While at the beach recently, my wife and I stopped at the quintessential beach town book store. It was a cute little place and exactly what you’d expect down to the requisite cat lounging in the vicinity of the kid’s books. Thanks to the damn kids loitering my petting time was limited. Worse, I was homesick for my babies left behind home alone. (With visits from the cat sitter.)
The store had limited selection of new books, mainly best sellers, and as such wasn’t too interesting. Not too surprisingly their books were offered at full cover price. Pretty standard really for homey places trying to compete with the big boys. I like supporting little local shops so I strongly considered picking up a new copy of Sycamore Row by John Grisham in hardback for only $28.95 USD. I hadn’t heard of the book before and Grisham is a no-brainer who always delivers.
Still, three Hamiltons for a single book was a little much and besides, who the hell has time to read while on vacation? I reluctantly put the book back and decided to wait.
Later, my wife decided to check out another local book store, this one a dumpy place offering used books. Lo and behold, what did she find? Yup, a copy of Sycamore Row with a hand-written price sticker of 25 cents.
Hey, that falls into my budget.
Knowing me like she does, my wife dutifully snatched it up. But when she took it to the counter the shopkeeper realized what was going on and balked. It was time for the “that’s the wrong price” game. Little did he know what a fierce contestant he was up against.
For eight years we’ve tried not to obtain any AA batteries. Instead we got a fancy charger and four sets of batteries to feed (in an eco-friendly way) our power-hungry cameras. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to take masterpiece photographs like the one featured in this very post.
Even so, occasionally we’d fail and still somehow end up buying those piece of shit single-use AAs. I couldn’t bring myself to toss them in the trash so I stuck ’em in a jar on the shelf. The thought of my used up batteries leeching chemicals into the Earth thousands of years after I was gone just didn’t sit right with me.
Over time the collection slowly grew. I tried to put it out of my mind. No place local would take them. I had no clue what to do.
Moving day looms large. It’s only three days until I’m supposed to fill that truck. Meanwhile, what to do with my rotting collection of AA carcasses? My choices seem obvious. Pack them and haul them to the new house (even more dead weight up used up possessions) or give up and throw them in the garbage because my body is destroyed from packing and I have no fight left in me.
I guess I could throw them in a fire and roast hotdogs and marshmallows on them. Seems a fitting end. For both of us.
Sometimes the path of giving up and giving in can lead to the ultimate liberation. I should know. I have plenty of experience with both.
Ah, shit. I don’t have the guts to toss ’em in the landfill. I guess they’ll make a nice paperweight in my new office. Till death do us part! Maybe I can be buried with them. “Here lies Tom B. Taker. He’s all charged up about it.”