A tree died for that, said the cashier when I asked for a paper receipt.
It's a smug phrase implying, at least it seems to me, that the tree voluntarily gave its life for my accounting records like some sort of leafy Messiah; a self-sacrificial elm, perhaps, that fell willingly in the forest so I could present something to the taxman.
Complete nonsense, of course. No tree gives a shaggy scallycap about my financial requirements. The orchard is a stranger to my line item deductions. The arbor is deaf to my charitable write-offs.
Trees don't die for anything: we are forced to take their lives with axe and saw. It's just their bad luck they are rooted to the spot and cannot run away.