surefire ways to win this blog’s affection

April 3, 2006 – 11:00 pm



this blog knows you don’t care about knockboxes. which is why the recent decision to spring for a new model would have gone unmentioned … until it morphed into a bona fide Saga.

i say, e-mails like this are a great way to earn my undying brand loyalty:

From: “Dreamfarm Information”
To: “‘benjamin szobody’”
Subject: RE: new colors

Dear Ben,
Thank you for your email and as promised, you are most certainly welcome to your free Grindenstein. We are 48 hours away from the launch of the new colours and apologise for the delay!


yes, a grindenstein. my classic sheet-metal-and-rubber model had run its course, the rubber knocking surface fully frayed and prone to flinging brittle bits across the espresso bar at the slightest provocation. candidates for replacement knockboxery couldn’t be too garish, what with mother tay-AH and the riviera lever already competing for eyeballs within close proximity. also, limited barspace meant it should be vertically oriented, with a small footprint, as they say in the high-rise condo business. the grindenstein people also happened to offer earnest “recycling station” aspirations, a streamlined injection-molded speed-racer feel, the robo-no-destruct knock bar, and the pure ease of machine washing. (knockboxes … they always suffer for hygiene, because they are precisely the one aspect of bar equipment most prone to spreading poo on themselves the minute you’ve polished them and the least likely to impact the quality in the cup through uncleanliness. it’s a wonder some don’t grow mushrooms … not that this blog knows anything about the necessary alkaline/acid soil balance for mushroom growth.)

there was also the irresistibly cheery web site of front-to-back flash coolness. i’m a hopeless sucker for front-to-back flash coolness — even if you do have to download macromedia flash player 8 just to place an order.

anyway. bugged them about the rumored new colors. received a Vague Promising Answer. bugged them again. they say, “march 28.” but still, no ‘steel wool’ OR ‘dark chocolate.’ schnaikes! just think of all the flying rubber and spent espresso bits! so i bug them again, and the answer is, well, what every consumer wants to hear: “we care about you sir! thank you for keeping us on our toes! free merchandise for YOU, sir!”

the biggest upside: now i can go to the usbc convention this weekend and not feel guilty if i find a knockbox i like better. because, you know, this one was free.