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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Dec 21, 2012

I was standing in line at the cash register at a local office supply store holding five boxes destined to be Christmas presents. My arms were full and I was using my chin to hold them in place.

The woman in front of me had left her purse in the spot on the counter where I wanted to place my boxes while she was examining her credit card to see which side she needed to use to scan it.

While she made several unsuccessful attempts, I am still balancing my five boxes and sending her thoughts saying, “Come on lady, couldn’t you just move your purse so I could set these boxes down before they explode out of my arms?”

It didn’t do any good. She wasn’t a mind reader, either.

To distract myself while this was happening, I looked into one of those bins they place near the cash register that is filled with low-priced objects designed for those impulse buyers who are waiting in line for the person in front of them to finally get their credit card scanned successfully.

Usually I can resist those items but this bin had an assortment of flash memory USB drives and one in particular caught my eye.

Finally, the woman in front of me completed her purchase and picked up her purse so I could lay my boxes on the counter. As she picked up her purse, she looked at my boxes and commented on them as they looked interesting.

I was pleasant and told her they were Christmas presents. Mentally, I sent her a thought that said, “There’s the door. Use it.”

I am not sure if she picked up my thought or not, but she slowly gathered her purse and bag of merchandise and headed for the door.

I set my boxes on the counter and made a quick trip to that bin of memory drives. I picked up the one that got my attention and put it with the rest of my goodies.

What was it that had me so enraptured as to make a special trip to scoop it up and buy it?

On one end was the typical USB connection that we know and use so frequently. The cardboard card it was attached to said it held 16 gigabytes of memory. In today’s world that is a fair amount of memory, especially for $14.99, marked down from $19.99.

Many years ago, I looked longingly at a memory card that would fit my digital camera that held 512 megabytes. It was priced at $65 which was a good price because only months before, that same card was over $100.

Here I was looking at 32 times the memory at less than one-fourth the price. Don’t you just love progress?

This is all good, but it was what was on the other end of the drive that really caught my attention. It was a bottle opener.

Think about it. Talk about old meeting new, past meets present.

When was the last time you inserted a flash memory drive in a USB slot? Not that long ago, was it?

Okay, when was the last time you used a bottle opener? Thinking, thinking, it was not recently was it? Was it even this year? I bet not.

So who was the genius (or jokester) who mated 16 gigabytes of flash memory to a bottle opener and why?

That probably explains why the price was reduced 25 percent to sell it.

I am going to use my newly purchased treasure, the memory end, that is. The bottle opener, I am not so sure about.

The bottle opener end will be used like most bottle openers, hanging from a nail pounded into the wall.

I am not the easiest guy to buy Christmas presents for because I believe I have everything I want. With my combination 16 gigabytes of flash memory and bottle opener, I now know I have everything.

I even got my credit card to go through the first time.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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