I am the victim of my own worst tendencies sometimes. I’m a borderline cheapskate oddly frugal, and can become randomly incensed about the costs of things. Add to this the fact that I can display a borderline snobbish curiosity for the exotic.
So when I was shopping online for yeast the other day, a little box popped up on the screen, and within ten seconds I knew that I’d been had. The message had this… tone. It simultaneously implored me to add to my order while sublty scolding me for spending so much for shipping. The box even made suggestions: add this strange little $8 bottle to your order, and it won’t change the total shipping price. To sum: Obscure bottle? “Free” shipping? The battle was over before my wallet hit the table and the bank card flew out.
Three days later, a carton arrived on my doorstep containing my package of instant yeast and the Mystery Vial. It was a mini-bar sized bottle, sparsely decorated, and very securely capped. I peeled back the outer plastic, gently twisted the cap to try not to spill a single drop, cleared my sinuses, took a whiff, and allowed the dizzying, rich, bright aroma to perform a funky tarantella all the way up my nasal cavity and into my heart. EVERYTHING I knew had changed.