A few months ago I received a very large package. Inside was a cloth-bound book with an unflattering picture of my face and the legend 'Hommage a Patrick Goss' splashed across the front.
Opening the box there was a strange book which, on opening, played me a video. Curious and curiouser.
"Hello Patrick, I am Oliver…." Began the video. Oliver was from Xounts and he wanted to tell me how great his customisable speaker was. For 15 long minutes.
"Hang on," I thought, "I'm assuming this has gone out to lots of journalists, so presumably he's just recorded an intro for each and then cut away to a general speech."
In the background there is a techradar branded speaker. All the way through. Now, I'm still not entirely certain about this, but I've come to the conclusion that Oliver did indeed record a 15 minute personalised video for me.
And, as it turned out, for Gerald Lynch, the editor of Gizmodo UK who sits downstairs.
But, you know, it's an interesting way to try to get coverage, and it definitely made me remember the company. Still, I didn't reply to Oliver, nor did I write anything about the company. I got on with my life.
A month or so later, with the book now proudly tucked under a desk, I got another package. In it was a German Hi-Fi magazine with a brochure sticking out.
It was from Oliver. The magazine had reviewed the speaker. Well done to Oliver, I thought, and left it at that.
Another month passed, but a little part of me still felt nostalgic for that hallowed day when Oliver had first greeted me. "Hello Patrick" I would say to myself as I sipped the first drink of an evening. "I am Oliver".
And then an even bigger parcel arrived to the office. It was a Xounts speaker. And it had an unflattering picture of my face splashed across it. And a poster of an unflattering photo of me with the legend once more. Hommage a Patrick Goss.
We put the speaker together, part of me wondering if Oliver would turn up at the office ("Hello Patrick, I am Oliver") and not wanting him to be disappointed that I hadn't set things up.
Now I have a three-foot high speaker in the office with my face on it.
So, dear Oliver, here's my honest review. It sounds one hell of a lot better than it looks.
And, because my team have found the whole thing hilarious, it is now a shrine. With an unflattering photo of me, an unflattering poster (Hommage a Patrick Goss) and a bunch of Mario flowers.
Thanks Oliver. I am Patrick. And now I have a Xounts speaker with my face on it.