Tuesday, August 26, 2008



Convention delegates aren’t the only ones who get gifts and goodies in Denver. Reporters when picking up their credentials, received a tote bag full of swag and promotional materials.

When I registered at the Sheraton Sunday I noticed as I was walking toward the escalator that I’d accidentally picked up two bags. When I went back to return it, the guy who took it back thanked me, then said, “I’ll give you a nickel to keep the extra bag.” I declined.

Here’s what was inside mine:

A ballpoint pen from Laborers International Union of North America; A Denver 2008 plastic water bottle with the logos of VISA ad U.S. Bank; a glossy official Denver Visitors Guide; a 19.9 fluid oz. bottle of a kiwi-strawberry flavored drink called Joint Juice. (No, it’s not bong water.); a wind turbine lapel pin from the American Wind Energy Association; a Denver gallery guide pamphlet; a ballpoint pen from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation; a Denver delegate and media guide; a walking and biking tours pamphlet; a half-ounce antibacterial hand-sanitizing gel; a bicycle lapel team from AT&T; a “Plant This Card” packet of wildflower seeds from Ecodriving USA; breath mints from Cattellus; breath mints from UPS; a ballpoint pen from Move-a-Roo; an 8 fluid oz. can of tropical fruit flavored Joint Juice; a bunch of tiny refrigerator magnets consisting of single words (”children,” “workers,” “power,” “community,” “healthcare,” etc.) from the Service Employees Industry Union; a DNC post-it note with the John F. Kennedy quote, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”; a small Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book pamphlet.

One of the strangest items in the bag was something I initially thought was a pair of cheap earbuds attached to a card with “preparedness tips” from a group called Protecting America. But on closer inspection, it’s actually a working radio. I’m listening to NPR’s All Things Considered as I typed this up.

Then there’s all sorts of advertising flyers and pamphlets. I read each one carefully and contemplate whether I want to purchase the product, use the service or agree with the political position touted. (Yeah, right.)

I don’t know. I might try the small can of Joint Juice. I’ve already used one of the pens, and maybe I’ll keep the radio. Maybe the motel maids will enjoy some of this other stuff.

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