Sticker Bumpkins

About three months ago, I saw that Don had an Obama bumper sticker on his car, and I said, “I want one of those.” So I went to the website, and much to my surprise, there was no way to buy a bumper sticker. No swag at all. Crazy.
I decided to send them a comment, but to do so I had to register on the site. Sigh. So I registered, and sent a message to the effect of, “I want to buy a bumper sticker; what the heck, eh??” Then I went back to work.
About a month later, I got a phone call at home. “Hi this is Dave from the NH Obama ’08 campaign. I just wanted to check in and see how you thought the campaign was going so far.” I said, “Seems great to me, except I want a bumper sticker, and I can’t figure out how to buy one online. You should sell them for $20 or something.” Dave said, “Yeah, they’re really hard to get. You know, we’re going to be opening an office in downtown Hanover, I’m sure we’ll have them there once we open.” “Cool,” I replied, “just let me know.” “Okay, thanks,” he said. And that was that.
Then about a month after that, I was walking down Main Street and saw Tom, who, as it turns out, is doing some volunteering for the Obama campaign. He was with Graham, who is with the political desk of the campaign, visiting from Manchester NH and talking to people. Tom introduced me as an entrepreneur (simply because I can spell it quickly) and Graham said they were going to be starting a business for Obama group, and he’d love to have me attend some of those events. “Cool,” I said. “Will I be able to buy a bumper sticker there?” Told him about the website, and the phone call, and said, would love to advertise for you guys; what’s with the sticker shortage? He said, “Yeah, they’re really hard to get.” We exchanged cards, and I went to the post office.
The next day I got an email from Graham that began, “I was lucky to meet you yesterday…” And I thought, what a great way to get someone’s attention. “Lucky to meet me,” – maybe I’ll get a bumper sticker!
About a week ago I got an email from the Obama campaign, saying, hey, we heard your pleas and cries and wailing in the night, and finally got around to opening an online store so you can buy all that swag you’ve been asking for. Cool, I thought, I’ll check that out someday. It’s about time.
Then today I was finishing a sandwich at the office and someone knocked on the door. “Yo,” I said. In walks this tall lanky young friendly kinda-goofy guy, who says, “Are you Michael J.?” “Yup,” I said.
“I heard you wanted an Obama bumper sticker,” he said, as he handed me the goods. I nearly fell over. “Wow! This is like a precious commodity!,” I exclaimed. “Yeah, they’re really hard to get,” he said. I said, “I went on the website, and I couldn’t believe they weren’t selling them.” Then Dave said, “Yeah, I was talking with Graham, and he said you wanted one.” I laughed out loud. “You were talking with Graham?!?!?” Like, this is the modern political campaign. Including intrastate backchannel discussion about getting Michael J. his Obama bumper sticker? My mind reeled. “Yeah,” he said, “I came a couple of times last week, but you weren’t here.” Three words: O. M. G. I’m thinking, here’s this guy, walking the streets of Hanover, searching for Michael J., with a single Obama bumpersticker in his hand! It’s like they invented some weird, inefficient, but personal, and effective, distribution mechanism.
I guess you can just order them online now, but this one is more special than that, because they made me beg for the bumper sticker – they’re so hard to get no one has ever hardly seen one – and then in the end they send a guy dedicated with a singular focus to this one task, not even carrying a backpack with literature or other swag, or anything, and it makes me feel like they’d do anything to deliver this to me. How odd is that?