The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 3, 2009

Gone to the Cats

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 8:10 pm

Once again, this afternoon found me in downtown Seattle overpaying for parking and doing a little bit of testing for a small company trying to get an interesting looking (if currently somewhat buggy) recipe website off the ground.  As I tend to do on the relatively rare occasions when I make it into downtown, I ended up spending a bit of time wandering around and checking up on things.  Many years ago (back in the days of Sledgehammer 1.0 in fact) I actually worked in downtown Seattle, and since I got off relatively early and often had some time to kill before the bus to get home would leave, I would often spend an hour or two after work just wandering around town and seeing the various sights (or, more often than not, blowing my hard-earned savings on video games, but that’s beside the point.)  Although it’s been years since that time and a fair bit has changed over the years, I’d still like to think I know my way around downtown fairly well (as long as I don’t wander too far into Belltown anyway…) 

Of course, downtown Seattle also has what some might diplomatically refer to as its colorful side, and on any given day it seems in the area around Westlake Center and the downtown core you’ll probably see at least a handful of miscellaneous protesters  out harping on one  deep abiding social grievance or another.  Today’s crowd included a bunch of various ACLU people circulating petitions for something I didn’t figure out but I’d probably oppose for no other reason than the fact it’s supported by the ACLU, some sort of vague allegation of unfair labor practices at Macy’s, with a light sprinkling of the usual fringe protesters demanding the jailing of the usual capitalist oppressors to top it all off.  Fortunately when dealing with these types of protesters the size of their current grievance is usually directly proportional to the size of their protest signs, which often makes them easy to spot and keep a safe distance.   

Another thing you’ll often see around this area are a handful of so-called guerrilla marketers advertising some sort of product on a street corner and passing out samples and coupons.  In most cases, this will be some sort of sample sized  food product that will be quickly consumed as a snack and almost immediately forgotten about.  On the other hand, sometimes the products are a little more difficult to deal with.  As I was approaching a street corner today near the Nordstrom store, I saw that a couple of people were passing out samples on the street corners here, but I couldn’t quite figure out what type of samples were being offered.  I was going to need to cross the street anyway, so I approached the corner, and by the time I got there I saw that they were passing out samples of cat food.  Almost before I could react, one of the people handed me three cans of cat food and the usual coupons.  I started to try to explain that I don’t in fact own a cat, and he quickly replied that I probably know someone who does, and turned to the next person walking down the street.  Before I could really figure out what to do the walk signal came, to cross the street, and as I walked away it seemed that I was now officially stuck with the cat food which had been foisted upon me, and not a clue what I’m actually supposed to do with the stuff.

Well I guess I do know what I’m technically supposed to do with the stuff (feed it to a cat, who is then supposed to get hooked on the stuff and make me use the included “Buy 6 Get 1 Free” coupons to get more of it,) but lacking a convenient cat to feed it to at this time, the whole thing just becomes a bit more complicated.  I suppose the simplest thing to do would have been to just throw it away at the nearest garbage can, but even if I’m never going to use the stuff that seems a bit wasteful.  I could leave the stuff somewhere besides a garbage can, but that would technically be littering, and also pretty much a bad thing.  To tell you the truth the whole thing wouldn’t even be all that big a deal if not for the fact that canned cat food isn’t exactly the easiest thing to carry around with you when you’re walking around a busy urban area (and if I wasn’t wearing a jacket at the time I wouldn’t have even had a convenient pocket to stick the stuff in.  Ultimately, having found myself unable to come up with anything better to do with the stuff, I found that it managed to follow me home.  Can I keep it?

Of course, by doing this I didn’t actually solve anything.  It just means that I still have three cans of cat food, and I still have no idea what the heck I’m supposed to actually do with the stuff.  I suppose the simplest solution to the problem would just be to get a cat and feed it the stuff, but I hear there are some unforeseen consequences to that approach, namely the fact that I would probably end up owning a cat if I did that.  I suppose this means that these cans will most likely end up in the back of some dark cabinet until I decide that I’m never going to actually use the stuff and toss it, which sounds a lot better than the alternative of sitting around and waiting for the economy to really get bad, at which point I have to actually eat the stuff, which doesn’t sound like much fun (I suspect my idea of a tasty dinner is just a bit different from that of your average house cat.)  If nothing else, I suppose I could do what the street corner guy who foisted the stuff on me said, and get a friend who owns a cat, who would then presumably be able to eat the stuff.  Any volunteers?

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