The Store Where People Buy Nothing

So the Sharper Image is declaring bankruptcy. As part of the reorganization, the company plans to close 90 of its mall-based stores (About half the SI retail outlets in the U.S.),

I’ve been in their stores in various malls many times. But I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything from them. Regardless of how cool it might be to own the life-size Darth Vader costume, the R2-D2 that really works or the Trump Steaks, I never really wanted to spend my hard-earned money there. Apparentley, I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

One of my most memorable “shopping” experiences happened in a Sharper Image, probably about 10 years ago. I was hanging out with my brother Pete, who, at the time was about 12. We stopped in to the store and started browsing. They had two of those massaging chairs set up and I sat in one. I have to admit, it was quite comfortable. I told Pete that he had to try it out, so he sat in the other one. As soon as he did, some salesman in his mid-30s came over and said to Pete, “Excuse me, sir, but you have to be 18 to use the massaging chairs.”

I laughed so hard (especially because of the emphasis the guy put on the “sir”) that I almost fell out of the chair.

Well now, lil’ Petey is old enough to try the chair. Too bad SI is closing all those stores.

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