Monday, June 14, 2010

Ain't It Always the Way...

What is it about life that just when you find the right bolt to fit, you can't find the nut. Or, you got the left shoe, but the right shoe is under the bed just far enough away from your reach that you can't get to it even though you can clearly see it. Hollywood has made these "Murphy's Law" exasperations a staple in those horror films, where the monster is coming to do you some serious hurt and you can't get to the gun just out of reach...until the last moment. And, how many times does the car not start when some ghoulie is trying to rearrange your vin number. Yes, we've all suffered through this kind of thing from time to time. Sometimes, you can deal with it and sometimes... well, you make a spectacle of yourself.

In my effort to save money, be "green" and make the best use of my trips into town, I loaded newspapers and plastic bags in the trunk of the car, took my dry cleaning with me to drop off and then, went to a chamber of commerce meeting, where I was to report on the local "artist at events" agenda. After the meeting was over and everyone completed their parking lot conversations and drove off, I remembered that I had, the other day, purchased two Dole pineapples at the grocery store with one gone horribly "wrong." If I could find the receipt, well, then I would be able to return it, exchange it or get reimbursed for wayward fruit and really win the "Green Award" for the day. It all felt so right, so I opened the trunk and dove into the myriad of plastic bags, hoping to find the receipt.

I found receipts for the laundry, receipts for other groceries, receipts for fast food, receipts for hardware, receipts for office supplies, receipts for this, receipts for that, but no pineapple receipts for $2.89. Of course, by now, I have plundered, ripped and trashed what seemed to be scores of plastic bags and they are starting to scatter all around my car and with a little breeeze, all over the Chamber's parking lot. "Come on Ben, this just isn't worth the price of admission," I said to myself, but I just couldn't stop now after having gone through, at least, a hundred plastic bags. Well, damn! Now, it is about the principle of the thing. I just knew that pineapple receipt was in one of those bags somewhere in this car and I was not going to let these plastic bags "rip me off", or deter me.

Just then, the president of the chamber drives up in her very uptown wheels, gets out of the car and asks,"Ben, are you okay?" Sweaty, red faced and flustered, I replied, not wanting to let on that this plastic bag massacre was about saving $2.89,"Oh, I am fine... How's it going at the chamber?" Grateful that she didn't ask me if I was gonna clean up the parking lot, she turned toward the front door, and continued walking and mumbling.

Well, now you've done it. You've embarrassed yourself, made a mess of the car and the parking lot and you have only one more plastic bag stuffed with more plastic bags to search. "Gawd, what an idiot you are!" This is ridiculous. Yeh? "Well, guess what?" I said to myself," I'm gonna continue this foray until I am totally satisfied that it is not here and never ever was." No, you're not, I thought to myself. Oh yes, I am! C'mon Ben, give it up, man! You are... not... gonna....... find........ it...

HERE IT IS! I told you. I told you I'd find it. You see, persistence pays off, I told you. Two pineapples at $2.89 a piece. Yes!

Vindicated at last and feeling quite the hero, I cleaned up the parking lot, stuffed all the plastic bags back into the trunk and drove off victorious. It was only when I stopped at the first traffic light did it all dawn on me. "Damn, Murphy wins again!" Why did it have to be in the very last bundle of plastic bags? The very last. Hundreds of bags. It could have been in the first bag or the thirtieth bag or surely in the seventy-fifth bag, but no. No, no it had to be in the very last one. Geez, what a loser!


  1. Very funny - I too have had the receipt-in-the-last-bag syndrome. And I also get carried away with the determination to find the little sucker. $2.89 for a pineapple is a steal. They are $3.50 to 5.50 here.

  2. Yeh, they are usually about three or four dollars here especially the name brands. The ones from Mexico and other countries is always suspect and therefore, cheaper! That price is why I bought two, but one was way over ripe!

  3. Oh those pesky pieces of paper! I can find just about everything and I mean everything... glasses, keys, a term paper that I wrote in high problem. Ask me to find a piece of paper that was in my hand within the last 6 hours and it can't be done!
    Love the graphic cuz' it could easily be me in that pile of bags!

  4. I know. It's just that we are all so wacked out trying to maintain a normal life, that when you get a post it or a small scrap of paper with an important phone number, you sigh, "I take care of this later", as you just sit down with an ice tea. Naturally, you are doing something less important than putting that scrap of paper where it belongs but it is such a pain to get up and take care of this stupid whatever. And guilt rarely wins out!

    Case in point, five days ago the phone rings while I am facebooking on my laptop. The conversation was an important one as well as the number she gave me in case there is a problem getting paid for a job I completed last week. I had a pencil, but no paper, so I wrote the number on top of the brushed aluminum laptop. That was pure genius on my part, but you'd think I get up later and transfer that number somewhere permanent... NO!

    Just this morning, I entered it into my daily reminder before I smear the entire number off the laptop! As it was, I could barely figure out one of the numbers. And these things nags us all day everyday. The receipt for the pineapple is just one of many snafu's.