Woot! [1] sells remaindered stuff, one item daily. Each offering includes a little story, sometimes hilarious, about the object: a fantasy use for it, a bizarre reason for its indispensability, a secret-origins myth behind it, and so forth. I felt deja vu upon first seeing Woot!, but the ur-source didn't come to consciousness until months later: J. Peterman. [2] I still remember the wallet I ordered from their catalogue in the early-1990's. Its description began:

Stop and think about that wonderful dark pocket of leather in the middle of a baseball glove, lovingly used and punished for half a lifetime ... baseball-glove leather. Centercut. Beautifully cut and sewn and made to last and made to darken; made to be with you a long time.

Alas, there was far less magic in the actual wallet that arrived postpaid; its cowhide was thin and it wore out after a few years. About that time at a local Boy Scout store I picked up a billfold-making leathercraft kit for a few dollars. I couldn't get any of the kids to assemble it for me, so I sat down at the dining-room table, threaded the plastic lace through the heavy-gauge needle, and laboriously put the thing together myself.

It took an hour and I pricked my fingers a few times, but when I was done I had the wallet that I still carry a decade later. It started off stiff and pale, but over time it softened and tanned to its current hip-hugging-happy state. The clear-plastic driver's license window inside has long since cracked and fallen out. I replaced it with a couple of pieces of clear mailing tape stuck together adhesive-to-adhesive.

Every so often I think about buying another Boy Scout billfold kit. But the one I made still has plenty of life in it ...

(cf. WorthTheCost (3 Feb 2004), ...)

TopicHumor - TopicOrganizations - TopicPersonalHistory - 2005-08-02

(correlates: CloserToFine, FunVersusEntertainment, GiftForFiction, ...)