High Fi

A story my dad used to tell:

My friend Ken worked for what was then a first-tier Japanese hifi company. At the time -- it was the eighties -- companies exhibiting at CES gave shit away. Shirts, pens, calculators... you know: trade show crap. Rather than have his giveaway get lost in that sea of crap, my friend decided to give out pocket-sized mirrors, each encased in a blue silicon sleeve emblazoned with the company logo. His Japanese masters said "Ken-san, why you give away small mirror. We don't understand." And Ken-san said "trust me, they'll love it." And they did, because a) it was the eighties, and 2) while some preparatory activities are best done on a cardboard record jacket, others require an unyielding surface. I should add that the notion of including a single-edge razor blade in the package crossed his mind, but was rejected as being too on-the-nose.