Originally created 11/06/01

Checkout mistakes pay off in cheese nachos



Obviously crime pays, or there'd be no crime.

- G. Gordon Liddy

I am of two minds when it comes to checkout lines.

The first mind (a manly sort) is back home on the couch in front of a football game and wondering whether there's anything wrong with eating cheese nachos three days in a row.

The second mind - a nervous little guy, rarely paid attention to - is perched on a stool inside my head, adding up the figures and trying to estimate the cost of the purchase.

"Hey!" he'll occasionally squeak, "those were on sale!"

But I usually ignore his advice.

Until this past week.

For some odd reason, I have been focusing on math and numbers lately, and, not once, but three times in the past seven days I have caught a cashier incorrectly ringing up my purchases.

Now understand, I have gone years without making such a discovery, much less taking the time to mention it.

It seems, after all, a little cheap to quibble over spare change. I also believe these errors were honest mistakes and not intentional deceptions.

But suddenly, my fortune is about $3.50 ahead on life's ledger because I questioned the final assessment of three purchases.

And that's good.

It means I've saved enough for cheese nachos a third day in a row.

* * *

MAILBAG: Virginia Lamb of Martinez sends a postcard from California's Monterey Peninsula, "a place I used to call home."

Tiajuana and Wayne Humphreys of Aiken are continuing their honeymoon along the famous Route 66.

Suzana and Nicole send a hello from Sydney, Australia, where they are on vacation.

And closer to home, Corky Holloway says he and Debbie are having a wonderful time in Cherokee, N.C., and Gatlinburg, Tenn.

* * *

TODAY'S JOKE: A man has his wrecked car towed into an auto body shop. The car is covered with leaves, grass, branches and dirt.

"What happened?" the mechanic asks.

"I ran into a lawyer," the motorist replies.

"Oh, that's too bad," the mechanic says. "But why all the leaves, grass, branches and dirt?"

"Well," admits the motorists, "I had to chase him all through the park."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bkirby@augustachronicle.com.