For months it taunted me. Hanging there, ten or twelve feet off the ground, smack dab between Meat and Dairy. A bell, shiny and mysterious, dangling from the rafters of our local WinCo.I had tried in vain since last summer to ring it, but always came up just short. At first I tried jumping, but I haven’t been blessed with the Tall gene so I always, quite literally, came up short. Next I tried using objects in the shopping cart. A box of Rice A Roni (it may be the San Francisco treat, but it was no use in WinCo), a jar of pickles. Nothing worked; that damn bell remained maddeningly out of reach. And then on Saturday, with the assistance of a box of Honey Combs, I finally rang that damn bell!
The moment Tara saw me striding toward the bell with a box of cereal in my hand and a determined look on my face, she started walking away quickly. “Wait ’til I’m around the corner,” she said, pretending not to know me. Because Tara knows the drill well. I’m stubborn, and always try to ring that bell, regardless of how many people are in the vicinity. And nine times out of ten, I make a fool of myself.
But not on Saturday.
Clutching the box, I leaped into the air…and missed spectacularly, as usual.
I was extra determined on this day, however. I knew I had been close. So I planted my feet firmly, took a couple of running steps, and jumped as high as I could. I felt like Michael Jordan, rising ever higher, enjoying some serious Hang Time.
Ding. Ding, ding.
I did it! The bell rang at long last, sweet music to my ears. Tara heard it and turned around in disbelief. I could only beam in pride, while other shoppers in the area looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
Maybe I have, but if that’s the case, it occurred a long time ago and had nothing to do with the bell. It was a personal challenge of mine, nay, an obsession – the white whale to my Captain Ahab, if you will. I felt drawn to that bell because it just seemed so random and out of place, dangling from a string tied to a warehouse-style rafter 50′ high. To ring it would be an achievement worthy of declaration, and declare I did, posting my victory all over Facebook. And the mystery of the bell was solved by one of my friends. Turns out it’s a warning system for forklifts: if they ring the bell before going through the door leading to the warehouse, it means they have forgotten to lower the lift.
Ahh. Good to know.
Now that I rang the bell, I can cross that off my list. I wonder what I’m going to do at WinCo from now on, though. Actually shop for groceries and stuff, I guess.
More From The It Could Only Happen To Mark Department…
After my bell-ringing adventure, Tara went to work for a few hours, so I decided to zip over to Value Village, a nearby thrift store where I sometimes find pretty good deals. Saturday was no exception. I was filling my cart with all sorts of hand-me-down treasures, including this cool green Sierra Nevada Pale Ale t-shirt that I just had to buy because I figured it would match Tara’s green Sierra Nevada Pale Ale t-shirt. Only when I got it home, I learned that it was Tara’s green Sierra Nevada Pale Ale t-shirt. We had just donated a bunch of stuff to the thrift store earlier in the week, and unbeknownst to me, Tara had gotten rid of that shirt…which I then promptly turned around and bought.
It took her a long time to stop laughing over that. In fact, I’m not sure she ever did stop.
I just think it means we have the same great taste in fashion, but one of our friends (and a fellow blogger) said, No, it means she purges and you like garbage. She will have her hands full trying to get rid of stuff and you hauling it back in!
Ha. I suppose there is that distinct possibility. I think the whole thing has a sort of Gift Of The Magi feel to it.
20 thoughts on “Ring My Bell”
Gee, if you wanted a Sierra Nevada t-shirt -I know where to get one free—from Dad’s closet!!
I’ll leave $5 on the dresser.
This story will never get old. I tell every one who will listen and we all laugh long and hard. Best story ever!!
I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it so much, ET! I think…
Are you sure it wasn’t Honie Combs? Funny story! I can totally relate to people pretending not to know you. My family has become good at it.
My kids have pretended not to know me for the better part of the past decade now!
Kids will do that. (sometimes spouses will too)
And sometimes spouses-to-be, it turns out…
Mark, I wasn’t blessed with the Tall gene either, so I know darn well I couldn’t have rung that bell without a LADDER! Hell, I can’t even reach the top shelf in the grocery store sometimes, and have to ask a taller person to grab it for me!
“We had just donated a bunch of stuff to the thrift store earlier in the week, and unbeknownst to me, Tara had gotten rid of that shirt…which I then promptly turned around and bought.”
HILARIOUS! And, yes, that means you both have he same excellent taste in fashion 🙂
If WinCo sold ladders, I’d have marched over to that section ages ago and brought one back. Alas, just groceries!
Ok…….I am freely admitting this: I actually bought back a sweater that I donated to a thrift shop. As soon as I had dropped off the bag of clothing, I had “Donator Remorse.” I had GREAT times in (and out..bahaha!) in that sweater, and I didn’t feel that anyone else in this town could do it justice. I’m pathetic, but I admit it. Have I worn it since I ‘re-bought’ it? Just once…….and one of my gay male fashionista friends threatened me if I ever wore it out in public again. Aren’t styles from the 90’s coming back yet?!?1
Well, I still wear flannel shirts quite often, so I would like to think that styles from the 90s never went out of fashion! “I would like to think” being the key phrase there…
It was a funny weekend…for all. Thanks to you and Tara but mostly you! LOL
Love your determination and your gentle heart!!
Glad I could do my part to add a little amusement to your weekend! 🙂
Now I’ve got that song stuck in my head! UGH!
“You can ring my beeeeeeeeeeeell, ring my bell!”
Thanks for nothin. I’m with Tara far away…preferably in the donut aisle.
I’m the master of songbombing. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have that song ringing through my head when I posted this entry, too.
Glad you finally got to ring the bell, Mark. Good for you. However, the t-shirt story was even better. I laughed out loud at that one! Good God, I think part of what I like so much about you is that you are almost as much of an idiot as I am. Notice, I said “almost.”
I’m so thankful you threw that “almost” in there, Kathy! Whew!