We realize you have a choice about how to get food, watch movies, make phone calls, buy mattresses, razors, cars, insurance, contact lenses and everything else. But when you buy from our worn-out, dying enterprise, you’re keeping alive a tradition and helping hard-working people stay employed — hard-working Americans who have values that will be steamrolled by an upstart business disruptor one day.
Just not yet.
We thank you for upholding the idea that even though there’s a cheaper, more sensible way to eat, sleep, drink — do virtually anything — you don’t care. You want things to stay the same. Because staying the same is the only way we can respect the past and keep people like us alive. You realize that once our business dies off — and it will — life will never be the same.
Years ago, you didn’t like it when Japanese cars were no longer a joke. You didn’t think a Lexus could ever be as nice as a Mercedes. And then your friend bought a Lexus. And suddenly you realized you want a fucking Lexus too. You deserve a Lexus. So what if it’s Japanese. That’s changed. But that was a long time ago and that’s enough with the changing.
You know the importance of going to a store not staffed well because the foot traffic is so low we can’t afford stockpeople. You don’t mind that you can’t get any help in the aisles. You don’t need help because the limited assortment of goods makes your decisions easier. And that’s what the good Lord intended.
So what if there’s only one register being manned by a human being and there are 7 automated checkout machines and someone has to come over and help you because your coupon didn’t scan. Yes, you clip coupons. And you get the newspaper delivered. And you read magazines. And check out bound books from the library.
You know all those millenial punks or Gen X or Y or whatever letter they’re assigning to those little shits are already filthy rich even though their businesses haven’t made a dime. Or maybe they’re making billions. You have no idea. You don’t understand a damn thing and it’s all a sham. You support us because we are not a sham.
When you talk at home, you don’t want to have milk delivered mistakenly just because you said, “Alexa, we need milk” … and your wife’s name is Alexa. You think that kinda stuff can happen. You’re sure it can.
You can accept the fact that basically the U.S. economy is hollowed out and the most successful American business is a company that manufactures weatherproof liners for pickup trucks. That’s something to be proud of.
No, it’s not like making virtually everything else the damned planet consumes over there. But that truck liner company makes enough money to have nice commercials on TV. And they are some darned nice truck liners. Really solid and well made. You don’t need one for your pre-owned Lexus.
But if you had a pickup truck you’d definitely consider buying them. You might shop around to find a cheaper version. Maybe they’re not as nice but, like, half the price. Why would you spend that much on a stupid weatherproof liner for your pickup truck?
We love that you are a beacon of steadfast sameness that will never change, until you die … and you will.
You will stand on a street corner, hailing a taxi, with your briefcase filled with lots of papers and manila folders and a newspaper in your other hand, swatting away drones flying around delivering to millenials while the rest of the world zooms by you staring at their phones, swiping instagrams, getting tasks done by rabbits and paying with a bite-sized coin that somebody just dreamed up to piss you off and they hacked your bank account because you clicked a link on the web or email or whatever the internet thing is.
You will fight the change. You will come back to us, time and again. And we will be here, welcoming you in our arms. Yes, they may be robot arms and the hug won’t feel like a person. But you can feel the sense of something touching you. You will pay for that hug.
We are here for you. Don’t leave us. Please. We need each other.
Lee Sachs has written for The American Bystander & The Higgs-Weldon & does monthly monologues events in NYC. He also curates The Museum of Marketing Madness (www.madnessmuseum.com) and just created a new Twitter account for this occasion @RealLeeSachs.