Saturday, June 22, 2019



Years back before the internet was happening, I was living overseas in a far flung port on a tiny island in the Caribbean. Catalogs were a treasured rarity. Folks saved them and passed them around. Many waterfront bars and restaurants kept a free book trade along with a stack of catalogs for patrons to trade, share and  peruse.  These catalogs showed products we could dream about that weren't for sale locally on a tiny island in Caribbean. A few would ship overseas, most just shipped inside the USA only.

I decided to send my father in the USA a unique coffee mug for Father's Day. I was thumbing through a dog eared catalog of custom imprinted products while sitting in an open-air restaurant having breakfast. There was a phone number to call for placing an order. The preprinted order form included in the catalog originally was long gone. 

I finished my breakfast then walked to a payphone located in the island's town park (this was before cell phones were ubiquitous). I lived on a small sailboat floating in the harbor so I had no home phone to use. Twenty minutes later of standing up in the Caribbean sunshine at a pay phone in the park describing the coffee mug, the imprint I wanted, my father's name and address, my credit card and so on, I was confident that in the next two weeks my father would receive his gift in time for father's day. 

Weeks later on Father's Day, in a different port on a different island, I went to a payphone ashore to call my father for a 5 minute $30 overseas call and wish him Happy Father's Day. He thanked me for his curious gift which had arrived on Saturday. I thought his voice sounded a bit icy. Maybe he didn't like my gift? Nonetheless I was thrilled the mug had made it to him on time but I was mortified to learn from him that his coffee mug read  "Great Job Farter, I Turned Out Awesome!" 


A nanosecond later, the phone call disconnected. I was aghast. My $30 and 5 minutes had both expired. I didn't get to explain to him that is NOT what I meant to send him! 

Oddly enough, as a child, I don't recall my father being much of a farter. I don't recall that he ever farted in my presence. Oh he snored like an endless trainwreck of screeching metal sounds and thunderous crashes that shook windows and scared coyotes. His snoring could drown out other noises from over a mile away. But farting? Um, no.

Whether something was lost in translation or the operator at the catalog company wasn't very good at spelling (or listening!) or someone doing the imprinting decided to have some fun at my expense, I will never know.  

It had taken me over an hour to get that call through to start with and it was time for me to return to work. In those days I was professional crew on a large chartered sailboat for weeks or months at a time. When I had time off, I lived on my little sailboat. It was a chaotic traveling sailing schedule I enjoyed. It was time for me to pick up my passengers and get them back out to their luxurious yacht for a sumptuous luncheon then sailing onward to the next island where a gorgeous beach was waiting for their enjoyment.

Sorry dad!

Life is goof. 

Twenty-something years later... 

Year 2019

Amazon has a  new department called Amazon Prints that includes custom photo printed gifts for your home or your loved ones. Calendars, Photo Books, Wall Decor, Cards and of course the proverbial coffee mug. You can upload your own photos as well as add their own stock of embellishments to make a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork or gift. 

Maybe yours will turn out how you intended. 

Good luck!

If you're reading this then we both woke up alive. 



And thanks for plopping by today.



1 comment:

  1. it is still like that. if you spell out father as, as frank, alvin, ted, harry, ed and robert. they still will not get right. they will try to put all of that on cup and not the rest of message the because you are out of room. i'l show myself out, raz


Life is goof!