Saturday, December 24, 2005

Raxco t-shirt charlatanism

This rant is reawakened from the early 1990s. Back in about 1991 one of my responsibilities was the maintanance of some Digital Equipment Corporation VAX workstations, running the operating system VMS. One fringe benefit of this activity was a free subscription to a publication called DEC Professional. One frequent advertiser in DEC Professional was a company called Raxco. Raxco placed one ad that they later regretted. The ad copy proclaimed that simply by filling out and returning a card requesting more information about some of their products, you could get a free t-shirt. This t-shirt featured a cartoon by Don Martin, best know for his work at Mad Magazine.

The cartoon is captioned "Fragmentation happens", and features a Don Martin version of a computer engineer with computer parts flying about with sound effects like "Kloon", "Ping", "PA-Tween" and "Sproing".

I filled out the card and waited for my t-shirt. This was now about fourteen years ago. One of Raxco's representatives informed me that the response to the ad had been larger than anticipated, so I might need to wait longer before getting my shirt. I have now waited fourteen years.

Later I got another business reply card with which I could request product information from Raxco. This time, no shirt was offered. But there was some additional white-space below the check box options on the card. Being careful not to mark any of the preprinted check boxes, I wrote in a new one of my own. It simply said "Where is my t-shirt, you deceitful charlatans?" I placed a large check mark in the box I had created next to this question and dropped the card in the mail. All I received in response to this was some product information that I had not asked for.

Why am I bringing this up now? My loving wife found an image of the aforementioned t-shirt and made me a t-shirt using special iron-on paper for inkjet printers. Is this copyright infringement? Perhaps. I would so love to have someone from Raxco try to take the moral high ground on this one. They still owe me a t-shirt. After fourteen years, the interest should run to at least two t-shirts by now.

Where is my shirt Raxco? I am still waiting. Jerks.

And thank you honey for the beautiful t-shirt. I have wanted something like this for so long.


BobD said...

I have that shirt from back then!!!

Biospud said...

Hey Bob Doyle. I am jealous. Did you get the shirt just for sending in the card, or did you buy product?

Anonymous said...

I also have the t-shirt. And, no, I didn't have to buy anything.