And now a word from retail hell,

Like millions of gifting challenged Americans this holiday season, I bought someone a retail gift card. I was visiting one of our representatives from the national chains the other day, standing in line with my card. When it was my turn I shrugged off the slightly out of breath, saccharin holiday greeting from the store clerk, and handed over my gift card. She asked me how much I wanted to put on the card and I told her, “Fifteen please.”

“Very well sir, fifty it is.”

“Sorry, I must have misspoken; I meant to say ‘fifteen’.”

You’d have thought I just kicked tinny Tim’s crutch out from underneath him. The idea that I was so cheap I’d dilly around with a fifteen dollar gift card was so distasteful to the clerk she practically snarled at me. For a split second I felt compelled to whip out the receipt for my daughter’s presents, but good sense won out.

It was a receipt from a competitor.