Saturday, January 15, 2011

On branding your product and reputation

When I first started making the wee woolly Jacabobs, I was always at a loss for boxes to ship them in. I often went hunting for boxes around town and asking for them among my mothers old friends. After a while I had the distinct feeling I was bothering some friends and business people with always inquiring for boxes so I reverted to searching for them in back ally ways and dumpsters.

I'm quite a short person from a long lineage of rather height challenged people. My mother, also short, had one of those pincher tools on a long stick designed to be used to reach items on a top shelf. She loaned the tool to me for my box hunting excursions into the forays of local trash bins.

I will note here too that this is a tiny farming community filled with elderly folks, tight-lipped church-going Lutherans, gossiping government workers, snots and the underclassed. I will also note that I'm a hermitty sort of person, often dressed rather funny and who is not often seen in public with the exception of trotting round town with a set of long seen-on-TV pinchers in hand and a bag full of tiny boxes. The locals, not knowing me personally or where I had come from had begun to talk. Mostly in low whispers.

The best boxes can be found in this little dirt spot of a town behind the pharmacy in the ally between the post office and the local cafe. (don't ever look for boxes in cafe dumpsters. trust me on this.) Pharmacy boxes in particular are pristinely clean and most are just the right size for Bobbaloos although marked with words like Oxycontin, Darvon, Viagra etc... Not ideal for my brand but they worked.

So, there I was one hot afternoon leaned over the edge of the pharmacy dumpster , my blindingly white legs flailing in the sunshine. My toes had slightly lifted off the ground so I could pinch a perfect box near the bottom of the dumpster bin. I struggled, balancing precariously on my chubby hip bones, ass over teakettle. I had after all, been the captain of my high school gymnastics and track team many decades ago and dexterity was a thing I had great confidence in.

I might tell you too as just side information, that when ones head is immersed in an iron dumpster filled with cardboard and plastic, and you're tilted downward with blood rushing to ones head with great rhythmic whooshing noises in ones ears, that sounds from the outside world tend to be a bit muffled.

I didn't hear him stealthily rolling up the ally, creeping along in his squad car, warily approaching and sizing up the odd and perhaps dangerous sight facing him. A perhaps drug-crazed dumpster-diving lunatic. He got out, not closing his door and sidled up to the pharmacy bin where my legs and toes hung struggling and my heiney doing a salutation to the sun. "Hey there! Whatcha doin?!" he said. Startled, I went in fully head first to the bottom of the bin. Someone had called the cops! Really, who could blame them? He kindly helped extract me from the dumpster but has never quite looked at me in the same way again.

Since then, I buy my box making materials from a sheltered workshop here in town for the developmentally disabled, the mentally challenged. All the money goes to support their worthy cause for which I feel quite good about since some day, considering my sorely lacking sense of judgment, I may soon become a full-time resident.


  1. I love you, Kit Lane.

    I garbage picked the other day at the recycling center. No one caught me but I outed myself when I got home, part giggly and part "did I really just pick from the recycling center bin?" Yes, yes I did.

  2. :) I wish you blogged more often Kit! This is so funny.

  3. you made me snort my drink again. i adore you.


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