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Little Mistakes Post by :Gerry_Humphrey Category :Poems Author :Walt Mason Date :November 2011 Read :1006

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Little Mistakes

I used to trade at Grocer Gregg's and paid him heaps of cash for flour and cheese and germ-proof eggs, and cans of succotash. But now he doesn't get my trade--that's why his bosom aches; I had to quit him, for he made so many small mistakes.

He'd send me stale and wilted greens when I had ordered fresh; he's send me gutta percha beans, all string and little flesh. And when I journeyed to his store to read the riot act, three score apologies or more he'd offer for the fact. That doggone clerk of his, he'd say, had got the order wrong; and always, in the same old way, he'd sing the same old song. He seemed to think apologies were all I should desire, when he had sent me moldy cheese or herrings made of wire.

And when his bill came in, by jings, it always made me hot; he'd have me charged with divers things I knew I never bought. Then I would call on Grocer Gregg in wrath and discontent, and seize him firmly by the leg and ask him what he meant. Then grief was in the grocer's looks, frowns came, his eyes betwixt; "The idiot who keeps my books," he'd say, "has got things mixed. I wouldn't have such breaks as these for forty million yen; I offer my apologies and hope you'll come again."

He'd often send the things I bought to Colonel Jones, up town, and I would get a bunch of rot that should have gone to Brown. And oft at home I'd wait and wait, in vain for Sweitzer cheese; instead of that I'd get a crate of codfish, prunes or peas. And then I'd go to Grocer Gregg, and mutter as I went; "I'll take that merchant down a peg, and in him make a dent." He'd spring the same old platitudes when I had reached his den: "That vampire who delivers goods has balled things up again."

Apologies are good enough, excuses are the same; but forty-seven are enough to tire one of that game. It's better far to shun mistakes, and do things right at first, than to explain your dizzy breaks till your suspenders burst.


(The end)
Walt Mason's poem: Little Mistakes

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