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Lemon County: You Could Be A Winner...
Publishers Cleaning House?
I know it's disrespectful, but what if Publishers Clearing House had been around in year zero BCE, selling “Scroll and Decree of the Month” subscriptions to legionnaires and the like, in the recently liberated land of milk and honey?
Would there have been a mini scroll delivered to the "Of Nazareth Family”? You can imagine Joseph's face as he glanced at the outer scroll wrapping and wondered if, in fact, he could be a winner.
Or if Buckingham Palace is bombarded with letters to "Dear Mrs. Queen or Current Occupant?"
The senders of Junk mail seem to be completely unaware that this is meant to have become a paperless society. By now, we were supposed to be engaged in hand-to-hand combat with a resurgent tree population, claiming ever more land.
Now don't get me wrong, I rather like getting mail. I enjoy looking through some of the glossy brochures as soon as spring is over, exhorting me to buy things I really don't need for Christmas, but I'd love it to be a tad more selective.
The credit card companies are not yet aware that I'm trying to make a living from writing, so they send me hourly offers to help me plummet to ever-deeper depths of indebtedness. These new card offers are often pretty funny. My first name is Christopher, though only my mother calls me that (when she is not happy with me, and Christopher John, means I'm really in the doo.)
This presents the card people with a major challenge, as my name does not fit neatly into their pre-ordained little boxes. I am often referred to by my French "handle" of Christophe, or for some bizarre reason Christophy. The rest of the name mangling demonstrates ever-shorter versions, but so far, nothing sent to Chris, or Christ. (I would, of course forward that to the "Of Nazareths") Christo, Christop and Christoph, all show a reasonable attempt, but in their desire to be overly helpful, the interior forms have be pre filled-in with a wrong name.
Into the shredder with them all.
But, I have little to complain about when I start to think about some of my Polish and Indian friends. Their name mangling is practically award winning, as some of their last names can be fifteen letters or more. One of my friends at college wisely went by his initials only,
(R. J. Rathmahowtheheckdoyouspellthisthinganyway)
And at school “Rob Ross” was the convenience title, bestowed upon my pal, Robert Rospenziovski, by teachers lacking in confidence. It bugged the teachers to no end that his sister had a different last name (Rospenziovska), as cultural awareness had not been invented in the sixties, and in any case, got to England really late. (There are still some small hamlets awaiting the upgrade.)
Anyway, back to the stuff that comes uninvited to our homes. How exactly do these people know the second you turn fifty? Victoria’s Secret (I’ve been reading for years – no closer to knowing what the secret is,) suddenly stops, and you get helpful catalogs with warm underwear, bunion easing shoes, and technology to help you enlarge print.
I’m not paranoid, but there’s a guy on the Internet who knows me too. He sent me many, many, ads for a little blue pill, (and it was just that one time, honest, I was really tired, and stressed, so give me a break,) and all those pharmaceutical solutions to my little weight problem. I figured my keyboard was the culprit, letting the Internet know that my fingers had become fat. I fooled them, I typed with my little fingers for weeks.
Oh, and all the give-us-money, save a starving bisexual hippo, junk. What exactly do they expect people to do with all those wonderful (misspelled) name and address labels? Our household is of the more liberal and environmental bent, and when flush, love to help trees, water, glaciers and polar bears. Only thing is, you get on some list, and every bleeding heart organization on the planet starts to write to you.
The irony of a bulk mailer from “Save the Redwoods” is not lost on me. I suspect that they love Redwoods but hate all those pulp producing pines. (Decimation of the pines means more room for Redwoods, right?)
I realize that I just don’t trust these mailer demons (pun intended.) I want to shout out of the window, “I am not just a consumer, I’m a human being” (Wasn’t “Network” a great movie?) I am so much more than my potential customer status.
I do not need anything Grand Old Road or Sidegate imports from China, no matter how beautifully it is photographed at some very wealthy person’s house. And, Mr. Schamelessly Hammingitup, though tempting, I do not need to buy jackets – or any other clothing for that matter – for my iPad, iPod, iPhone or iDon’tknowwhat. Mr. Harrington, special shoes for driving, really? It is entirely possible to drive in any pair of shoes (except maybe clown shoes.) Air filters with built in iPod dock? Nice try, Mr. Brookstone. “New” stuff from a museum, Mrs. Smithsonian-Metropolitan? Just stick with the antiquities, and leave me alone.
Weird, I know, but at least the Mormons and Watchtower people come in person, to give you their unsolicited pieces of paper. (I get low on human companionship some days, and they are usually very nice people to chat with for a while.)
However, junk mail is not going to disappear anytime soon, and there is always the chance that you (or the current occupant) could be a winner…
Dear Hub Reader
If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,
Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,
A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.
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