All I really wanted was a diet Coke

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diet Coke and, yes, Oreos

diet Coke and, yes, Oreos

All I really wanted was a diet Coke, but all I had was a $20 bill. And naturally, the machine in my building does not provide change for a twenty. So, I took myself over to Chamblin Bookmine and proceeded to spend half an hour or more perusing the juvenile section for fun and change-making. I came away with one copy of Rick Riordan’s The Sea of Monsters (for T to enjoy), one copy of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass* (with a blurb from Lois Lowry—cool!**), and….a $10 bill. For some reason the problem this created didn’t occur to me until I was walking back up the steps to my office. Then it struck me. Aha! The evil machine doesn’t give change for a ten either! (You probably already figured this out.) Because it’s just fun to walk an extra 2 or 3 blocks when it’s 95 degrees outside, I went back the way I came and across to Victoria’s Café where I finally bought my diet Coke and a pack of Oreos (which I didn’t need). And, yes, I could have done this in the first place, spent ten less dollars, walked four less blocks, and used up 30 fewer minutes of my lunch hour. But then I would never have known that Lois Lowry also found the Golden Compass “completely absorbing” and “was sorry it didn’t go on and on.” So, I think it was worth the beads of sweat dribbling down my back right now. Wouldn’t you agree?

* AKA, Northern Lights, for my non-North American readers.
** Of the five or six editions of the Golden Compass on Chamblin’s bookshelf, only one had the Lois Lowry blurb. For those of you who don’t know it, I’m a huge fan of Ms. Lowry’s so this was an especially cool find for me. 🙂 

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