'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
JUNK MAIL BRINGS TREASURES
Recently, I had the greatest week of my life. I swear, it should be against the law for so many wonderful things to happen to one person. At this point, even if I won the lottery, invented a cure for male pattern baldness, and discovered I was one-sixteenth Pequot Indian and therefore entitled to some of the senior citizen rent money routinely pumped into the slot machines, it would not come close to matching my good fortune during this one week.
All of the marvelous opportunities that entered my life were sent to me through the U.S. Mail. My longtime friend and letter carrier, Morty, was the man who brought all this treasure to my front door.
It began on a Monday. Amidst the usual boring mail—my phone bill, a bank statement, the latest edition of “Cheese Illustrated”, etc.—was an intriguing envelope with large block letters across the front: “INSTANT MONEY-SAVING MIRACLES FROM THE SUPER-EXPERTS!” Wow, I doubt Willie Shakespeare could have packed as many important concepts into one phrase. This was obviously something very special.
In smaller print on the same envelope were these true testimonials: “My husband’s snoring stopped for good.” “I doubled my closet space.” “I got a new Chevy truck for free.” When I opened the envelope, I was surprised to discover they were not referring to some woman who kicked her husband out and got custody of his Silverado in the divorce settlement. No, these were people who had their lives changed forever because they took the advice of—not just mere experts—but the SUPER-experts.
Needless to say, I quickly filled out the card and sent it back with Morty the next day. My special discount price was less than ten bucks! It said right there on the card, “Your special price, only $9.95 (per each of the twelve easy installments).” It should only be another few weeks before the books—or maybe tapes or videos or CDs, I’m not quite sure which—begin arriving at my house.
On Wednesday, I had more great news. Morty delivered two different offers to obtain VISA cards. One was, I think, for me (Wilma G. Dunn). The other one was for my dog (Elvis D. Dunn), whom I regularly list as a dependent on less-than-serious paperwork, such as I.R.S. 1040 forms. We both have a pre-approved credit line of $7,500. This is very surprising as I was sure my little run-in with GMAC a few years back (I could have sworn that guy said six months of payments, not 60) would keep anyone from offering me credit.
I was not very surprised about Elvis, of course; he has never so much as bounced a check. The only mark against his financial record is that small insurance company payout for Morty’s stitches and tetanus shot. (Hey, Morty was new. Elvis wasn’t used to him yet. Everything is fine now.) Anyway, Elvis’ credit history is cleaner than most people I know.
The final precious gem delivered to my house during that special week was an envelope from a New York City company, Instant Improvement, Inc. In huge letters it said, “FREE: HOW TO RUB YOUR STOMACH AWAY.” Again, many more inspiring testimonials: “She has lost five inches in her waist, hips and thigh area!” “He regularized his bowel movement, lost 40 pounds, and was filled with new energy!” It seems ancient Oriental medicine and exercise, which are unknown to narrow-minded, constipated Western doctors, are the keys to this program. I was so excited, I made Morty wait right there at my mailbox while I filled out the application form, using Elvis’ new VISA card to make the payment.
So, as you can plainly see, I have been showered with riches and success through the magic of junk mail. And I haven’t even heard from Ed McMahon yet! The most amazing thing is, except for a few exaggerations about Morty and Elvis, I did not make up any of this.
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