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Friday, September 26, 2003

Ahhh, leaving the house

Yesterday, I went grocery shopping. I came home with a video game. How did this happen, you ask? Did I mysteriously come across a video game store in West Philly? No! There were Cheerios boxes ON SALE that included copies of the old Hasbro board game video games. There were three boxes left. Two Scrabbles and one Candy Land. Obviously, I chose Candy Land, as it's exactly the sort of intellectual game that I can play all day.

Also noteworthy: a panhandler was opening the door to let people in and out of the store. Which is, frankly, brilliant. The main reason people don't give money to panhandlers is that they can be ignored. They had to acknowledge this guy. The second reason it's brilliant is that he provided a service to them. One of the best ways to get a person to do something is to invoke reciprocity. (this is the Hare Krishnas work even a little bit: they give those flowers out, people are compelled to give back) So, in a couple of weeks, I know what I'll be doing!

Another good panhandler tip: ask for a very specific amount of money. "Spare thirty-eight cents?" is far more likely to succeed than "spare some change?" Because a person starts thinking "What could they possibly need thirty-eight cents specifically for?" and the ingoring becomes more difficult.

But let's go back to the cereal thing. This is fantastic. I mean, seriously. These games were, as I recall, good games. Well thought of. Their only problem is their age. And there are tons of great old games out there these days. I mean, imagine buying Lucky Charms, and discovering that you now own TIE Fighter. A box of Life gets you Master of Magic. Cinnamon Toast Crunch brings you Metal Gear Solid. Would anyone possibly be against this?
- Rowan Kaiser, 12:42 PM
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