junk mail

Junk Mail on Steroids

Any election year is an occasion for five times more junk mail and an escalation, lo an attack, verily an assault on my eyes, and that’s just the envelope.

Here are just a few of the BIG LETTER admonitions that have graced my mailbox.

IMPORTANT-OPEN IMMEDIATELY. Ha, ha hardy-har-har. I am retired, over 70 and I do nothing, nothing in haste. First off, because I have learned that patience is a virtue and that rushing is a sure-fire way to make mistakes. Secondly, because unless it is after 10am and I have had my coffee I move like a sloth on Valium. Any envelope that has this nonsense written in all caps above my name is tossed “post haste”.

URGENT NEWS YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS. Ah, contrare. I have missed all types of urgent news. In fact, to lower my blood pressure I watch the 6pm news at 10pm on YouTube. I do not want to flood my home with live action murder and mayhem. Ergo, and furthermore, if this message is written on an envelope sent through the current mail system I am quite sure it is not urgent at all.  If you saw someone creeping around your neighbor’s backyard at 10pm would you call them and then dial 911? Or would you send a well-crafted letter with the outside envelope warning URGENT and then pop it into the nearest mailbox with 9am pick-up…every other day. The only one who has an urgency is the seller. This also gets the trash treatment.

IT’S UP TO YOU, SALLY. Oh goody! They have a mail merge system that identifies my first name. A total stranger (as in a corporation is now a person) has personalized my missive because a marketing guru from 1970 told them that using a person’s name in a sales call endears the buyer to you. Yeah, not now with scams and cyber weirdos. The more the inside letter uses my name the more I am feeling stalked, not cherished. That line is not so thin. And FYI, is it is all up to me? Thanks for the pressure. And boy did you read the room wrong. I am not your nurse or your purse.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Um…you are talking to a disabled 72-year-old. Do you think I am buying $40 face cream because I am oblivious to the time tick-ticking-away? I can bet you that another study showed that my demographic is awash in guilt. So just shame and blame them and the money will come rolling in. Um, target market. No background of religious guilt, no regret of a life not lived, and no victimhood here. Nothing guilts me. Ask my husband. I am motivated by a clear well-researched path to change. And I am well aware that my measly $5 doesn’t even cover the slick 4-color envelope, never mind if you inserted address labels.

YOU GAVE BEFORE, WILL YOU GIVE AGAIN? That would be a NO. Back in my Madison Avenue days in the 80s there was a belief that the best people to sell to were those already invested. Example: you tried to sell a new flavor potato chip to chip lovers, not to pretzel lovers. But when it comes to giving to candidates, saving pollinators, or stemming the rising seas I give once a year. And it comes after research. In fact, if I get 10 or more letters after I give, I give elsewhere the next time. I am not interested in funding your marketing. I gave so you could get on the stick and make this a better world for all.

SOCIAL SECURITY/MEDICARE NEWS. These are 100% scams selling insurance of one type or the other. If SS or Medicare needs to get a hold of me they have my email, phone number and blood type.

All the above get the immediate heave-ho. If amongst the stack of whiners and beggars is an actual letter, so be it. You want me to read your letter? Use the form Mrs. Serry taught us in 5th grade. Return address on upper right. Recipient’s address in the middle. The most you can add is Attention: with a brief synopsis of the contents. “Contains your tax form” period, end of subject.






. . . is optional.

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A  Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Menopause

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