Keyed Up

Almost .08 cents a piece is about my limit. Didn’t realize this was my maximum price per cheap, China-made key holder rings until today. Had they not been color coded, my ceiling would have been far less AND, if the previous little impish bag of key holders I bought two weeks ago wasn’t missing, there’d be no need for this .94 cents purchase at all.

See, I lost ten of the twelve. Eighty-three percent of a previous bag of key holders are, still, playing with my mind. Two are in use, happily, but there’s no appeasing a distraught, mildly tense man who has since made repurchase ring reparations … and I’m just getting started.

Today is one of those weird days in January, so to assume the normal is, well, wrong. Snow should be blowing along with the crackling of salt and ice under the tires of slow moving cars. Instead, there are near 50-degree dry roads with an old, white pick-up truck in front of me, a few minutes ago, wanting to make a left turn while the red left turn arrow clearly was begging him not to … as was all the oncoming traffic. No harm done, fortunately.

Earlier, a regrettable error in shipping, and a few emails back and forth “over the pond”, did add some levity to my morning. I’ve fashioned a rather nice business relationship with a couple and feel quite jammy over it. Their business has been so kind to me. Wanting to show my appreciation, I thought sending them some small things to demonstrate same would be a good gesture. Yesterday, I carefully packaged up two items and was quite chuffed about it .. until this morning when I realized only one of the two actually made it into the box – which was, yes, on the first leg of a week long package vacation. You may think, “Codswallop, there Bloke”. To which I reply in Australian for no reason, “No, Mate. There’s more…”.

Hoping to send said second package this morning to the U.K., I quickly realized, prior to sending it out, today wasn’t going to be normal. The second “gift” couldn’t be sent. Details can’t be disclosed. Suffice to say, I had a hunch that turned out to be correct. Thus the following email to my ever so patient friend and business correspondent:

…aaaand, of course THAT plan backfired after I realized one unalterable fact existing between the US and UK. I had to, once again, be quick on my feet. Not what I originally wanted, but hey, you’ll get a chuckle and enjoy the merriment of the moment upon opening envelope #2″

Her reply, as a follower of my blog:

“I can see a new blog post coming on…”

Well done, my friend. You are a prognosticator of the highest order!

Three. I ate a Big Mac for breakfast. Ugh. Why?

All of this … getting me to my key ring problem about which I’m still miffed. Not the price. .94 cents…uhm, I can live with that – top of my range, but ok. The color assortment problematic with the tan in there, however the dark blue makes up for it. Looooove dark blue. Where are the other 10? Yes, THAT’s still a looming cloud over my day.

Here’s the problem: checking out at the register. Not normal, anymore. With my expensive little bag of foreign plastic key nuggets in hand, all I wanted to do is hand her $1 US and get back .06 cents. It was already a long day. I’d lost ten of the little darlings to fate, digested more than my daily allowance of sodium, and couldn’t send a simple trinket of thanks to the U.K.. Please, with all that is good in this blessed world, help me….

The clerk, after clearing up a break room food discussion with another clerk two registers across, did finally attend to my large order. Scan. “Bing” … and then it happened.

“Your phone number, please?”

“What, why?”

“I have to put a number in our system.”

“Why? I’m only buying $1 worth ? You need my phone number for that?”


“How about I let you keep the change (knowing it’ll be less than $1 .. been here done it) … and I don’t give you my number?”

“I don’t think I can do that.”

“Ok. Can I have your number?”


“I just asked you that”


“Sure, I’ll give you my (fake) number … it’s …”

Where’s the privacy anymore? Not to mention receipt sizes equal to the size of the order? I could line up all my new key rings end to end and STILL be shorter than the receipt purged out from the dingy spitter. What’s with the question ..? I’m sure they want to know what dudes (ettes) walk through the store. Gettin’ the vibe there. What’s wrong with: “Hey, where Y’all from?”, or have a freakin’ key on the register labeled, “Person refuses to answer the stupid-a&& phone number question”, because he’s paying cash, not buying a Porsche, isn’t in line to be King of England, has no intention of replacing you as “Cashier of the year”, and can’t even keep track of twelve little pieces of imported plastic from two weeks ago.

This was not a normal day. I sure hope it was for you. Let me know if you need a key ring. Sure as tomorrow is the day after today, I’ll find the lost buggers. Blimey.

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