I stopped in at Wal-Mart to get some vitamins for my brain and some corn beef hash. I had wanted to get more sardines because the ones I had at home were from a warehouse store and I don’t like them as much but sadly they did not make it onto my mental list until I was thinking back on the visit. It took me a while to find the DHA supplements I was looking for to help lessen the effect of my ADD, but eventually I made my way to the canned meat aisle.
As I was looking for my beloved hash meat, I saw on the floor ahead of me across the aisle, what looked like a hundred dollar bill folded in half! “Woo!” I thought and froze in the face of my good fortune. It was one of those new ones with the large portrait and I could see most of Franklin’s face as it was folded almost exactly at the tip of his nose.
To my horror, a large woman with peach colored hair approached my yet unclaimed hondo. In her mouth, was one of those cigarette stalk things you would see in Cruella De Vil’s possession. It had a cigarette in it but it was not lit of course. “Why carry it around in the store like you were smoking?” I mused. Distracting as her appearance was, my main concern was whether or not we were going to argue about my money, because at that point SHE was closer to being one C-note richer than I was. Since she was looking down at what presumably was her grocery list, it was a very real possibility she would see it before she passed it. My heart pounded and I had a sudden inspiration. “Do you know where the corned beef hash is?” I said very pleased with myself. Annoyed, she looked up and pointed, “Ain’t that it there?” I was so glad I outfoxed this cantankerous woman because she would have just bought more clown makeup with MY money! Politely, I said my thank you and waited for her to walk by.
Two quick steps, and I was in position to claim my prize. My cell phone rang. I ignored it. As I started to kneel to snatch it up, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
I turned with a start and saw a guy I used to work with as a security guard. “Remember me?” He still had his jagged teeth that made him look like he chews rocks but he had gotten so thin since the last time I had seen him. When I worked with him, he was fresh out of the army and had been a little buff from being a mortar and he lifted weights right there at the guard shack. Strategically, I covered a certain part of the floor with my foot as I got my phone off my belt to silence it. It looked like a sales call anyway and I made small talk with dude who’s name I still don’t remember.
We concluded the banter and reverie and it became safe for me to get back to what I was doing. I moved like a ninja and in a flash it was safe in my front pocket. I looked both ways and determined I was not seen procuring my booty. I collected the hash and paid for my stuff at the automotive counter, because I always park there so I can get in and out quickly. In the protected cocoon of my van I pulled the bill out to inspect it. I was the proud owner of about sixty percent of the bill. The rest had been torn off and there was just enough to fold over at the middle making it look and feel whole. “Oh, for the sake of Pete’s dragon!” I didn’t say that in my head. If I would have been standing rather than sitting in my vehicle, I may have jumped up and down like a cartoon. What a bummer. Still fuming, I flipped it over and saw the writing. With a Sharpie, someone had written “Want the rest? Text!” and then a number.
As you can surely imagine, many things went through my mind. What kind of game is this person playing? What is so important to risk a hundred dollars? There is no way this can be a good thing! Probably some freak or a murderer or just a whack job. Obviously, there was some risk but how do you ignore half a hundred dollars in your pocket? Is that not a missed opportunity? Should have just turned the bill in somewhere? Where? Wal-Mart? The police?
“I already have part of the money and there is some indication that I may get the rest. It is sad and lonely and needs to be reunited with its better half!” I said aloud and pulled my phone from my hip.
Staring at my phone, considering what to say in the text, I was lost in thought. The phone rang again and I jumped.
“Cripe, what now!?” I said through my teeth in a way that caused my neck tendons to stick out like the hood of a cobra.
It was my wife calling about a job I was going to bid. Thankfully, she didn’t ask where I was because I may have told her about my quasi money procurement and then she would worry about me contacting some weirdo to obtain the rest of it. I needed to have my head as clear of distraction as possible. Her worrying would only yield more phone calls. Little did I know, that would not matter soon.