Tuesday, November 12, 2019

4519 A Cascade of Catalogs





Ah, November, it’s a recycler’s paradise. Tens of thousands of dead trees will land in your mailbox between now and the December holidays.  It won’t abate until after the end of the post-holiday clearances and January white sales.

Seventeen makers of fruitcake will be among the early arrivals.  

Fruitcake. It’s what people used for building houses before the invention of bricks. This will be followed by half a dozen purveyors of cheese plates featuring 12 varieties of obscure dairy products in microscopic portions attractively packaged as everything from creches to Santa and reindeer mini murals.  

Fruit baskets. Yes, let’s all order each other fruit baskets. They’re almost as utilitarian as fruitcakes, but not nearly as durable.  Plus who doesn’t like paying $15 a pound for gen-u-wine Florida grapefruit?  Plus shipping and handling.

Fruitcakes should come with labels showing their year’s vintage.  There’s little that’s worse than a fruitcake so new you can actually take a bite without breaking a tooth or yanking a filling from one.

Where is Orson Welles when you need him? “We shall sell no fruitcake before its time.”

Back to catalogs and other forms of litter.  

Lands’ End (punctuation check, please,) LL Bean, JCPenney, Macy’s … just about every merchant who has a piece of cloth in the shape of a body or body part except the Original Catalog King, Sears.

Daytimers, Day Runners, and a million kinds of calendars. Booksellers, knife sellers, gun sellers, pen sellers. Holiday lights and other decorations. 

If you’re of a certain age, toys.  If you are of another certain age, mobility products like scooter chairs, sleeper chairs, home elevators and chair lifts.

Travel.

If you bought an automobile in the past five years, you’ll get a nice card from your dealer outlining what they’d like to sell you to replace that old rust-bucket they sold you previously.

If your house is in a “hot” neighborhood, two dozen local real estate outfits will send you mailings telling you that they have customers waiting to buy homes just like yours.

Re-fi companies, insurance companies, snow shoveling services (that’s what lawn guys do in winter.) Fuel oil, propane, coal and gas companies will be filling your mailbox with once-in-a-lifetime offers.

And who in his/her/its right mind can survive the holiday season without Netflix or Hulu or Roku? Or HBO, Showtime or Sling?

A show of hands, now.  Who sends holiday cards?  Pretty good response.  Okay, second show of hands.  Who LIKES sending holiday cards?

Anyone?  

C’mon. Don’t be shy. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Ahah! One raised hand…
Yes, you in the last row.  You’re it and because you have no competition, you are this year’s champion liker.  Someone buy that poor schmuck a certified pre-owned fruitcake.  A new one would be a waste of money.  It would lose half its value once you drove it off the lot.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2019

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