At one time I worked in an upscale town that has a large, locally owned hardware store where I occasionally shopped during my lunch hour. You often hear their underwriting messages on our NPR station. They carry the usual items, like nails and furnace filters, as well as early-American wrought-iron drawer pulls and hinges.
I had broken a bit for my electric drill, doing something stupid like drilling into a metal screen-door frame. I brought the bit to the store, showed it to the clerk, and explained that I needed a bit I could use on metal.
He handled it gingerly, as if it carried a deadly virus, and handed it back to me. His mouth was twisted in disgust.
“This is Black & Decker,” he said, in the tone of a sommelier in a white-tablecloth restaurant if one ordered Thunderbird. “We only carry high-grade contractor products.”
I managed to keep my dignity as I walked out of the store, never to return.
Photo by Kieth Ferris