Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Birthday Gift

A wave of tenderness washed over John as he watched his greying wife and marveled at her beauty. She worked too hard, but he had never been able to slow her down. She was always there to provide for all the family’s needs. Now as her 45th birthday approached, he was determined to do something very special for her.  If asked, she would probably say she wanted a new vacuum or a new garden tool.  He knew the ring was extravagant. He knew she’d be surprised. He happily waited for the day he could present it to her as he saved a little bit from each pay check.  Since she did all the bookkeeping, it had taken him over a year to accumulate the $1,500 he needed for the ring.  Now, with only two months left, he was still short about $500.   Suddenly, he remembered his Cal Ripkin Jr. rookie baseball card.  He hadn’t thought about that for years, but when he dug through his box of cards in the attic, there it was.  Why not trade in this piece of cardboard from his teenage years, for something special for the love of his life?  He tucked it into his pocket as he left for work.

After work, he stopped by the memorabilia shop near his workplace.

“Do you buy baseball cards?”

“What do you have?”

He pulled the card from his pocket and handed it to Roy, the proprietor of the shop.  He hadn’t checked the card in years.

“I can give you $2,000 for it.”

John was ecstatic.  “Sounds good to me!”  He left the shop with a check for $2,000, and immediately headed for Key Bank, where the check was drawn. 

“I’m sorry, sir, there are insufficient funds for me to cash this check.”

“How can that be?  I just got it!”  He said with dismay. 

“Well, it’s not that short – maybe tomorrow it’ll be good.” The teller said sympathetically.

John spent the evening trying to stay cheerful and optimistic that the check would cash the next day.  However, after several days of finding short funds in the account, he returned to the store to confront the owner.

“This check is no good – I want you to exchange it for cash.” 

“Sorry, I can’t do that.  I’ve been a little short, but it’ll be good next week, I guarantee it.”

For the next month, John called the bank, growing more desperate by the day, always finding the account just a tiny bit short to cash the check.  As he lay awake worrying, he had an inspiration.  The next morning, he checked to see if a check for $1,800 would cash, and found that it would.  He filled out a deposit slip for Roy’s account and put two hundred dollar bills with it.  He drove through the drive-thru window and made the deposit.   Anxiously, he parked and entered the bank with his $2,000 check.  When it cleared, he scooped up his cash and headed for the jewelry store.  

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