Thursday, December 27, 2012

Write a Review!

      “Please, write a review!”  An automated email plopped into my inbox soon after Christmas day, following on the heels of an online gift card purchase at  Reflexive orders from online stores are becoming more and more common these days, as online shopping becomes more main-stream and relatives turn to gift cards to relieve holiday pressure, spurring growth in the ever-helpful, yet sometimes misleading system of customer reviews.  As indicated by the annoying emails, anyone can author such a review, many times resulting in unintended good humor. 
      Often, especially on outdoor supplies stores’ websites, I’ve found, patrons take much enjoyment out of relating stories from the field.  Proud owners of expensive gear are sure to specify that “the deer tried to eat the foliage from my ‘ScentBlocker Protec XT, Mossy Oak Break Up’ camo jacket!,” or that “the fish followed our boat around the lake to get some more of the ‘Berkley Powerbait’ Something Or Other.”  Sure they did.
      Equally entertaining is the customer who clearly displays his lack of knowledge of the product that they invested several hundred dollars in.  “The rod was broken in four pieces, in the package!,” read one of my favorites, written in ignorant vengeance by the unknowing, lucky owner of a four-piece Sage fly rod.
      A small minority—for whom I am very thankful—take the time to include lengthy stories with their enthusiastic thumbs-up or thumbs-down, meandering slowly to the point at which the featured product makes its decisive entrance into the plot.  In particular, I have in mind a certain testimony I read concerning a deer call that was new on the market a few years ago.
      Hunter’s Specialties’ “The Kruncher” claimed to relax deer with the confidence sound of crunching acorns.  A gimmick?  Maybe.  That’s exactly why I checked into the reviews on
      After reading one, and sorting through the rest of the monotonous opinions left by southern deer hunters, one posted by an Idahoan elk hunter caught my eye.  The story started when the call arrived in a package via mail, and continued as the man awoke on the morning of the hunt, hiked to a high knoll on a neighboring, avoiding his neighbor’s llama farm, and taking a seat to implement “The Kruncher.”  It was unusually well-written considering the context.  The man may have fancied himself an outdoor writer had it not been for what lay at the bottom of the page.  Much to the author’s pleasure, “The Kruncher” relaxed completely the cow elk in the area, and it wasn’t long before a tall, solid specimen wandered to within range.  With a clean rifle shot, the animal went down without a struggle, and I, the reader, was relieved of the built-up tension.  As a satisfying end to the hunter’s chase, there, at the bottom of the page, in all its ironic glory, was an inserted picture of his harvest—a large, solid, and bloodied, llama.
      Now this greatly relieved some of the stress built-up from exams prior to the Christmas break, and I soon felt airy and had a new appreciation for common sense.  Unfortunately, the humorous saga was flagged as inappropriate by some concerned citizen, and my hidden treasure was promptly taken down from the site.  I did eventually purchase a “Kruncher,” but never did I have the same luck as did the comedic Idahoan.  But oh well, I’ve never heard too much good about llama meat, anyway.

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