Most of the people who come in my store say, "Glass? I would break it within an hour."

Did their mommies slap their hands once too often? You would think that we lived in a nation of klutzes, so thoroughly have these people been indoctrinated to use plastic.

The things I sell are borosilicate glass, an exceptionally strong and practical formulation fired at extremely high temperatures. Think Pyrex, Duralex. Sadly, verbal assurances fail to convince.

Today, I tried a new tack. "Drop it," I suggested to the customer. He hesitated. I shrugged. He dropped it.

I really didn't know what would happen. I had knocked all the bottles off a display table a couple of days ago without one of them breaking, but he was holding the bottle a foot higher. When he came in, I was in the middle of planning just such an experiment for after hours, with dustpan at the ready.

He dropped it. The glass survived.

"That was very convincing," he said, and paid.

Convinced of the power of demonstration, I sold a GlassFlask to the next people who walked in by pouring boiling hot water over a tea flower and offering them a taste in a Dixie cup.

It is bitterly cold today, and some people come in just for the Kleenex on the checkout counter.


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