I get junk mail, therefore I am.
I’m staring at my mail basket and thinking, “What the heck? When will these people get a clue?” In front of me sits the following:
- A glossy 144-page magazine on “Virtuoso Life: The Traveler’s Guide to Inspired Pursuits,” graciously sent to me by an on-line travel service. This is the Europe issue, giving me the “50 Reasons to Go Now” and “Exploring Southern Portugal’s Algarve Coast.” Now trust me. I’d love to discover the Algarve Coast, but my plans this year are more in line with exploring beautiful, downtown Tacoma and convincing my kids that camping in our spider-infested tree house will be fun.
- An invitation to the BMW Mission to Drive Sales Event. Apparently, now I can enjoy an “on-road combination of raw power, unrivaled efficiency and total refinement all at once.” Somehow that doesn’t sound like King County Transit. Or the ’88 Toyota pickup–although the screwdriver holding up the window adds a classy touch.
- No fewer than three credit card offers. I’m tempted to send these in and list my food stamps as income. Or to fill one out for the dog and discover if she can get a credit card. I guess I should be glad our credit rating is intact, but these ads don’t reassure me the debt crisis is over.
- Pleas for money from charities, magazines and organizations like the Pacific Science Center, who wonder where we’ve gone. I regret dropping some of these. But they might need less money if they’d purge their mailing lists. We cut our magazine subscriptions and memberships three years ago, yet it’s a rare day when we don’t get mail or calls begging for us to come back. It’s like some horrible zombie movie with a horde of telemarketers pawing at the door with special return offers. Yesterday a Comcast dude knocked as I was writing. He asked me about our cable. I told him we didn’t miss it a bit. He stepped back and cleared his throat and asked about our long distance and Internet. I told him we were happy with our stripped-down service. In the end, we chatted about the pouring rain for a minute, and he shambled down the driveway. Now that I think about it, his arms were at an odd angle.
- A catalog for sharmusic.com, my favorite on-line seller of stringed instruments. I took up violin for my mid-life crisis several years ago, and I buy my strings from Shar. But I haven’t played lately, because my daughter is using my bow until we can afford to replace hers. The dog howls less now, but I miss the music. And I can’t go play on the corner until I get that bow.
- Next is a renewal offer from the AARP. My mid-life crisis notwithstanding, I have months until I qualify for AARP, and I want every one of them! Although the discounts might be good. But a renewal!! Not even the free insulated travel bag is worth the indignity.
- And finally, my favorite of the day: the 2012 National Agricultural Classification Survey. This one may have come because of our food benefits, which also originate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Or because we live on an acre. The survey is used to “make policy, business and funding decisions affecting U.S. farming and ranching operations.” Participation is required by law. Do two goats and four chickens constitute ranching? The form asks for the largest numbers of layers, pullet and roosters in my flock at any one time. That number was six before the coyote incident. But then the survey asks what is the primary type of layer/pullet operation. There’s no check-off for “pets.” Nor do we have any bees, and we eat or donate all our crops. So in a few months or a year, you can feel good knowing your tax dollars went to inform you of the number of bee keepers in the country.
So I guess the mail does reflect my old life pretty well. What will I get in the future? Check cashing offers? Coupons for Tacoma? An offer for the dog? I can’t wait to find out.