Thursday, November 14, 2019


Life offers multiple surprises. Take yesterday for instance.

In a hurry to buy a new Aveeno moisturizer, I stared at Walgreens Aveeno display of all shapes and sizes. But I couldn't see the Big One I wanted. Oh, hell, they all say "moisturizing." Any one must do. I grabbed a little boxed item. 

My first surprise came at the cash register when the cashier rang up $18 for that little box. $18!!! I bought it anyway.

That night I compared the $18 little box with the Big One I wanted to replace. Half the weight and twice the price.

I opened the little $18 box and pulled out a bottle. It looked nothing like my Big One; it even had a curved plastic beak.

Oh durn. Mistake. That's what I get for being in a hurry.

I put the bottles on my cosmetic shelf and went to sleep.

The next morning I decided to return the $18 Beaked Bottle and locate a clerk to help me find a Big One to buy.  I put my sample Big One in a bag, then grabbed the $18 Wonder and stuffed it in its box.

I couldn't close the lid, but I took it to Walgreens anyway.There on the big cosmetics counter, I unpacked everything.

The clerk, dressed like a gypsy in a flowing flowered gown, marched away with my sample Big One and returned with its twin. 

"Is this what you want?"

Surprise number two: Was it ever! Now where did she find it? Not on the Aveeno shelf.

Then the clerk picked up my $18 Wonder, now a little box full of a too-big bottle. 

"It doesn't even fit!" she cried.

I knew that, but the surprise was that she credited my card for $18 anyway.

Then she pulled the ill-fitting bottle out of its little box.

"Why look! It's not even the same brand."

I looked. She was right. The bottle label read Neutrogena, not Aveeno.

I signed papers and went home with my $18 credit, my twin Big Ones, both old and new.

That night, I couldn't sleep for wondering about this. I finally crawled out of bed, turned on the light, and looked for my half-used Neutrogena bottle. 

It was missing. I had packed it in the small box and taken it to Walgreens. In its place stood the new $18 Beaked Wonder that I'd paid nothing for.

An unexpected swop.


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