Goodbye Old Friend

Derringer—“Sweet Evil”

MoTW—“Club Dread”

I have some very sad news to report.

Recently I found out that a company that’s been in business for over 50
years is shutting down, ruining the dreams of the up and coming youth of

I’ve done business with this company many times throughout the last 50
years. Now a part of me is being taken away causing another big, deep
void in my life. This time it’s so deep and big that I don’t think I’ll
ever recover.

I remember when I was a child I decided to join the Science Fiction Book
club without talking it over with my parents. I waited for weeks for the
package of awesome books I ordered but, when they eventually arrived, I
was never allowed to touch them.

My parents, in their infinite wisdom, decided that I was too young to
belong to a book club because they felt that I wouldn’t be able to
handle the commitment. So, to teach me a lesson, they gave the books to
my brother and wrote a letter to the company explaining I was underage
and couldn’t partake in their exciting club.

I guess it all turned out alright since I soon decided that science
fiction sucked, all because of one book I read. It was so boring that I
swore I would never read a science fiction book again.
So I turned to fantasy and was having a good ole time with that until I
read “Lord Foul’s Bane” and decided after reading that book that I would
never read fantasy again. I guess that proved my parent correct after
all, since I wouldn’t have honored my commitment but not for lack of
trying. Or something like that.

A few years passed and I saw an ad for Columbia House in some magazine
and decided to join. This time my parents let me keep the introductory
shipment after I promised to fulfill my commitment, which I did for a
couple years.

But one day they were having an awesome sale and I ordered about $80.00
worth of albums. I never paid for them and after a year the collection
bills stopped and I went on with my life.

A year or so later I saw another ad for them and really wanted to join
again. So I signed up figuring that they wouldn’t figure that I had
previously signed up and ran with 80 bucks of merchandise since I now
lived at a different address, and how right I was.

Got my introductory shipment, was dedicated to the club for about a
year, ordered a bunch of albums totalling $60.00 and never paid. After a
year the collection bills stopped and I went on with my life.

Soon I had the hankering to join again, but this time it was a problem
since I lived at the same address. I brought this to the attention of
someone I knew and he told me that is was no problem since I only needed
to change one letter in my name and Columbia House would never catch on.

So I signed up again under the name “Stephen Jonson” and waited for a
nasty letter with a bill. Instead I received my introductory shipment of
CD’s and have been a dedicated member ever since.

Now Columbia House is closing its doors. This is very sad news since now
the youth of today won’t be able to learn how to put it to the man.
But I guess it’s people like me that drove Columbia House out of
business and for that I feel very guilty. I’m sorry Columbia House for
what I have wrought. If it makes you feel any better, I’ll have a moment
of silence the day this August you close down to show there’s no hard
feelings from me.

COMING NEXT: The science of crate-making

Stephen Johnson

The idea of building a website with Bob came from Stephen in the days of message boards and chat rooms. We settled on the name and the rest is history. Retired since he hit the ripe age of 25, he spends most his time doing odd-jobs around the house and digging thru trash bins for "stuff that's still good." Stephen has contributed several short stories and hosted the "Lunatic Ravings" column since the beginning (1999). The idea of writing weekly columns came from Stephen before blogs or blog sites ever existed. So, I guess that makes him THE FIRST BLOGGER IN THE WORLD!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enjoyed this? Please spread the word :)