13. Gift Vouchers
© Bruce Goodman 23 October 2013
When Steven read the children a story at the local school for their annual Library Week, the children presented him with a couple of vouchers and a card which they’d made themselves.
THANK YOU MR STEVEN, the card had said. And there was a colourful drawing of a stick man reading a book to stick children. He was tickled pink.
He’d been meaning for several months to buy a nice set of writing paper and envelops and thought on the way home that he would call into the local book shop.
So he took the vouchers into the shop, and spent about half an hour selecting a very pretty, but not too feminine, set of writing paper and envelops. He chose paper with a large faded tulip across the page. It was better than pansies on a page, and he thought that he could use it for writing condolence letters, and congratulations letters, and any other letters that would be short and heart-felt.
So he took them to the counter and handed over the writing paper and the envelops and the vouchers.
“I’m sorry, sir”, said the guy at the counter, “but we don’t accept these vouchers.”
“Call yourself a book shop?” said Steven. “Any reputable book shop would accept them. It says on the voucher that they can be redeemed anywhere in the country.”
“Well, not here”, said the shop attendant.
By now Steven was annoyed. He’d spent quite some time selecting them and didn’t have any other money or a bank card on him. “It’s fuckin inadequate that a fuckin supposed reputable book shop like yours won’t accept these fuckin vouchers. It’s fuckin pitiful. You can stick the fuckin things up ya fuckin asshole and smoke them.”
“They’re vouchers for a service station”, said the shop attendant.