Our garage resembled forgotten booty mating with Tribbles. Two narrow aisles allowed us to reach the car and electrical panel. Richard performed a garage reinvention. Within a few hours, spiders relocated their winter homes back to the great outdoors.
Long forgotten items now in plain view, the crown jewel of discoveries, the box marked “Marketing”. Inside we found half a dozen EverReady Pocket Trout. Two still worked.
Back in the mid-90’s we walked into the drug store to discover a display of EverReady disposable flashlights. The display read, “Pocket Trout the Fisherman’s Friend”. Pictured next to the stand, a man with a Pocket Trout in his mouth beaming light into his tackle box searching for the perfect lure, an inky sky framing a calm lake behind him.
We tested the claim. By squeezing the Pocket Trout’s sides, its light illuminated the display case.
How could we resist?
We purchased one for each of our tackle boxes, one for my purse and five spares for the car. You just don’t know when an extra flashlight might come in handy.
Over the course of the evening, Richard and I discussed other uses for the Pocket Trout.
“You know Fannie, this might be a great gag for a sales call. I think I might try it tomorrow and see what happens.”
The next day, Richard stopped by one of his customers’ office. They hired a new receptionist and no one warned her about Richard.
“Hi, I’m Richard Cranium and I am here to see Darryl Chow.”
“Okay funny man,” said the new receptionist, “nice try. You want to try again?”
“No really, my name is Richard Cranium, I am not making it up.”
“Yeah right, and my name is Pudintame, ask me again and I’ll tell you the same. Now are you going to tell me who you are or do I have to call security?”
“Listen, I have been calling on Darryl for years, just buzz him and ask him if he knows dick head.”
If looks could kill. The receptionist dialed security as Darryl walked in the door.
“Hey dick head, what are you doing here?” asked Darryl. “I have some things I want to talk to you about, come on back to my office.”
The receptionist hung up the phone, then looked from Darryl to Richard shaking her head, her cheeks pink.
“Darryl wait a minute, I have something I want to show you. Have you seen my Pocket Trout?”
Laughing, Darryl asked, “Your what?”
“My Pocket Trout. Let me whip it out for you.”
Before the receptionist could react, Richard pulled the flashlight from his pocket and beamed the light around the office. Laughter erupted from the nearest cubicles.
Richard gave the flashlight to the receptionist along with his business card.
“Honestly, my name really is Richard Cranium. No hard feelings?”
“No, no hard feelings. Thanks for the flashlight.”
When Richard came home, he explained the adventures with the flashlight. After dinner, we went to the drug store and bought the last three cases. We left them our business card and asked them to call us when they received more.
Seven cases later, our telephones rang off the hook. The fisherman’s friend worked better than any planned advertising campaign then they disappeared from the market.
Sixteen years later, finding this forgotten treasure, Richard and I took turns chasing each other around the house yelling, “Have you seen my Pocket Trout? Let me whip it out for you!”
Fortunately, the neighbors did not call the call the Police.