CAPE COD — I am in shock. I have just emerged from a food store. There is a whole row just dedicated to marinades and BBQ sauces. The shelves of food that I might buy in London is a few rows in the very centre of a football field of “family packs” and convenience meals.
I have no idea what I bought in the end. It was like an insulin overdose. I lost all sense of direction.
America takes a bit of getting used to.
They are a strange kind friendly here. They don’t really say hello, or wave on the road… But they talk to you a lot at the shop counter.
As we were driving into our house I waved at an older woman walking two terriers. She looked at me as if to say “if these dogs were only bigger, I’d set them on you.”
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BREWSTER WHITECAPS — I’ve got four kids with me at a local evening baseball game. Brewster Whitecaps against the Hyannis Mets. The grandad from Ohio in front explains the Cape Cod summer baseball league has been going for almost 125 years.
There’s something lovely and peaceful about baseball. Even the players look well-fed, comfortable and languid.
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ON THE PORCH WITH THE TIMES — I love the New York Times. The business pages are full of challenging articles. I said to one of my holiday buddies that I missed the fact that we don’t have Yahoo, Microsoft or Nokia as clients at the moment. But we have had them in the past. And I always liked that because I could really find the enthusiasm to read all about the battles in that sector.
There’s so much change going on in business at the moment. And what I love about the United States of America is that the rules are never really accepted. Things change… and people need to adapt. In their own special way, innovation is always welcome here. Today I am excited and amazed by Polyvore — a website that allows you to create your own fashion ads. In June they had more traffic than Vogue and InStyle. They’re set up by two asian and a fellow from India… in California!
Then there’s the story of the pharma ads that fill US TV. I wrote last February about the unsettling “4 hour erections” that Viagra warns of in the middle of the afternoon. (You can find them on YouTube but then prepare for a lifetime of spam.) Now the Federal Government is starting to react to pleas to call your doctor about ‘urinary urgency’, ‘deficient eyelashes’, ‘restless leg syndrome’ and the like.
Apparently you might not be able to get a tax break on these soft-music ads as a business expense any more. America is going to ‘just say no’ to prescription drugs.
No worries. There’s $1.5 billion in sales for just the top two erectile dysfunction drugs. Their $320 million in add sales will pop up in the economy somewhere else… And I am guessing someone in America is already thinking about where that will be.