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Hitting the Jackpot with the Service Economy

So this is what it feels like to hit the jackpot! Despite the cliché that 'America has a service economy', an experienced traveler knows how difficult it is to get a dog groomed or a car fixed. Even more frustrating is the search for a seamstress. It would be easier to schedule brain surgery than to get a zipper replaced, when you're on the road.

That is why I hit the jackpot in Silver City when I threw myself on the mercy of a dry cleaning place, the same place where I had been saved a half dozen years ago, when this same winter parka had suffered 'wardrobe malfunction'. The way things go these days, perhaps I shouldn't complain about the new metal zipper surviving heavy use for that long. (It was twice as long as the original nylon Delrin zipper.}

Back then I remember the disappointment of the best winter parka of my life failing so prematurely, and fearing that it would now be put in the dumpster. It's funny how that works: we never remember the pretty scenery and the perfect weather and the smooth rides. But we remember the misadventures and the disasters. The wardrobe malfunction had happened on a cold blustery spring day in New Mexico. I was angry and miserable, walking through town, looking for seamstress help, while holding the parka closed with my soon-to-be-frozen fingers. 

But soon I started to like it. I had been walking to town with no particular purpose. Perhaps I would have ended up squandering time and money at a coffee shop. But now I let the cold wind cleave the parka in two. I was now engaged in a great and noble battle with Evil, testing whether this parka, or any parka so conceived and so dedicated, would long endure.

Well, that was Then. And Here we were again. This time the seamstress put an even bigger metal zipper in. It looks like it was made by Caterpillar Tractor Co., instead of YKK. 

And by the way, does YKK Corp. have some sort of global monopoly on zippers? Maybe that is why zippers are the bane of our existence.


You could just sew on velcro and never worry about it again, but I admit it would take the adventure of it all away.
Velcro! You don't wanna get me started on velcro...

It is just a dog hair magnet. Soon it doesn't even work. I'm glad they got through that phase of putting velcro on shoes. It doesn't work anywhere as far as I'm concerned. In that washing machine it tears up spandex cycling shorts.
Hey, it works GREAT if you add a little Gorilla Glue. :)
Ed said…
Is it any wonder that the US of A economy is in the tank with a consumer like you. You have a problem finding people to fix stuff because our economy is based on BUYING NEW not fixing. Then you post this blog admitting that you have fixed that parka not once but TWICE!

In answer to your closing question Wikipedia has this:
"On September 19, 2007 YKK was fined 150.3 million euros by the European Commission for running worldwide price-fixing cartels and sharing markets with zip-makers Prym and Coats. Coats of Britain and Prym of Germany were fined 122.4 million and 40.5 million euros respectively for their participation in cartel behavior."
Yes, you are right: I am unAmerican when it comes to being a consumer. And proud of it. But did you see the book mentioned in the righthand margin?

Thanks for the research on zipper-cartel skullduggery. I was suspicious of something like that all along!