The Checkout Line

The note book, box of muffins and light bulb package sit on the edge of the checkout lane, not on the belt, just on the metal edge of the belt.  The notebook is a grocery list half in English and half in a language I don’t recognize.  I look around for the owner.  The woman with a beehive hairdo ahead of me is almost checked out and no one else is in the checkout lane.  The items are in clear view of the woman and she’s sporting the extra smoky eye look to accompany her hairdo.  It never occurs to me the items might belong to her and I’m afraid to ask anyway.  I figure someone forgot to get something on their list and left their stuff to go get it.

I load my items on the checkout belt and walk ahead as the cashier begins scanning my groceries.  I open my checkbook and watch the screen for pricing errors.  Al l the sudden, the notebook lands with a thud next to my checkbook and the light bulbs go into my bag.

The notebook isn’t mine and neither are those light bulbs, I tell the cashier.  He looks dumbfounded.  The woman who is now behind me in the checkout line says, “I thought they were yours, so I put them on the belt.”

Now, I’m dumbfounded.  Really, she couldn’t ask, “Are these yours?”  I glance at her, a little miffed.  I’m approachable in my tennis shoes, sweat pants and sweatshirt.  Doesn’t everyone go grocery shopping dressed like this?  At least I don’t have my bright blue and green sweat pants on.

I look back to see the cashier taking the light bulb package, muffins and the tomatoes out of my bag.  I quickly say, “The tomatoes are mine.”  He looks even more confused but does put the tomatoes back in my bag.

I get my bags packed on to the cart and go over my slip for errors.  He charged me for white Yukon potatoes when I had red potatoes and broccoli when I have broccoli crowns.  That means I didn’t get the special pricing.  I’m about to turn the cart around and complain when I realize he never charged me for the tomatoes.  In my estimation, I’m about even.  It’s time to head home as grocery shopping is a little too exciting tonight.


The Grocery Store

The Grocery Store

Mr. Mallard Goes Shopping

The mallard gets half way across the trail and a biker approaches.  He waddles back toward the narrow water filled marsh next to the trail.  As JJ, Benny and I approach, he waddles slowly back across the trail.  We stop but another biker shoots past and he retreats again toward the water.  Deciding not to wait for this guy, the boys and I get going.  The duck gets going when we do then reverses direction, retreating to the safety of the grass near the water.   I glance back and that mallard is once again on the move at a slow waddle, across the trail, determined to reach the non water logged side.

Where ever he’s headed this duck is not in a hurry.   I wonder what he is searching for as that side of the trail is just fallen trees, ferns, and no water.

There is a hardware store, fine wine store and cafe across the street.  Mr. Mallard is going shopping.   I can hear Mrs. Mallard saying, “What took you so long”?  Mr. Mallard replies, “Ah……. well, there was this biker.  Then there was another biker.  And then this woman with two huge dogs.”   To which Mrs. Mallard replies, “You couldn’t just fly around them.”   Mr. Mallard says, “Ah, well…….I never thought of that.”    Mrs. Mallard sighs.  “Did you remember the wine?”  Mr. Mallard looks dumbfounded.  “Wine… wanted wine?”



Angelo Takes a Walk

This is the Does This Happen to You report, bringing the fracas on Hwy 18 yesterday direct to you.

Drivers stared as a large pig sauntered down the middle of the highway.  Traffic came to a standstill and the police arrived in 10 minutes.  A search of the area by the police failed to nab the pig and traffic returned to normal.  Officer Monty had this to say “We usually don’t get hogs trotting down the highway, just coons and skunks.  Coons don’t make too much of a mess but skunks make a real stink.”

Our reporter determined to get to the root of this incident, scouring the area herself.  She came upon a farm 4 miles south of the highway.  As she drove up the farmer and his wife appeared.   The reporter inquired about stray pigs.

Farmer Andy said, “They’re not pigs, their hogs.   Angelo wanders off once in a while but I never seen him near the highway. “

Farmer Andy’s wife spoke up, “Angelo was the runt of the litter so we raised him by hand.  At 400 pounds, he’s too big to sit in our lap.  He’s still our baby though. “

Farmer Andy said to his wife, “I told you not to name him Angelo.  He’s turning into a gigolo.”

Farmer Andy’s wife countered, “He’s a grown boy and he’s doing what comes natural.”

At this point, the reporter asked if Angelo was available for an interview.

Farmer Andy’s wife obliged the request by screaming Angelo several times in a high pitched tone.   Angelo sauntered around the corner of the barn.  He asked for a pet from the farmer and his wife and squinted suspiciously at the reporter.


Boldly the reported asked, “Angelo, was that you on the highway yesterday?”  Looking down, she noticed asphalt on his hooves.  Angelo simply squinted and grunted a few times.  Then he turned and sauntered away, back to barn.

Farmer Andy’s wife apologized, “Sorry, Angelo doesn’t like strangers but he’s not usually that abrupt.”

Our reporter found the suspect but he’s not talking.   She will keep an eye on him, certain the gigolo will return to his wandering ways.

Benny and the Carrot

Jack poured water flavored with food scraps into JJ and Benny’s food bowls.  JJ took a lick and found the mixture unexciting.  Benny happily lapped his bowl up and checked JJ’s.   There is no sense of my bowl and your bowl with them.  It’s a food bowl and whoever finds it first, gets it.

JJ’s bowl also contained two small pieces of carrot and one large piece of carrot.  I reminded Jack that Benny does not like carrots.   Jack countered JJ likes carrots and sometimes Benny eats them too.  Not that often, I said.  As we argued, Benny struggled to lick JJ’s bowl clean.   He finally picked the large piece out of the bowl and placed it on the kitchen floor.  He eagerly finished licking JJ’s bowl, carrots remaining intact and walked off.   I cleaned the slobbery carrot off the floor, of course.






