Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It Hurts to My Very Core

Well, it happened. The frugality got out of control, I'll admit. You knew it was going to happen. No, I didn't get imprisoned for coupon fraud or anything like that, but I did stoop a level. Let me take you with me....

I was driving along Park, kind of a busy thoroughfare 'round where I live. But, through six lanes of traffic, I saw it! Over there, to the right....in someone's alley. Right next to their trashcans, the sun shone upon the treasure I'd been looking for: gently used toys! I'm not talking trash, people. These were Big Expensive Toys.

Like this car,

this easel,
and this bike. Just sitting there! Next to the trashcans! My mind began to race as my heart picked up the pace. Were they really trash? Free trash? Perfectly good, new-looking toys just cast out on what must be bulk trash day? I drove several more blocks while the wheels in my mind turned and processed before making a determined U-turn and whipping my car back in the direction of the Treasure. We're talking $168 worth of toys here.

I steered carefully into their alley to check this situation out and make sure this was really trash. I wasn't trying to steal anything. After a quick survey of the situation, I decided the appropriate thing to do was to ask the owner. As Piglet was in the car, I had to drive around to the front of the house to ask, so I slowly pulled away from my find. Glancing in the rearview mirror, I saw a white van pull up in my spot and a door open. They were checking out my loot! Oh, NO she DI-ENT! I threw it in reverse and squealed back to the thieves.

"Hi!" I called cheerfully. "Do you think that's trash? I was just going to ask the owner myself." Smile. [Translation: Step off my goods, freak! I was here first!]

"Yo no hablo ingles. Blah blahdy blado." she said smiling. Yeah, sure you don't.

"I'm going around front to ask her!" I said with a glare and stepped back into my car. I whizzed around the corner and screeched to a halt in front of the house in question. Then I almost fell out of the car. The thief had dashed around front on foot and was already talking to the woman! This person who allegedly spoke no English! You have got to be kidding me. Knowing I had lost the game, I stepped on it and drove around the block, pulling up directly behind her car. I watched her load all three items into the back of her massive Tahoe with tears in my eyes. I don't think I can properly put into words how much this hurt me. The angst! The heartache! The physical pain of losing! ARGH.
If I had just had the nerve to load the toys up on the first pass. Stupid me, doing the right thing. I mean, they were next to the trash! What did I think they were? Blast. Foiled again.

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