December 5
News From Peter Lynn!

It may be cold where you are, but here on the Oregon Coast, the skies are clear and crisp and the sun beaming in the windows warms the cats sitting in the sill. I wish there was time to run down to the beach and fly, but in three days, I head for Hong Kong to perform on the old airport grounds that just out into the harbor below the city skyline. It should be quite a trip!

Meanwhile, we just received an update from Peter Lynn that we thought you might enjoy. Here is what he had to say:

Hello there! This month, "what's new" comes - ahem - as more a confession really. It could be fairly said (and has been) that I've had a sort of parallel career finding creative new ways to really piss people off - not, I hasten to add because this has been any sort of personal goal. Quite the reverse actually, it has just been an accidental and unfortunate by-product of obsessive single minded focus, childish chronic impatience and total inability to think about more than one thing at a time. I have tried to change, truly I have but it seems to me that every time I relax a bit, goals slip and hours, even entire days slip away with nothing much to show. Anyway, enough excuses, time to 'fess up!

Peter Lynn
I have (with a bit of help) just established an absolutely definitive new benchmark in customer abuse. This is how it happened.

There I was sitting, obsessively watching the evening news as per most evenings between 6 and 7 (yes, inflexible habits as well) when the telephone front line defenses failed momentarily and I found myself, without warning, plunged into dealing with a CUSTOMER! An unhappy one at that. Right now I should say that this lady was polite, reasonable and not trying to pull any of the usual swifty's that consumers think are perfectly moral for them while being international war crimes if attempted by your average multi-national.

She said that they had bought one of our kites and it wouldn't fly and she wanted something done about it.

I said, "what sort of kite" She said it was just a kite.

I asked: "One line, two lines, or four lines?" She said it was a $40 sort of kite and had two lines which fairly much defined it as a small fabric diamond stunter of the Peter Powell type provided that her description of it as a triangle shape was disregarded, which it was.

Their problem was that, even though she was sure she and her partner were "good kite fliers", they found it almost impossible to coordinate well enough to keep the kite flying- that is, when holding one line each!

This is about when things started going off the rails because, to inform others in the room at my end (who had been keeping half an ear on the conversation so far) of this revelation, I replied "you mean you were trying to fly this stunt kite with one person on each line?!"

I understand it's called "contagious giggling". Anyway, once it gets away it's an unstoppable pandemic that infects everyone within range. About 5 minutes later and by exerting superhuman self control, (with only partially success), I further elicited that as a back up check on the kite they had tried holding the two handles firmly together without moving but that although the kite did then stay up for longer it eventually dived over to one side and crashed, proving that the kite was "UNBALANCED" and therefore "BAD".

Even if I had been able to control myself, which I couldn't, the canned laughter from the wider audience was getting through every time I unmuffled the handpiece to attempt further conversation, had no doubt been getting through anyway. She put up with my continually interrupted explanations for a surprisingly long time before hanging up.

At best we've lost a customer, at worst the world has just lost a family of kitefliers, whoops!

Well, there you have it -- a fine example on New Zealand tact, charm, and business acumen.

I'm off to the airport at the crack-of-dawn Saturday. Don't forget the Year-End Blow-Out Sale we announced two weeks ago continues through January 1. Call or email if you have any questions. I'll send you a post card from Hong Kong!

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