Small Town Internet
My wife LOVES Lido Cookies from Pepperidge farm. However, I've clearly stepped into a cookie conspiracy. If you Google for Lido Cookies you get this link, which is dead. How dead? Like the Yellow Screen of Death + Call Stack = Tacky level of dead.
Anyway, she loves them so much she sometimes buys the big mixed box of cookies just to get the three Lido cookies. That's like $2 a cookie as I see it. It's a rare thing, but a pregnant or nursing woman wants her things just so, right?
Thus began the nationwide search for the last few bags of Lido Cookies. No problem, right? I figured I'd just Google for them and I'd be on my way. Couldn't find them for weeks. Searched everywhere, called stores, etc. Apparently they are discontinued. I should start a petition.
Then I found this fun little company, Hometown Treats. Basically it's a whole business based around getting folks their favorite local snacks if they've moved away from their hometown. Amazing and only on the Internet.
The young lady who runs the place, Shona, found three bags of Lido Cookies and FedEx'd them to us here in Oregon. The wife was thrilled and the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) was high. This happened yesterday.
Today, we set out to buy a tandem stroller (pram) for the boys, and we did our research and decided on a Joovy brand double stroller. So, we were sitting in the parking lot of a sandwich place and I figured I should call ahead to make sure the store we were heading towards had them in stock.
I bust out the WM SmartPhone, open up Google Maps, get the number for Babies R Us and call. They didn't carry the one I wanted. Crap. I hit the browser, open Joovy's website and see their number. The whole thing could have been an advertisement for the mobile web.
I call the toll free number listed on their website (on every page, no less, and no "contact us" button. How revolutionary! ;) ) and the phone rings. I get an actual HUMAN on the first ring. Magical. I ask her where I can find her products in Oregon. She says, you know, you should just call StrollerDepot because they have free shipping. (Here comes the best part.) "Ask for Mary, and tell her Brenda says Hi."
I thank her and point the browser at StrollerDepot. The actually have their phone number and hours of operations on top of the home page. Thrilling! I call and get a person on the first ring. "Um, may I speak to Mary?" "This is Mary?" What? Is this Internet a Small Town? "Hi! Brenda at Joovy said I should call..." "Oh, Brenda, we LOVE Brenda." ....blah blah blah...we bought the stroller, free shipping, and it comes on Tuesday.
Why mention this on my blog? Because just when I'm convinced the Internet is a giant conglomeration of nameless faceless corporate automatons (of which I'm clearly one), I get to interact with a real person running a Small Town Boutique Company that does one thing and does it brilliantly. And I talk not just a regular real person, but one who is an expert in their field, be that cookies or strollers.
At this point I feel connected and contented and happy to be on the web. Long live Small Town Internet.