Humor Magazine

You Should Always Check the Back Seat, Or Happy Father's Day, One Day Late...

By Pearl
I found a quarter and four pennies on my way to the bus stop this morning.
Would you believe I picked up all five coins?
You would?
Sure.  There are a lot of people who would’ve left those pennies. The thing is, those people would have only 25 cents, whereas I now have 29 cents.
It’s not much in the short term, but talk to me in a couple years.
I’ll be rich. Rich, I tell you!
Sometimes we are rich through the inadvertent contributions of others.
Sometimes the contributions are deliberate.
When we -- me, you, them -- were all much younger, my father, the King of Clean and Knee-Slapping Jokes, had a hard time expressing affection verbally.
Rather than tell you how he felt, he would feed you.
Consider the family dinners in your past: Thanksgivings loaded with pies and gravies and those little home-made mints; Easters with hams and asparagus; late-night silliness with Redi-Whip and pickled pork hocks.
I moved out of my parents’ house less than a month after high school graduation, whereupon I graduated to previously unconsidered poverty.
Who moves out with a mattress, a full-length mirror, and a towel? Well, me, for one. Not that it felt that way at first. My own apartment?  Why, don't mind if I do!  Within a couple of years, however, and after the birth of my boy, the need for furniture -- and groceries -- became apparent.
Tuesdays and Thursdays were meatless days, and I had a vegetable garden – The Boy learned early to pick green beans, to eat tomatoes warm while still standing next to the plants, to eat peas whole and in the pod.
Still, there was never enough food.
My father caught on to the fact that there could be more in the fridge at my house. Perhaps because my head was always in theirs whenever I dropped in.
It’s just a hunch.
And so it came to be that I started to “find” things in my car following these visits.
The first time, I found a twenty crammed into the crease of the passenger seat.
After that, there were mysterious grocery bags in my backseat. Potatoes, onions, jars of marinated artichoke hearts, sticks of pepperoni, and other various and sundry items appeared without comment.
I suspected my father, of course; a suspicion that was proven when I found, mid-July, a stick of butter atop a roll of toilet paper in a grocery bag in the backseat.
There’s nothing really to say about that, but I did have the softest bottom for a while…
This went on for almost two years. We have never discussed this, although I did once leave a note taped to his windshield.
“I discover the weirdest things in my car.”
Some things are easy to find.
Twenty-nine cents in the street springs to mind.
And some things are found only upon reflection.
Thanks, Dad.

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