I recently went on vacation for an entire month and was somewhat concerned with what I’d find when I got back to Kansas City. But not to worry; my house was still standing and my family still lived there.
So far, so good.
That left a month’s worth of mail.
The real stuff
In an entire month I received three pieces of mail that actually mattered:
A statement from my syndicate indicating how much my political cartoons had earned in the previous month.
A pension check.
A credit card bill that let me know where the first two items would be spent.
After that, nothing but bullshit and here that bullshit is.
A Chief’s schedule
The dealership I bought a used car from 11 years ago sent me a Chief’s schedule and the hope is I’ll use a magnet to attach it to my fridge and then when I’m looking up the Chief’s Bye Week – November 24th – I’ll think: “Hey, I’ve got a free weekend, maybe I should buy another car!”
They also offered me $50 under their “Fuck Your Friends” program if I send you to them and you buy a car. So if you buy a Hyundai any time soon, remember to mention my name.
After taking a look at that credit card bill, I could use the 50 bucks.
A financial planning offer
This one started out by saying the fact that I had saved $500,000 put me in a special category.
Yes, that would, wouldn’t it?
The fact that this financial planner was so wildly misinformed about how much money I have under my mattress means I’m not going to trust them with the little bit I have.
A loan offer
This one came with a check for $4,000 made out in my name that I could deposit right away which would allow me to go into debt immediately!
Talk about an offer you can’t refuse!
They suggested I could use the money to: “Make large purchases, pay unexpected bills” or make “home renovations.” In the fine print it said: “Please make sure you have the available credit before using this check.”
But no worries; according to my financial planner I’ve got a half-million bucks.
An offer of cheap auto insurance
This one said I had been “pre-approved” and assured me their rates were lower than whatever fly-by-night insurance company I was currently using. The notice was sent to me as “courtesy” and I know that because it said so right at the top of the front page.
If you made it to the back page the fine print said the offer was not guaranteed if in reality I did not meet their criteria. So when they found out I once ran over someone’s foot with a ’63 Buick LeSabre, I figured I would no longer be “pre-approved” and shitcanned their offer.
Important account information
This one wondered why I haven’t used the credit card they sent me, which I never wanted in the first place.
I bought some shirts in Dallas, Texas and the salesperson said I should sign up for some program that would give me an immediate discount, but failed to point out I would get an endless series of emails and an unrequested credit card as part of the deal.
I may have also signed away my first-born male child, so I hope my son Matt likes Texas.
A credit card offer
This one came with a postcard headlined “CASH BACK MADE SIMPLE.”
The postcard was accompanied by a sheet of paper 26 inches long – I measured – folded over six times and covered with the fine print that explained their “simple” offer. Seemed like you couldn’t trust these guys – maybe they should go to work in a Dallas, Texas clothing store.
An offer of a free trip
Turns out I had been randomly selected to receive a free trip and all I had to do was call a toll-free number to collect.
If you read the fine print it also turned out the “free” trip required attendance at a 90-minute sales seminar and “certain restrictions” would apply. I decided a guy with my financial resources – according to an expert I’ve got half a million bucks…somewhere – didn’t need to listen to a 90-minute sales pitch because somewhere around the 46th minute I’d probably jump out the closest window.
Wonder if those auto insurance guys also sell life insurance.
A rewards certificate
The Dallas, Texas shirt guys also sent me a credit card bill for the credit card I have never activated or used and while my previous balance and my current balance were both $0.00, they also informed me I had $3,400 in credit just lying around and maybe I should get on it and go further in debt.
And for being such a great customer, I got a $10 rewards certificate which I better hurry up and use or lose.
Pretty sure that free $10 would cost me more than I want to spend.
An offer to buy my heating and air conditioning system
This one had to be my favorite for its convoluted reasoning which actually got me to read the whole thing.
This company was offering to “buy” my heating and air conditioning system which made me wonder if they’d make an offer on my plumbing as well. Also, my basement leaks when it rains hard, so maybe they could also purchase the foundation under my house.
The offer to buy my heating and A/C came with an expiration date and a notice that “special” financing was available which meant all this had to happen by September 14th. Obviously this guy needs to install my heating system in his house before winter sets in and he’s only making this fabulous offer because he’s desperate.
It’s the only logical explanation.
After adding up my Trade-in and Recycle System Discount, Utility Rebates and Energy Savings I was looking at a cool $2,431 and all I had to do to get that $2,431 was buy a new Deluxe Home Comfort System.
So the offer to “buy” my heating and air conditioning system was only good if I bought one of theirs.
Do the math
So that’s 12 pieces of mail in total, three of which mattered and nine that didn’t which means 75% of what I got in the mail was bullshit, which probably makes me a typical American.
But even though we have so much in common, don’t think I’m lending you any of my $500,000.
I’ve got more shirts to buy.