Junk Mail Stalkers and the Very Last Chance No Really


"ACT NOW! OTHERWISE, DUE TO AN INCREASE IN MAILING COSTS, THIS WILL BE YOUR FINAL CATALOG!"

Hurray! And huzzah! And other celebratory words that begin with 'h'!

I read the notice in capital letters on the cover of the piece of junk mail, did an impromptu soft shoe routine and clicked my heels. Finally, finally, these people would stop sending me this darned catalog!

It was one of those places selling bits o' generic giftware then elevated to the level of Officially Tacky by embossing someone's name all over it.

Mugs "customized with the name of your choice!"...

Picture frames "personalized for the ones you love!"...

Shirts "emblazoned with the recipient's own name so they're easily identified by the cops in case they mysteriously go missing but are actually running away from your relationship for having absolutely no real imagination when it comes to gifting."

You can get Christmas ornaments that give your tree that me-oriented "wow" factor...

Dog bowls for dogs who can read...

Calculators in case you can neither add nor remember your name...

And clothing that grandmas give just to ensure Little Timmy gets a good dose of knuckles and pantsing on the playground. To toughen him up.

Heck, even Little Timmy's undershorts might be emblazoned with his name! The bullies can look back with nostalgia, years from now, on the kid whose tighty-whiteys they'd pulled over his head each recess. Remembering the name will be SO handy for the 10 year class reunion.

Yep! Many terrific options for gifting the person you didn't really want to give a gift to anyway!

And after several years of having never bought a single thing from this catalog and being too darned lazy to contact them and tell them to take a hike, these people were finally, of their own volition going to give up on me! It warmed the general cockle periphery of my heart.

But too soon I began to realize that they were fibbing to me, those Catalog People. I looked in my mail one day a month or so onward, and sadly read:

"NO, REALLY, JTHORSON! WE'RE TOTALLY SERIOUS! IF YOU DON'T ACT NOW, WE WILL HAVE TO TAKE YOU OFF OUR MAILING LIST!"

"Good!" I said again, still clinging to some vague glimmer of hope for the future. After a few weeks more passed catalog-free, I was feeling very glass-half-fullish about the situation. And then I spilled the glass:

"HEY, JTHORSON, WE MEAN WHAT WE SAY! OKAY, WE KNOW WHAT WE SAID EARLIER, THAT THAT WAS THE LAST ONE. BUT THIS IS THE LAST-LAST ONE. AND THEN THESE SUPER-NEAT PERSONALIZED GOODIES ARE GONE FOREVER! DON'T WAIT!"

I waited.

"TRUTH NOW, CROSS OUR FINGERS HOPE TO DIE, STICK A NEEDLE IN OUR EYE. THIS IS REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, HONEST INJUN, THE LAST CATALOG WE CAN SEND YOU UNLESS YOU PLACE AN ORDER!"

Um, yeah?

"OH COME ON ALREADY, JTHORSON! WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR FRIGGING PROBLEM? DON'T YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO COULD USE A PERSONALIZED PEN? BUSINESS CARDS? A TRAPPER-HOLDER SCHOOL BINDER IN A WIDE SELECTION OF FASHION COLORS?

DON'T YOU HAVE ANY FRIENDS, JTHORSON? OR PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU?

NO, PROBABLY NOT, SINCE YOU'RE SO FREAKIN STUBBORN AND COLD THAT YOU CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO ORDER SO MUCH AS A PACK OF THESE BEAUTIFUL PERSONALIZED POST-ITS FOR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING AND..."

Three weeks later.

"HI, JTHORSON-- WE'RE REALLY SORRY ABOUT WHAT WE SAID BEFORE ABOUT THE POST-ITS AND BEING COLD. THAT WAS HARSH AND WE DIDN'T REALLY MEAN IT. WE WERE JUST HURT AND ACTING OUT. SO HAVE THIS SHINY NEW CATALOG ON US, AND WE PROMISE ON OUR SAINTED MOTHERS' NAMES, WE WON'T SEND YOU ANY MORE AFTER THIS."

I'm considering changing my name to Conchita Escobar and moving to South America. Somewhere remote, I think-- possibly along the Amazon, where the mail service is good-and-spotty. I figure this way it should be at least a year before I exit my thatch-roofed hut and head to the river to rinse out a few things, only to see on my doorstep:
HOLA! SE ACUERDAN DE NOSTROS, CESCOBAR NATO JTHORSON?...

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27 comments:

Barry said...

Ain't that the truth about junk mail! Even when I am overseas for like 2 years, they act like I am still a "potential customer"

Nice read:)

Jenn Thorson said...

Barry- TWO YEARS they hold onto that shimmering hope that you'll come back to the U.S. and want their products. You know, in some ways, you have to admire their optimism. :)

chyna said...

