Yesterday, I ran out of beer and smokes. I have been staying with my buddy Eion while the divorce goes through and Buckeye Lake is a summer bedroom community with lots of bars and not much else. There is however a local shop called The Village Pantry. They have snacks, bread, milk, and canned goods, and an extensive selection of beer.
Perfect for my shopping needs.
I had just gotten out of the shower and dressed in my most casual of clothing when I realized the shortage in the house. The word "Poop" crossed my my mind as I surveyed my stock. I was forced to leave the house for some of the essentials.
So off I went.
The store is two streets over but I chose to drive as I didn't want to spoil the hot shower I just emerged from. I went in and selected my beer of choice and ambled to the counter. The gentleman behind the counter was gray-haired, fiftyish, and wore a black Trilby hat and a loud Hawaiian shirt with pineapples.
"Will that be all?" he asked.
"A pack of lights please," I responded
He rang it up and it was more than I had in my pocket. My wallet was at home in the pants I took off for the shower.
"I need the smokes more than the beer," I said, "just let me have those."
I had six bucks. Four in bills and two in quarters.
"Forget it," he said and shoved the till shut, and handed me my smokes.
I drove home under a black cloud. Here was an honest merchant that I had short-changed. I felt like even more of an Asshole than I already did.
I went home and had a cigarette, and turned around and went back after counting out thirty-eight cents out of my change.
He was surprised to see me again.
"I know they count the drawer at night and I would hate for you to come up short. Here," I said.
I didn't know he was the owner.
He and I stood and talked for a half an hour. He told me how he lived next door and bought the place from an old man twenty years ago.
"I don't mind if you are a little short," he swore,"but please don't steal! I had one of my regulars in the other day and he shoved a ham sandwich down his two-year old's diaper because he didn't have the money to feed the kids."
"I gave him the sandwich," he concluded.
"I'll take that beer now," and whipped out my card, "and I won't shop anywhere else!"