Have you heard of a zipper pull? It's one of those stringy items made of rope or plastic or leather that you pull to close the zipper on your luggage. When your zipper pull breaks, you, being zipper-pull brain-dead, head to the nearest luggage mega-store like LAX Luggage. It'll take a few days to fix, they say. If you want it sooner, see Ben. Ben's Luggage is down the road, in a ramshackle storefront in the shadow of the Westfield Pavilion that looks like it's been there since the Gold Rush. Walk past the luggage for sale and into the back workshop, where Ben, a brusque, older gentleman, is surrounded by shelves and drawers of straps, tags, handles, wheels, casters and screws. This guy probably dreams about pink, polka-dotted, dancing zipper pulls. He pulls out a few, tries them out, and voila! Even in the digital age, a rush of pleasure comes from finding Band-Aids for those precious physical objects we depend on. Ben's is Cedars-Sinai for your Samsonite. 10922 W. Pico Blvd., W.L.A.; (310) 475-0954.

—Zachary Pincus-Roth

LA Weekly