3 days ago
Friday, February 25, 2011
Snap On, Snap Off
While I was working the other day, I took a break and checked out the happenings on the street below.
Looking down from my apartment window, I immediately took notice of the Snap-On Tools truck parked directly across the street.
For countless years that truck pulled into our shop and took orders for new and interesting hardware. All of our mechanics, of course, owned snazzy Snap-On tool storage boxes that were filled with, for the most part, Snap-on tools of all shapes and sizes, and all torques and tensions.
With the turning of each year, the Snap-On guy would leave behind another iconic relic: the annual Snap-on Tools Calendar.
By the Snap-On reckoning, each and every day was rendered remarkably attractive, playful and interesting. When motivation waned, one look at the Snap-On calendar and you re-embraced your work with a renewed vim and vigour. A bit of savvy social engineering by the Snap-On corporation.
Until, that is, the corporation decided to discontinue it in 1994. Snap-On Inc. issued a statement that the annual calendar was "not consistent with the image we want to portray for our company, our dealers, or our customers ... we have made a decision not to do anything that might reinforce these negative images."
With one fell swoop of econo-political correctness, the age of the Snap-On calendar was terminated. I started working at my Dad's shop in 1984 when I was a prepubescent punk -- for the next ten years the Snap-On calendar marked the days of my summer and after school drudgery. A quick web search reveals that there is a brisk online market for these relics. More than likely, many of them could have been found lying about with many other antiquated artifacts cached within the ancient nooks and crannies of our old shop.
Sadly, all the relics, along with all the memories, went up in smoke when the shop burned to the ground a couple of years ago. For me, and especially for my Dad, no price could ever be put on that.