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The most disappointing packages by far are the ones that are quite large but are very light. All experience shows that they are the product of a fevered PR imagination designed to disappoint.
And so it was that the large cardboard box that got through the stringent anti-anthrax precautions produced nothing more substantial than a miniature garish, pink slipper that even Cinderella would have difficulty coping with.
A plastic pink slipper had also arrived just before Christmas, but here now, deep in 2002, was the match.
What did it mean? The plastic slipper, with the "made in China" sticker and flashing battery in the sole, was far too small even for the eight-year-old niece. What was being promoted? The only clue came from the initials TCM, which media sophisticates know stands for very old movies, many of them black and white, from Turner Broadcasting.
Doubtless, journalists will eventually be given slightly more obvious clues …