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Thursday, June 13, 2024
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The next day at 5:50pm, I found myself in Central Square, yet again. Funny how I kept doing that. Note that on the second day of my quest, I only had ten minutes before all the stores except Target closed, half as much time as the first day. I had gravely miscalculated and gotten sucked into something at work. Oh well. This journey was never meant to be easy.
I hustled across the street and down the block. I hustled into the Goodwill, almost shouldering the employee who was guarding the door. She told me that they were closing in just a few minutes. I told her that I'd be quick. She seemed doubtful, but I didn't have time to explain. Maybe I'll send her a link to this story.
I hustled to the back of the store where they keep the non-clothing items. I tried not to breathe in too strongly, not wanting any more of that particular Goodwill fragrance in my nose than was necessary. (A good candle flavor to gift to your enemies, in case you need any ideas. If they complain, ask them why they don't support charities.) Summoning my I Spy skills again, I scanned the shelves and--lo! There it was. It was hideous. It was cylindrical, about three inches tall and made of clear plastic. It was absolutely devoid of personality or whimsy. I scratched my head as I deliberated.
I needed the iodine. And it was only three dollars. Yes, it wasn't at all what I was looking for, but there was no reason it would mean the end of my search. I could get iodized and continue looking for a salt shaker at my leisure. It was now 5:57pm. I hastened to the checkout. Mission accomplished, sort of.
When I returned home, I brandished the salt shaker jubilantly to my disinterested roommates. (They had been following the drama as it unfolded, more or less.) Carter made a face when I said that it was from Goodwill. Steven pointed out that there was some grime along the ridges inside the shaker.
"Oh, gross," I said. "I guess I should clean it."
"Yeah, for sure," agreed Carter and Steven.
I pulled off the cover from the bottom and began cleaning the salt shaker in the sink with soap and water. The hole from which I had removed the cover, the one designed to pour salt into when filling/re-filling the shaker, was pretty small. It was difficult to get the sponge inside to scrub the sides. But the whole bottom part of the shaker looked like it was sort of threaded into the rest of the shaker. I thought I could remove it. Putting one finger into the hole, I pulled and twisted at the bottom of the shaker. With a crack, it separated.
"Oops," I said.
One of my roommates may or may not have asked what had happened. I probably explained anyway.
The bottom was definitely not supposed to come off in the way that it had. Looking closely, I could see the jagged edges of broken plastic along the perimeter of the disk. It was possible, though, to sort of snap it back into place. Maybe all hope was not yet lost.
I finished cleaning the shaker and dried it thoroughly. I snapped the bottom on and off a few times. It seemed secure enough.
"Okay, I'm going to try it," I announced. "I might get salt everywhere."

A picture of the salt shaker, an ugly, mirthless thing

I got salt everywhere. All hope was lost.
I emptied the rest of the salt into the sink and tossed the shaker sadly into the recycling bin. I had found and purchased the only reasonably-sized, refillable salt shaker in Central Square and ruined it in less than an hour.
The hunt continued...