Monday, May 21, 2007

Easily amused

I get a wide selection of tchotchkes landing in my inbox every day: mostly pens, various stress reliever toys, a travel mug here and there, even a bizarre drain cleaning brush once - all meant to demonstrate the superb marketing impact of a piece of crap with the firm's name on it. Put your logo on this, and your clients will think of you EVERY TIME they clean hair balls out of their bathroom sinks! What could possibly be better?

Along with a handful of calendars, January's mail brought me an inspirational coaster . Yes. A coaster. An inspirational one. One that knows I shouldn't sweat the small stuff. One that knows it's better to love and lose. One that knows the power of a frown that's been turned upside down. One that, were it a person, I would have drowned long ago in the slimy petrie dish of water that collects and ferments in the sun outside my window. No one (or thing) should be so incessantly uplifting. It's not natural.

The coaster comes with 52 interchangeable cards - one for every week of the year - that cheerily sandwich themselves between two pieces of plastic. The instructions suggested that I change the card out each Monday morning, and begin each week in 2007 with a fresh idea. I'm not sure why exactly - though I'm thinking it had something to do with the fact that I needed a coaster at the time - I decided to use the thing, and even occasionally remember to switch out the card. Mostly, I just look at the cards and laugh at my coaster's silly idealism. But some days I find myself bored and a little kooky, and decide to do whatever my coaster tells me to do. Which would explain why today I've been running around the office screaming "HELLO!" in the startled faces of passers by, and then doing a little victory dance in triumph.

Little do they know they are all losers in a fierce competition called "be the first to say hello."

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