We were up early Sunday morning, if you can call nine AM early. It is for us, but we had things to do and money to spend. I went down to the office to check us out. It was a peaceful morning, no beer party, no hookers, no trolling queers. There’s a Denny’s just down the road, so we planned to have breakfast there.
Michigan is catching up with the rest of North America. No longer is the Denny’s half smoking, and half drifting smoke, hak, hak! We got a nice table near the back window and a pleasant, mature waitress who came from Ireland years ago. Prices at this Denny’s are about half of what the captive Denny’s attached to Days Inns in Niagara Falls charge.
I was reminded of my post titled Lazy and Incompetent, when I found that Denny’s now has pancake balls. They’re like Tim Hortons Timbits, small balls of thick pancake mix, deep-fried. These are for people too busy or lazy to actually cut up pancakes. Just stir some butter and syrup into their serving bowl, and spoon them into your mouth.
As we were waiting for our order, we looked out into the parking lot and spied a large young Negro woman getting out of a Jeep. She was wearing (?) a micro-mini dress which barely covered her assets. This was like two hundred pounds of potatoes in a hundred pound Spanx bag. She leaned back into the Jeep to retrieve something and I saw everything but her appendix scar. Then she tugged the dress down again….in the front. The entire room watched as she sashayed to the front door.
After breakfast, we went up to the big Meijer store. The grandson and I sold our rolled coins to Customer Service. The wife found some correctly sized pullovers, cheap, in four nice colors. We also brought back some liquid coffee creamers in flavors not yet available locally. I’m looking forward to hot chocolate with some Crème Brulée added, but, we came for beet sugar.
There were only fifteen four-pound bags of Peninsular brand sugar, the kind we usually buy, on the shelf, so the grandson bought it, for use at his place. The wife and I took six five-pound bags of the Meijer brand for ourselves. They would have put out more Peninsular, later in the day, but we didn’t plan on going back. This means we hauled back a total of ninety pounds of sugar to Canada. That’s just about the weight of the fiancée who didn’t come with us. She might have had to walk home.
The grandson discovered that, by using self-checkouts, we could pour in and get rid of most of the rest of our pocketfuls of loose change. I still need five State quarters to fill my set. I had hoped to get one or more on the trip, but, by having exact change for almost every purchase, we never got any new coins.
Then we went to the Gibraltar Trade Center, across from the motel. Over 200 vendors in an arena-sized building, we wandered for a couple of hours, and ended by getting some good quality food at the surprisingly diverse food court.
The first thing we bought was some sandalwood musk-oil to add to my manly bath gel. Our daughter is fascinated by things Egyptian. The surprise second item purchased, was a solid gold scarab beetle pendant with semi-precious scales for the head, thorax and wings. It has an ankh molded on its belly.
A middle-aged female (wo)manned this jewelry sales counter. The owner must have been desperate. I wouldn’t have let her supervise a Japanese snake race. When we decided to buy the item, she didn’t know what the price was. She phoned the owner, who told her that all the items are sold by weight, at today’s gold price. She couldn’t figure that out, so he walked her through it. The price came to $232.45, and we proffered our MasterCard.
She walked over to the desk and pushed the card through the slide-reader, and told us it hadn’t gone through. I mentioned that it was a chip-card, and chip-cards don’t scan when swiped. She walked around to the other side of the desk and pulled it through the reader. Since she’s now facing in the opposite direction, the magnetic strip, which was on the inside, is now on the outside. It didn’t go through. She reversed grip on the card, and tried yet another time, and claimed it didn’t go through.
She phoned up and bothered the owner again, who probably said the reader might not work, but she stated it as a certainty. There was a “white” ATM not twenty feet away. We walked over and took a $200 advance against the credit card, and paid the balance out-of-pocket. The ATM fee was $3, and my bank charged another $2, for out-of-country use, plus instant interest on a cash advance.
Two days after we got home, the wife was checking the on-line bank statement, and there was the $232.45 charge. It did go through, at least one of her many tries. If it goes through as a chip-card, we have to input a PIN number. If it goes through as a swipe, we have to sign and authorize the charge, and receive a copy of the machine tape. Neither of these things occurred.
The wife called the bank’s 800 number and spoke to a nice man in the Anti-Fraud department, even though this was probably just incompetence, not intentional fraud. She downloaded a complaint form, filled it out, I signed it, and she faxed it, and a copy of the bill-of-sale showing payment in cash, to the bank. We had the money back in our account within three working days.
If my readership doesn’t drop off drastically from on-line sleeping sickness, I plan to eventually post about our triumphant return. Now there’s talk of the son and I going back for the spring show.