Soapbox built with missing check of each book

A soapbox popped up in my kitchen when I wasn’t looking.

There’s nothing to do but stand on it and complain about feeling cheated almost every time I buy something I haven’t bought in a while. And sometimes I don’t even know it’s happening until my head explodes trying to make sense of numbers.

Let’s face it, I’m not a numbers person. Occasionally a quick answer to an odd numbers question jumps out of my mind, but, as they say, even a blind pig finds a truffle once in a while.

Never really understood that saying since on the farm we had no truffles where we had pigs, so blind or not, those pigs would never find a truffle.

Look at that, I nearly fell off my soapbox thinking of sayings that make little sense. That comes under the heading of a minor pet peeve, but has no connection to this new soapbox.

Nope, my new soapbox went together piece by piece as I tried to figure out why the heck one of my new books of checks started with a number it had no right to start with. All sorts of reasons flashed through this agile mind of mine, and each time I shook off the answer, like a pitcher shaking off the catcher’s sign.

Among all the crap I’ve got to think about and do, I found myself lamentably short on checks, so I ordered. A little note with them said to make sure my information was correct, so I did. Name, address, phone, all good. No little note said to check the numbers, so I didn’t.

When finally I needed a new book of checks, I noticed a missing check. Missing, I thought, because the number that started that particular book wasn’t what I expected. Did I once need a check and just rip off the nearest check to my hand? Did someone rip it off and use it before the checks ever hit my home? Did someone sneak into my home and take a check?

See, when your mind gets going, it gets a little nuts.

When I finally calmed down and started a major inspection, I noticed all my numbers continued as they should, just in different books. Then an odd idea slipped into the mix. Count the checks. So I counted the checks.

Who’s that TV chef who yells “Bam” when he wants to make a point? It doesn’t really matter because I had my own “Bam.”

Bam. Each book of checks held 24 checks, not the 25 I’ve come to know and expect. My new checks, while in perfect numerical order, came one shy in each book.

Saving money, that’s it. The check makers were saving money by putting one less check in a book. Like the peanut butter jar that suddenly skinnied up or the wine bottle with that big inverted spot on the bottom. We’re told it’s to help us pour wine more easily, but you don’t have to be drinking that wine to know that’s not really the case.

So there. End rant.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at