Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Disappeared


So I turn on Channel 13 to watch the news and my favorite weatherman is gone. No announcement; no best wishes on a new gig – just gone, poof, disappeared.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter since the new weatherman is quite good. Knowledgeable, good delivery. Doesn’t make too much out of the weather being the be-all and end-all of life as we know it. Then he’s gone. Disappeared.

I once put a recipe for bread on my website, a great bread, really easy to make, healthful, freezes well. I had to learn to make it though because my favorite supermarket bread disappeared one day. Gone. Just like that. Talked to the manager but all I got was some nonsense about a contract not being renewed.

Same thing with my favorite household cleanser, Zud. Gone from the shelves one day, never to return, and no one seems to know why.

Every day for the last two years I’ve joked and joshed with Angie down at the White Hen. I take a long walk each morning and usually end up there to pick up a copy of the day’s Chicago Tribune. She got to know my dog and would give her cookies, and was generally perky and upbeat even with the half-asleep tradesmen who’d come in for their morning coffee.

Then she was gone. Just like that. Disappeared, went the way of my Amoco gas station and my Marshall Field department store. Actually, she also went the way of my White Hen store, since it was just suddenly bought out by the 7-Eleven chain.

I, of course, have not been hurt. These losses just push me in a new direction here, another over there. But what I find hilarious are the millions of dollars these companies spend on name recognition and “branding,” while all the time, by their actions, telling their customers we don’t give a shit about you.

What they don’t know is that we know that.

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