Looking for treasures in junk mail

Published 4:59 pm Sunday, March 8, 2015

My mailbox overflowed with envelopes of various sizes. “Probably junk mail,” I thought. As I stepped back in the house and flipped through them, bold black print underlined with red jumped out at me. I was practically reaching for my checkbook before I plopped all that mail down on the kitchen cabinet.

Whoever mailed that eye-catching envelope caught my attention even before I ripped it open. It promised inside information on a variety of subjects, such as taxes, health and finance. Inside was a six-page letter about the book someone wanted to sell me. For me, there was a “professional price,” plus a sizeable discount and a one-year money-back guarantee.

Could I resist something that furnished me with all the “inside” information on how to manage my money; make sure I get safe prescriptions; help me predict the score of a football game by halftime; get to speak to my doctor when his office does not want to connect me; and find out who to ask for to make a complaint with a utility? Wow! This book has over a thousand secrets that whoever sent it thinks I need to know. And, do not forget, they picked me as “one of the professionals” to receive the offer. Wasn’t that nice of them? I hope they are not too disappointed that I put my checkbook away.

Another letter arrived from a credit card company. Right on the front of the envelope I was told I had been pre-approved. The contents, wrapped in a pastel-colored folder, again said a card was reserved for me. How generous. Despite the flowery words and folder, I tossed them in my shredder bucket.

Another envelope labeled “Important” revealed a similar credit card offer. I have to hurry to reply because it expires early next month. If I decide to decline, I am urged to please read one more little enclosure telling me why I just cannot afford to pass up this fantastic offer. On to the shredder bucket…

And, would you believe it, another envelope contained one fabulous offer?

But wait. Right in the same pile with all those discounted and fantastic offers someone thinks I cannot afford to pass up was an appeal from a cause. The word “Emergency” blared on the envelope. It came from one of those organizations who send unsolicited address labels (I have enough to last the rest of my life), stamps, and greeting cards. They then follow with a flood of donation requests.

A sweepstakes appeal gently warned that if I did not purchase something this time, I would be removed from their mail list. Happy day!

While I directed those fantastic, fabulous offers straight to my shredder bucket, I have carefully taken the few other pieces of mail I received in hand. They are not junk mail with fantastic offers. All relate to filing income tax this time of year. If I gleefully add those to my shredder bucket, I shudder to think of the consequences.