Do you ever leave a penny in the dish by the cash register? Do you ever take one?
Depending on the friendliness of the cashier, how many pennies I already have in my coin pile in T-Hoe, and how many times that establishment has dipped into the penny dish for me, I sometimes leave them. But I never reach in and take them. That's up to the cashier, in case the drawer is low on change, I suspect.
Thursday, I encountered a situation that made me never want to leave another penny.
I was at the gas-station-chicken store, buying a 44 oz. Diet Coke, because I didn't want to drive all the way to Sonic. A man came in with two boys. He didn't really know what he was doing with those boys, if you ask me. Which HE certainly didn't. Or I would have given him a piece of my mind.
Cad Dad got in the chicken line while I was catching my Coke in a recycled cup. Only $1.07 for a refill. He seemed flustered that there was no size chicken order between the 8-piece and the 20-piece. Never mind that you can buy it by the piece. He could have added whatever he wanted to an 8-piece. It's not like the package deal is such a bargain, when you consider that you get pieces that nobody likes anyway.
The boys stood behind him, asking questions about what chicken they were getting. They fingered candy on the counter, and were antsy in a way that made me think they were going to wipe out the liquor aisle across from the chicken counter. Cad Dad told them to go to the next aisle, and pick out something to share. I was glad to get them away from me. The sour-faced but nice chicken dipper got his 8-piece box ready in a jiffy. He moved two steps to the pay counter. I followed. The boys came back around and got between me and Cad Dad. They were within arm's reach of him. He could easily have grabbed them by their collars and yanked them closer. I most certainly would not have objected or called DFS on him.
The kids looked about 7 years old. The were not bad kids. Only kids in need of guidance. To learn how to behave in a convenience store. One spied the penny dish by the unused register. "Take a penny." He grabbed the penny and put it in his pocket. He turned to his kiddy companion, and said, "There's not one for you. It said 'take a penny' so I took it. You don't have one." The penniless kid ran his fingers around the dish, just making sure. The penny lifter smirked. "I got the last penny."
I know Cad Dad heard them. I heard them. How could he be so oblivious to what was going on? Well, you might say, he was a man, after all. But still. That excuse is not good enough. How are these boys going to learn proper convenience store penny dish etiquette if he does not teach them? What's next, they open a snack and eat it because the label says, "Try the new, improved Sweetysmacker"?
Handbaskets. Get them ready. We're all going on a trip.