I am well and truly flabbergasted. I think it’s safe to say that my ‘flabber’ has never been quite so ‘gasted’. I’m also speechless, and that doesn’t happen very often…
And what has brought me to this state? Well, as you may recall, some time ago I started looking for a Messenger Bag. I’m still going to use my backpack to carry my main notebook computer and power supplies and papers and suchlike. But I also need a smaller bag that can hold my iPad and headphones and “stuff”. The idea is that when I get on a plane, I can quickly slip my backpack into the overhead compartment while keeping everything I need to play with during the journey in my Messenger Bag (see What’s the best “Messenger Bag” for me?)
On my trek around the Internet looking for the “Bag-of-Bags”, I ran across the Saddleback Leather Company, which makes the most amazingly cool leather products, including a Classic Messenger Bag that sent shivers up and down my spine (see Ooooh! Custom-made leather “Messenger Bags” – I’m drooling with desire!)
Sad to relate, this little beauty was out of my price range, so I decided to treat myself with a couple of smaller presents – a mega cool 1.75” Wide Leather Tow Belt (see Hurray! My jeans are no longer “flying at half-mast”) and a Leather iPad 2 Case (see I’m afraid that I’ve been a naughty boy…).
But why am I waffling on about all this all over again? Is it Déjà vu? (Did somebody just say that?) Well, following one of my blogs, someone commented as follows:
Hey, Max, maybe you should get a kickback from Saddleback for posting glowing comments about their belts! Bunches of us are probably thinking we do need a new belt, especially with the absolute crap coming from China these days. Quality products are getting harder and harder to find, and I always appreciate somebody letting me know where to find good stuff.
And I replied as follows:
Don't tell me – email the folks at Saddleback and tell them what a wonderful (unpaid) job I'm doing. And try to casually drop into the conversation that I really, REALLY like their Classic Messenger Bag (in Dark Coffee Brown) [grin]
Of course I never thought anyone would actually pay attention (I’m married, so I’m used to being ignored). But as I was leaving my office building the other evening, I noticed a box at the bottom of the stairs and I glanced at the label in case it was for one of the guys in my bay. I knew that I wasn’t expecting anything, so it came as something of a surprise to see that this little scamp was addressed to yours truly. How exciting (I love opening boxes), so I whipped out my trusty pocket knife and cut the tape to reveal…
… one of Saddleback’s Classic Messenger Bags!!! (Yes, three exclamation marks are totally justified in this case – in fact, you are lucky I restrained myself to only three.) This picture doesn't do it justice. What we are talking about here is "A thing of beauty and a joy forever".
You have to understand that Saddleback’s goods are the “Crème de la Crème”
, the “Bee's Knees”
, and the “Cat’s Whiskers”
when it comes to leather products. Everything comes with a 100-year warranty (if anything fails due to normal wear and tear – which, in the case of these little rascals, includes hiking across the Gobi Desert and fighting your way through the Amazon Rain Forest – then you or your descendants can send the product back to Saddleback for it to be repaired for free).
Under the bag I found a simple note saying “Thanks for being a member of the Saddleback family.”
I have to say that I was totally shocked – I wasn’t expecting this at all – it brought a little tear to my eye (I always get emotional when I discover that someone actually reads one of my columns).
Seriously, this bag is my pride and joy. The only problem is that it looks so “new” and “innocent”. Leather really comes into its own when it’s been traveled and seasoned and has grown some “character”, which explains why I currently carry it with me everywhere (admittedly, I do get some funny looks in the swimming pool) [I just made that up].
So all I can say is a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to the folks at Saddleback – I will treasure this little beauty forever!
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