There was more drama to my shopping trip Sunday, not just the experience of being rung up by a cashier with reverse kleptomania.
I stuffed the receipt in my shirt pocket, since I don't carry in my purse. I don't need to obsess over somebody grabbing it and running willy-nilly through The Devil's Playground in an attempt to elude me, when in fact I'm standing still, leaning on my cart like it's a walker.
We shoved our purchases into T-Hoe's rear. The Pony pushed the cart to the corral. He leaped into the back seat with ease, like The Piebald sailing over fences at the Grand National, while I hoisted myself into the driver's seat like an aged, gone-to-seed, beer-bellied Clydesdale trying to clear the Arch. I took that receipt out of my pocket and laid it on the console to write down the amount in the checkbook. Then I was going to have The Pony look over it to see if Chicker had charged me for that mysterious can of Glade that appeared in my bag.
The weather was doggone hot already. Up to 81 degrees before noon. I normally have The Pony hand me my purse from its hiding place in the back, write in the checkbook, give us both a splash of Germ-X, then start T-Hoe for our departure. But Sunday it was just too hot. "I can't take it. I'm putting the windows down. Hand me my purse." With that, I pushed the buttons for both front windows. Ahhh. Down they went. And a gust of wind swirled through T-Hoe's front seat.
"AGH! There went my receipt!" I saw it flutter before my eyes. I quickly pushed up those windows. "Pony! Do you see that receipt? I saw it fly by. I thought it was that paper down here between my seat and the console, but that's a Puff. I don't see it over on the passenger side. Maybe it's down around my feet. I don't see it. But maybe it's back under. Can you get out and look?"
"I guess so." A sigh is never so heavy as when it emanates from a 17-year-old's chest with disgust. The Pony opened my car door as I held onto the stack of Puffs that ride next to the drink holders. "I don't see it."
"Did you look way back under my seat?"
"Go around to the other side and check under there."
"Okaayyy. No. I don't see it here. Just another Puffs."
"How could it disappear into thin air? I need that receipt. The bank won't have their account info updated until next weekend. I need to know how much I just spent, so I can balance the checkbook. Look in the back. I saw it swirling around as soon as both windows went down."
"All right. No. I don't see anything. That one is old."
"What's the date?"
"I can't see the date."
"Then how do you know it's old?"
"Um. Because we didn't just buy two chocolate rabbits and PEEPS and Cadbury Eggs and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs and--"
"Okay. I get it. You don't think that receipt blew out the window, do you? Look at the parking lot! Do you see it blowing around?"
"I can't believe this. I'll just get out and look for myself."
"I LOOKED. I checked under your seat and under the other seat and all over back here and outside. You're not going to find it. We looked!"
By this time, I had climbed down from my pilot's seat and was in the midst of peering under the slight opening between the seat's metal sliding frame and the carpet.
"I can't BELIEVE that receipt disappeared into thin air! It HAS to be here somewhere."
I clambered back into the driver's seat like the tired old Clydesdale that I am, reaching up to hold onto the door frame near the steering wheel as I made the effort to lift my fat, feathery-haired feet. Something crackled. It was not, as I first feared, a broken bone.
"Uh. Never mind. Here's the receipt. In my shirt pocket."
"Told you so."
"I must have laid out that Puffs that was in my pocket for my dripping nose. Not the receipt."
Let the record show that The Pony perused that receipt with his near-sighted eyes, and declared that Chicker had not charged us for the Glade Air Freshener.
Small victories, people. Small victories.