“Address labels. Where’re the address labels?”
“Why, did you want some?” Mother replied, just returned from shopping.
“That’s why I put them on the bloody list for heaven’s sake! I told you I needed them today.”
“Sorry, well where is it?”
“The shopping list!”
“Oh, probably in my handbag.”
Mother couldn’t seem to grasp the concept of a shopping list. “If we’re running low on something, write it down!” I’d say, annoyed at running out of essentials. Sometimes she did, but then she’d leave the list behind. Neither would she cross off the items she had bought, so I’d sometimes find myself buying unnecessary duplicate items. “Look, let’s mark off what you actually bought, then I’ll go for the rest myself!”
The crumpled list was recovered.
“For God’s sake, where’re the good pens?” A pot contained just a handful of ancient blunt pencils. Exasperated, I said, “You do it, I’m going for the labels!”
Back home, mission accomplished, I headed for the kitchen. “Jesus Christ!” Sitting there was a pack of Avery address labels!
Mother appeared. “Sorry dear, I’d forgotten I did get them after all. Now if you hadn’t been so impatient, rushing off like that!”
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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