My Beautiful Blue Impractical Shirt

I knew it.  I wanted to leave at 6:30pm.  I began hooking this shirt together 15 minutes ago and it’s now 6:25pm.  Determined, I slide the tiny little eye into the hook and try to pull it on.  My head won’t go through and I discover I forgot two links.

My favorite party shirt for spring and summer needed a wash over a year ago so it got clean.     Unfortunately, it’s a bitch to put back together so I didn’t.    Tonight, I’m determined to wear this darned shirt to the party.

Hooking the two links into line takes another 5 minutes.  Carefully aligning the shirt, I pull it over my head.  Something is not right.  The one sleeve droops and the bottom is turned inside out or outside in.  I truly suck at this puzzle but the shirt is not winning this battle.  It’s time to call for reinforcements.  “Jack!  Jack!  Come upstairs!”  I yell.   Jack looks at my dilemma, fools with it a bit and asks me to remove the shirt.  “How does it work” he asks.  It’s easy to explain the contraption without me in it.   I hold it up, explaining the configuration.   “Okay” Jack says and he coaxes it into correct alignment.  He holds the shirt in position while I wiggle into it.  I’m dressed and we’re ready to go.

By this time I’m really ready for the wine tasting we’re heading out into the pouring rain for.  I really hate it when I buy clothing I love but impractical to wear.   How about you?


The Purple Sock

It lies on the parking strip of the neighbor’s house, one forlorn purple sock.  JJ and Benny inspect it.   It’s been two days and no one picked it up.  How does one lone sock get left on a parking strip?


You lost its mate in the laundry room and decided to throw it in the garbage.  Bert the crow picked it up because he likes bright objects.  The sock isn’t edible, so Bert grows hungry leaving it to lie where he tossed it.  But, there’s no other garbage around and Bert likes to throw garbage all over.

Rather than have a garage sale, you put stuff out on the curb.  That’s pretty common around here.  I see chairs, mattresses and desks with a big FREE sign stuck on them.  It rains lots in Seattle which means the stuff is soaked.  I don’t consider a soaked chair a bargain even if its $0.  There is no FREE sign with the sock which is about as good a deal as a rain soaked chair.  My bet is not on this option.

Your niece decided to go barefoot.  Rachel who is 11 came over to play with your kids.  She loves wet grass and took her socks off.   In the excitement, she forgot to bring one of her socks into the house.  She’s one tough cookie since its 40 degrees out.  You’re going to take her to the polar bear plunge in Puget Sound.   You’re positive she’ll jump right in.

You noticed the sock and don’t want to move it.  Whoever misplaced it will come back, searching for it and you don’t want them to miss it.  You will be disappointed.  Jack’s mom found a cloth belt on the parking strip one day. She hung it on the railing at the top of the stairs leading up to the sidewalk so whoever lost it couldn’t miss it.  It hung there for over a year.  I finally tired of that decoration and recycled it.

I think its Rachel’s forgotten sock, although Bert is a definite possibility.  What about you?

Chips or Chew

The bag of tortilla chips falls out on the counter.  This annoys me and there are only tiny crushed pieces left.  I divide the pieces up between JJ and Benny’s bowl.

Hearing the sound of something hitting his food bowl brings JJ to the kitchen.  His rawhide treat firmly held in his teeth, he stands over his bowl.  He gazes intently at the chips.  He looks up at me.


“Its not my problem, dude”, I tell him.  “You can’t eat those chips and your treat at the same time”.  He continues to stand over his bowl, contemplating the situation.  JJ gently places his rawhide treat on the kitchen rug and gobbles up his chips.  He’s going to gobble up Benny’s too, but I tell him no.  No doesn’t work, so I chase him out of the kitchen.

Benny focuses on his chew.  He trots into the kitchen after he finishes and gobbles up the chips I saved for him.  He’s a fan of chips, but not so much of other food.  He spit out a treat a dog walking friend of mine gave him the other day.  He didn’t recognize the treat.  He inspected the treat and then gobbled it up.  Apparently, shit is something he recognizes because he has no problem sticking it in his mouth.

Live Chat

I need to find out when those cables will arrive.

Ah, the website has online chat so I click on the button.  Coreen appears in the name box and she types “How may I help you?”  I type “Where are my cables” and Gary types “Your PO says you don’t need them till April”.  Wait…Gary types, what happened to Coreen?  I know Gary from emails so we madly type a few more sentences and the deal is done.

The name box at the right still says Coreen, but the chat box says Gary is typing.    Live chat is a lie now too, just like the websites with the smiling girl with the headset.  She says “Call me to order your PC cable now at a special price”.  The picture says she looks like this.

How Can I Help You?

How Can I Help You?

In actuality, she looks like this.

You Want What?

You Want What?

Beware of who you chat with now.  The name in the name box may be Bettina, but you will actually be chatting with Bert.



Pizza on the Road

Two large slices of pizza lay face down on the road ground into the snow.  Benny makes a grab but he’s not quick enough.  I move him, JJ and Kandi along.  You don’t know what’s in that pizza.

I wonder how two slices of pizza ended up in the snow in the middle of a road with only a few houses on it.  This is not a busy road.   My mother suggests someone left their lunch on top of the car and drove off.   Pondering this, I decide it’s not reasonable for this road unless someone managed to drive all the way from downtown with their lunch on the roof.  I’m sure it’s a late night party with beer.   This is how it went down.  Its dark and two guys jump out of their Ford 150 4×4.

Hey dude, where’s our pizza?

Dude!  I threw it up on top while I stashed the beer.

Awwww, dude, your bad!  Our pizza is decorating the road.

Pizza Party on the road

Pizza Party on the road

A Little Snow in Seattle