Monday, July 23, 2012

The cashier at a flea market found me a little humorous when I shopped there recently. The sad part is that I wasn't trying to be funny. After wandering around and gathering up a few items, I returned to the front to stash them until I was ready to check out. Someone else already had a cache going, so I maneuvered my treasures in front of said cache, commenting to myself, "Well, those aren't mine, now are they?" I ask you, should an observer have seen anything laughable about that? Evidently the cashier did, because she snickered aloud. I smiled at her, thinking as I did she was a trifle strange. Later while I waited in line, I innocently asked, "Can I get the type receipt that lists each item by name?" She looked at uncomprehendingly. I'll need to provide a little background information before my request makes sense. In a previous transaction at this establishment, the checker told me to ask for the detailed receipt before she began tapping on the buttons; otherwise you'd end up with an anemic 4th cousin listing only the prices and total. So ... because I needed the detailed one for tax purposes, I intended to obey instructions. The uncomprehending one raised her perfectly penciled brows way high and responded, "Do you mean a cash-register receipt? We always give a receipt." I assured her I was aware they gave receipts every time. "But I was told if I wanted the type listing items by name, I'd have to tell the cashier ahead of time." She now furrowed her brow, looked confused momentarily, then in an extremely patiend tone repeated, slowly this time-"We always give receipts." I had started to sweat, so I dropped the matter. I also dropped my purse, tucked insecurely under an arm, a moment later as I began writing the check. Every last thing in there spilled out - careening, cartwheeling, crashing and splatting on the concrete floor. My cell phone disassembled itself into what looked like myriads of tiny pieces flying in every direction. I was really sweating now. A kind lady hurried over, stooped down and retrieved my phone's back from underneath the counter. It's a wonder she didn't find me under there too. After scraping up and dumping everything back into that idiot handbag, I finished scribbling the check and handed it to the clerk. I would not have been surprised if she had doubled over in uncontrollable giggles, but, glory be, she resembled a Puritan preacher. With a flourish she presented the RECEIPT, eyeing me closely. Every last thing I had bought was listed by name in a beautiful font. Okay, okay, I had longed for this piece of paper; why, then, did I feel as though I'd just lost a boxing match? Mumbling "thanks" I slunk off with sacks dangling from every digit and both forearms, trying to graciously exit that torture chamber. Thanking the Lord for automatic car-door openers, I clicked and clicked as I drew near my vehicle. "I must not have heard it unlock," I surmised. In the next breath, "Good grief!! Now my hearing is going too!" I tugged on the handle. Unyielding. Click, click, click - violently now - then pulled again. The door defiantly held itself tightly closed. As frustration mounted even higher and heat waves danced on the pavement, I carefully plunked down each sack of individually named items. As I did so, a glance at the car icon on the opener niggled my brain: something looked odd ... Oh great! The wrong keys! Leaning down to dig in my bag, I finally located the van keys. Straightening up impatiently, I promptly smacked the top of my head on the side mirror. My glasses flew off, and with them any good will I had toward humans and/or inanimate objects left me as well. I glared around murderously, daring anyone to admit they'd witnessed my final performance of the day. God has promised we'll be fruitful in old age (Pro. 92:14); however, it looks as if my fruit is going to take the form of making others laugh. I could do worse I guess.