The Test

Altoid Smalls “Cinnamon” Stress Pills

So, I’m going from checkout aisle to checkout aisle looking for  these Altoids Smalls.  The cinnamon-flavored ones only, mind you.  I’m having little miniature fits under my breath, because all I’m seeing are the peppermint ones.  I could sense I was under the influence of an OCD spell, which’ll hit me from time to time, especially when I’m out in public.

I’ve adopted these little mints as my stress-relieving pills.  Sucking on them  calms me down, especially at the height of a busy day.   This store was not very good at keeping the item stocked on a consistent basis, so I felt the need to buy several to last me for the next two weeks.
I managed to gather up 12 little canisters of the things after going down 11 of the 12 aisles.  I left two total on the shelves  just to remind these people that they sold the item.  When I got to checkout, the young lady who was ringing my stuff counted them and dropped them in the bag.

As she quickly scanned the next grocery items, the OCD  struck me again.  “How many of those Altoids did you scan?”  I interrupted.   Her youthful mind thought for a second, said thirteen, looked at the screen and somehow verified thirteen.   She offered to recount them, and when she did, she counted twelve and apologized.  I thought so.  Never trust their counting.

She deleted one from the computer, and gave me a reassuring smile.  She was nice about it.  A point for her.

I paid for my stuff, and as I walked toward the exit, I checked my receipt.  Lo and behold it read:    11   @ 0.99¢  

‘Got – – – -!’

I stopped in my tracks.   My mind started racing.   ‘Okay, now this isn’t my fault.  I was ready and willing to pay for all twelve of these things.  She  made a mistake, so I am supposed to fix it?    I am not going back in line to pay for one Altoids canister.  It’s only a dollar.  Now, if it was two dollars, there’d be no question, I’d go back . . .  but I’m leaving.  I’ve got things to do today.’   I proceeded to walk toward the exit staring at my receipt.

But, it was bothering me.  It was like an alarm was sounding in my head ( same as the sensors at the store’s doorway).  The voices in my head started campaigning:

Go back, go back.  For a dollar, no!  You can’t walk out with that, suppose they catch you in the parking lot.  They’re not going to catch you. There’ no way they could have realized a mistake was made.  Just go!  Go, and stop being ridiculous over a dollar.   After the money you’ve spent in this store? They should be happy you choose to shop here.    Listen, you need to go back and pay for it.  It’s the right thing to do.. . . (I was five feet from the doorway.  People were coming and going.  I took my bags out of the basket.)  You’re probably being tested!!!

Tested??  That did it.  That voice was right.  I was probably  being tested.  God or maybe some of his angels were probably watching and waiting to see if I’d pass or fail.  This could be the impetus that decides my life over the next two years!  Without further ado, I beelined back through the store and headed to Guest Services.  I told the young man that I had twelve cannisters and was only charged for eleven.  He nonchalantly took the receipt and charged me for another one.  No biggie to him.  I was no hero.

Total @ 0.99¢  plus tax = $1.07

Whew!  I walked out of the store, glad I did the right thing.  I’m no angel though, I sure thought about walking straight on out of there (mainly because of the inconvenience of going back.)  I’m glad I possess those little voices to help me decide.

Yay, I passed!!!!!                                                                                  (I hope)


WOrD oF tHe daY


Etymology:Latin cogitatus, past participle of cogitare to think, think about, from co- + agitare to drive, agitate
Date:circa 1587

transitive senses   : to ponder or meditate on usually intently
intransitive senses   : to meditate deeply or intently
synonyms see THINK

(from Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary)


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4 Responses »

  1. I am absolutely laughing out loud…I would have failed this test because I would have run – not walked – to my car feeling over the moon victorious for saving a whole dollar! Ha!

    • I know what you mean (cliche). But I can’t condone what you’d have done. I could lose my point! For what amount of money on an item would you have gone back? a) none, the more the merrier b) two dollars c) anything over twenty dollars d) any amount, even 5 cents is not worth taking.

      • Sometimes, we find it harder to undo the wrong because of the greater “rewards” (at least the way we see it), or do the right because of the more severe consequences.
        Sometimes, we obey the voice of right/truth. God help us the times we just go ahead and stubbornly do wrong anyway!

        Thanks for following my blog. Acknowledged.

      • Agreed. He knows we’re not perfect.

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Writing Goals

My First Completed EbookNovember 11th, 2013
I will put my first Ebook on Amazon

The Background: Swamp Scene in Avoyelles Parish

The scene is a swamp in Louisiana, my home state. It is also the setting of my beloved story that I will finish one day, even if I have to take it up to Heaven in a folder with a pen. God would say, "you're still carrying around that thing?" I would nod my head and give him a humble blink, my pen and paper in hand. He would then ask, "so how are you going to get it to your audience when you're done?" I would gulp and give him another humble blink. Then I'd look down at my work and a grin would grow on my face . . . (you won't get it until after you read my book, once I do finish it. . .)
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