Hitching My Horse At the New Wal-Nut

CCONSIDERABLE has been said lately about the economy, and I have remained silent because I didn't want the politicians to get angry at me for butting in. It was, all the same, about a year ago that I became a keen student of the economy and began making notes to become an expert.

First, I needed some pants. Spring would be bursting joyfully forth in a few months, so I went to my haberdasher of many decades and I said, ``The bank will give me a little help, so make me up a care bundle. I need shorts, T-shirts, socks, couple pairs khaki pants, and some work shirts.''

``Righto!'' quoth he, ``and will there be anything else?''

``Eyah,'' I said, ``find me some gray trousers to go with my Harris Tweed, should the governor need me for tiffin.'' Thus the economy intruded and he said, ``Sorry, I'll have to order them in.''

For two months, I stepped in every Tuesday (we grocerize on Tuesdays) and he would shake his head. I said, ``Don't give up, and when you get them, give me a ring.'' ``Will do,'' he said. I still require the pants and am grateful the governor hasn't called. I saw my former haberdasher coming out of a store a week ago, and I called, ``Where are my pants?'' The vast throng waiting to get in looked me over when he replied, ``That's a good question.''

The incident of no-pants was followed by the adventure of no-grapefruit. Spouse asked me to step into the money-saving warehouse and get some grapefruit sections. The super-duper hasn't had them lately. The young lady picked up her mouthpiece and the vast storehouse resounded with a call for grapefruit.

I stood around about 20 minutes when a lad with a nest of robins in his hair approached to ask, ``Grapefruit sections?'' ``S'me!'' I responded. ``We ain't got none,'' he syntaxed in reply. ``I gotta order 'em in.''

``Do that,'' I said. ``Next week?'' After five weeks, I left the affair with my pants. They were to call me if and when. No grapefruit.

Next my typewriter ribbons. In 1928, I first bought ribbons from Sears, Roebuck. I think a ribbon cost 25 cents, and it would last until my editor thought the light bulb had dimmed. Now, being unaware that a new era had dawned, I stepped into the Sears store and said I'd like a dozen typewriter ribbons.

``Certainly,'' said Miss Lolabrigida, ``downstairs at the mail-order counter.'' At the mail-order counter, Madame Dufarge began making out blanks, and after a time looked up to say, ``How will you pay for this?'' I said, ``Promptly.''

She said, ``Do you have a charge card?''

``Yes, I do,'' I said.

``May I see it?'' she said.

``Why?'' I said. I reminded her that I had not yet received any ribbons, and when I did I would press the price into her palm. A week later, I got a printout from a Sears office in either Wyoming or Ethiopia saying that typewriter ribbons are no longer available, but I could get some from a local business-machine place. But before I could go back and thank anybody, the newspaper said the store was closing for want of customers. The economy.

I guess there's a little bit more. We have one of these big new Wal-nut stores, or some such thing, and when it opened I thought of my grandfather, who went in to get a free calendar the day Homer Metcalf opened his new hardware store. Gramp drove into the Farmers' Union, tied his horse to the fence, and walked up to Homer's new store. ``You won't last six months,'' he told Homer, ``less'n you put up some hitchin' posts.'' Today the economy needs more than hitchin' posts.

I wanted a clamp-on lamp that would grip a bookshelf and squirt down on my escritoire, and somebody said to go to Wal-nut. A liveried ostiary greeted me fervently, asked if he might offer some assistance, and as I gazed at the cavernous sales display, I said, ``Yes - I think I'm not about to venture into yonder unbounded periphery, if you will fetch me a clamp-on lamp.''

He brought my lamp, my personal check sufficed, and in maybe four minutes altogether I was on my way home. I have the lamp in place and it squirts down beautifully. It's altogether possible this addition will give me another three to six months on a typewriter ribbon. We'll see what the editor says. In the jolly meantime, I'm not so concerned over the economy as the politicians seem to think I should be. It used to be hitchin' posts, but whatever it is nowadays, somebody will think of it.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Hitching My Horse At the New Wal-Nut
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today