The following is the sad tale of a thwarted love affair between a young man and the electronic cocktail recipe book he held so dear.
One of my birthday presents this year was a Sharper Image gift card purchased at a Redlands-area Safeway. With this card I ordered two items from the Sharper Image website: a Deluxe Metal Corkscrew Gift Set with Vacuum Pump, Seal & Stopper and a Bar Master. I chose these gifts because I figured that the increased access to alcohol would help ease the sting of the fact that my family bought my birthday present at Safeway.
A few days later I received my UPS package from the Sharper Image, containing two boxes: one for the corkscrew set and the other for the Bar Master. I opened the corkscrew set first, and it was awesome. Before opening a single bottle of wine I knew I had made the right choice in bringing this into my home, a realization that has been reinforced numerous times as Meli and I have effortlessly opened bottles of wine, and kept the unused wine fresh with the vacuum-sealed stopper. But when I opened the Bar Master box, tragedy struck. For it was empty. It had complete packaging, instruction booklet, and registration card, but the most important ingredient had been left out. I had no little electronic recipe book, and I was sad.
So I called the Sharper Image customer service line and told them what was what, and they agreed to resend after apologizing for the inconvenience. A week passed and still no Bar Master so I called again. It turns out they had sent it by mail instead of UPS and I could expect it in another ten business days. Twelve business days later I called again and learned that the Bar Master had made it as far as the local mail hub, but no further. Like the Magic Cards I bought on eBay and the copy of Gigantic that Meli ordered for me from Overstock.com, the Bar Master had disappeared in the postal system en route to Alameda. More apologies followed and another Bar Master promised, this time via UPS.
And so, yesterday, upon returning from my Federal Courts final, I saw a little brown and yellow sticky on the front of my building that brought to me great joy. For the UPS man had tried and failed to deliver my Bar Master, and I would have it the next day. I rushed upstairs to have them hold it at the UPS depot (I've found that "before 10:30" means "any time between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. the next fucking day"). This morning I headed over to the UPS depot and claimed my package. I thought it seemed a little large for a single Bar Master, but I paid no mind, so excited was I at the knowledge that I would soon see a little LCD display telling me how to make a Sex on the Beach.
I returned home and opened the box. Inside the box were the following items:
--Several inflatable packing things
--A bunch of print ads for Sharper Image merchandise
--An Ionic Hair Wand 3.0
--Two Jolly Joker Jr.'s (or is it Jolly Jokers Jr.?)
--A packing slip addressed to Michelle Villa of Palm City, Florida.
I cannot begin to describe my despair. The forked telephonic tongue of the Sharper Image has now promised me yet another Bar Master, to arrive via expedited UPS shipping in two days. But how can I place my trust in them now? And what of the children in Florida, who are being deprived of the opportunity to torment their relatives with awful, electronically-generated jokes?
The thing is, I didn't even really want the stupid Bar Master. I just ordered it to get the discount on the corkscrew set. But after all this time I don't think I can live without one. The steady supply of easily opened wine has lessened the pain so far, but if I don't get my Bar Master soon I may have to hit the harder stuff, settling for sloppily proportioned cocktails.