Bob Cringely and his family send out family portrait cards every year for Christmas, and the gimmick is the entire family is nude, but not really nude: all the naughty parts are hidden away behind carefully placed props or accessories. The Fedex Kinko’s in Charleston, SC doesn’t appreciate his family’s sense of humor–the woman there even remembered him from last year, and not in a good way.
This is the second year in a row we’ve been rejected by Kinkos. “I remember you,” said Ms. Johnson, handing back my USB drive with a look of disdain. It was hard for me to tell whether this was a different look of disdain from the one I got when Ms. Johnson had to put down her cellphone to serve me in the first place.
I appealed last year’s rejection to the store manager, a man. After all Kinkos — the very same Kinkos — had happily printed our cards the previous four years. We were posing last year in a fishing boat, wearing life vests, strategic shadows, and nothing else. “I see something there, ” said the manager, pointing at what would have been the groin of my six year-old if it hadn’t been well-hidden behind a light on the boat.
“What do you see?” I asked.
“You know,” he said.
“It’s a navigation light,” I said.
“I don’t think so.”
“It’s green,” I said. “It’s a green navigation light.”
I know the feeling. Several years ago, Zazzle rejected my customized postage stamp design because the picture I uploaded was of a dead street rat. Their excuse was that it was obscene or vulgar, which I’m pretty sure it wasn’t–it was funny–but it just goes to show that you never know what kind of sensitive prudish type you’ll have to deal with when getting custom printing done.
Fortunately for pro-nudity families everywhere, one of Cringley’s readers owns a printing service and offered to print the cards for him this year. Also, you can see the photo in question on Cringley’s website to decide for yourself whether this Fedex Kinko’s is being a little weird about the whole thing.
“FedEx Kinkos Won’t Print Our Christmas Card” [Cringley.com] (Thanks to Jen!)