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A Snapping Turtle Having a Bad Experience Ordering Business Cards by Jordan Moffatt | Word Riot
Flash Fiction

July 29, 2017      

A Snapping Turtle Having a Bad Experience Ordering Business Cards by Jordan Moffatt

The snapping turtle wasn’t looking forward to ordering new business cards. He had a bad experience last time he ordered business cards. Last time he specifically ordered waterproof business cards.
     “And do these look waterproof to you?” the snapping turtle said to his girlfriend as he easily tore a business card in half with his snapper. “Cause they don’t look waterproof to me!”
     The printing shop replaced the non-waterproof batch with a waterproof batch and said that the next batch he ordered would be on the house. They delivered the replacement batch in person, as a gesture.
     “Here are your business cards,” the printing shop clerk said. “We made sure to make them waterproof this time, and we apologize again for the error.”
     “Good,” said the snapping turtle.
     “And as a symbol of our appreciation of your business, we went the extra mile. Take a look,” said the clerk. The snapping turtle opened the box of business cards and took one out. “They have a tortoise shell pattern on them,” the clerk explained.
     “I see,” said the snapping turtle, unimpressed.
     “We thought it would be a nice touch, you know, as a gesture.”
     “Goodbye,” said the snapping turtle, shutting the door in the clerk’s face.
     “Who was at the door?” said the snapping turtle’s girlfriend. The snapping turtle explained to her the whole deal about the tortoise shell pattern.
     “And he said that it was a nice touch. Can you believe that?”
     “Believe what?”
     “Well, do I look like a tortoise to you?”
     “You probably look like a tortoise to them. You don’t expect a printing shop to understand the difference between Testudines species do you?”
     “They could make an effort.”
     “They did — by giving you the patterned cards! You should be grateful.”
     “Are you doing that thing where you play devil’s advocate?”
     “Would you prefer I just agree with everything you say?”
     “I didn’t ask for tortoise shell pattern,” said the snapping turtle. “I don’t understand why people think they’re doing you such a favour by giving you something you don’t want. I’d be grateful if I got what I wanted. What I asked for is what I wanted. How hard is it just to give people what they asked for? It’s like at that time at Starbucks–“
     “Please don’t bring that up.”
     “I asked for a tall Pike Place and they give me a grande Pike Place because ‘I seemed nice.’ Well if I seemed so nice why did they give me more coffee than I wanted!”
     “They were being generous!”
     “No, they were implying that I’m cheap. They were implying that I wanted a grande but only wanted to pay for a tall.”
     “You’re delusional.”
     So that was the first time that the snapping turtle had ordered business cards. It was a bad experience, and so he wasn’t looking forward to doing it all over again. But he ran out of cards, so he had to do it.
     “Honey, where’d you put the portable phone?”
     “Why do you always think I’m moving it around to mysterious places? Why is it always my fault when you can’t find things? I always put things back where they belong–“
     “I found it.”
     “Out of curiosity, where was it?”
 “Doesn’t matter.”
     “On your desk, perhaps?”
     “Don’t worry about it.”
     “Why do you need the portable anyway?”
     “I have to order new business cards.”
     “Why don’t you go into the store.”
     “I don’t want to make a spectacle. Every time I go anywhere I get made a spectacle of. Hey Midge look, a snapping turtle — get a picture! Not today!”
     “Then order online.”
     “I don’t trust the internet with my credit card information.”
     The snapping turtle flipped his rolodex around until he settled on P, for printing shop, and then pulled out the card for the printing shop. He grabbed their business card out of the slot and waved it in the air towards his girlfriend, as if to say see honey, this is why business cards are so great to have. She ignored him. He dialled the number. One ring, two rings, three rings. Pickup.
     “Hello I’d like to order a new set of business cards … you’re with a customer right now? … but I’m a customer too, why is the other customer more important? … fine, I’ll hold ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. yes I’m still here … I’d like two hundred … white card, black lettering … they need to be waterproof … waterproof … ok so on the one side I’d like them to say SNAPPING TURTLE, and on the other side I’d like to have my phone number … this phone number … well don’t you have caller ID? … Helvetica Neue … N-e-u-e … I don’t know, German maybe? … ok, can you read the details back to me?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….you forgot waterproof! … waterproof business cards are very important to me! … so you have waterproof on there now, you’re certain of it? … good … you said I could have this one for free … the information should be in the system … snapping turtle … what do you mean I’m not in the system? … it should be in there, try again … nothing? … try turtle comma snapping … you’ve found it, good … delivery in six to eight weeks? Fine … it’s fine … goodbye.”
     He hung up the phone and rolled his eyes at his girlfriend.
     “Like pulling teeth,” the snapping turtle said.
     “What do you know about teeth-pulling?” said his girlfriend. “Or teeth at all?”
     The business cards arrived in the mail nine weeks later.


About the author:

Jordan Moffatt is a writer and improviser living in Ottawa. His short fiction has appeared in many places on the web, has been printed in (parenthetical), and is forthcoming in Matrix Magazine and The Feathertale Review. He recently received an honourable mention for the 2016 Blodwyn Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the 2016 Lit POP award.

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