Posted Messages

I had these thoughts about postal mail. The post office has been in the news lately because of cutbacks. The post office is called for in the Constitution, the framers certain that the nation needed a method of reliable and totally private message delivery.

I got an ad in the mail today from a company that sells headstones. I guess I’ve managed to get on a number of lists thanks to AARP noticing that I have officially become a senior. I’m  getting ads for reverse mortgages, Medicare supplement policies, and those walk in bathtubs. I  also get ads for funeral programs, cremation programs and even caskets, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that someone wanted to sell me a grave marker. But I was surprised and kind of fascinated that they had one that talked. I could record a digital message up to three minutes in length, and people visiting my grave could press a little button on the marker and hear my voice saying something to them from the grave. I immediately thought that it would be funny to record an advertisement for some brand of health insurance –or an ad for physician assisted suicide from the perspective of a satisfied customer.

Since signing up to buy a house and authorizing the testing of my credit, my mailbox content has risen dramatically with a staggering number of reverse mortgage offers. I haven’t even taken a loan to buy the house and Robert Wagner is nagging me to hand it over. I think that only those people with no possible heirs should consider a reverse mortgage. Or those with heirs that pant at the bedside in an eleventh hour rally to demonstrate their undying love and a desire for you to sign a living will.

I get advertising from a company called Hagar. They’re the people who make men’s pants with waists that accommodate eight different waist measurements in the same pants. Their sizing charts say that size ‘small’ fits men with 28 to 36 inch waists, ‘medium’ is for 32 to 40, and ‘large’ will fit waists from 38 inches to the perimeter of Manhattan. It defies both logic and any sense of style that these garments are actually wearable.  Ever since I first saw ads for these pants I concluded only style starved geriatric Alzheimer’s victims would be caught dead in them. I was given a pair of medium Hagar slacks as a Christmas present last year and after deciding they were comfortable I burst into tears and called  the suicide hot line.

My application for a mortgage has also let loose the dogs of credit. I get multiple daily offers for credit cards and think every bank there is wants me to get a Visa or MasterCard from them. They come with spectacular interest rates too, only 29% compounded hourly.  It’s kind of disturbing to me because these things give every appearance doom. The housing market blew up because so many people were given mortgages beyond their economic abilities as lenders failed to perform due dilligence. Now here I am being offered credit by people so vacuous about my credit profile that have to ask me what’s in my wallet.

One notice declared in 90 point type that “You have just won ten million dollars!” In tiny type beneath it was the statement that if I signed up for magazine subscriptions I could get mail with those banner head words. I see no reason to buy magazines considering that I just did get a mail that said “You have just won ten million dollars.” Besides that, I get emails all the time telling me I can have tens of millions of dollars if I just help a hiding foreign diplomat transfer his money to America using my bank account.

Since direct deposit has pervaded the world of transactions, much of the exciting mystery has been sapped from a trip to the mailbox. I wonder how much that has contributed to the waning popularity of mail. There is little to no anticipation of a refund check or some other windfall showing up anymore. Even the birthday card from Aunt Bessie with the $5 check inside has given way to an electronic gift certificate from Amazon. If the post office really wants us to support them as a government budget item, they should send out random checks to us.

An ad on television keeps telling me that “There’s nothing worse than standing in line at the post office.” The last time I saw that ad I watched it on a waiting room television as I waited for my  urologist to drill my nether region with a gloved index finger. I thought to myself:  ”I wish I was in line at the post office.”

Some mail senders are just plain stupid. I can’t count the number of envelopes I receive that  boldly say “Address correction required.” There’s nothing wrong with my address, after all, it brought their mail to me.