In an elegant essay Ms Kentucky (aka Charlene) runs up the flag for deferment of gratification. I can only add the following story.
SOME years ago a brand of whisky, as celebrated for the excellence of its product as for the egregiousness of its copy style (a callow forerunner of the quality on offer here), advertised in the national press for stories, poems, cartoons, anything that readers might care to send in for publicity use. Whatever made it into their marketing department out-tray would be rewarded with a case of whisky.
I remembered the gist of a story my aunt Evelyn used to tell, typed it up, not certain that it wasn't too feeble, indeed too fey, for the distillery to use. I sent it off and thought nothing more about it. I gave myself some licence: I never had a great-uncle Sandy, aunt Evelyn could hardly specify which brand of whisky he drank, we never kept a family journal. However, a next door neighbour we had at one time when we lived somewhere else in Scotland did indeed refer to porridge as 'them'. And I did spell 'practice' correctly in my original.
One Saturday morning a few weeks later there was a ring at the door. Who should be standing there but the Marketing Director of the distillery in person, with a case of whisky at his feet. I was as pleased as I was surprised, and the personal delivery by such an august personage might have been even more gratifying if he hadn't lived a quarter of a mile away the other side of an enormous field.
I gave most of it away. I don't remember ever pouring any of it back into the bottle.
For several weeks beer mats and publicity material, like the card above which folds into a kind of pyramid, carrying aunt Evelyn's story were distributed to pubs and hotel bars throughout the UK. This probably marks the very pinnacle of my literary career.