It is that time of year again: the beginning of another school year. And along with that comes school fundraisers (and having to actually turn the lights on in order to get ready for work in the morning, which is so depressing). Early in the week, my co-worker brought in the sign-up sheet and a sample of this year's fundraiser for her neice's class, which is entertainment coupon books. Of course I signed up for one. I can't resist helping the schools.
Several other co-workers signed up for them too and late Friday afternoon, three of us got into a conversation on how school fundraisers, Girl Scout cookie sales, etc. have changed since back in the day when we were the ones selling them. Back when I was a kid (Good God-when did I get old enough to actually start sentences that way?!), I roamed the neighborhood going door-to-door selling stuff on my own. I even had a regular customer-Mrs. Hutsell. I wasn't even the closest kid to her house, but every year, she waited just for me to come knocking on her door. I always went to her first, especially if I had candy bars. I wanted to make sure she got first crack at her favorite for being so nice to me. It made a HUGE impact-and this is a huge reason why I always buy from all the kids. I hope that someday I will fondly be remembered as someone's Mrs. Hutsell.
Now kids don't sell door-to-door on their own anymore. They either camp out in front of the grocery store or the parents are expected to do it. It's too dangerous for the kids to do it themselves. I was telling my co-workers how I have actually had two boy scouts come to my door the last two years, but their mom comes with them. They are so cute. They come in their little uniforms and make their little sales pitch and they are always so happy when they complete the sale. I even let them help me decide what I should buy.
I also told my co-workers that last year I had a set of twin boys come to my house to sell cookie dough and how my first thought was "where on Earth is your mother?!" I bought cookie dough but I was pretty sure that was the last I was going to see of these little boys. I told them I was even more unconvinced I would ever actually see the cookie dough when the school called to tell me they had found my check in the parking lot along with several others and they were trying to verify which student to credit for the sale. Yikes! (I did get the cookie dough-my friends and I enjoyed the cookies during last month's camping trip). So, I jokingly said to the co-worker selling the books that if her neice could actually get the check to her teacher, that would be swell.
When I went to leave Friday, one of the co-workers (L) who I was having this conversation with was in the office of another co-worker, J, who was not present for the conversation. As I walked by, L said to have a good weekend and try to get some sleep-I had mentioned I didn't get to sleep in this weekend due to volunteer commitments. Then L and J started talking really quietly, which I found odd, but I shrugged it off.
As I was putting my stuff in my car, J opened the blinds to her office. I was parked in front of her window. Again, I thought this was odd-plenty of light still gets in with the shades drawn-but figured there must have been something she wanted to look at pertaining to whatever she and L were talking about. (I can be so clueless). I walked around to the driver side of my car and started to get in when I noticed there was a piece of paper by my front tire. Annoyed, I got out of the car and went to grab it. Our building had been tagged by gangbangers earlier in the week and I didn't think we needed a parking lot full of litter on top of it.
I saw J had her cell phone out and looked like she was going to take a picture of me. So, I stuck my tongue out at her (I do that a lot in pictures). I bent down to get the paper but found it was wedged under my tire. And then I saw my and James' names on it and I realized it was a copy of the check I had used to pay for the coupon book. I noticed our address had been crossed out but I couldn't see the rest of the check. I backed up my car and when I went to grab the paper, it flew out of reach under my car. I wanted to get it because I didn't know if the account information had been crossed out as well (it had been). So, I got down on my hands and knees to try to retrieve it. I should probably mention at this point that on Thursday (day before), I had smashed my knee into the corner of the server, and then went and lugged school supplies around after work which did not help, so I was down on the cement parking lot on a VERY painfully bruised knee. By this time, my co-workers were standing in the doorway laughing at me and taking pictures. Apparently, they had to lift the car to put the "check" under the tire and were afraid they would set my alarm off. J said she was going to send the instigator the pictures (she was gone for the day) with a message that said "payback is a beyotch." I said to tell her I was NOT amused. I wasn't upset about the joke as much as having to get down on an already painful knee. J asked if I wanted her to shred the "check" for me but I told her I had 3 shredders at home: a little $15 Bosser that works much better than the $80 cross-cut we bought and two paper loving dogs.
As I got into the car, I gleefully thought that I had all weekend to come up with my payback. As I was getting settled, I happened to glance over at the pocket in passenger door. And an idea started to take shape...