Humor

Waiting for Change

         Got Change?

                                 Got Change?

A while back, I belonged to a writer’s group in Capitola, California. Our illustrious mentor, Corinne Loveland, started each session with a writing prompt. We wrote for twenty minutes and then read our work out loud to the group. I do not consider myself a humorist, so when my “audience” was laughing out loud, I was puzzled.

“Whaaaat? I’m just telling my story over here!” and I continued to read the piece. It wasn’t until the next reader and the one after that read their work that I realized why it was funny.

So, the prompt was “Waiting for Change.” Here’s what I wrote:

Waiting for change always seems to take longer than you would expect. You stand there in the checkout line concentrating on looking casual while your jaw clenches tighter and tighter. You take a few deep breaths without making any noise lest your impatience becomes noticeable making the cashier nervous causing her to miscount due to the anxiety you have instilled in her, and she has to start over. After all, you know she’s doing the best she can. It’s obvious that English is her second language and she most likely grew up with a different monetary system. How would you like to be making change in say, Costa Rica? Let’s see, if there are three hundred colones to the dollar … hmmm, not so easy when you put it that way. 

I’ve taken to carrying small bills and two change purses in addition to my wallet. One holds only pennies while the other keeps the quarters. The change compartment in the actual wallet has the nickels and dimes. Whenever I can whip out exact change, I do so; down to the irritating little penny. Some places have penny bowls next to the cash register. Give a few, take a few. Theoretically, it all evens out in the end, but my understanding is the value of a penny is less than that which it takes to manufacture it. That just doesn’t make any sense (cents).

The only problem is sometimes I don’t get the trio of purses out fast enough. On these occasions making the exact change seems to take longer than it should and the people in the line behind me get annoyed. If I feel the pressure on the back of my neck, I abandon my effort and thrust the bills into the cashier’s hand. Let her take too long to make the change and at least I don’t have to shuffle out of the store with my eyes cast downward because I took too long to make exact change.

Once in a blue moon there is a standoff. I have deftly slipped out exact change never taking my eyes off the three designated purses which are lined up on the counter. With fingers flying, I race through the main players; the quarters and the pennies. I love the penny holder – it’s made of red satin Chinese printed fabric and was designed to be a lipstick holder with a built-in mirror on the inside of the cover. If I hold it up to shoulder level, I can sneak a peek at the person behind me in line to check the annoyance level. If it’s mild, I continue. If I see blood boiling, I whip out those paper bills. When I have exact change ready and the cashier has already counted out the change anticipating my payment by the reserve $20 bill I have tucked between my fingers, I lower my head and look through my eyebrows. That look says, “Don’t make me return these coins to their individual purses. Return your counted out coins to the black compartments in the register, smile and say ‘Have a nice day’ and everybody will be happy.”

Everybody else in the group wrote about “Life Changes.” Tells you something about how I think.

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Waiting for Change

  1. OMG OMG Carole, this is far and away one of the funniest things I have ever read…your misunderstanding of the prompt is priceless, but what amazes me is that you were able to wrap your brilliance around the concept of actually waiting for change and wrote a stand alone entertaining piece that had me in stitches…waiting for change…gotta love the way you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. three separate purses for nickels, dimes, quarters y pennies. I am guessing you keep a pretty well organized closet and dresser. :0) OC anyone? lol. good post CJ. I once tried to organize my closet by the types of shirts. ie, t-shirts, polo shirts, long sleeve shirts. it was too much for me. so now I am back to sliding my shirts/hangers back and forth looking for the shirt I want to wear each day. I used to be pretty type A. I am prettys sure I am back sliding a few letters each new year these days. I’ve gotta be a type E or F by now. slowing down and pretty much liking it. and you must be brilliant. I thought your post was exactly what the prompt was looking for. great minds right???? lol. gary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Gary!! I hope you are enjoying your new type F-ness. I am back in the land of stimulation and enjoying it.Remember, I take a LOT of license when I write.Like you, I did try to color organize my closet. It only stays that way for a day or 2. Water seeks its own level! Enjoying every moment. Best, CJ

      Like

  3. Hey CJ,

    There is certainly a new vitality in your writing since this piece aired. I can see your humor just under the surface, and waiting to burst forth. Today’s CJ lets it all out, and that is what makes your writing so much fun for everyone.

    Am reviewing Paula’s project, and will send her my initial thoughts later today.

    Have you set down anything resembling roots as of now?

    I am walking much better, and with daily frequency. Still quite a bit of pain, but improving every day. I have not submitted my application to Dancing With the Stars… and probably won’t.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    XOXO

    *Bob*

    *Robert C Brashears* *506 8684 2526*

    On Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 1:20 PM, Carole Jean’s Capers wrote:

    > CaroleJean’sCapers@wordpress.com posted: ” A while back, I belonged to a > writer’s group in Capitola, California. Our illustrious mentor, Corinne > Loveland, started each session with a writing prompt. We wrote for twenty > minutes and then read our work out loud to the group. I do not consider > mys” Respond to this post by replying above this line > New post on *Carole Jean’s Capers* > Waiting for > Change > by > CaroleJean’sCapers@wordpress.com > > > [image: Got Change?] > > > Got Change? > > A while back, I belonged to a writer’s group in Capitola, California. Our > illustrious mentor, Corinne Loveland, started each session with a writing > prompt. We wrote for twenty minutes and then read our work out loud to the > group. I do not consider myself a humorist, so when my “audience” was > laughing out loud, I was puzzled. > > “Whaaaat? I’m just telling my story over here!” and I continued to read > the piece. It wasn’t until the next reader and the one after that read > their work that I realized why it was funny. > > So, the prompt was “Waiting for Change.” Here’s wh

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carole, another burst out laugh you gave me.,looking at the person behind you with your lipstick mirror,you are too funny.Thank you for making my day a little bit happier.I’ll be chuckling to myself all day.p.s. never have our friend in front of you in line.lol

    Liked by 1 person

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