Somebody's been in the cookie jar!
Not so much the cookie jar as Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's stash of Christmas money. You'd think it was safe, wouldn't you, all locked up in a locking bag and then stashed in one of the two large safes in Farmer H's basement workshop? But not so in this Mansion.
Do not think for one instant that obsessive/compulsive, anal-retentive Mrs. HM does not know how much money she has socked away. Not so much socked away as enveloped away, ten weeks at a time. Then stored in the locking bag workshop safe. Yes, rather than rushing to pay into a Christmas club account before closing, Mrs. HM has been taking her Christmas savings into her own hands for years. Each week, a portion of cash is set aside. Marked on an envelope, amount and date. Then gifts are charged, the bill comes, and that money is deposited in the checking account.
Some years, there is money left over. Some years, like when the original Frig went to live in the big red BARn over in the field, there is not. This year, we have Christmas and the taxes on my new Acadia. Plus the new Mansion roof, before the insurance company gives us the balance upon installation. But no problem. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has it covered. Or so she thought.
Farmer H got out the locked bag. Mrs. HM counted up the cash. All there. A hefty sum per envelope. Five envelopes. Mostly twenties. A few hundreds. A couple of fifties. The bills arranged for easy counting, this many up, this many down, alternating. When we got to the bank, I recounted three envelopes, turning the bills all one direction. I handed the other two back to The Pony to do the same.
"Put these bills all the same way, Pony. There are five up, five down, five up...alternating."
The Pony is a genius, you know. He had his done before mine were done. I took them inside the bank for deposit. Mrs. HM was taking no chances on a snafu in the drive-thru line.
So the girl counted the bills. Counted them again. "I am not getting that amount on your deposit slip. I am coming up $20 short. Let me put these in my counter."
Let the record show that as the clerk counted the bills, Mrs. HM did not watch. She looked aside. But she listened. She heard the girl feverishly thumbing those bills into stacks of 25. Four 25s to a bigger stack. Okay. You can add money up that way, too. But the girl came back from the machine, where she had only taken two of the stacks, and said they were correct. "Do you want to count them for yourself? Do you want to look in your envelopes?"
"No. If the machine said they were right, I guess those are right. I already checked my envelopes. I counted them five or six times, between last night, and today as I was getting the deposit ready. I had them turned different ways. It came out right for me. But I let my son count two sets. Maybe he dropped one in the car. Go ahead like it is."
Let the record show that the girl DID count that last stack, the one not put through the machine, again. Still $20 short. So she altered the deposit slip. The Pony declared that there was NO money laying on the back floor of T-Hoe.
"Well, after all that, we came up $20 short."
"Oh. I think one of my sets only had four instead of five bills."
"WHY didn't you tell me that before I went in? I would have counted it. I would have put in a twenty from my purse to make it even."
"You didn't TELL me to make sure they were all there. You just said to turn them all the same way."
That's life with The Pony. Who apparently has blinders on when it comes to the importance of accuracy when making a bank deposit. Money, like the idea of helping people, means nothing to him.
I guess I must have miscounted five or six times.