Will Edwinson

Author & Storyteller

Where’s the checkbook?

Checkbook

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When it comes to idiocy, Jim Mullen who writes the syndicated column entitled the “Village Idiot” has nothing on me. My antic, which I am about to describe, ranks right up there with the best of his. It all started at Fred Meyer’s when I received a telephone call on my cell phone. Those blasted things annoy the devil out of me. I can’t, for the life of me, understand why I even have one, but I do. Anyway, as I was making my shopping rounds the phone rang. It was from my insurance agent. In the course of the conversation, a question of an insurance payment came up. I happened to have my check book with me, so ascertaining the payment in question would be no problem. (It’s important to note here that I carried my checkbook in my coat pocket securely zipped.) I looked in my register and found the payment in question. All was well. It’s after this, when begins my idiocy.

I resumed my shopping. Less than ten minutes later, I headed for the checkout counter. When I reached for my checkbook it was not where it was supposed to be. I thought I had placed it back in my coat pocked and zipped the zipper. But, no, it was not there. I checked my other pockets; no checkbook. I immediately began retracing my steps back to where my phone conversation had taken place. Perhaps it had fallen out of my pocket somewhere between where I discovered the loss and where I had previously been. No checkbook to be found along the way. I checked all the shelves where I had been talking, because I remembered I had laid it on one of the shelves to enhance my looking for the payment in question. No checkbook there, either. I retraced my steps three times over the course of an hour. Still no checkbook. I went to the information booth to see if anyone had turned it in. No one had.

By now, there was nothing left to do but go to the bank and stop payment on any additional checks that might be written on the account. However, this presented problems of another sort, because I had recently paid some bills and I didn’t want those checks stopped or my creditors would be on my case. I wasn’t sure what the number of the last check I had written was, and there was no way to tell, because, naturally, the register containing these recorded checks was lost with the checkbook.

If I may, let me digress and remind you again, folks, that I had searched my pockets several times, just to make sure I had no checkbook. Now, don’t get ahead of me yet; I still found no checkbook. After some lengthy deliberation, I, and the sympathetic and accommodating young woman at the bank–and her supervisor–finally decided on which check number we would start the non-payment, and proceeded with the plan. They would monitor my outstanding checks as they cleared. When all had cleared up to the number that we had pre-selected for them to stop, I would close the account and open a new one.  I breathed a sigh of relief. A plan was hatched, and maybe I’d be lucky enough not to suffer too large a loss if the person whom I felt had found my checkbook decided to keep it and write checks on it.

Just before retiring to bed that night, I was thinking to myself—and praying—that I sure would like to find that checkbook. When I removed my britches, guess what. (Yeah, you’re ahead of me now, aren’t you?) There in the back pocket of my pants was the checkbook. It was a pocket I only use for handkerchiefs, and I guess I had absentmindedly placed the checkbook in that pocket after I finished my phone call. My subconscious had probably been telling me all along, that because the only thing I ever put in that pocket was a handkerchief, there was no need to look there for a checkbook. So, like the idiot I was that day; I didn’t look there. As I said in the beginning of this piece, Jim Mullen, author of the “Village Idiot” has nothing on me.

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