Asked and answered
Monday, June 3, 2019 at 05:44PM

So, let me tell you about the funny things people say to me.

This comes firmly under the heading, Ask a Silly Question ... well. You know the rest.

Allow me to elaborate.

A couple of weeks ago I was at Dollar Tree, shopping for tutor teaching aids and gift bags and whatnot.

As one does.

Whenever in DT I cruise by the books, because it's often pretty cool what's available for a dollar.

This time, I scored a couple of hardbacks to give as gifts, and was nothing if not pleased with myself.

In due time I angled my cart into the only open line and waited for my turn to be rung up.

My books were among the last things to be placed on the counter, so when the cashier -- a young man -- picked them up, I was busy sliding my debit card into the chip reader.

Whoa! I heard.

Glancing up, I observed the cashier holding one of my books in front of his face, staring at its cover in apparent shock.

He looked at me. Did you get this here? he wanted to know.

? ? ? ? ?

I had to clamp my jaws shut to keep from replying No; I'm in the habit of bringing stuff that I already own -- or that I bought somewhere else on my way here -- into stores with me, so that I can pay for them twice.

Of course I did not say that. I merely assured the cashier that (of course) I had gotten the book there.

But -- sixteen ninety-nine? He continued to clutch the book and study its cover in wonderment. For a dollar?

Uhm, yeeees, I answered carefully. Have you never checked out y'all's book aisle? Lots of bargains to be had there.

He shook his head and, with obvious reluctance, placed my books into a yellow plastic bag. I really think he believed something shady was going on.

But nothing more was said on the matter.

Oh dear. Do educate yourself, I thought as I wheeled my dollar-store finds out into the sunshine.

(Yes; I am inwardly snarky. Deal with it.)

So then, something similar happened only last Thursday.

Dagny and I had gone shopping for Erica's birthday cake.

Now, what you need to know in advance is that this cake was for Erica's second birthday party. We traditionally celebrate her birthday on Memorial Day -- with a cake, balloons, presents, the whole nine -- and this year was no exception.

Everybody was there -- even my parents -- and we dined on homemade pulled pork barbecue, baked beans, deviled eggs, cole slaw, fruit salad, ice cold watermelon, and Chocolate Delight (recipe to come later).

For the birthday treat, we had an assortment of bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

We also had a reprise of the Blender Lemon Pie -- it turned out even better than last time -- and because I promised to show you a picture of that, here it is:

I know; right? Yeah. It's good.

But on Thursday -- Erica's actual birthday -- those of us who were on hand decided to have dinner together (salad with barbecued chicken) and she wanted another cake.

Earlier that day, Dagny and I set out to run the errands necessary to make that happen. First we had to stop by Costco, to pick up my new glasses. 

Do you like them? Thanks.

Then we went to Aldi because strawberries were on sale and I also wanted raspberries and blackberries and a watermelon.

The plan was to take our berries and melon home to the fridge before setting out for Publix to buy a six-inch birthday cake and a balloon.

But because you can't go anywhere in our newly-remodeled Aldi without walking the gauntlet with fresh baked goods on one side and cookies and candies on the other, the cakes caught our eye.

Dagny was vocal about the fact that she really liked the look of that 7-up cake. 

I was enthusiastic about the idea because it was three ninety-nine and I know from experience that you can't go wrong with anything from the Aldi bakery aisle.

And I envisioned the luscious ring cake with juicy strawberries all down in the center, and even more on the side. 

So we got the cake and the berries and the melon, but alas they do not sell mylar birthday balloons at Aldi.

(BTW did you know that there is a national helium shortage? So weird. This is only a theory but it may be due to the fact that our Dagny, who will have been on this earth for five years on June fourteenth, sounds when she talks -- which she does more or less constantly -- as though she has just inhaled a small amount of helium. Not enough to make her feet leave the floor, but enough that her voice is semi-chipmunkish.)

Once back at the ranch, berries and melon safe in the refrigerator and the cake waiting on the countertop, Dagny announced that she didn't want to go with me to fetch the balloon.

Her mother was working on some things at my house, and Dag said she'd rather stay there.

The closest place to grab a balloon was Kroger, so off I went.

Once there, I decided to get even more strawberries, plus some red grapes and various salad items, which we run out of every few days because TG and I enjoy salads practically every night.

In the floral department, in addition to a balloon, I picked out a small bouquet of flowers for Erica.

I chose a balloon featuring birthday greetings from three begoggled, overalled, yellow thumb-shaped minions for my daughter, who is in her early thirties.

Let it never be said that we are not young at heart.

The balloon on its weight was secured to my grocery cart, where it floated overhead as I proceeded to the checkout line.

One of my items in said cart, along with the flowers and grapes and strawberries and lettuce and grape tomatoes, was the piece of cardboard in an envelope of clear cellophane, that had served as packaging for my balloon prior to its inhalation of helium.

The employee who'd decanted the precious helium into my balloon and affixed a length of spring-green curling ribbon to it, had said to present that card to the cashier in order to have my purchase rung up.

And, once it was my turn, the cashier (yet another young man) did that. But then, when all of my items had been scanned and it was time to pay, he paused.

Are you getting that balloon today too? he politely inquired, pointing in the direction of the floating minions.

? ? ? ? ?

No; I figured I'd just ask for it to be inflated with helium and then brazenly steal it, I wanted to say.


Uhm, yeeees, I said. And you've already rung it up.

He looked bewildered. He knew he had not scanned the birthday minions held aloft by helium in short supply.

Then the nickel dropped.

Oh! Oh yes! I remember now! he effused, gesturing towards the card encased in cellophane -- the one he'd scanned a few moments before.

Mmmmkay, I thought but did not say.

The cashier bagged my produce and I went out into the sunshine with my flowers, fruits, vegetables, and minions.

Later that evening Audrey, Dagny, Chad, Erica, TG, and I enjoyed time in and around the pool, a dinner of salad with barbecued chicken, and a birthday party complete with 7-up cake, strawberries, and Dunkin' Decaf coffee, on a table decorated with fresh flowers and a minion balloon swaying over our heads.

Isn't that special? And shall we now bring on the June birthdays?

I know. What silly questions.

And that is all for now.


Happy Monday :: Happy June

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