Ed Gerellenpoe Was No Fool
“Gerellenpoe’s Department Store” - Cincinnatti’s largest and most prestigious ‘five-n-dime’ in 1883 -
Carried almost everything a human being could want - and if you’d spend a buck or more...they’d give you something FREE!
Mom was always braggin’ on her countless little doo-dads sittin’ around our humble home that - ‘hadn’t cost a dime’,
While Dad would argue, “Look, Irene...Gerellenpoe’s no fool --- he makes a little somethin’ on those ‘doo-dads’ every time.
“Those worthless little coasters - with his picture on both sides - actually ain’t no good at all for holdin’ back the sweat
That trickles down our icy drinks...I guess ya’ haven’t noticed - every time ya’ lift ‘em up...the table’s soakin’ wet!
“And what about them rolls o’ tape that come without a wrapper...haven’t found a single thing to which that crap ‘ll stick,
And half, at least, the candles that he so-called - ‘gives away’ - either turn the ceilings black, or - haven’t got a wick!!!
“The handkerchiefs you think are silk are actually polyester, and, if you’d look more closely, dear, you’d find - they’re never square!
And though it’s not that big o’ deal, the socks are only ‘free’ ‘cause, dear - without exception - there’s a flaw in every pair!”
Everything was boogered - some a little, some a lot...things that - had he charged for - could have rightly been returned,
But nothing that my dad would say could change her point of view, and, consequently, such was what my mother never learned ---
Clever Ed Gerellenpoe was luring in his shoppers by doling out defective goods for free - to those who’d shop,
Provided they would spend at least a dollar in his store, and - as it was - Gerellenpoe’s was Mother’s favorite stop!
The same as driving 20 miles to save a dime-per-gallon - passing ‘5-per-gallon’ pumps, when - 20 gallons down -
To patronize a station where the gas was at - four-eighty...cheaper, YES - but sadly…on the other side of town!!!
Unconcerned with learning that her average MPG, was - in town - without AC - at best around 14...
Despite the fact that what she’d burn to do so cost her 5, what she’d save...a whopping 4...seemed brilliant to Irene!!!
Definitely not pragmatic, Mom was fun to sort of - ‘study’ - focused - as the good moms are - on saving when she could,
But listening to her tell my dad how frugal she was being...aware that - in most instances - she’d never understood
What he’d tried to clarify, concerning all her - ‘doo-dads’...what he’d struggled fruitlessly to somehow make her see -
Always had me wond’ring if she ever figured out that virtually nothing in this world - aside from ‘Love’ - is free!
See all my 58 years of widely diverse poetry formatted as 14 individual manuscripts at -- https://www.writerofbooks.com
Copyright © Mark Stellinga | Year Posted 2021
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