Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tractor Supply

Today, at Tractor Supply, a woman came in. She was one of the guest columnists selected in my group something like four years ago now. In a careless voice, she said, "So do you still write for the paper?" I told her that yes, I did. And she said, in a bored manner, "I just didn't have any more stories. Don't you run out of things to write about?" I rang up her things. "No. We're surrounded by stories. My problem is figuring out what NOT to write about." And she looked at me as if I was a fool. It made me laugh, that a writer could run out of things to write about.

Today, I met a woman who looked familiar to me. She hailed me by name, but a lot of people know my name, so I thought nothing of it, but heck, not knowing someone has never been a reason not to talk, so I chatted away as I packed her things. She looked at me. "You don't know who I am, do you?" and I admitted that while she looked familiar, I could not place her. It was a woman that I had worked with in 1976. We were both key punch operators. (Trivia? Who can tell me what a key punch operator does?) In addition to the intervening years, there was also the fact that she'd lost 130 pounds since then. It was wonderful to see her again, and I wished we would have had longer to talk.

It was a busy day today, and one of my favorite customers came in. He's a very grumpy old fellow, and he always comes in and gives me a punch in the arm, and says something in a rough tone of voice. I always look over at him, and say something to the effect of "Don't you come in here and start any of your mess. I ain't skeerd of you, pal." That just tickles him, although he just knits his eyebrows together and he says something mean right back. Today, he bought a ton of pellets, and he grumbled and snarled while he filled out his check, and I listened placidly and said something witty and snotty right back at him whenever I had a chance. And he left and headed out the door as I called for a forktruck to meet him outside to load his truck. He'd only been out the door a couple of minutes when I noticed that he'd left his checkbook behind. The manager happened to be walking by, so I said, "Hey, Mark, you know that cranky old fellow that just headed out? You want to give him his checkbook?" and Mark headed out the door. It was a busy day today, and I was working away when I felt that familiar punch in my arm. I looked up and Mr. N growled, "You're the only reason I come in this darn place," and I said, "Well, if management hears about that, they'll fire me for sure," and he laughed and headed back out the door.

The 4H was there, a local group that works with kids, teaching them about animals and farming and hard work, and the like. Since we are a farm store, we support them. They had a bakesale, and sold hot dogs, and sold dollar chances on some merchandise that we'd donated. They brought in a little goat, and a calf and two turkeys, and they caused quite a little stir at the front of the store. Later, one of the adults came in and said, "What's your last name?" I told him, and turns out that Tim had won a prize. The big one. Never mind the fact that he's not supposed to buy chances on merchandise that the store donated. I had no clue that he'd even done it. Ooopsy. Now he knows.

Going to hit the hay early tonight. Last night the neighbor dog was taking a fit in our yard. He'd managed to tree two bears. One in a cherry tree by our shed, and another down in the woods. Big bears too, and both of them too afraid of the dog to come out of their trees. Tim shot one in the butt with a bb gun (I'm sure it stung, and nothing more.) He scampered down out of the tree and took off, and the other bear followed, and we were finally able to get some sleep. Hopefully tonight's a bit quieter.


WhiteStone said...

I hope Tim's big prize was a bear trap.

steviewren said...

lol....about WhiteStone's comment.

I wish I had witty comebacks for people like you do Deb. Alas, I'm too serious or too dumb....I'm going with serious on this one.

Mikey said...

Whitestone, lol, you said it..
I just love your Tractor Supply stories. The writer part made me laugh, but yet made me sad for the woman, to have run out of stories (to me that means you aren't actively participating in life anymore). Like you, it's what NOT to write about. Life is funny if you look at it that way, and I chose to do so.
PS - Mercy won her gymkhana tonight, the next one they give out the buckle. I hear she's in the lead.

jeanie said...

Oh lord, that poor woman - I have moments like that these days - not that I have nothing to write about, just that when I get to THIS SPOT where I can, I am just so out of juice all I can do is list my shortcomings and fall into bed - and I won't allow myself to read that sort of crud, so try not to inflict it on anyone else.

There are great stories that I come across though - unfortunately, all occur when I have no time or opportunity to convert them from those moments in life to those moments in print (or online).

I am very glad that YOU do, though.

Bill of Wasilla said...

There's too much to like in this story - but hunting bears with a BB gun. Wow! Now that takes...

I think the problem some of us writers have is just the opposite - we can think of too much to write about and we want to write about it all, right now - and that just can't be done.

I think you would do good in the Alaska bush.

Grahamn Kracker said...

In fact, I don't think you and Tim should be in PA at all.

You two are Alaskans, unwittingly trapped in the Lower 48.

Debby said...

Well, Bill, he didn't want to hurt it, not really. But he did want it to remember that if it came back it would be spotlighted, and there would be an annoying dog who can bark forever, and that humans can be a real pain in the butt. LOL about the 'Alaskans'. I don't know about that. Your bears seem to be the sort you would not want to hunt with BB guns.

Debby said...

Tim's big prize was a weather station, and the store manager said that now we needed to call the store every morning and tell them how to dress. That would be great fun, wouldn't it? ("nah. You don't need mittens. A coat either.")

Kelly said...

Aww.. did Tim have to forfeit the prize since he was married to an employee??

Keypunch - back when I worked in a bank many years ago, the keypunch operators entered all the checks that came through the bank into the machine which "punched" holes into the cards that then ran through the computer. I remember how quickly they all worked....and with very little error!

Jayne said...

Lordy, I'll stick to the manky possums running amok on the roof and let you keep your bears.
No, really, it's too much, I couldn't let you mail me one :P

quid said...

Lions and tigers and BEARS, oh my! A good day's worth of stories, Deb. Keep em coming!