My list of things-I-want-to-hate-but-can't grew by one this morning
when I logged on to the Unclaimed Baggage Center Web site.
The Scottsboro, Ala., UBC store has always struck me as kind of
a K-Mart for cannibals, inviting all and sundry to paw through, and
purchase, the personal belongings of airline-ineptness victims. But
its Appalachian location gave the enterprise a hill-country patina
that made it seem less, well, indecent.
So when I ran into the UBC's on-line store, I just knew I'd
loathe it. "What do you imagine a wealthy retired couple might have
packed to go to Hawaii?" the home page asks. Aha! No rustic charm,
just greed, greed, greed!
But as I surfed through the site I became hooked. There's a
"What Is It?" page that asks users to guess the identity of bizarre
luggage items, a page of upcoming events such as the just-concluded
Independence Day sale (there's something great about a lost-luggage
sale calendar) and, perhaps most perversely, a page of travel tips
that offers advice on how not to lose your luggage.
In the end, of course, I shopped. The 16" fur-covered Santa I
wanted was already sold, but there's a hardcover copy of Richard
Branson's "Losing My Virginity" that I've got my eye on. I've
become one of them.