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After Forty Are Birthday Cards Junk Mail?

Nov 1, 2007
My mailman hates junk mail as much as I do. Instead of putting it in the mailboxes, he stacks it neatly on the floor next to the mailboxes. I'm not sure he's fulfilling his "neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor dark of night" postal duties; but I consider my mailman a hero - a man in uniform fighting for freedom from unwanted ads.

In my personal fight for freedom I try to throw ads away before I open them. I try, but I'm gullible. An envelope stamped "Important - Dated Material" probably isn't important, but I worry about the FBI turning up on my doorstep because I didn't open it in time to do ... whatever.

You'd think I could avoid opening envelopes stuffed with flyers from local businesses. I can't. I succumb to a treasure hunt mentality. I think I'm going to find something I want - but do I want to go to a restaurant that needs direct advertising? No. Been there. Done that. The two-for-one dinner at Rudy's Rustic Roadside Barbeque still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

On the other hand - the one with the postcards from local, real estate agents - I can't resist seeing how much homes in the area have sold for. It's the adult version of shaking my piggy bank to make myself feel good.

It made me feel good to find matching, pet bowls for my dog; but anyone who has shopped by catalog knows that it's the mail order version of having your soul sold to the devil. I'm still getting catalogs from companies I've never heard of.

At election time I get brochures from candidates I've never heard of. It's called seeing my tax dollars at work - and spent on postage. When I get a political brochure the day after the election, however, I have to read it. I have to find out if I voted for a time-challenged candidate.

Time-challenged or not, I'd vote for any candidate who'd stop the delivery of "unsolicited mail"; but it's never going to happen. The Post Office is an enabler. It benefits. In fact, junk mail literally gets Uncle Sam's stamp of approval.

My throwing away every ad unread is something else that's never going to happen. Every once in awhile I find a coupon for something I need and I'm hooked again. What I really need is a twelve-step program for mail "adaholics".
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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