Speaking of “Fun Pull-Out Spoke Cards!” we actually have one for you today.
You’ll just have to print it, clip it out and take it to Kinkos — er, FedEx Office — to …
Wait a minute. Does anyone else have trouble calling this place “FedEx Office”? (“I have to run over to FedEx Office …”)? What committee came up with this name? We think they had not the sense of poetry possessed by whoever named it “Kinko’s.”
Which got us wondering: Who did name it Kinko’s? And why? This led us to Google, and in short order — because we are the kind of persons who are quite easily distracted — we were being regaled with today’s fascinating tale of cunning and fortitude. Of rags to riches. This is the American Dream with curly hair.
You see, this company used to be called Kinko’s because it was founded by a guy named Paul Orfalea, whose nickname was “Kinko” because of his kinky hair. Not kinky in that sense. Kinky as in curly and wiry.
As the story goes, he was badly dyslexic and could hardly read. Somehow he managed to get into college, though. Waiting in line one day to use a school copy machine, he realized maybe there was a business in this photocopying thing.
So with 5,000 borrowed dollars, he got a single copy machine and opened a hole-in-the-wall shop near UC Santa Barbara. That was 1970. In 2004, FedEx bought Kinko’s for $2.4 billion (this in addition to the billion they would later pay a crack team of functionally illiterate consultants to come up with the name “FedEx Office”).
By that time, though, Kinko had been forced out of his own company by his own investors. Don’t worry, though. It’s OK.
Really. Have a gander at him now. Here he is, sport coat slung jauntily over his shoulder, palm trees waving in the warm ocean breeze behind him.
You can see the kinky hair is gone, too. That’s because his nickname is no longer Kinko. Do you know what his nickname is now? Now, his nickname is “Philanthropist, Speaker and Investor Living in Santa Barbara.” So life is good, I guess. I don’t know the exact nature of his philanthropy, but perhaps he bestows grants for safety net programs that aid the destitute former owners of mom-and-pop copy shops — the simpler kind, who lacked his ferocious hunger for world domination.
After you put the laminated spoke card in your spokes (at which point you say, “voilà!”), take a picture of it — preferably with some important local landmark in the background — and e-mail it to me: eugenebicyclist [at] gmail [dot] com. Maybe I’ll post the photo.
So without further delay and rambling, here is our free, fun, clip-and-laminate spoke card — front and back:
And here’s the blatantly commercial, optional B-side: