Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thoroughly Modern Me (the giveaway!)

It’s February 13, and as promised, I am preparing to honor one of you with the CSN Stores $35 gift certificate code for answering
What is the craziest thing you have ever bought online?

My assistant and I are rating the only five answers on a scale of 1 to 10:
1 being “That’s not at all crazy.”
10 being “That person is a nut case!”

Domestic Diva bought a year’s supply of coconut butter, which we found normal. In fact, we’ve had enough of the stuff in our house to last, gosh, eight years. Honest! We gave her a 1.

Bill H. bought a third copy of a book he’d misplaced. I have him a 6. Not because the purchase was crazy, but because Bill must have been a bit nuts looking for the book. My assistant, on the other hand, gave him a 4, because the action wasn’t crazy. Average, 5.

Pkozuch bought an old telephone switchboard that weighed 400 pounds. Then the dinosaur had to be shipped, so someone had to pay for that. My assistant gave this nut an 8. “Who on earth would use a telephone switchboard? Then who’s going to unload the thing and move it around? Not even a treadmill weighs that much!”

I gave pkozuch a 7. If this object was to become a functional part of life, that’s not crazy but shipping it is. I’d guess shipping cost more than the switchboard itself. How does anyone rationalize that? If the thing wasn’t functional, I go for a 10, but I’m surmising and will stay with my 7. Average, 7.5.

Ashley usually buys clothes. I gave Ashley a 3, because she probably doesn’t need another thing clogging her closet. My assistant wonders why Ashley even responded.

Finally, Shala Darkstone “bought 50 bars of glycerin soap just to get free shipping.” My assistant said that’s a 7—“that’s a lot of soap, but it’s justified.” Since I would do the same thing and I don’t consider myself crazy, I’d go with a 2. Soap in a pair is a great gift placed in a basket on top of a couple of washcloths. Average, 4.5.

That means our winner is pkozuch! Congratulations! I’ll email your code shortly.

We would just like to know the story behind the switchboard—and its buyer, the nut.

I asked our winner to comment on the product she bought online, and here’s the scoop.
“We bought [the switchboard] for $450. Weighing in at 400 pounds, we found that shipping from Connecticut to Wisconsin was going to be $500 to $700. Then a resourceful TSI employee found a company that specialized in shipping computers and electronics.

When we told them it was an old telephone switchboard, it seemed to fall within their usual guidelines. We had to get the seller to haul it up out of their basement, because the trucking firm wouldn’t do that. Once it was in the garage, the trucking firm came and got it and it made the journey from Connecticut to Wisconsin.

We did a little restoration on some wood veneer and got a few new cords for it. If we hooked an incoming phone line to it, there would be some functionality (being able to answer it), although we couldn’t really transfer the call out to an extension.

It is the focal point of my Telephone Museum in our waiting area. Mostly serves as a conversation piece. I have a friend who just got an old phone booth for her birthday. It was an interior phone booth made of mahogany that came from an old hotel. I was excited for her. She told me I was the only person who ‘got it.’ Most of her friends were very puzzled when they asked, ‘Did you want a phone booth?’”

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