Daily Departures

Departing daily from the ordinary objects of my thoughts.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wooting and Writing

Site: http://www.woot.com/
Product: Soyo Cigar HD20 1.8” 20GB USB 2.0 Hard Drive

One of my daily rituals is checking Woot! and seeing what item is up for sale that day. For the uninitiated, Woot! sells stuff. In fact, they sell a different piece of stuff every day. For any particular piece of stuff, it will go on sale at midnight central time. For any particular stuff, Woot! will have anywhere from 250-5000 pieces of that stuff. When Woot! sells out, the stuff is gone; then the waiting begins for Midight of the next night.

That said, one of the best things about Woot! is the product write-ups. That is why I'm sharing. I think that the write-up for today was especially good--in Mark speak, that means, it made me laugh. So, read on and even if you never buy something from Woot! you can at least enjoy the daily write-up. (Does anyone know a more fancy word for 'write-up'?)

For the Cigar Aficionado

“Hello, my friend! You like cigars?” A wiry man with close-cropped hair and dark jumping eyes was suddenly beside me on the crowded Havana street, oiling me up with a stage smile and an amiable question. My answer: “Sure, who doesn’t?” Under the pale, pitiless Caribbean sun, he led me through the bustle of hurrying bodies to a dark doorway on a side street. Inside I could see only a shadowy stairway leading up; I hesitated. He noticed.

“No, it’s OK. My house. I show you some good cigars.” A pause.
“Come inside, please. It’s OK.”

At the top of the stairs was a window opening onto a sort of balcony. A man sat cross-legged, half inside and half out, surrounded by russet-colored curls of tobacco, intently rolling cigars. We made a left there and headed down a decrepit hallway lined with doors. Somewhere, a baby cried.

Inside his gloomy apartment, he opened a desk drawer and pulled out a gaudily multicolored box. Conquistadors and mermaids danced a cartoon quadrille on the lid. He proudly swung it open to reveal several tapered cylinders of brown paper, lined up on a delicate sheet of tissue. “Nice cigars here. You like?”

I was skeptical. “Are they USB compatible?”

His face clouded with confusion. “What do you mean?”

“Like the Soyo 1.8” Cigar HD20 Hard Drive,” I explained. “It gives you 20GB of storage capacity in a package small enough to fit in your shirt pocket. And since it’s fully USB 2.0-compatible, you can play it as soon as you plug it.”

He shook his head in short, quick jerks. “No, no, no. I’m talking about cigars that you smoke. Tobacco. Just cigars, you know?”

“But the Cigar HD20 is perfect for transporting business presentations, media files, important documents…” I could see none of this was getting through. “I thought you said you had some Cigars to show me. Didn’t you mean the Cigar HD20?”

For some reason, he stared at me like I was an idiot. Pity and contempt swirled around his expressive features as he thought a moment. Finally: “Please, I ask you to leave my home.” All sympathy vanished from his narrowing eyes. “I think, maybe, you’re no good. Bad man, I think. Leave now.” Just then, a massive, shirtless Cuban appeared from an adjoining room, stretching and rubbing his eyes as if he’d just rolled out of bed. He’d have been a linebacker, if they’d played Yankee football down here.

This new member of our party barely seemed to notice me. Neither he nor my would-be cigar salesman said a threatening word; they didn’t have to. I hustled
back down the hallway, past the cigarmaker, and down the stairs. The Cigars I was looking for seemed very far away.


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