Tonight I went through a toll booth outside of Chicago. The toll taker was an elderly man. I was on the phone with my mother at the time and told her to hold on a minute so I could pay the toll.
I gave him my cash and when he gave me my change, with a smile, he pointedly pressed a mini Nestle crunch bar in my hand along with my receipt.
"Wow! Thank you!" I said.
"It's much better than those doggie biscuits some people hand out." he said. (Which explains why at the last toll booth, I saw a bowl of those multi-colored dog biscuits on the counter next to the ticket taker.)
"I agree! Your idea is MUCH better." I told him.
"Well," he said, "I'm a sucker for a pretty girl."
As I bid him good night, he hollered back "Drive Safely!" and I left his toll lane. I then turned my attention back to my mother and told her the part she didn't hear; his end of the conversation.
"Isn't that nice??" I said to her.
"Well how do you know he's not handing out bad candy?" she said, in her ever suspicious tone.
"Mom, c'mon. Do you really think he's poisoning people randomly from his toll booth? I said.
"Well, you never know. Maybe he's just giving the candy to truckers." she said.
"Oh, so he's only targeting truckers?"
"Could be." she said.
"You definitely watch too much TV, you know that? That's just ridiculous." I said.
"Well, you can't be too careful these days."
Whatever. How do you think like that? It has to be something that was drilled into my mother's head since childhood and it's only gotten worse through television indoctrination. I must have zoned out or something during the Be Suspicious Of All Things 101 class, which works out just fine because my mother certainly picked up enough neuroses for the both of us.
So I guess now we all know what that guy who used to put razor blades in apples during Halloween is doing in the off season.
He's working at the toll booth on I-94 in Illinois.
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