You never know what will become important, but it’s been seriously bugging me that we don’t have a letter opener in this apartment. I have at least three in my desk drawer in Maine, none of which managed to make the trip west. And, of course, despite the prevalence of email, and most people’s disdain these days for snail
mail, we still receive several letters each day (bills, junk mail), some of which need to be opened.
So on my last three visits to the great junk store, Recycle North, I’ve been looking around for a letter opener. Nothing fancy, any letter opener, but without success. Last Monday, while looking around the NE part of town on my way to turn our rental car back in, I spotted a Salvation Army store, but they didn’t have one either.
Yesterday on my way to the UVM library, when I passed the college bookstore and went in to have a look around, lo and behold, they were selling letter openers. The most basic type possible (made in China, of course); it even said LETTER OPENER in giant gold letters right on it, in case I might have mistaken it for a UVM sweatshirt or physics textbook. And it only cost 49 cents (before tax), placing it within my price range.
As it turns out, the thing doesn’t work all that well, but at least I now have a letter opener on hand, so I’m (more or less) satisfied. This morning, though, sorting things out from my trip downtown yesterday, I was interested to find the receipt from the bookstore and discover I had purchased a Letter Opener Deluxe.
Only in America. An ordinary 49-cent opener wouldn’t be good enough for us — we have to have the deluxe model. I didn’t notice the regular variety of letter opener in the store — or was it that thumbtack over there on the floor?
[Update: that very evening. My wife was looking for some blank CDs she thought she’d brought from Maine, and found 20 of them in a box along with… an elegant letter opener with a wooden handle. We had one all along.]