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First a quick apology and
thanks for your patience and
understanding with last
week’s missing issue. But,
here it is and please bear
with the late dates, we know
you always do.
Congratulations to both
the men’s and women’s bas
ketball teams for great sea
sons. Both teams battled
through tough seasons with
exciting results and great
anticipation for next year.
Post season honors were
placed on Bishops Misty
Cameal (Sr.), Dixie Confer
First Team All-Conference,
and Verizon Academic All-
District; Bradley Blue (So.)
First Team All-Conference,
Keith Sudler (So.) Second
Team All-Conference, and
Donta Jenkins (Fr.) was
named the Dixie Conference
We hope everyone had a
safe and enjoyable spring
break and invite you to share
stories or experiences you
had, or have had, with The
Softball, Baseball, Golf
and Tennis have all gotten
underway; look for sched
ules in the next issue.
Hope you enjoy the is
Letters to the editor poUcy
The Decree welcomes letters from the entire
Wesleyan community. We print only signed letters
to the editor, although unsigned letters are kept on
file and may form the basis for future news ar
Letters should not exceed 400 words.
Letters may be submitted in one of these ways:
• placed in the post office with the word “De
cree” on the envelope;
• placed in the door box of the adviser’s office,
Rm 182 PC;
• sent in the body of an email message:
Subject; Decree [and short title]
All letters must be received by Friday of the
week prior to the next issue in order to be printed
in that issue.
The Decree Editorial Board and Publisher re
serve the right to edit or reject letters for grammar,
libel, and good taste.
rKn.no I xKm
The unsung heroes
New products excite consumers
By DR. STEVE FEREBEE
To paraphrase Keats, Happy
American consumers, O Happy,
Happy American consumers. As
we devour our way through con
temporary life we may forget that
someone has to think up new con
sumer products. Benjamin Fran
klin, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates.
Sure, but what about the inventor
of the Popsicle stick? The button-
down collar? The eyelash curler?
Who remembers them?
I thought about these unsung
heroes when I read that on the list
of billionaires is the family of the
guy who invented the zipper. The
zipper! Think of American cul
ture without the zipper. How
many cheesy jokes in those teen
ager movies center on the sound
of a zipper zipping? (Now being
replaced by the less titillating
What if you had the patent on
baseball caps? T-shirts? The rake?
The back pack? The straw?
For all of these daily objects
there’s a story. Someone, some
where, some time had an idea,
played around in a basement or a
garage or a bam, created a proto
type, filed a patent request, found
some starter money, began pro
duction, sold a first one. Zoom.
After all, where did the plastic
sandwich bag come from? What
about the dust jacket? And what
rich idiot came up with the glue
for those pesky bar-code stickers
that are supposed to but won’t
peel off? ^^o designed the CD
cover? (Are we supposed to need
an 800 number help-line to get a
CD unwrapped and into the
Chewing gum? Loose-leaf
notebooks? Snorkels and fins?
Those little paper umbrellas in
fancy drinks? I mean, it’s not just
the pet rock or oven mittens with
the face of JFK. The American
consumer insatiably demands new
products, many of which we then
simply cannot do without.
I remember when the 33 rpm.
vinyl record albums replaced 45 s
(which had replaced 78s). Then
came eight-track and cassette
tapes, CDs, DVDs, internet down
loading, and CD burning. All of
these called for fancier equip
ment, storage holders, cleaners,
monthly service fees.
(You can mail order a solid
wood cabinet sized either for
records, cassettes, CDs, DVDs,
or VCR tapes. $300 to store 150
One of the weirder develop
ments in happy consuming is the
word “New!” in advertising. (Fol
lowed closely by the words “and
Improved!”) Pudding that I’ve
been eating all my life is still
packaged as New! (Maybe it re
ally means “fresh”? Just how long
can a product be new?)
Another development in happy
consuming is the calendar indus
try. When I was a kid, most cal
endars I saw were “gifts” from
banks or stores. (Marilyn Mon
roe was first sold to happy Ameri
can consumers as a pin-up on a
Now we have calendar stores
Page-A-Day calendars give us
advice on everything from in-laws
to Zen Buddhism. Greece, pop
stars (live, dead, or both), pup
pies, famous ax murderers. You
name it, we evidently want to
hang it on our walls.
So 1 am in awe of human inge
nuity and of happy American con
sumers’ eagerness to buy. Dis
posable lighters. Car deodorizers
Computerized Mr. Potato Heads.
100 flavors of shampoo. A $350
TV Guide holder for those who
save the magazine (“Holds a
Year’s Worth! New!”).
Of course, if I were to talk
about the rich consumer, I would
start with the $250,000 sterling
silver Monopoly set. But, I’m not
rich, so I’ll stick to the New! And
Improved! old standby puddings
Anyway, according to my Sale-
A-Day calendar, bankrupt K-Mart
is having a sale on Make-Your-
So I’m out of here.