By Audrey W.
“So, how did the after Christmas bargain hunting go?”
John Gage smiled with pride as he answered his partner Roy DeSoto’s question.
“Not bad, man. Not bad at all. Found lots of good deals”
The paramedics were in the locker room of Station 51 and were in the process of getting changed into uniform prior to roll call for their shift.
Though not one to do a lot of recreational shopping, Gage had decided for once in his life he would brave the expected crowds and check out the post-holiday sales. Maybe even pick up some gifts so he wouldn’t have to worry about Christmas shopping next December.
“No fights?” Roy wondered.
“No. No fights. Not where I was at anyway.” As he buttoned his blue uniform shirt, he added, “As a matter of fact, people’s moods were still pretty merry and bright.”
“You lucked out then. Joanne went shopping, too, and came home with all sorts of stories about rudeness, shoving, grabbing. The usual. . .you know.”
“Didn’t see any of that.”
Roy sat on the bench in front of their lockers to put on his shoes.
“Did you go home with an armload of goods?”
“Nope. Totally empty-handed,” Johnny explained as he fastened his belt.
Roy looked up and turned quickly in surprise to eye the younger man.
“I thought you said you found a lot of good deals.”
“I did,” Johnny shrugged. He stepped over the bench and sat on it beside Roy.
“Then why did you go home empty handed?”
“Well, it’s like this... I started to put some things in my basket. . . wrapping paper, bows, a few ornaments. But then I looked at ‘um after a few minutes and thought, am I really gonna buy so many presents that I need extra wrapping paper and bows? Probably not, I told myself. And I wondered if I really was gonna need more ornaments for my two-foot tall table top tree.” He laughed slightly. “Well, I don’t hafta tell ya what the answer to that thought was. After that, I decided I didn’t need to buy anything. So I told one lady if she was interested, I’d found a few good deals. She was so excited, Roy. I’ve never seen someone so happy over just a couple of sale items. And I have to admit, her reaction left an impact on me. It made me feel really good to help ‘er out. So I decided, instead of spending money, why not just spend some more time helping other people find some incredible deals? And that’s precisely what I did,” he said with another proud lopsided grin.
“I think I’m beginning to see why you had such a good experience and Jo’s was rough.”
Johnny had just finished tying his shoes and looked at Roy with raised eyebrows.
“She finds a bargain,” Roy explained, “There’s no way she’s giving it up. She’s part of the ‘every shopper for themselves’ theory. You’re obviously more of the ‘if you can come away spending nothing, you’re that much more ahead’ type.”
Gage’s mouth dropped open in shock. “Roy, are you callin’ me a tight wad?”
“Well. . .” He wanted to come right out and say it, but almost felt guilty for bringing it up. After all, Gage had been in the spirit of helping others, which was what the season was partially about.
After a brief moment, Johnny let him off the hook.
“Okay, maybe I can be; I’ll admit it__ sometimes I can. But I look at it this way,” he said with a hand splayed on his chest. “At least in this case. I was just continuing my service to the public off-duty. And as a result I got the best after Christmas bargain of all. . .a bunch of happy faces, absolutely free.”
Roy had to hand it to him, he couldn’t argue with that.
What Roy didn’t know, and Gage was not going to admit to him, was that once he got to thinking about it, only saving half the price just didn’t seem that great. When things were 75% off, it might be a whole ‘nother story. . .
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Christmas/New Years Stories