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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

The End of An Era, Part II

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The TV is gone. Not a TV. The TV. Gone, daddy, gone.

Just one more thing we've given away with the help of Craigslist. We have no plans to replace it immediately, so our new digs in Southern California will be TV-less.

NPH is actually pleased with this.

The TV was a gift from family at Christmas, 1999, when NPH was single and living without a tube. Family took pity and provided him with one, along with a VCR. It served us well these eight years. But it's big. And heavy. And we don't want to move it again.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 10:11 AM | link | 1 comments |

The End of An Era

Friday, June 15, 2007

In May of 1999, on the eve of a new millenium, a young man bought a car. It was his first car for which he was solely responsible, and he walked to the dealership from his aunt and uncle's house in order to buy it.

Today he sold that car. After eight good years that encapsulated almost all of his 20's, the time finally came to let it go. Only four days passed between the time he decided to sell it and the moment that seven $100 bills were pressed into his hand while a hasty buyer swapped the plates and signed the title with an unlit cigarette dangling from her mouth. It all happened so fast.

The first job, the broken-off engagement, the broken window and stolen stereo, the 10 hour trips to see a girl, the two-day drive to New Jersey with lampshades reaching out the windows;

Two hours on US 1, September 11, 2001. Five hours on the Goethals Bridge a week later. An hour and a half motionless on I 295 while a seminary assignment slipped away;

Back and forth on 71 Highway, day after day for three years. First sermons, first funerals, first weddings.

It all happened so fast.

Sold to the first one to see it. Sold on the last day in the office.

NPH turned 31 a month ago, but somehow it feels like his 20's just ended.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 3:30 PM | link | 0 comments |

No (Big) Box For You

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

NPH and Mrs. NPH are moving. For weeks now NPH has run back and forth to the local bookseller picking up their old boxes. It's been a really good experience, one that has boosted our opinion of the national big box chain. NPH has even gotten to be on a first name basis with Todd, the guy in receiving who has so thoughtfully taped these broken down boxes together and labelled them for us. We're moving across the country with this store's brand name all over our stuff.

But this morning we called for the first time in about a week and were told by the "bookseller" who answered the phone that they recycle their old boxes and don't make them available to customers.

NPH was a little stymied. "Actually, we've picked up boxes from there about four times in the last three weeks. Todd in receiving is who---"

"Actually I just spoke to the store manager," she interrupted. "And he said no."

What can you say to that? NPH was made to feel like a third grader denied access to the drinking fountain. We kindly said, "Thanks," and hung up.

Sure, NPH is sort of a parasite in this relationship. We're getting something for nothing. But the store's not really giving anything anyway. I mean, how much trouble is it to make old boxes available to people, boxes you're going to be getting rid of anyway? (we should point out that the whole chain isn't this way, as we've already arranged for one of their other stores across town to give us some boxes later today)

That "the manager said no" is a really terrible reason for a company to do anything. It's paternalistic and uncooperative. Which, of course, is how corporate business are designed to be. It's just that NPH had found a nice little soft spot in the midst of that chain, and our outlook on the whole thing was improving drastically. All that's changed now.

Now the prospect that we'll spend much time or money there is markedly diminished. The warm fuzzies of the public are good for something; they build trust and affection among prospective customers. Treating them like children "because you said so" is a really bad move.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 6:32 AM | link | 2 comments |