We often rattle on about how easy it is to find what we need here. And, if we cannot find it in a local shop, we pull up our trump card. Amazon Mexico.
I am as guilty as the next fellow. In fact, I often am the next fellow.
Yesterday, the DHL truck pulled up to my front door with two packages. The first was a set of heel inserts for my walking shoes. Apparently, my shoes are too flat. As a result I have overextended my Achilles tendon -- tearing a small portion. The inserts came from a warehouse in Kentucky.
The second package was a custom-tailored lambskin jacket. A gift. The tailoring would be far too trim for me. The jacket's provenance was a bit more exotic. Bombay. Or for those of you who are fond of renaming everything -- Mumbai. (Remember. I am the guy who keeps referring to Red China and Siam. There is a little of Mr. Burns in all of us.)
This is the point where I would usually cue Elgar's Enigma Variation IX while a soothing voice over spoke of the wonders of internet shopping as if it was the very essence of purple mountain majesties, the true north strong and free, and happy and glorious all rolled into one big enchilada.
Well, it isn't. Internet shopping is not even a vaguely new concept. Those of us who lived in rural America in the 1950s lived by two books. The Holy Bible (King James version, of course) and the Sears catalog.
With only limited access to retail sales, the world was opened to us in the pages of the dream machine provided by Messrs. Sears and Roebuck. Milk pails. Hat racks. Lingerie. They were all there. And with a bit of cash, and a bit more patience, your order would appear at the post office before the snows arrived.
So, when I get too uppity with my paeans to modern technology, I need to remember the DHL truck that appeared yesterday was nothing spectacular. Even Meredith Willson got the drop on me with "The Wells Fargo Wagon." And he even gave a nod to Sears' competitor, Montgomery Ward.
Several readers have reminded me that a bit of nostalgia is not a bad thing. So, let me share Meredith's ode to the past. Whether it was better or not, it certainly sounds a lot like today.
All you need to do is to imagine DHL yellow.