A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery

This is a personal message for Mr Pedantic Rod Up His Backside With No Ability for Nuance Whatsoever. Yes, you! You middle aged, Ralph Lauren Polo shirt wearing idiot. If you can’t remember me, let me refresh your memory. 


You came in to my bookshop yesterday and decided to buy a book for a family member/friend/colleague, which you obviously wanted wrapped before you gave it to them.  I know this because when you brought your book up to the counter to pay for it, you asked me if we provided a gift wrapping service. I answered, quite correctly, no, we don’t. You then began to protest. 


“The sign says you do”


Confused and a little apprehensive, I responded:


“What sign?”


You pointed to one of our posters, sitting above a shelf end of stock, targeted to women. The sign said “Gifts for Her All Wrapped Up.”


I paused, in disbelief. I’m still in awe of your magnificent stupidity now. How could you, a seemingly educated middle aged man, who is presumably able to read competently, actually manage to construe that sign as advertising gift wrapping? HOW?!!? I have decided not to record the rest of our conversation, as it was banal in nature and exasperating in tone, and consisted of many protestations of “It’s false advertising” from you and “It’s just our advertising slogan” from me. 


Perhaps I can refer you to a good dictionary of English Idioms? Or perhaps just a dictionary of English, if you are so thick that you don’t know what an idiom is? Have you heard of a little thing called metaphor? Are you so literal about everything that you take cover when someone says “It’s raining cats and dogs”? It must be confusing for you when you watch the news, if you do at all, wondering why all the anchors are talking in a mysterious code about non-existent campaign trails or spotlights. 


If you had had english as a second language, I would have understood. English is a strange language which really doesn’t make sense if you think about it literally. But you were Joe Blogs, Number-8-Wire-Kiwi-Bloke who probably went to Auckland Boys’ Grammar and studied law at Otago, now working very hard at getting millionaires off fraud charges. So the only conclusion I can then draw is that you were intentionally trying to be annoying, to wind me up, to make my day suck a little bit more than it already was. 


You sir, are an infuriating, idiotic, horrible little mountebank, a pompous ass, a fool, and a philistine. One day, you will die alone and without anyone in the world to mop your fevered brow or hear your dying words. I firmly believe this will happen to anyone like you who takes out their insecurities on poor, unsuspecting, innocent shop assistants. 


Beware and be afraid. The mysterious power of karma is, as Winston Churchill said about the USSR, “A riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in an enigma.”



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