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Free Marketing Advice

Dear Shaws,

Wow, you guys are having some week! Three different [local] people shopping at three different locations found black widow spiders in their red seedless grapes. Holy cow!

I love my local store, and I shop there 98% of the time. This morning, I actually thought to myself “I should go down and look through the grapes to see if I can find anything good in there” which is when I realized that you guys could really be cashing in on this, marketing-wise. If *I* was thinking of going spider-hunting, and I hate bugs, you know there are thousands of others thinking the same thing.

So here are two four marketing ideas for you, free, gratis. I mean, I’d take payment (use the paypal donation link over on the right) but that’s up to you.

1. You know all those M&M promotions where they say if you find a bag of all gray (or whatever) you’ll win some big prize? Tell everyone that the spiders were meant as prize markers – if you find one, you win a free shopping spree.

2. Advertise your grapes as coming with “a free pet for the kids”. It’s Christmas, and you were thinking of getting little Jimmy a puppy, right? But have you considered the mess and work involved with a puppy? Buy your red grapes at Shaws and receive a free Christmas Spider!

3. Set up a display of those bug catcher jars with the magnifying glass tops right next to the grapes.

4. Post ads specifically for “Spider Grapes” and say “Only available at Shaws for a limited time!” Maybe include some trumped-up story about how spider grapes are magic.

See where I’m going with this? I’m kind of disappointed that there weren’t any spiders in the last batch of spider grapes I bought.

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Pre-Pie Zone

You know how I feel about pie.

We are in the pre-pie zone, that time when the ingredients (or the pies themselves) are already bought, but you can’t eat them because it isn’t Thanksgiving yet. This is the worst time, really, because the pie is right there in front of you but so much as touching it will get your hands cut off by the Turkey Tribunal.

Oh, that reminds, me – hats off to Reuters for this beautiful Thanksgiving Week headline: “Nine Charged; Britain Warns of More Turkey Attacks.” Now I don’t know about you, but most people are sort of pre-occupied with Thursday’s meal, and well, I thought they had arrested 9 turkeys for attacking. Hey, Britain was famous for mad mad cow disease, it’s not impossible that they had some sort of turkey fever. You’d think the British turkeys would be happy that they’re in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. No need to attack there.

Oh. The story is about Turkey the country. Got it.

Back to not thinking about pie, then.

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The Gimp

“Gimpy” is a word that isn’t used all the much anymore. Is it because we’ve just moved past it, or is it politically incorrect? I would hate to offend the Bad-Legged-Americans out there by using an offensive word. I like “Gimpy” and I don’t even know why.

So anyway, that’s what I am today. Twisted my ankle a bit, and really, it’s just one bit muscle pull down there. I’d never thought of a sprained ankle in those terms before, but that’s what it feels like. Unless a sprain is something different. I’ve had some nasty sprains in my day. The worst one was the tragic “Duck, Duck, Goose” incident in the front yard when I was 10 or so. I just went down like a ton of bricks with no warning. The doctor told my mother I had “loose ligaments” which meant I was just a sprain waiting to happen. And sprain I did. The other worst one (cause I thought of it just now, and it was probably worse than the one mentioned above, but that one has a cooler name) was when I was 16, and I was running down the hill for the bus. Twisted that sucker and went sprawling. My books skidded down the hill in front of me. Now my mom never let us stay home for any reason, so I just limped down the rest of the way to the bus.

I was taking Driver’s Ed at the time, and the usual schedule was to wait for my dad to pick me up on his way home from work, so that’s about 5pm or later. So picture me, in horrible pain all day, having to sit there waiting for my father to arrive. By the time he got there my ankle was swollen to approximately 3 times its normal size and I couldn’t put any weight on it at ALL. I mean, this was BAD.

To this day, my mother denies that she would have made me go to school if I’d actually turned around and gone home that morning, but how was I to know it was as bad as all that? What if it wasn’t bad? It’s not like she had a car at her disposal to take me to school if I missed the bus.

So where was I going with this? Oh, right. I have an ouchy foot today, and am walking with a noticeable limp. But I came in to work anyway cause I didn’t want my mom to yell at me if I stayed home.

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Did You Enjoy Your Day?

I hope you made good use of the day today. The weather wasn’t as nice as yesterday, and yet it was lovely in its own way. All in all, I’m happy with what I got done this weekend. There’s still some work left to do outside that I will get to this week, and of course I’d intended to do a lot more, but thinking back, the weather wasn’t really my friend on the weekends this fall. So no, the fence isn’t cleaned and stained. I guess that’s the top of the Spring 2004 list then. I also have to get to the Odd Lots store to pick up my birdseed supply. I found the suet holder, and everything else is hanging empty on the pole. I’m going to miss my unemployed days when I could just sit in the window watching for the cardinals. But hey, having a steady income has its good points too, right?

I have my hands bound up with duct tape to prevent me from turning on the Christmas lights outside so I can enjoy my handiwork, but in this family, we try to wait until at least Thanksgiving night. So I’m behaving myself. But the duct tape is starting to chafe, and I’m having a flashback to the whole CSI: Miami thing from the other day, trying to type without the use of my hands.