How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
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Buying boys' toys
When it comes to buying stuff, especially when you're talking about electronic wizardry, then I'm as regular as the next guy. Wave the latest gizmo under my nose and I go into lust mode. Rational thought gets blown to the winds as I lap up the sales pitch and reach for my wallet.
I've been eyeing a car sat-nav system for a while now. Just an all-in one little box that my wife and daughter can use to stop getting lost and find their way home, you know. And a toy for me, of course. So when a motorist's centre started advertising big discounts for this week only, I put on my skates and headed down to the mall.
I was loitering in front of the glass case where an impressive range was on display when a sales guy saunters up. So I furtively indicate a kind of interest, perhaps, point to the cheapest one and ask what it's like.
'Not that good, really' said the sales guy, 'I have a friend who had one and he had endless hassles.'
I have had some experience of cheap systems and tended to agree. I shifted about, gawkily, and asked which was the best. He pointed to a nifty-looking Garmin and told me how this was really good value. I was impressed -- it had been reduced by more that other GPS systems and was not the most expensive, either.
He offered to show it to me and, as I mumbled assent, deftly whisked one from his pocket. In a blur of button-pressing, he told me how easy it was to use (good for the ladies) as I goggled at the functionality and imagined impressed friends.
Only on this offer this weekend, he said. Whilst stocks last. And they're simy flying off the shelves.
I held the product and felt good. A real bargain, I told myself, as I handed over the credit card.
As he wrapped it up, I noticed that his shirt had 'Garmin' embroidered on it. And I wondered how come he just happened to have that product in his product. Nonsense, I thought, quickly dispelling thoughts of having been hoodwinked. What a great product!
And indeed, it worked straight out of the box. And it guided us home (even thought we knew the way). And friends and family were impressed--I think. I didn't boast--I just used it, casually, like I had always had it.
"The difference between Men and Boys are the prices of their toys!"
Oh God. Toys do have a certain fascination. Um. Having house extension soon. Not so much a toy as just something expensive.
He who dies with most toys, wins.