Customer Service

It’s a while since I posted one of my little stories on here.  So here’s one I wrote a little while ago at Holmfirth writers.  A shopkeeper deals with two customers with unusual requirements.


“So …” said the shopkeeper, “…. that’s four square yards of plastic sheeting, two dozen heavy duty waste bags, one large roll of duct tape and three gallons of bleach. That’ll be 37 dollars and 50 cents, please. You guys doing some pretty serious cleaning, huh?”

“Man, you don’t know the half of it ,” replied Duane. “I’m tellin’ ya …”

“Oh, my brother’s exaggerating again,” Crystal butted in. You see, our Mom has just moved out to live with her sister in Florida and we thought we’d take the opportunity to do a little spring cleaning. There’s an old shed that needs some work.”

“Yeah,” added Duane, “now it’s our house and all. She left it to us in her will.”

Crystal rolled her eyes. “Duane, don’t you think you’re being a bit premature. I’m sure Mom has many happy years ahead of her. I think what my brother means is that it’s effectively our house, now Mom has moved away.”

“Lady, your family business is none of mine,” said the shopkeeper. “Now, is there anything else I can help you folks with?”

“We-ell,” said Crystal tentatively, “you all wouldn’t happen to have a power saw, would you?”

“Lady, this is a hardware store. You name it, we got it. If you folks would just like to follow me ….” He led the brother and sister into another room. “…. now this here’s the Treemaster. Top of the range. This beauty will fell a Giant Redwood in three minutes, tops. On special offer today at 349 dollars.”

“Awesome!” enthused Duane. “And can we just, like, plug it into the wall?”

“Oh no, sir. The Treemaster is a petrol driven saw, only suitable for the Great Outdoors. A forestry saw, really. But its little brother here, the Bushmaster, is available in mains or rechargable versions. Now this little guy can handle anything you’re likely to need in the garden or that shed of yours. It’ll do small trees, planks, you name it.

“Is it just for wood, though?” continued Duane. “I mean, can it cut stuff that’s a bit harder?”

“Not a problem, my friend. There are special blades available for brick, tile, even metal.”

“How about, um, bone?”

“Duane, shut up!” scolded Crystal.

“Hmmmm,” said the shopkeeper. “Forgive me if I’m getting ahead of myself here, but I’m thinking: plastic sheeting, waste bags, duct tape, bleach, power saw. I can’t help wondering if you guys have got a body to dispose of.”

“Oh no, no, no,” insisted Crystal. “It’s just this deer that Duane shot the other day. We can’t fit it in the freezer.”

“Why are you even bothering, Crystal? He knows already.”

“I can see I’m onto something here,” continued the shopkeeper. “Well, if only you folks had told me earlier, I could’ve pointed you to the right saw straight away. This here’s the Excelsior 5b: light, compact and the best damn bone saw you ever did see. That’ll be 199 dollars. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you!”

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