find a nickel on the floor (which I did, on accounta Dick Jones ALWAYS looks down whenever he’s walking around in the store or the parking lot, because peoples nowadays are too busy staring at their Smart Phones and making their twitters, tweets, and other social media appearances to notice when they’re dropping money outta their pockets); it won’t be worth your effort!” Aside: As you can see, fair reader, that voice in my Gulliver is an annoying, chatty Kathy – it should be clear why I try to ignore that high-horsed bitch after all these years!

And ignore that well-meaning loudmouth I DID, heading down to the local Walmart to gape at all the tattoo’d MOH-RONS, jockey around all the vacant-eyed Seniors who park their carts at oblique angles that COMPLETELY block the aisles while they scratch at their genitals and try to figger out what planet they’re on, all the while COMPLETELY & ENTIRELY oblivious to ANYONE & EVERYONE around them who might ALSO be trying to shop and then get home before THEY also become genital-scratching, oblivious Seniors; meanwhile trying not to blow an aneurysm outta my forehead – just another day in paradise, right?

It’s all happening right there at YOUR local Walmart, Boys & Girls – hurry on down today for some needed sundry items and tell me it ain’t so! So I round up my 3-4 sundry items, and then with the BORING consistency that Dick Jones has proven year after mother-fucking year, I proceed to pick the ABSOLUTE slowest line that will GUARANTEE the ABSOLUTE most “issues” with whatever purchase(s) the person/people in FRONT of me in the line are ABSOLUTELY going to HAVE; it never fails! The line with ONE person? Go for it, Jonesie – they’ll be a missing UPC code on their SINGLE item, which by the way is THE last of that item IN THE STORE, or EVER in the HISTORY of Walmart – causing the ENTIRE store to go into lock-down, while LAYERS of Management swarm in on said line to determine what happened. No problem though – Dick Jones proceeds to make 152 cell phone calls, responds to 257 text messages, buys & sells 179 Canadian Maple Leaf Gold coins online, then shaves & showers – BAM – I’m up to the cashier! I set my 3-4 items down on the conveyor belt, after WAITING about 45 seconds for it to STOP moving, all the while said cashier is INSISTING on KEEPING the conveyor belt moving with whatever hidden “conveyor belt accelerator pedal” she’s pushing on behind the counter with her foot; being a sinister old geezer, I simply OUTWAIT her, THEN I set my items down. As she scans my sundry items (by some REMARKABLE twist of fate, they all scan properly; Management stays seated within whatever store bowels they’re seated in, watching from whatever Master Control Room they are sequestered in, scanning the entire store and parking lot with their security cameras) and then she voices the total – “$25.90, please”…

Now, here’s where the trouble starts. You see, Dick Jones comes from the era when cash registers did NOT calculate “Change Due”, which meant that whoever was behind the cash register had to have a modicum of mathematical intelligence (aka: a Fourth Grade Edumacation) to calculate the change due on each & all transactions himself/herself. As such, and because Dick Jones was the recipient of SEVEN years of college (O.K. – it WAS a 4 year curriculum; I was busy failing Calculus several times!), and because Dick Jones is very often a “cash buyer”, which it is rumored will still be legal through the end of 2016, ole’ DJ did the “quick math”, and handed the cashier a $20 bill, a $10 bill, and a $1 bill. Said cashier looked down at the money, and then looked at me like I fell out of a spaceship: “I don’t need that dollar, sir!” as she pushed it back my way. “As a matter of fact, you DO need that dollar!” says I, as I push it back towards her. “No sir, I DON’T – the total is $25.90!” she says, visibly exasperated. “Please – I IMPLORE you – just take my $31.00, then type the amount in your magical change-making moh’-chine; then we’ll both step on back and see what happens, shall we?” The swelling crowd of spectators behind me presses in a bit closer to see how this is gonna play out…

She gives me one last forlorn glance, audibly sighs for all to hear, then types in the $31.00 – VOILA! “Change Due – FIVE dollars (not four SINGLES) and one thin dime – D’oh!”

“It’s a MIRACLE!” I reply as I gather up my bagged sundry items. “Just think – one more, and I’ll be up for Sainthood!”

Online ordering, huh?


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