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"The Discount"

 
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:59 pm    Post subject: "The Discount" Reply with quote

Ever since I lost a job because of an unfortunate choice of pronoun personage
(third instead of first person plural), I've kept my ears open for clues.

So, when I heard the definite article, I knew it.

I'd already reconciled myself to a bill of over $100 to tow my car
from one of the most dangerous "shoulders" on Oregon's I-205,
to what ended up being an auto shop run by a Russian counterpart
to a "Brazilian" Harry Tuttle. The tow bill was indeed $100+, but
"with the discount" it came to $83 and change. The discount. The.

I must fall into that vast middle ground, those who didn't know that
the definite article could be used to refer to the prospect of
a discount on the towing charge, but who know enough to notice
the clues to it's existence. I asked.

"I couldn't think of any reason not to give you the discount -- you're going
to have repair bills..."

The. The discount.

I had been nice to the tow driver, engaging him in a discussion of the
bipolar relationship that nearly every tow driver has with the
public: hero or villain. I had been grateful, not too much trouble, and
engaging enough. My reward, aside from saving a few dollars, was
to learn that I should always ask for "the discount".

Next time maybe I'll learn the secret handshake, too.
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