Think I know which catalog you're referencing and I too have been getting my "last" catalog for years now. Kind of like the people who keep telling me that my car warranty is going to expire and I need to renew it with them. By my figures I think it should have expired years ago according to their post cards. If I believed them the warranty was expiring as it rolled down the factory floor.

Alice said...

They'll never drop you child! You're a potential customer and they've got your address.

This reminded me of that funny Friends episode where they get TV guide, but the name on the label is Ms. Chanandler Bong.

Da Old Man said...

I just remembered when we were younger, we used to send in the cards from JC Whitney catalogs for free catalogs sent to a friend. They only used the first initial, so we (creative delinquents that we were) would send catalogs to a friend's address. His name varied from Quincy Ball (Q Ball) to Lawrence Vator (L Vator,) and names like that.

Good times.

Tiggy said...

I'm always getting catalogs, letters and junk from some company called 'Tax Revenue' saying it's my last chance to respond and wanting me to part with $$$.

Yeah right, I'm not falling for that marketing gimmick!

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- I have a few catalogs that threaten that, actually, but I just chose one kind to write about.

And, ah, yes, the car warranties from companies you've never heard of. Those folks are somewhat less persistent than the catalog folks, though. I think they know we know they have nothing to do with our cars.

Alice- Oh, I totally forgot about Chanandler Bong! That was great. My dad keeps a collection of the way they've misspelled his name over the years. There have been some excellent ones.

DaOldMan- I am beginning to suspect you were some of the Bart Simpsons of your age group. :) We're one step away from "Do you have Prince Albert in the can?" :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Tiggy- Heh-- I just hope you will be able to blog from your prison cell. :)

Greg said...

Aw, c'mon, what about some "Cabbages and Kings" coffee mugs?!?! Heh heh...

You know, if the name on the shirt is "Little Timmy" and not just "Tim", then the pantsing's almost justified. Poor kid...

Greg said...

And then...

Dear C ANDKINGS, THIS IS YOUR LAST CATALOG EVER UNLESS YOU RESPOND RIGHT NOW.

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg- heh, "Little Timmy" ends up being my catch-all name for small children. If I actually thought about it, and if Little Timmy were to represent just one character, he would have one lousy life.

"If Little Timmy gets kidnapped...."

"If Little Timmy sticks his finger in an open socket..."

Little Timmy is a mess. :)

Jenn Thorson said...

PS--


M GARDENER-
DON'T MAKE ME COME UP THERE TO NEW ENGLAND AND SLAP YOU ABOUT THE HEAD WITH YOUR CATALOG. :)

LOVE
C ANDKINGS

Claire said...

Hey you just made fun of all the gifts I was going to send to you :(

I keep putting your email address in the recommend a friend link too, does that mean that was a bad idea?

Jenn Thorson said...

Claire- Ah, so that was YOU! :)

Heh, no, I know it wasn't you. It was Jack Bauer. He's the only real one to spam me. He just can't always use his own name. Security purposes, dontchaknow. :)

Claire said...

I am Jack Bauer! mwahahaha.

Okay I am not really.

Jenn Thorson said...

Claire, you can't fool me. I know you're not Jack Bauer. You're MI5! :)

Claire said...

Oh noes,I am going to have to kill you now :(

It was nice knowing you.....

:)

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Ah, I knew I would go out this way... Sigh...

Claire said...

What there is no fight in you? not even a last minute fight to the death whilst dismantling a nuclear bomb?

sigh..

Jenn Thorson said...

I'm probably Chloe. I just say sarcastic things and defy the authoritities while enabling Jack to Save The World.

Ger 'er, Jack. She's a double-agent. :)

Greg said...

No, I'M Jack Bauer...or am I?

Anybody else wanna see some Cabbages mugs?

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg-- I KNOW you're not Jack Bauer. Because I see too many pics of where you ARE-- by the shore taking sunset photos, in the garden taking flower photos... With a dog or cat taking animal photos... You can't fool me!

Heh, and as for "Cabbages" mugs, don't you have to have a huge herd of readers before you have merchandise? :) But thanks for the vote of confidence, anyway! :)

Claire said...

I don't think you would defy the authorities, your too nice :)

Greg has a secret agent moustache in that photo, from what I can tell, heh :)

(I do not)

Jenn Thorson said...

Claire- Heh, don't encourage him. He'll be trying to find a way to make his gardening blog into an episode of "24"...

Actually, that would be hysterical. Greg- you should SO do that! :)

It's both very cool and very scary having my online friends talking to my other online friends. :)

chyna said...

I wonder if it isn't the Darliks preparing the Earth for invasion? Destroy, destroy.... Or that would be only England. I tell ya I'm never vising that country, too many aliens!

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Chyna- I know; poor London has been blown up so many times... and mostly on Christmas. :)

Claire said...

Hey there is only a select few aliens! Its not like I have over run the place....

whoops.