A coin

Last week at the local supermarket, I put a coin into the slot of the shopping cart locking mechanism but nothing happened that I could see so I tried to get the coin back out to try it in the slot of another cart’s locking mechanism. I couldn’t get a good grip on the coin, though, because less than a millimeter was sticking out and I have short fingernails.

I could get it to move a couple microns, but it kept slipping back in. I couldn’t even get it to move enough to tell whether it was somehow locked into the slot (having engaged some mechanism) or I just wasn’t pulling hard enough. People who had arrived after me were taking carts from other nested lines of carts and going about their business.

Noticing my situation, the man who sells the homeless newspaper in front of the store came over. He took some fingernail clippers out of his pocket and got ahold of the edge of the coin that way. I remembered my mother warning me when I was a kid not to put coins in my mouth; her argument was one never knows where they have been whereas I had been more concerned about the choking danger at the time. Now that I am grown I can put coins in my mouth whenever I want, but if I do I’ll always boil them first I guess.

The coin just wouldn’t come out, though, it did appear to be locked in the slot. So the man helping me checked to see whether my insertion of the coin had disengaged the cart lock, something I had neglected to do after failing to hear the usual “click” upon insertion, or see the key pop out as usual.

Indeed, the cart was unlocked and my only problem was me. Funny how that works, I thought. Upon leaving the supermarket, I purchased a newspaper from the man and asked him how his arm was doing, because we had discussed it a few weeks earlier, and he had told me then about slipping and falling on it. It is doing better now, although he dreads the approaching winter, which is expected to be cold.

11 responses to “A coin

  1. zeynep

    when can we read your book? :))

  2. mig

    as i said, my only problem is me.

  3. Coin-operated things either always: a)take my money and not the thing, or b)take my money and give me the thing plus my coin, and sometimes another coin. The uncertainty is too much, sometimes.

  4. Jann

    I used to have trouble with some of the parking meters in Buffalo. You see, they weren’t emptied regularly, and at times were so jampacked with coins that not one more quarter would go through the slot. Of course I could have not put money in, and then tried to explain the situation to the parking court judge (or facsimilie thereof), but that would have required taking time off work to appear, and using some of my vacation or personal leave time. And I might still have lost. A better solution was to take from my trunk my rubber hammer, which I needed to replace my hubcaps which had to be removed to add air to my tires, and give the parking meter a couple of good whacks. The coins would settle enough so that another quarter or two would go in. It worked every time!

  5. D

    I have two manuscripts of Migs that I would be willing to serialise and sell in a weekly/monthly publication to his fans. That way he has a few weeks/months to rewrite the final chapters before everyone sees them…

  6. mg

    final chapters, man. they kill me every time. those and the initial chapters, and the middle ones.

  7. D

    The subchapters needed some work too, and the index was awful!

    I didn’t want to say anything about the title page either… and you may want the blurb on the back cover rewritten?

  8. mig

    Thank god i had my appendix removed.

  9. D

    Folks, we’re here all week.

  10. zeynep

    I can happily buy the manuscripts page by page ! Would that give enough time for a rewrite??

  11. nat

    what’s a homeless newspaper? do the homeless get to write for it, or just sell it? is homelessness as much a problem in austria as here in the us?

    sorry, just curious. i suppose i could look these things up.

    -enjoying your writings, as always