I will be the first to admit that I am a suspicious person by nature. The world, after all, conspires against me. My life is teeming with conspiracies. Conspiracies swarm around me like fingerling fish at a hatchery swarm around a food pellet flicked into their watery pen. So of course I question the exchange that occurred today as I purchased my 44 oz. Diet Coke.
I think I purchased my daily dose of caffeinated colored water. I handed over cold, hard cash. And I left with my tasty elixir. But the transaction was fraught with inconsistency.
As I entered the convenience store, foam cup in hand, I detoured to walk by the counter. Waved my cup. "Just getting a refill." The old lady nodded. She was not the usual clerk, but was wearing their red shirt uniform. The regular gals are more rotund. Younger. I moved around the immense Natural Light structure to the soda fountain. I suppose they did not sell as much beer as anticipated over Father's Day weekend. That display was as high as an elephant's eye. Or at least as high as this elephant's shoulders. I clunked the minimal amount of ice into my recycled cup. Added the Diet Coke. Popped on a lid, And went to the counter to pay.
Old Lady and a younger clerk were having a conversation. Old Lady stepped over to the register. I waited for her to ring up my refill. She did not touch the register. She held out her hand, palm up. "It's a refill," I said. She nodded. And kept her hand out. I dumped my three quarters and five pennies into her palm. She closed her fingers. Didn't say thanks, Didn't ring it up. Didn't nod. Only turned to resume her conversation. "Okay. Thanks." I turned and headed out.
For all I know, Old Lady pocketed my money. I did my part. And made a mental note never to cash in lottery tickets in this establishment.
Let the surveillance cameras sort it out.