Monday, December 24, 2012

Bad drugs, fast cars, and mean people in Madoc



Seem to be having strange xmas memories this year. Might be the drugs. This over the counter stuff seems to have all sorts of side affects.

One such affected xmas memory involved selling greeting cards for the Rust Craft greeting card company. They gave me Eastern Ontario as a territory and a six month old,1972 Gran Torino, 2-door, hard top, as my company car. 

The Torino had no ass end and probably the worst car you could choose for winter driving, along the eastern end of the 401, which was posted at 75 miles an hour in some stretches back then. Other than the time I tipped it in a snow bank outside of Napanee, it was awesome to drive.I listened to the Canada-Russia series in that car.


We are getting closer to the xmas part.

Rust Craft was basically a printing company that licensed artwork from Rust Craft UK and sold the resulting greeting cards to department stores and every mom and pop, general store, in every small, Canadian town, which is what my territory consisted of. These family run, hardware, variety, rural, general stores would carry four to twelve feet of xmas cards and the owner, usually the wife, wanted to select each card, from each of the categories, that would be the best cards for their store. 

1972, being before the internet, cell phones, computers and the wide scale adaption of the fax machine, meant that you phoned ahead, booking anywhere up to four hours and showed up fifteen minutes early, lugging in wrap, bows and name tag samples and seven large binders of individual xmas and new year cards that the owner would go through.

Rust Craft had over forty years of artwork to choose from the Brits and had every general Merry Christmas, Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays, Season Greetings. God Bless something, religious card you could think of, along with cards for every categorized variation of friend and family.

Baby's 1st, 2nd,3rd all the way up to 10th Christmas in both sexes, Daughter, Son, Stepdaughter, Stepson, Granddaughter, Grandson, God Daughter, God Son, Niece, Nephew, Mother, Father, Mom, Dad, Mommy, Daddy, My Parents, Our Parents, Grandmother, Grandfather, Grandma, Granddad, My Grandparents, Our Grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, Aunt and Uncle, Your first Christmas together, To Both of You, From Both of Us, To the Three of you. To All of You, From All of Us and my favourite which I considered the most thoughtless card ever made


The "To You Alone at Christmas" card. 

Although none of my customers ordered the card, I always added one pack of six to each order, just to see if anyone would be mean enough to send one.

And the one time they ever sold was the xmas of 72 when 4 cards were sold in Madoc, Ontario.

There was at least one sick card customer in Madoc that year and hopefully not four suicides by card.

So if you are alone for xmas this year, ignore this card and visit bloggers on the internet and Happy Holidays.

2 comments:

Beijing York said...

Geez, Willy. You made me tear up with this post. There have been maybe two xmases where I was alone while on travels. One was mostly spent in an airport and on a flight - I was too tired to even think about it.

The second one was truly amazing. I had a ticket to return to Malaysia while doing a teaching gig in Japan and took the time off over the holidays. I was in Kuala Lumpur, in a cheap backpacker's bed sit and I had brought a couple of packages friends/family had sent me to open up on Christmas day. I also looked up an old Anglican Church in my travel guide, some colonial throwback I guess, and headed there to listen to carols. I was totally amazed that I recognized all the music but the carols were sung in Chinese. After the service, a young Chinese Malaysian woman approached me. She spoke English very well and asked how I found my way into their congregation. Anyway, she proceeded to invite me to her family's Christmas lunch outing at a local, fancy Chinese restaurant. She was the only one who could speak English but there were so many smiles and incredible generosity that I will always cherish that day.

Willy, you are such a mensch. I <3 you and wish you a wonderful holiday season.

WILLY said...

Wow what a wonderful experience.

Merry Christmas Beige