I called my mother's bank again, to ask about the stopped cheque.
Me: "Are you sure she put a stop payment on it?"
Bank: Haughty silence.
Me: "It's just that she doesn't remember doing that. And she had no reason to. She'd just given me the cheque, then turned around and put a stop on it."
Bank: "Well, she probably had forgotten she put a stop on it...it was a long time ago."
Me: "I beg your pardon?"
Bank: Frosty silence.
Me: "She just wrote me the cheque, I said."
Bank: "But she put the stop on that cheque number in 2008."
Bank: "In fact, she stopped cheques no. 279-300. Also cheques no. 1-200."
Bank: Positively mind-numbing, soul-crushing, intimidating silence.
Me: "Hundreds of cheques? She put stops on hundreds of cheques, that she hadn't even written yet?"
Bank: "That's what I said."
Me: "In 2008, before she even moved here to Kookytown, she put stop payments on those particular, unwritten cheques?"
Bank: "DO YOU HAVE A HEARING PROBLEM?"
I called Anthony.
He: (sighing) "I told you. There is no 'why.' This is Kookytown."
Me: (spluttering). "But, but, but..."
He: (with warm tone) "You are so cute when you become inarticulate..."
I thought about the stopped cheque mystery for the rest of the day. It made no sense whatsoever.
Even if she'd lost an entire chequebook, an entire BOX of chequebooks, and stopped payment on all of them, it still made no sense. What about the numbers 279-300? That's just part of a chequebook. And she had it. It wasn't lost. She wrote me a cheque from it. A cheque that was not lost, but that existed, living in her purse or drawer, or wherever, since 2008, when she'd put a nasty little stop payment on it.
All it goes to prove, in the end, is exactly what Anthony says.
This is Kookytown. There is no why.