Every week, I receive strange swag from companies who haven't bothered to read our paper or call me to learn that we don't write about national products or out-of-town restaurants. As any Weekly employee will tell you, the products go on a table where anyone who passes by can sample from them freely. The goods disappear quickly, or they linger for days, depending on their appeal, but never make it into the paper. (FYI, Tyson: You really, really don't want to know what I think about your Anytizers.)
Today a major cookie manufacturer—which I'm not going to name but whose products you can find in the "classy" section of your neighborhood convenience store—FedExed me the most outrageous bit of swag I've ever received, pictured above and completely unrelated to its new line of cookies. After debating what to do with this device, we've decided to hold a silent auction and donate the proceeds to Food Lifeline.
This gray 1 gHz iPod Shuffle, sealed in the box, retails for $79. If you're interested, email your bid to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The minimum bid is $40, and bidding will close Friday, November 2, by 5 p.m.; on Friday I'll contact bidders to let them know where they stand. The winning bidder will be asked to pay the Food Lifeline via credit card (the organization assures me its staff can take the donation over the phone). Once Food Lifeline lets me know it has been paid, I'll send you the device.
Just think: You can buy your niece or roommate a Christmas gift, contribute to a very worthy local nonprofit, and take a stand against insane marketing promotions all at once. Bid high, bid often, bid now!