One cheery December day a few years back I went off to Macy's to buy a clock radio for a Christmas present. Resting snugly in my wallet was a freshly renewed American Express Card, eager to begin its one-year life floating payables.
Well, I found what I wanted and presented my card. The salesclerk wrote up the papers and checked for authorization. I picked up my card to put it away and she said "Could I see that again?" A little strange I thought, but who knows, so I complied. The next thing I know this big burly guy appears behind the counter right out of Central Casting -- sloppy raincoat and all. He picks up my card, and, with the biggest penknife I've ever seen, makes like he's going to take a large, terminal slice through Dear Little Amex!
Wait a minute, I thought, frantically. What I said was something like "Hold it! Before you touch that card with that knife, you'd better be damned sure you know what the Hell you're doing!" Ah, the power of righteous indignation! The blade disappeared, and he somewhat meekly advised me that this was a stolen card!
I wish I remember what I said next, because it took a lot of arguing to get them to talk to the Amex lady on the phone. Good thing, because it took a while to figure out what happened without the clerk and the store detective in the middle. It seems that, whereas my card expires annually in November, and whereas it was getting close to that time, and whereas I wrote the Amex folks to say I was getting worried about my renewal card, Amex concluded that the new card had been lost in the mail, canceled it, and issued a replacement. Except they somehow didn't bother to let me know, and when the renewal did finally arrive, I figured everything was OK.
So what finally happened? Well, Macy's wouldn't give back the card; but believe it or not, I got to take the clock radio home! And would anyone like to guess what was waiting in the mailbox when I got there?
David recently returned from a vacation in Bangkok, Penang, and points east. He now enjoys the exotic life in Oakland, CA.
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The purpose of the meeting was to set the stage in motion.
There's not an iota of difference, for the most part.
It tends to clog up the comfortability of things.
From this, certain assumptions can be drawn.
He's very objective; he has no irons to burn.
I'm having a hard time getting my handles around that one.
When it got into trouble it would throw up the ghost.
Well, now the hat's on the other foot.
I'm like a tiger at the end of my chair.
Malaprop fancier John Ehrman sings with the Schola Cantorum when not pushing bytes for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The material in this issue was copied from his office door.
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