‘Gor Blimey!’ (to borrow a phrase from my last post) Tighter than a duck’s arse – and I thought I could be tight-fisted when the mood took me, but J has just taken the biscuit!
Between us we buy a lot of books using the independent bookseller network that goes under the name of Abe Books (there’s a link in the side panel lower down); they’ve proved to be dead reliable over the years with
barely any glitches. Most of our orders are fulfilled from the UK and the US, but we’ve had obscure tomes, beautifully wrapped, delivered from the nice man with a little shop next door to the beauty parlour in the back streets of New Delhi.
Anyway, getting to the point – J had ordered a book from the US which hadn’t arrived after a couple of months so she contacted the seller. He apologised and refunded her money; she emailed back saying she’d rather have the book as he was advertising several copies. Too late, said he, please re-order, which she did (are you following this?). More weeks went by and then the original book turned up! What to do? Wait a bit longer and sort it when the second copy arrives – well, here we are, another couple of months on and the second copy is still ‘in the post’, a truly unusual coincidence.
Half an hour ago, J was thumbing through that self-same, rather obscure book about the economics of poverty and power; rechecking some of the notes she’d made for a presentation in a couple of months. ‘I’m rather disappointed with the state of this copy’, says she, ‘i’ts a bit shabby, dog-eared and full of someone’s notations.’ ‘Really,’ said I, ‘how much did you pay for it?’ ‘A penny,’ said Ebeneezer Scrooge, ‘but the postage and packing was seven pounds!’
As an aside, here are some duck’s arses in tight situations.
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü