An Open Letter

To the manufacturers of Igloo coolers:

Although I've found your cooler (model "Igloo Cool 16") does a perfectly adequate job at keeping food cool, yesterday I discovered it to be less than satisfactory at performing another task, namely, substituting for the human finger at pressing elevator buttons. No matter how precisely I tried to maneuver the corner of your cooler, I could not help but pressing the buttons for at least two floors, whereas, even after a long night at B-61, I have always managed to hit at most one button with my finger. (Granted, sometimes I have hit somewhat less than one button, but that is a relatively minor a problem, as I then have the chance to try again. By the third attempt I'm always good to go.)

If your fine company could see fit to build a model with little finger-shaped corners, it would be most appreciated. Do let me know -- I'd be happy to beta test for you.

Sincerely yours,
Gene Callahan


I sent this to Igloo today -- I'll let you know what they have to say.

UPDATE: A nice lady named Sue has written to say she plans to "pass along" my comments. I respond:

Dear Sue,

Thanks for taking the time to consider my suggestion. It occurs to me that it might be thought absurd to fit little fingers onto the corners of your product just to press elevator buttons. But I assure you that the fingers, once in place, would find many other uses. For instance, let's say you're at a ballgame and want to poke the person in front of you in the ticket line but both of your hands are full -- just use the corner of your Igloo cooler! Your coolers would even become useful as an "adult" toy -- I don't think the current, nascent state of our relationship, however cordial it may be, permits me to add further details on this point, but I'm sure you can figure it out for yourself.

I hope the above clarifications help speed my idea to your R&D department!

Sincerely yours,
Gene Callahan


  1. Note to self: Don't ever lend Gene my Igloo cooler.

  2. Anonymous1:38 PM

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I recently purchased your latest model cooler, the "Igloo Cool 16xxx." While my wife seems quite pleased with it and has indeed found reasons for taking it with her almost everywhere she goes, I'm afraid I just don't share her enthusiasm.

    My problem is not so much with the pale, almost flesh-tone color scheme, than with the "appendages" on the upper corners of the thing. They may be handy for holding key rings and such, but I believe they must be shortened considerably to be practicable. I've broken buttons on my elevator several times trying to use them when my hands are full, for example. Perhaps using a less rigid material might also help. I've been painfully jabbed from behind at ball games way too many times by some jerk with the same kind of cooler.

    And it was only when I finally hack-sawed about 4 inches off that I discovered the vibrating mechanism embedded in each one -- so what's with that? Anyway, with this modification I'm much happier with the 16xxx.

    Finally, may I also suggest that you use a less-toxic material? The Missus came downstairs during my little "appendectomy," and just stood there stunned, most likely from fumes produced by my vigorous sawing. After several long minutes of speechlessness, she suddenly bolted out of the house muttering something about having to go shopping. I detected no smell myself and suffered no similar reaction, so it may be something that women are especially sensitive to. Or maybe not...I've never really understood women.


    A Customer

  3. Anonymous6:59 PM

    That's funny Gene, I wrote almost the exact same letter to Otis elevator company complaining about their buttons being wrong for use with a cooler.

    Try the corner of the handle not the cooler.

  4. Gene (kindly intermit interpostings) - Goddamn!

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