Tuesday, February 6, 2018

mass purchase

Occasionally one will see at stores an offer to purchase for a discount price a large quantity of some item, ideally non-perishable, that one would use up at a slow rate. It might, indeed, be a lifetime supply.

I've never succumbed to this, but I have had long-lasting supplies of a couple of stationery items.

While in high school, I worked part-time in the library of the local NASA installation. My work involved making a lot of photocopies, and as recycling was in a primitive state I saved up the discards and, with permission, took them home. At the end of the stint I had a huge stack of blank versos, which lasted as scratch paper through my entire 7-year college and grad school career. I typed the first drafts of all my term papers on them, for instance. By the time it ran out, I was beginning to transition to doing work on computers.

When my friend Seth Goldberg died, I inherited his supply of large-sized padded mailer envelopes that he used for FAPA, the fannish apa of which he was Official Editor. I put out the next mailing using this and other supplies, before passing the job on to other hands, but FAPA had 65 members and came out quarterly, so Seth had a very large box of these envelopes.

I didn't often have a need for envelopes this large, but occasionally I could use one, or fold it over in half after inserting a smaller item, and seal it with package tape. As they aged and the stickum faded, I began using package tape whenever I used one of these envelopes.

So a historic moment has passed, for after slightly over 20 years I've just used up the last one. It's gone off to the UK as have a number of its predecessors.

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