Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

on retail as story

This morning I found myself taking up one of those Groupon offers. This one amounted to a half-price deal on mini bundt cakes. I bought because I know my wife could take mini-bundt-cakes to her co-workers, who might enjoy them. I think that all purchases work best when they accompany a narrative. I'm sure the makers of the Easy-Bake oven felt the same way.

I never owned an Easy-Bake oven, though my younger sister did. I am still impressed that a light bulb in a fake oven can cook a real, if really flat, cupcake. I had a Thingmaker, which was a huge, heated metal box which baked plastic into molded shapes. I'll bet a Thingmaker would get one on the EPA Superfund Site list nowadays.

The Thingmaker made little green soldiers. If you failed to put a little stretched out paper-clip inside, though, the soldiers were spineless. I like to think about narratives about big machines that clone soft soldiers. If you touched a Thingmaker while it was baking plastic, you could remember its story for a very long time.
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