Perhaps you’re familiar with the Metropolitan Diary in the NY Times – the column that tells of everyday experiences in the Big Apple – humorous or noteworthy things observed while riding the subway or standing on-line at the movies. The idea is universal and you can find regional spinoff versions such as the KUOW Puget Sound News (Seattle), or local knockoffs such as The Jewish Week (NYC). Opinion8ed2 is getting in on the act and this issue includes the first in a potentially continuing series called Suburban Diary.
We recently passed a billboard on Rt 8 in Connecticut advertising a most unusual product: Precast concrete restrooms. Yes, concrete – in case your brick shit house was not sturdy enough for you. I suspect the demand for these is rather limited (have you ever met anyone in the market for a concrete port-a-potty?) and there can’t be too many companies out there that manufacture them. Could the potential for increased business really be worth the cost of the roadside advertisement?
More on the “Is this the Best Way to Advertise Your Product” theme, subtitled, “You either love it or hate it”…A large delivery truck driving through traffic passed by covered in ads for its company’s products. This of course is not unusual and there’s not much additional cost required to paint the ad on the truck… the message however was rather direct: Ripe, Stinky Pungent, Moldy – follow your nose to Murray’s Cheese! Now that’s truth in advertising.
Chapter Three: The Hands Free Phone Lady
New York State law prohibits the use of cell phones unless they are operated in hands free mode. One driver on the Long Island Expressway misinterpreted the intent of the law as she took the concept of the hands free cell phone to a whole new level . She was jabbering away alone in her car as she drove down the LIE at 75 mph and as a good law-abiding citizen was not holding her cell phone and her hands were, in fact free. Unfortunately however she was talking in a most animated fashion, gesturing with both hands free of the steering wheel, waving to emphasize her point to the listener who could only hear but could not see.
Chapter Four: Buckle Up for Conversation
On a recent trip across the LI Sound I was enjoying the sun and fresh air on the top deck of the ferry when my thoughts were interrupted by a voice calling out, “Nice buckle”. I looked up and realized the comment was directed at me by a 30 something guy traveling with his wife and two young kids. He was referring to my cherished brass tree belt buckle that was given to me as a gift many years ago (let’s just say before he was born) and I’ve been wearing every day since. Turns out he had a favorite belt buckle of his own but having broken the stranger cocoon the conversation flowed freely in many directions and soon his wife and kids joined in too. It was one of those rare occasions where people just click and where after several minutes we felt like we’d known each other for years. Thirty minutes went by in a flash and ended only when the captain instructed us to return to our vehicles. Afterwards I wondered why we didn’t exchange email addresses so we might continue a friendship in the future…but In retrospect part of the mystery was the random fleeting nature of the moment was part of what made it special.