Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Purpose of Pennies

Today, loyal readers, among many other errands, Mom sent me into the local drug store with a list of candy to buy at half price (this being the second day following Easter, of course).  Most of this list consisted of various Reese's products in a number of shapes and sizes.

Upon collecting the correct assortment of sugary delights, I stepped forth toward the cash register only to be cut off by an ancient little woman with a chapstick in one hand and a purple bag emblazoned with the name of a Canadian whiskey in the other.

I knew, beloved readers, what was about to happen, for I was once a cashier myself.

The revered elder presented the chapstick and then dumped the contents of the purple bag on the counter.  It consisted of 352 unwrapped pennies (a fact revealed somewhat later but which I decided to include here because I am a demi-omnipotent narrator with poetic license).

Now there are two ways a person can handle such a sight, as all of you probably know.  I chose the other one.

"You have quite the collection of pennies!" I said heartily to the aged one.

She swiveled around to glare at me balefully.  "You are buying too much candy," she proclaimed.

"Ah!" said I, "This would be true were I buying it for myself, but I have been sent upon a quest for all this candy by my mother who is an elderly woman like yourself."  And here I presented her with my list as proof of the aforementioned quest.

The old woman gazed upon the evidence, and then patted my hand approvingly.  "Your mother likes her Reese's, doesn't she?  Tell me, dear, what does she do with her pennies?"

At this point, precious readers, I should mention that three drug store employees were trying to count the pennies together.  Some of the not-really-copper-anymore discs were falling upon the floor. 

"Oh, she gives them to me," I answered, "and I use them in my slingshot to kill squirrels."

The drug store employees paused, glanced at one another, and then returned to their task.

"Why," asked the kind old crone, "would you do such a thing?"

"Because squirrels are evil," I explained.  "It is their delight to torment cats and medievalists and then shake their little tails at us.  Some people worry about a zombie apocalypse, but I know that it's the squirrels that will get us in the end."

"You are a strange person," pronounced the old woman, "but a good daughter."

"Thank you," I told her.  And then, because while I am a liar* and a squirrel-worrier, I am not mean to little old women or drug store employees, I paid for her chapstick along with Mom's candy, and helped her put her pennies back into her bag.

Also, I may have explained how to hit an attacker with a bag of pennies as we were leaving the store.  I cannot confirm this part of the tale, for I am only a demi-omnipotent narrator.

*The lie, of course, is that I attack squirrels with a slingshot.  I'm not allowed ballistic weapons of any kind.

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