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Almost empty

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I started to drive home from my daughter's horseback riding lesson recently and discovered the red light on in my car that indicates my tank is on empty. (I have learned--the hard way--that by the time the red light comes on, it's really empty.)

"No problem," I think. "There's that gas station just down the road."

So I head down this country road about 10 miles from home in the pitch dark with my two tired, hungry kids in the car. Then it starts to rain.

I stop at the BP station and hop out to pay at the pump for the gas when I discover that I've left home without my purse. I have no money in my pockets and neither do the kids. But I figure there's probably a dollar rattling around somewhere in the car, so I tell the kids to help me look around for some money.

Just a few days before I'd cleaned out the entire car for a trip to the beach. It was (by my standards, anyway) clean. No sign of anything on the floor or the seats.

"I guess we'll just have to dig around under the seats and between the cracks," I say, and the three of us proceed to root around in the dark (the dome light in my car had long since died) searching for cash.

This is what we found:
One metal spoon with a ball of napkin stuck to it
14 magnetic pieces to a game
One china Mardi Gras figurine
Six crackers
Seven pens
Three pennies
One seatbelt fastener (not fastened to the seat belt)
One lollipop stick (lollipop eaten)
Cream mints
One bag of bolts
Mardi Gras beads--many, many beads
Part of the vent that broke off last summer
Andes chocolates
Stubby yellow pencil from the library
One plastic ankylosaurus
Chapstick
One enamel earring that I thought was lost forever
One marble (clear, with a yellow swirl)
Wrapper from a butterscotch candy
One plastic spoon
One quarter
Diaper (unused)
Dog biscuits
Lip gloss ("Glossy Pink")
AAA battery
Plastic pen holder
Beer bottle (empty)
One pair of scissors

After putting on my lost earring and letting the kids eat the mints and chocolates, I pumped 28 cents worth of gas and headed home.

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