Scintillating Scope Songs

By Randy Wakeman

Sometimes marketing hyperbole gets so amusing and outlandish that you really need a "secret decoder ring" to decipher what in the world a scope seller really means. Here are but a few common phrases. Naturally, these don't apply to your scope. But, some of them just might apply to the "other guy's" scope. See if you've found any of these little trinkets to be true.

I. Quality Made Overseas. (Made in Red China)

II. Manufactured in our Proprietary Scope Plant. (Made in Red China)

III. Exclusively, painstakingly manufactured by skilled foreign artisans. (Made in Red China)

Naturally, there are more:

I. Waterproof, Shockproof, Fogproof. (There are no universal standards for this, so it is a very easy thing to say.)

II. Camera Quality Glass. (Another good thing to say, as the Polaroid One-Step was clearly a camera.)

III. 95% Light Transmission. (Well, up to 95%, but we didn't say your scope or at what wavelength. It is a term of the art.)

IV. We Have Been in Business for 100 Years. (Under 14 different names, we don't use 100 year old designs, and none of those guys are with us anymore. Please send flowers.)

V. Lifetime Warranty. (Well, lifetime limited warranty, limited both to our company's lifetime and limited to what we tell you is under warranty.)

VI. Only a small, modest, miniscule $19.95 shipping and handling fee applies to our warranty. (You are too stupid to know what $20 means, so we will inform you that it is a meaningless amount, but not so meaningless that we don't need to charge you for it even though you bought a bad scope and paid to ship it back to us.)

VII. A Great Value. (Well, a great value for somebody, especially us, since we pay those Commie slaves next-to-nothing to pop together a scope.)

VIII. We Make Our Own Scopes. (Well, didn't say we make aluminum, rubber, glue, screws, sell lens coatings, or pour glass. We make something, and even putting stickers on a box is technically making something.)

IX. Resolution. (Good grief, fire the guy that said "resolution." No way do we want lines of resolution measured on our scopes. Heck, we don't even know.)

X. Fine Glass. (Okay, well it is finer than some glass. It started with fine sand, so it is fine glass. Finer than what, we can't say.)

XI. Highly Polished Lenses. (Well, not the roughest. The industry term is 'nicks and gouges,'but let's not say what the specs are: that way people could compare.)

XII. One of the Oldest Names in Optics. (Heck, sounds good. An old name has nothing to do with resolution or holding zero, but people like old names. We have to say something.)

XIII. Clear and Bright Optics. (A good one, give that guy a raise. We can't say what clear and bright means, we don't trust customers to use their own eyes, but it clear and bright compared to a lot of things, and that should sell something, even if it tells nothing.)

XIV. 3-10x Scope (Good one. No, it likely can't get to 3 power or to 10 power, but those guys don't check, anyway. It sounds a lot better than the zoom range we really have. It is a part number, not a spec, so we can do this all we want.)

XV. Great Eye Relief. (Better yet. As long as you don't get scope-eye, we think that is great. Not better than anything else, but great sounds just great. Just don't say greater than what.)

XVI. One-Piece Tube. (Give that guy a raise as well. This sounds good. If someone screws off that eyepiece, well, we can handle it. Tell them that is a one piece tube as well; it must be twice as good.)

Naturally, these practices are so irrational, smarmy, tortured, and bizarre that none of us have ever looked at a scope brought to market like this, much less owned one. Some say they know someone who has, though. I hope you've enjoyed this completely fictional, whimsical look at scopeland.

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Copyright 2007 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.