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What's in store at Christmas (Chris Hudel)
(original, topical, chuckle)

Now's the time to return all those unwanted and wrong-sexed gifts to the 
department store.  I've recently done this and wish to provide you with the 
following anecdote to help and console you as you attempt to secure some 
$$ or exchange.  [Suzy Shier's will give you a refund cheque valid 
at Big Steele if you're trying to exchange a silk nightie for a velour 

Step one: get the receipt back. I called my Grandma for it--here's how it went: Me (shouting): Hello Grandma! Grandma: Hi Alex! Happy East er New Year! Me: No Grandma, it's Chris. Grandma: oh, Happy Chris! Me: Thanks. I just thought I'd call and thank you again for the lovely [gift].! (I really like it, etc...) By the way, do you happen to have the receipt, I'd like to Grandma: Check the price, eh Darryl? Me: No, just that Grandma: You want to return it? Don't you like the [gift]? (a small whine) Me: No, just that a friend of mine wants a [gift] just like it and by looking at the receipt I could tell where it came from. Grandma: I can do better than that Dave, I'll just tell you, it came from Woolco--the [gift] department. Me: Thanks. Bye!

That was no good--but hey, Woolco is a large metropolitan department store that oughta be heavily computerized and know that the [gift] came from their store, so I went to Woolco:

I walk up to the refund booth--"see" I said to myself, they must be big--they have a huge booth in the centre of the store with the SOLE PURPOSE to refund stuff. I could tell because there was a huge pile of g.i.joes and nighties and velour bathrobes sitting in a pile behind the salesclerk.

Ooops, I've given it away, yes, the (a definite article, as in the ONE AND ONLY) salesclerk.

Me (in a cheery voice, the kind that's only seconds away from $$$ and/or a velour bathrobe): Hi! Her (honest, it was a her, don't think I would make this up): Good morning Sir. How may I help you? Me: [This is where I think I screwed up] Didn't you give me directory information this morning? Her: So? You think it's easy holding down just one job with two kids and a bum of a husband who left me six years ago? What's your probl.... Me: Sorry. (pause) Me: I'd like to return this silk nightie. Her (looking both suspicious, yet aroused): Right. Me: It was a gift from my Grandma. Her: Right. Me: Honest Her: Sure. You wouldn't have a receipt, would you? Me: well, no, you see Gradma's kinda old and won't give it to me and.... Her: Ah ah. Well, has it been worn? Me: Right. Her: Without a receipt I'll have to ask the manager. Me: Go for it. Her on intercom: "Barb to the refund booth--we've got a duusey here" Barb: Hi.

[Barb and Her go into a gossip frenzy--Barb looks at me (more interesting than bizarre look)--She returns.

Barb: Ahem. Well Sir Me: Please, it's Chris. Barb: Well (pause) Chris (pause) Me: no, just Chris. Barb: oh, Well Chris, without a receipt the best we can do is if you'll try it on, we'll see that it doesn't fit and then you may exchange it for another one of better sizing. Me: Right.

Ralph, a man behind me looked at me as I left. Ralph: "hey!" Me: Yes? Ralph: Is that a silk nightie? Me: No, it's a (pause) Yes. Ralph: Listen, my boyfriend got me this stupid velour robe for christmas. Would you like to swap? Me (looking suspicious, no arousal): Has it been worn? Ralph: Right--like what do you think I am? Me: Okay.

We swapped, my life is hunkey-dorey. Don't go to the refund booth except to swap items with others.


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