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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Halloween 2014

Kirk is back on! It seems I will indeed be getting my Captain Kirk Star Trek Into Darkness tunic after all. There is a bit of a story behind it, so here goes.

After learning that we can wear a Halloween costume to work on that day, I thought it might be fun. My first instinct was to go as Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness. The shirt was the cheapest thing from Anovos, plus it seemed cool for everyday wear, nothing too signifying that it was Trek. But two things made me change my mind. First off, I can't pull off Benedict Cumberbatch's British accent, and second was that most people wouldn't know who I was. Just a guy in a black shirt and black pants. So I decided to go with Chris Pine's Kirk, although I'm not dying my hair blonde. But the price of the tunic was a bit much, and I spent all day going back and forth on it. Part of me really wanted it, but another part wondered how much I would really use it. There was Halloween this year, but I'm also planning a trip to America next year to meet members of the 1701st Fleet. I'm pretty sure I can wear it there. And I'll likely wear it to the premiere of Star Trek XIII in 2016. Plus at home to geek out when I watch Trek. So, yeah, it will be more than a one-time wear. That justified me getting it. I got home, went to the website and...discovered it didn't have my size, which is small. While I had been browsing the site during lunch, I never really looked at the sizes. But now, at home, I realized the medium would be too big. After psyching myself up all day, I couldn't buy it.

But Anovos has two ways to order depending on which link you click. You can order via the individual product page, or just go to the page listing their Star Trek stuff and order via drop down menus. I discovered that the individual product page for Kirk's tunic stated that small was sold out. But the drop down menus on the Star Trek products link had small as availible. Not sure what was going on, I left a message on their Facebook page about the discrepency and went to bed.

The next morning before work, being the OCD guy I am, I checked the Kirk tunic again. No small, still the ordering discrepency. I didn't want to order via the drop down menu and risk the size being backordered and not having it arrive in time for Halloween. Spock's tunic was sold out of small as well. That left Scotty. I like him, and the Simon Pegg version of him is growing on me. I quite didn't want to order a red shirt, for fear of all the 'Red Shirt' jokes out there, but at this point the bug to get an authentic Trek costume had gotten hold. I ordered the Scotty tunic, the Khan undershirt (which was availible in small), and the engineering badge. I went through the whole process, clicked the button, and bought the items. I received my order confirmation email.

About half an hour later, I received another email from Anovos. This person said he had seen my post on their Facebook Page, and that they had just received a shipment of Kirk small tunics in that morning. That was the reason for discrepency on the website. He then stated that, although I had ordered Scotty, he would be willing to switch out the tunic and badge for Kirk's, complete with command badge, which by the way, the site said only three remained. I was very surprised by this and immediately emailed him back, saying I would appreciate it if he did. He was doing this because this is what I had originally wanted. I thought this was great of Anovos. I had already ordered and paid for my Scotty set. They could have simply said to themselves, "Tough luck, he should have waited. He already ordered." But they didn't. They went out of their way to make sure I had gotten what I had originally wanted. But the drama doesn't quite end there.

Tuesday morning my time, I asked a Marine how long it takes for packages to ship to Iwakuni base. I am shipping my Kirk tunic there because it was much cheaper than sending it to my Japanese address: $12 versus $38. He said about a month or two. What?! That is way past Halloween, the prime time to wear it. Panicked, I emailed Anovos for an estimated delivery date while I searched the FAQs on USPS about military mail. I discovered that Parcel Post Military takes 30-45 days, but Priority Mail Military takes about a week. Anovos sends via Priority. And I received an email this morning saying the estimated delivery date is around October 20. In plenty of time for Halloween.

I now have a costume to wear to work on Halloween day (I know I'm working that day) and an authentic high quality Trek costume, which I have always wanted. I really appreciate Anovos for going that extra step to ensure their customer was happy. As a sales associate, I know customers aren't always easy, but this company helped me out.

As a side note, I'm more excited about this Halloween than usual. A lot of it probably has to do with the tunic I'm getting, but working on the base, it is nice to see the Halloween culture again. It is not really celebrated here in Japan, although a few restaurant chains will run Halloween-themed foods. Yoko and I always give Halloween candy to the kids on our floor. This year, along with them, we gave bags of candy to her basketball club girls as well. They won a big game, and they and their parents had a dinner party to celebrate. Whenever we give candy, I try to find candy they don't have in Japan. Since this is Halloween, I found gummy candy in the shape of an eyeball, brain, severed fingers, ears, and feet. The taste is normal gummy candy but the look is something they don't have at all here in Japan. I hope they enjoy it.

How about my readers? What are your Halloween plans?

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