Tighter Than A Duck’s Arse!

‘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

Delhi Book Shop of Repute

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!’

Ebeneezer Scrooge

Bah! Humbug!

As an aside, here are some duck’s arses in tight situations.



up tight and cellulite!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

10 thoughts on “Tighter Than A Duck’s Arse!

  1. That made me laugh. I sympathise with J. I ordered a book from Amazed Anon. A Louis de Bernieres tome – nothing more than a “booklet” (all of 21 pages) it cost £2.99 and the postage was £4.50. I read it in 30 mins flat!!!! Hmmmmmm I’ll know better from now on.

    Tell J that if the second book turns up she will feel better as she would have 2 for the price of twopence!!!

    1. Hi there Elven One! That tome would be ‘A Day With Mehmet Erbil’ (or words to that effect). Seven and a half quid! They ripped you off! Got mine free with ‘Birds Without etc’. As for the two for the price of tuppence, hardly worth sending it back to US – send the guy a cheque and use the book to prop that wonky table!

  2. My experience of duck’s arses (or those of any other bird, for that matter) is that they are anything but tight. Quite the opposite, in fact – they are pretty much always loose and leaking.
    Wouldn’t like to hazard a guess regarding the marathon runner, though.

    However, I am in full accord with the fact that fists can be tight. Although I do agree with J that £7.01 is steep for a ragged book full of the opinions of someone other than the author.

    1. . . regarding leaky arses, you are, of course, the acknowledged authority and I bow to your expertise. As for opinions and J, that is an area best avoided! 😀

  3. I had a similar adventure with Amazon. I’ve ordered “Madame Butterfly” with Ying Huang and Richard Troxell. After waiting a long time for the DVD to arrive, I got in contact with Amazon. They apologized and refunded my money and I ordered the DVD again. Some time later both DVDs arrived. I contacted them again, and after explaining the situation they apologized again and told me to keep both DVDs.

    1. . . my experience with Amazon has also been positive – when a boxed set of DVDs arrived with one damaged, they promptly replaced the set and suggested I donate the excess (undamaged) discs to a charity.

  4. Catching up on my blog reading and got a good laugh here. In New Engliand, we say, “tight as an old skinflint” and I don’t know what that means other than penny-protective!

    1. . . interesting that there are words we use/read and know what they imply but asked to define them exactly we can’t. Skinflint is defined as a miser, but I can find no origins for the word that are worth quoting.

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