January 05, 2005

Perambulation Breakdown

It is the 21st century, pumpkin, and your father should be clever enough to know that technology proceeds apace in all industries. That in diverse fields of endeavour the world around, designers and strategists are wracking their brains for innovations that will allow their organisation to seize market share.

This also applies, my pumpkin, to prams.

The sheer variety that is available for purchase in the child conveyance sector, punkin, is quite simply astonishing. To walk into a purveyor of such conveyances without prior investigation is to walk unadorned into the Den Of The Lions.

It was with trepidation then, that your grandfather Jon and I accompanied your mother and grandmother on the expedition to end all expeditions. On Saturday, pumpkin, we bought your pram.

Now it must be said, my child, that prams, strollers, pushchairs and their ilk have transformed since I was your age. Apparently the preferred nomenclature of perambulation devices in 2005 is "strollers", and the particular type with which your mother is enamored are called "Jogger Strollers".

Let it be said here, my darling pumpkin, that I have never yet seen your mother jog.

Having said that, we pressed on. Undeterred by tales of other folk who had fallen by the wayside, we forged on into Baby Target. Momentarily distracted by a stroller that was branded by a major car company, your grandfather and I gazed longingly at the inbuilt speakers and parental cupholder (although your grandfather and I agree that it would have held a bottle of beer equally as well as a latte). Your mother and grandmother, being of far more practicable stuff, rattled on about how heavy it was and did the footbrake work well and how easy was it to fold up. All immaterial as far as I'm concerned, SPEAKERS, pumpkin, it had SPEAKERS!

Leaving the confines of Baby Target behind (although I'll wager it's not the last time I'll darken that doorway) , we journeyed on to another large provider of goods for tiny people.

It was there that we discovered another flaw in our plan.

When men are buying something, pumpkin, they divide their requirements up into compartments, and then rate the object at which they are looking against those requirements, applying a score against each. When the overall score for that particular item reaches a predetermined point, they make a purchasing decision. This is, pumpkin, as long as they are shopping only By Themselves, or With Other Men. It is also provided that they are given access to adequate comparison information on products. Men, pumpkin, can easily tell you that RMS is a much more accurate measure of a stereo's overall sound performance than pure wattage output.

But stereos, pumpkin, are the same in every shop. They do the same thing, they have the same connections, and you can tell which one's better.

Jogger Strollers, pumpkin, do not present one with that luxury. In each store, there are different brands, all of which appear to perform the same basic functions, but whose feature sets and price ranges vary SO widely as to make accurate side by side comparison next to impossible.

LUCKILY, pumpkin, the men were not alone on this journey. It is likely that had we been, we would have returned home with a milk crate, an octopus strap, a skateboard and a case of beer, maintaining steadfastly that our contraption "fulfils all of the basic functions of any others, and at a fraction of the price, providing you don't take the beer into account".


1 comment:

vegemiterules said...

Hi Billy,
I have been reading your blog to "pumpkin" for awhile now and felt that I had to say something. I think that this idea is absolutely fantastic and I wish you all the best in keeping a "journal" for "Pumpkin" to read when they get older. What held me back from commenting before was the fact that you do not know me, and I am not family or a friend, just an observer, but this post really tickled my funny bone and I could not resist saying G'day. I suppose I should have asked you before but I have actually linked this blog to my blog (now I do not expect you to come visit), but I just wanted passers by on my blog (if they felt the want) to come visit and read your blog. Now if you want me to take the link down, please let me know by responding here and I will respect your wishes. Regardless, I will come back and visit and read your journey. Take care, again love the idea.