It is an old Christmas tradition in my family to give one's relatives gifts from Harry and David, a mail-order food company. In accordance with this tradition, in December of 1992, my parents placed an order to send my father's brother James's family a box of about 20 of Harry and David's gourmet high-quality Royal Riviera pears. A week later, we received a bill for $3,129.47.
Despite Harry and David's claims that their Royal Riviera pears were unlike any others in the world, this price seemed rather steep for a box of pears. My mother called the Harry and David headquarters on the telephone to ask why our box of pears had cost more than three thousand dollars. After checking her records, the company representative responded that Harry and David was currently shipping to my Uncle James's Atlanta home 113 boxes of their gourmet high-quality pears.
The company representative believed my mother that she had not in fact intended to have 2,000 pears sent to a suburba