Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Give Me a Hand!

I make jewelry. My jewelry is handmade by my own two hands (and sometimes a foot or an elbow for stability's sake, but they have no place in this story and I'm getting sidetracked as usual.) Because my jewelry is handmade, it is unique. Even if I try to make the exact same thing I just made, it will be a little different the second time.

I sell my jewelry here at Etsy - a site for artists who make things by hand. This serves as a disclaimer. Everyone who comes to Etsy to shop knows (or can read, in big, bold letters) that Etsy is a marketplace for handmade. People shop at Etsy to find things one-of-a-kind, or a bit off the beaten path (sometimes all the way over the cliff) or anti-department store, if they are feeling particularly negative.

"By hand" is good. But, pardon the intended pun, the hand stuff has gotten a little (come on, you knew it was coming) out of hand.

For example. Every restaurant worth its fleur-de-sel in a teeny tiny dish that you (and anyone else who has had the dish before you, or will have it after you) access via fingers has a "Hand-Cut Prime Rib," likely served with "Hand-Cut Steak Fries."

Now, A) I have no idea why fries are only for steak. I don't eat steak, and I like fries, so I think they are losing a large demographic of potential buyers suggesting that you can only get the fries if you get a steak. I mean, lots of people like a side of fries with, say, pizza. And besides, prime rib is not a steak, so why do the prime rib people get fries? And B) Could someone explain to me why on EARTH I would want anyone to touch my prime rib? If I ate prime rib, which I don't. But, does hand-cutting make the prime rib unique? Or is it a disclaimer so that people know that the sizes of the cuts of prime rib vary wildly, and they can't complain to the waitron (is that the PC term? Or is it "waitperson?") that his slice is bigger than your slice. The server can point (with a flourish) to the description on the menu and simply say, "Look, honey; you were warned. The Prime Rib is HAND-CUT. If you think you can do it better, have at it. The carver's parole restrictions limit his knife to 3 1/2 inches...I'd like to see you make anything but a mess with that. Oh, by the way. I gave you the smaller piece because, honey, you could really stand to lose about 20 pounds."

And another thing. Hand-ground meat at the grocery store. Why would I spend hard earned money on it (if I ate it, which I don't) when all those butchers are missing fingers?

Two blocks away we have the Touchless Hands-Free carwash, competing with the Hand-Detailed Carwash with Fancy Coffee Cafe. How to choose?

Hand-breaded fried chicken. It's OK at Mama's house, but not so appetizing at KFC.

Yesterday I saw a drive-thru offering "Hand-Spun Milkshakes." What do they do, juggle them? And what are they going to do with their milkshake machine now? I'll bet it broke, and they told the burger-flippers that their job description now includes juggling. Come to think of it, that place is represented by a clown. Clowns juggle. Savvy marketing ploy, no? Wish I could have been in on the Executive Strategy Marketing Initiative Leadership Media Relations Brand-Globalizing Council Meeting for that idea.

Yeah, I'm a hands-on kind girl, but I am definitely hands-off my food. Indifferent about the carwash thing.

Oh, and if you plan to move a king-sized Tempurpedic mattress (along with about 4 bazillion tons of other stuff) from a fourth-floor condo down a freight elevator and into a 16-foot rental truck that stands about 5 feet off the ground, be sure the lift gate works before you drive it off the rental lot. Just saying.


Crystal said...

Ewwe, I hate thinking about hands touching my food. Icky, icky dirty hands!

Nancy said...

Even if they are super-clean, scrubbed-till-they-chap, Purell-sanitized hands...not so much.