Kwik Hits

Random bits of uselessness:

I was at a store the other day, and the two female employees behind the counter were discussing a third, male, employee. “Why does everyone call him Arrow?” the apparently new employee asked. “Because he’s got so many freckles,” the other replied, to the apparent satisfaction of the first.

“I don’t get it,” I said. “Freckles, arrow?”

“Think about it for a minute,” the lady said. “It’ll come to you.”

Forty-eight hours later… I don’t get it. Anyone?

Elsewhere, let me once again sing the praises of eBay, the global rummage sale par excellence, and the thousands of clueless and wantonly ignorant sellers who make use of it. I’ll post the details next week, when I (hopefully) receive the item in the mail, but I won an auction for a truly unique piece of historic space memorabilia – a well-documented item that went to space and back, more than thirty years ago – for 11 USD, including shipping, by being the first and only bidder. Why? Because the guy selling it didn’t realize what it was, and had it listed in a completely inappropriate category with a pretty useless description.

I suspect this kind of thing happens more often than most people realize. I once snagged a neat piece of War of 1812 memorabilia – signed by one of the American commanders, even – for $1.99, because the seller mis-spelled pretty much every pertinent word in the listing, and apparently couldn’t read the inscription, or signature.

Someone should really write some LOTR fanfic whereby Sauron acquires Rings of Power on eBay. “Oooh, ‘Old Gold-Colored Ring, Engraved, NR!’, thirty dollars buy-it-now with free shipping? And you accept Paypal? You mortal fool! All shall tremble before my might! Bwahahahaha! Also, I want delivery confirmation, damnit.”

On a nearly-related note, the United States Postal Service (USPS) seems intent on driving themselves out of business by becoming increasingly user-unfriendly. If you live outside the States, and have ever been annoyed by an American online business that wouldn’t ship overseas… here’s a possible hint why that’s a sadly common state of affairs:

I recently shipped a couple copies of my book to Canada, the first time I’d sent anything weighing more than few ounces “overseas” in a while. If you’ve never shipped a package “overseas”, the routine goes something like this: You bring the package to the post office, and fill out a large form in, erm, “pentuplicate”. Or is it “sextuplicate”? Press hard, you’re making five copies. Then, you take the customs form and the package to the teller, or clerk, or postal associate, or whatever they’re called these days. He or she then has a bunch of fields to fill out, and has to rubber-stamp each of the copies, individually. Then they have to transcribe everything on the customs form into the computer. By hand.

Then you pay. Then they separate the various copies of the customs form, and affix one of them – hopefully the correct one! – to the package, give you your receipt, and you’re on your way, twenty dollars and ten minutes of your life poorer.

Aye, caramba.

One of those little Baader-Meinhoff moments, or whatever you want to call them: Last night, I was reading the old Doonesbury treasury “Doonesbury’s Greatest Hits”, which collects various comics from the mid 1970s. One of the early plot lines in the collection involves Duke becoming the Governor of American Samoa. Ignored by the State Department, he has a passing American cruise ship seized. Washington retaliates by ordering an invasion to free the imprisoned tourists; because nobody can find American Samoa on a map, the invasion force doesn’t show up until after the cruise ship has already been released, leaving them with nothing to do. Annoyed, Henry Kissinger orders a “retaliatory airstrike” on the island, in part to show North Korea that America is not to be trifled with. The bombing destroys the cannery, much to Duke’s dismay – “they were my only source of tax revenue!”

This morning, I open the paper, and see… An article about the cannery in American Samoa. Whoa. Freaky.

Published in: General | on October 6th, 2010| Comments Off on Kwik Hits

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.