Monday, June 11, 2007

My New Boyfriend, the Grand PooBah!

I was at the Binghamton Club a little while back and chanced upon a Shriner's party. What really struck me, besides the fact that the average age was approximately 82 years, was the SWEET hats they had on. These are like the ancestral beginnings of all things bedazzled. AWESOME. (Please note the hat that reads "Arab Patrol"- I don't even want to know what this refers to, but it's got its own freaking website, and it's definitely not politically correct today.)

But where do they get these things, I wondered? Surely their wives could not have bedazzled these babies "back in the day," before such modern technology was available?

Once again, "google" comes to my rescue, and immediately informs me that yes, in fact there is a "supply" out there for every "demand," no matter how bizarre. Were you aware that there is a 62 year-old company that provides all sorts of specialized garb, called Los Angeles Fraternal Supply Company, Inc.? And I wasn't even looking for an L.A. connection, but this place is located at 37th and Main, just a few blocks east of USC! I've probably driven by it dozens of times on my short cut to work, and never knew the gem-encrusted fraternal fabulosity that was hidden behind its nondescript walls. Can't wait to "Visit Our Showroom!!!" as the website invites me, personally, to do.

WOW. That website is chock-full of cool stuff. I suggest you take a tour- there are all sorts of rites and orders and things, and check out the making of a custom apron- that's cool! Almost makes me want to join so I can wear the bling-bling hats and ride around in tiny cars!

A One Woman Crusade . . .

. . . . to bring telephone area codes to the Southern Tier!! For some reason, businesses around here find it unnecessary to put area codes on their business contact information. It's like they are completely giving up on the prospect of anyone from, say, Syracuse (a whopping 60 miles away, but a different area code) calling to do business!!

This trash dumpster/advertisement is a good example. You don't think any of their dumpsters have any chance of being used 10 miles to the south, over the state line in Pennsylvania, where the area code is different? Apparently, neither does Greenblott, because they didn't spend the few extra bucks (and all that spare space is available!) to provide the "607" area code. It continually amazes me that people can live with such blinders on that they cannot even comprehend that someone from a few miles away might actually want their full contact information. I think it speaks to the larger issue, that people really just have tunnel vision, and don't even travel outside the immediate area.

But never fear, I'm here! I'm constantly reminding people to put their full contact information on everything. Oh, and to use their last names, too! (I'm not kidding!)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Today I stopped by our local Citizens Bank, a perfectly reputable regional bank, and was greeted by this little gem sitting on the counter top. First, let's note the fine Southern Tier Graphic Design, complete with extremely sloppy highlighting and pathetic attempts to add interest with that sad asterisk and squiggly underlining.

But now let's move to the meat of the thing. Let me get this straight: I'm supposed to drop my business card in this little shoebox and I "win" . . . a free lunch with Linda the Branch Manager and Jenn the business banking officer??? This sounds more like one of the layers of Hell. You don't just win "a free lunch at XYZ reputable restaurant" to enjoy with the lunch date of your own choosing. Nope. You've gotta sit with these two ladies, who I'm sure are perfectly nice, but why would I want to hang out with them? So they can try to sell me banking products???

The best part, however, might be the mystery lunch location. I can only imagine them taking the "winner" to one of the hugely dumpy diners for lunch, which would get you change back from a $20 for all three of you. No thanks!