A tragedy occurs in a town; subject of grief, mourning and national focus. Locals and visitors flock to the florist’s in the high street for their floral tributes to lay at the scene.
The florist, mild, helped by a daughter, points out the prices, lowered, but the mourners baulk, saying:
‘You should be ashamed, charging money! Making a profit from this tragedy!’
‘But,’ says the florist, ‘I can’t give these bouquets away; these are my livelihood – and don’t forget I’ve paid for all of these myself already.’ And he sweeps his good arm across the displays on their étagères.
‘Shame!’ growls the crowd. ‘We want to show our respect to the victims and their families, and you would take money from us for this?’
‘Again,’ says the florist, ‘these flowers are my business; they’re each of them a cost to me. And see how I’ve already dropped the prices, and am giving a percentage to the victims’ fund!’
‘But we want to lay our tributes!’ shouts a fellow, an out-of-towner; ‘The world will expect as much when they see the TV news. Such a display of emotion – all along the railings!’
The florist’s daughter, trained in business, now steps forward. ‘All our Premium Grief Bouquets come with a pre-printed card that says, ‘Why?’
Words and picture © Steve Mitchell, Fisher Lane, 2013