Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Handle with Care

Anyone see the movie, 'Ace Ventura Pet Detective'? Remember the opening scene where he dresses up as a delivery character, and goes out of his way to brutalise the contents of the box he is (apparently) delivering. He dropkicks it, allows it to be crushed several times in elevator doors, runs it along a wrought iron fence etc etc. Well, it looks like Ace Ventura delivered my box of books.

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I'm not kidding. Digital video casette tapes literally leaked out of the soft folds (while carrying it from car to front door)which were barely held together by countless reams of South African Post Office branded duct tape.

The cardboard feels like wet toilet paper. It's weak.
And how about the contents. The hull of the box is more like a parallelogram than what it once was: a cardboard square.

Did the ship carrying my precvious cargo sail around the Wild Coast? Because a few books, including Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike, and Woolf's Mrs Dalloway got crumpled. It's a damp crumpling. I mean, the pages have turned into slightly attractive flowers, making these books almost impossible to close.
What kind of guy reads Armstrong and Virginia Woolf anyway?

I am in the process of designing a superhero brand, called Rocketboy. I have seen some shocking delivery companies, some shocking delivery processes, and practices, and here's another shocking delivery result. Imagine if you bought a can of cola and it tasted like sugar water? Is there a brand that delivers something consistently, on a daily basis? A brand that's affordable and fast, that delivers something as important but ordinary as a hamburger, or as something as precious, private (and indispensable) as a condom. Short answer: No, there isn't.
Imagine if such a brand did exist, was available at a single number, and could provide a supply line from everywhere to your home, for free.

That company is:

It's Possible

I have had huge headaches trying to ship my computer from Korea to South Africa. They said the computer (in its tower) was 1 centre too big for their standard postal shipping. What year are we living in?
They said the same about my bicycle wheel?
When I checked in at the airport, they oohed and aahed about how heavy my baggage was, yet, you know, the airlines pack a whole shop of duty free stuff on board, from watches, to cameras, to bottles of whiskey. Now what would you rather take on board? Your luggage or a whole duty free shop?
Here's another gripe: why are airlines flying solid iron cutlery? South African Airways is. Look, by now, we've gotten over the disappointment of having our nose hairclippers, fingernail clippers, and set of allan-keys (for those who have flown their bicycles anywhere)confiscated. Yes, we get it: anything metal and sharp is a danger on board.
So if we're looking after everyone's safety, can't we extedn that to being practical with weight allowances. Less unnecessary metal should also apply to the crew. And maybe concessions can be made, obviously not without some necessary exceptions, to overseas travellers carrying a little more.
If you're travelling on SAA or Cathay Pacific and you take your bike, you can forget taking anything else.

Thus, for people with special needs (and today the consumer is exactly that, someone with special needs), fly Singapore Airlines ( They're more mature, and they have a better set in their alliance (Star) than Cathay's (One World).

People are sometimes as precious as the cargo they carry with them...

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