Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some ideas are so valuable that they are kept in secrecy. They are buried deep, hidden from the light of day, for the profit, safety, or peace of mind for an individual or group. Some examples would be how to make a nuclear bomb, or the recipe for Classic Coke.

Other ideas, however, are even more valuable. They're so important that they must be shared with all of humanity. Information on basic nutrition, for example, is readily published for all to see.

I just had one of these ideas, a concept so valuable that I must share it with you all rather than hoard it and profit from it by myself. I freely give this idea, and all the proceeds that it generates, to the blogosphere, and thusly, to the universe.

I was at the mall today at lunch looking for several items including a wide-brimmed hat for my daughter, Daisy. I went from store to store, viewing displays of baseball caps, beret thingees, and woolly winter hats. In each store I was told the same thing, "Oh, we aren't carrying any sun hats right now."

I left the mall un-hatted. I walked back to my car in my short-sleeve shirt under the full glare of the sun on a typically warm San Francisco autumn day. The most important idea in the universe began to ferment in my brain.

What if every clothing store in the mall didn't have to carry the same set of seasonal items? Why can't a store carry "summer" clothes after summer has ended, or "winter" clothes when winter isn't looming? I live in California where almost every day of the year there's some city that has scorching heat and some other city that has below-freezing temps. It would be easy to be in 90 degree heat at noon and then drive somewhere where it was 20 degrees at night.

Some people are cold all the time and bundle up in sweaters even during summer. I also know people who wear shorts even when it's snowing. There are Alaskan cruises during the summer and my daughter takes indoor swim lessons in winter.

So why did every store in the mall focus on the same season? What if there was just one freaking store that carried off-season clothes?

I give to you: Offseason Clothes Inc.

There would be one in every mall. They'd carry warm coats during summer and swimsuits during winter. This store would recognize that it's sunny somewhere in December and cold other places in July (like in SF!).

Genius! Obviously not every store can dedicate floorspace to sun hats in November, but surely one store can. Everyone who was looking for out of season clothes would say, "Oh, I'll go that Offseason place!"

This idea is so good it hurts.

Now, why does Daisy need a sun hat in November? Because we're going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving!

Our good friends Liz and Larry have a time-share there, and they've gracefully offered to share it with us this year. So, on Friday, we're all flying to Kauai. Hoo hoo!

Someone, quick, open that damn Offseason store so that I can buy some beach threads.


yajeev said...

This thought has been on the tip of my brain for so long, but it's never made it's way to the articulation center of my mind. Thank you for verbalizing what I had only managed to feel at a subconscious level and had failed to express effectively.

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to buy sandals in the early fall only to find out that nary a single store still has them in stock.

Mike said...

Yajeev, you are welcome. Now go use that big brain of yours to make this happen. I have to buy Daisy some sandals today.

Avery Gray said...

I was just thinking this very thing! I'm a flip-flop girl, but you can't find those in winter anywhere. A trip to Hawaii would be the perfect reason for needing a new pair of sandals. Good luck finding them!

Hope you have a great time on your trip!

carey said...

The stores are already doing that backward: they sell offseason clothes ahead of the season. So, if I want a new sweater, I have to buy it in August for the best selection, or a swimsuit in March.

I like your idea better.

Have fun in HI, and leave those tikis alone!

Anonymous said...

Can't you get the hat in Hawaii?

Mike said...

Avery, and my daughter also needs sandals. I solved that problem at an excellent sporting goods store today. And thanks for the well wishes!

Carey, yeah, my idea IS better! I will leave the tikis alone, but Larry is trying to convince me to take up surfing. Brady curses await!

Anon, I suppose so, but my goal was to spend my time in Hawaii enjoying myself. Shopping is not so fun.

Will said...

Sorry for posting this a bit late, but that's the one case where Amazon Prime would be worth the money.

Mike said...

Will, are you suggesting that I should buy what I need online? Even Amazon Prime requires that I plan my life more than 24 hours in advance.

Will said...

about amazon prime, not really. You get overnight shipping for 6.99. Anything you want!