It’s that time of year again, when bills are due and money is tight. The flush of the holiday season has been replaced by the chill of winter and customers are not spending money the way they did in December. I am the chief bill-payer of the bookstore, and I try to do a good job, but every once in a while, a bill or two slips through the cracks. Often this bill belongs to one of the small presses, who don’t send follow-up emails. This is a bad setup. The little guys should always get paid first and I was feel horrible when this doesn’t happen. Occasionally, these small presses or distributors send very funny letters in search of payment.In my defense, I am not the only one who gets the mail at the store. Sometimes there are bills that I just don’t see, sometimes checks cross in the mail with bills, and very occasionally checks sent electronically from the bank don’t arrive. Jared, a lovely local distributor of Vermont outdoorsy books, sent a reminder letter earlier this week that had me laughing very hard and reaching for the checkbook.
I have never gotten a letter with such dry, morbid humor before. That he is suggesting his kids (he only has one) are weak with hunger and he’s faltering is hilarious to me. And begs the larger question: why are the children hungry? Shouldn’t he be feeding them first? I say this to deflect from my clear ball-dropping with our account.
Needless to say, once I stopped laughing, I paid the bill. I can’t help but wonder if all the publishers and distributors had such a droll sense of humor how much more quickly bills would get paid.