Sunday, June 12, 2005


If I Made The Law

No, no, this time I’m not talking about my birthday law, even though it’s not really too intrusive, at least in my opinion. I mean, really, is it that unreasonable for me to want a law that allows no one else to drive on my birthday? That one day a year, couldn’t I be free of the idiots who get in my way in traffic? Wouldn’t it be glorious to be able to drive when absolutely no one else is on the road, any road? Here in Bunktown, I couldn’t even do that if I set my alarm and hit the streets at 3AM. Maybe it can still be done in some rinky dink towns here and there, but not in my town. Besides, most places are closed at that hour anyway. No, this is one dream that will have to wait until I am finally righteously acclaimed as benevolent dictator.

I’m talking about a much more reasonable law, about junk mail. Not Spam. I mean the regular paper mail delivered by the post office. One thing I like about FedEx, ok time out.

I’m sure I complained about this before, the fact that Kinko’s are no longer open 24 hours. At least in my local Kinko’s, and I learned from my Kinko’s source that while it hasn’t reached all stores yet, within a matter of months, you won’t find a 24 hour Kinko’s anywhere. FedEx/Kinko’s of course haven’t been bragging about this. I mean, can you hear the ads? “Go to Kinko’s, now open less hours for less convenience!” Shoot, I’m old enough to remember AM/PM’s bastardization of “Rock Around The Clock” when they became maybe the first big chain that bragged about being open 24 hours a day. I take that back. I’m sure there were places like Denny’s or Lyon’s restaurants, and 7-11 stores that were open 24 hours back then. I more precisely mean AM/PM was the first place I knew of that touted 24 hour operations as the key selling point of their gas station mini-marts. So back to the song (I shall do my best): “At the AM/PM mini market, you can drive right up in your car and park it. We’re gonna shop around the clock tonight, we’re gonna shop shop shop til broad daylight. We’re gonna shop, gonna shop around the clock tonight.” All these years later, and I still (perhaps imperfectly) remember. I hope the guy that came up with that got a bonus that year. What was that other one, back when the Bears were big, with Refrigerator Perry, for the burgers and fries? For 99 cents? He sort of rapped it, and it went something like this: “Burger and fries for only 99, for a guy like me that’s mighty fine. Burgers real fresh I wanna make that clear, with new wedge fries both done right here.” Then a couple of lines I forget, with the amusing, thumb your nose at authority finale: “Coach might get mad cause I’m cheating a smidge, but what the hey (insert turntable scratching sound) wrr-wrr, wrr-wrr, wrr-wrr, gotta fill up the Fridge!” Whatever happened to him anyway? Hope he’s doing all right. The point is, I haven’t heard a lot of positive comments, or any comments, about Kinko’s from anyone, which I guess means that they’re getting away with it. I mentioned it at the office the other day, and Tough Boss was surprised. Had no clue this was going on. And seemed disappointed. Oh well. I guess it’s just my own pet peeve. Time in.

So the one thing I do like about FedEx and UPS is that they only deliver things you actually ask for. If they’re at my door, it’s because I invited them by requesting something to be delivered. Not so with the postal service. Now I don’t want to interfere with anyone’s free speech. If you want to send crap to me, that’s your right, I suppose. And they wouldn’t send this stuff if they didn’t get some sort of return on the money they put out to send it. So some people evidently do want that sort of mail to come to them.

And look, I’m perfectly fine with the grocery type ads that I find every few days. Thing is, I can see it clearly for what it is, and I can toss it as fast as they can jam it in my mailbox. What I don’t like is the junk that comes in poorly marked envelopes. Uncle Ed tells me I could be a winner? It’s plain from looking at the envelope that it’s junk, and I can toss it. Others are not so considerate. I’m talking about envelopes that have my address, and a return address that is simply a street address or PO Box without any identifying information on who is actually sending it. I will grant you that 999 tomes out of 1,000 it’s guaranteed junk. But what if it’s the one time where I’m going to get screwed on late fees or something if I simply toss it unopened? So I’ve got to open every one of them. How else can I know for sure?

Then you’ve got credit card junk mail. In this area, it’s a benefit to only have one credit card. Any other company, and it just goes in the trash. But even my own company isn’t satisfied with sending me just my bill every month. I’ll get several pieces of mail from them, none looking too dissimilar from my actual bill. They want to inform me about this or that new credit card plan, or some payment protection plan in case I get fired. Not interested, but I definitely don’t want to screw up with Mega Credit Corp. Fees, penalties, higher rates, no thanks.

And now Mega Bank Corp is getting into the act. My mortgage is through them. Fine. It’s even directly pulled from my account each month so I never see an actual bill. So there’s really no communication from them, and therefore I’m not particularly familiar with what their correspondence might look like. And I get mail saying stuff like “Important Information About Your Mortgage” or “New Mortgage Rules” or some such. If I don’t want to mess up my credit card, I certainly don’t want to screw up house payments.

So what to do? I would require every piece of mail to prominently state that it is a solicitation, on the outside, so I don’t have to open it to find out that it isn’t some official communication from someone with whom I’m doing business. Is that so much to ask? How would it harm the junk mailers to point that out? People who want the product or service can still open the mail and place their orders, and people like me wouldn’t have to wonder if not opening the letter would screw me over.

Now that I’ve solved the junk mail problem, you can read what Dean Esmay and his commenters have to say about Spam here. You go look now!
Every time I hear the song "Rock Around The Clock", the AM/PM Mini Market Commercial comes pouring in! It's a curse!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?