the Euro, A sixpence, a
sou, and a lira or two
—How Europe Bought My Heart in 1959
by Laura Kennedy
Trade Paper: 6" x 9", 344pp. ISBN: 978-1-59663-619-4, $10.95 (UK £7.99)
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FROM THE BOOK:
I flag back the operator. 'That number I wanted was Trafalgar 9080.'
'Very good. That will be a shilling and threepence.'
I put the shilling in the shilling slot and then look around for the threepence slot. There's a sixpence slot and a penny slot, but no threepence slot. I try to edge the threepence down one of the other slots, but it's too fat and oddly shaped.
'What slot do you use for a threepence?' I ask.
'I can't hear you,' says the operator.
I said, 'WHERE DO YOU PUT THE THREEPENCE IN?'
'Your voice is very faint," says the operator. "Push Button A.'
'I can't. It won't push.'
'Then push Button B.' I do so and my shilling is returned.
'Can you hear me now?' I ask.
'Jolly good. Now put the shilling and the threepence in the box.'
I'm beginning to feel hysterical. 'I can't put the threepence in, It won't fit.'
'You're supposed to put three pennies in-not a threepence.'
'You said a threepence.'
'I meant three pennies. Your line is suddenly getting dim. Can you get to another box?'
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Prior to this book, Laura Miller Kennedy was a member of The Dramatists Guild, she so remains. She is also the founding member of The Writer's Realm, where a group of writers met monthly in Laura's house in Falls Church, Virginia, to read and critique each other's work. Many of the authors' plays were performed at the Washington Theatre Festival and around the country, three of them produced on Off-Off Broadway, while several others have won theatrical awards. This is the author's first book. She currently resides in Loudon, Tennessee.