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A while back, I stopped into Walmart to buy some windshield washer fluid.

Looking for a short line, I spotted a cashier with a nametag which said “MARGE”. She reminded me a little of Maw Joad from The Grapes of Wrath.

She was just completing a transaction with a female customer. As she counted out a hundred dollars and gave it to the lady, I spoke up: “I wish someone would give me a hundred dollars.”

She responded: Sorry I just gave her my last hundred.”

“ But Marge, I thought we were friends.” I offered in response.

“We WERE– until you asked me for money.”

“Yes, I suppose that’s a good way to lose a friend.” I said in a slightly dejected manner.

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be!” she shot back.

“Those old adages have a lot of wisdom to them.” I  said as I nodded sympathetically.

She wasn’t looking at me now….she was on a roll:

“I wish my children would listen to me when I give them advice…”.

“How many children do you have, Marge?, I inquired discretely.

“Four. All in their 40’s. They only call me when they have a problem….”

“Well, at least they call you.” I offered sympathetically.

“The last call I got was my daughter calling me at 10 o’clock at night, asking me how to change the guts in her flush.” 

I was getting into deep water here.

“Excuse me?” I said although I was afraid of what she might tell me….thinking it might have something to do with a medical problem.

“She wanted to know how to change the guts in her flush!” she repeated as if I were slightly deaf.

“Oh…..” I said, while pretending to understand.

imitating her daughter’s voice, she said, “You want me to stick my hand where….?”

I was relieved to realize that she was only talking about a broken toilet.

“But that’s clean water back there,” I said.

Marge nodded once and started taking items from the next customer.

“Nice talking with you, Marge,” I said as I turned  toward the door.

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