While I had every intention of ending the story with the second installment, I received a number of queries asking me if the story was really at an end.
And, in truth, there is something of a coda to the tale, which I had deemed uninteresting and frankly, embarrassing. I also had decided I had already gotten far more mileage out of the adventure than I had any right to expect.
Other readers expressed that they really enjoyed both parts, and so, being inclined to give my beloved audience what they want, I inquired if they even wanted to see a third part to this harrowing tale of nature and misplaced keys. All those I asked enthusiastically said “Absolutely.”
So here, by popular request, is the third, and final, part of the Deer Stalking Saga.
Having been freed of the need to wait for my sister to escape the parking lot of the convenience store, I went back to campus, and told her of the miracle of the glowing man with the keys. I also told her, given the hour and the drama of the evening, I would pick up dinner to celebrate.
Turning at long last toward home, and not feeling remotely like drive-thru fare, I stopped at a fast-casual establishment. I walked in the door, one fist clenched tightly around my recovered keys, and the other clutching my collection of plastic money. I ordered, and went to find my debit card to pay…
And it wasn’t there.
I looked again.
As I rifled through each of the items in my wallet, all I could see was the face of that convenience store clerk smirking at me as I returned, for the gajillionth time that night, to his counter looking for a valuable lost item. I went through all my cards three times, and it was very clearly, NOT THERE.
Exhausted from my earlier displays of futile emotional distress and noticing a much larger crowd of visibly impatient people ready to send me to an early grave if I took even one more second to hold up the line, I paid with a credit card, and sat down to wait.
With a growing sense of panic, I thought about racing out to the car and conducting a search for the missing card, but, I given how this night was going, I was equally afraid of someone taking the food I acquired for at 25% more than I had intended to pay, and I stayed rooted to the spot.
I couldn’t believe I had lost another debit card, which had only just been replaced about 6 months ago. The sadder part is that having to pay for a new one was looking like a more attractive option than facing clerk-o-smerk for yet another episode of “absent-minded hysterical female.”
My food, now worth its weight in gold, arrived, and I tried not to race back to the car.
I opened the door, and settled into the car, and looked around. It was not readily apparent.
My last hope was the bag which contained the paper and pens I had bought to amuse myself while I watched my “soon-to-be-stolen-by-a-hallucinating-thief” car. I pulled out the pens, I pulled out the receipt, I pulled out the paper. I shifted the bag just a bit, and, breathing a huge sigh of relief, revealed my misplaced card.
Offering thanks for yet another miracle on this evening of misadventure, I drove home with no further incident.
For those keeping track, one-hour photo development for 27 exposures and a photo CD cost me $16. I think the deer are laughing at me.