Monday, October 12, 2015

1540 The First Scratch

1540 The First Scratch

Some old horse died in the Black Forest and got made into a windbreaker, which dad wore for something close to 50 years. At first sight, it was already battered to the point that the dead horse wouldn't recognize it.

He refused to part with it. "It was nice and shiny and deep brown when I first bought it," he said. But all those decades later, he insisted on wearing it. "It was fine after the first scratch," he said. After that first one, all the others felt -- and looked -- at home.

Same thing with the new car. Pristine on the showroom floor. Not so pristine after you pull into a parking space and Griselda in the mammoth SUV parked to your right swings a door too wide and puts in the first scratch.

Goldy the sportscaster had a leather satchel of a briefcase, probably made out of the same horse as dad's coat. He didn't much care about the way it was scratched. He didn't even seem to mind when your correspondent spilled a whole container of Pepsi on the thing. It was scratched to the point the horse wouldn't know it was him. It was like a leather portrait of a rat's nest. "The more, the better," Goldy said. Keep those battle scars coming.

So here's the next job: getting a job with the Fender guitar company. They keep cranking out the same stuff they’ve made in 1952. But now, they've added "distressed"models. These are new guitars that look like they've been on the road for half a century or more. They look it -- but they were made yesterday in the factory in California.

They have guys who wear them out as soon as they come off the production line. Those people scar them with matches and cigarettes. They scrape off pieces of the finish -- using knives and sandpaper and make the new guitars look like they've been on the road all this time. And they charge extra for "finishing" them as if they were 50 years old.

It's a job no guitar freak could resist. And since demand is so strong, maybe they're hiring.

If they aren't, maybe Michael Kors or Dooney and Bourke need handbag agers.
Or maybe Chrysler. Get one of those new "300s," and turn it into a rolling wreck. Then sell it as new -- but distressed and aged.

No one will care. The factory will have made the first scratch.

A 1955 "300" with "aging toner and some dents.

What a concept!

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2015

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