Sunday, 13 April 2008

Fawlty Towers

My local super market will gladly experiment selling any item requested by a customer, though the continuation of that item’s presence in the shop depends on enough people buying it quickly enough.

There must be someone else in the area who likes the Smoothies packaged under the name Innocent, though it seems we are a minority of two as they have only made one sudden appearance in the 16 years that I have been a customer.

Obviously I too could make a plea for their inclusion to the manager but that would destroy the ad hoc spontaneity of my shopping experience, and I have only asked one favour of the man we know as Mr Supermarket and that was not for provisions but to film amongst the aisles after closing.

So my infrequent consumption of the aforementioned Smoothies is limited to the occasional visit to Gatwick airport where they feature significantly and are always one of the first things I do after checking in, though this is such a roundabout introduction that I have actually forgotten the topic that I wanted to address, though it must clearly have been connected to Smoothies; ah yes, I remember.

A while back I heard a hauntingly beautiful piece of music from the Howard Wiley project and I have occasional tried to enrich a shopping trip by casually asking in specialist Jazz shops if they have a copy.

Until now this search had been fruitless but internet shopping came to my rescue and I sent credit card details into cyberneverland and that was that.

But not quite, because I received this e mail this morning (which incidentally reminded me of the tone used on Innocent packaging).

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure
it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money
can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Saturday, April 12th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as "Customer of the Year." We're all
exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
the little store with the best new independent music (503)595-3000

It could of course be credit card fraud, i'll let you know.

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