The Perfect Birthday Surprise

Periodically I’ve commented on the luscious spam that both I and WordPress have permitted to appear through commentary here on the blog, but the world of spam took on a whole new level of un-splendid astonishment with a mailing for Janet that arrived Wednesday, just in time for her birthday, and accidentally mixed in by me with all of her birthday cards.

She skipped her usual workout at the Y in Dubuque that day to come home early (well, early by our standards — meaning directly after work) so we could go out to eat in celebration of her natal day. Even though precipitation of the light and foggy kind filled the air, threatening to freeze at the point the temperature fell below 32°, we headed off northward through Andrew to Bellevue, where we ate at The Happy Bean/The Market, a really great restaurant* where we had eaten only one previous time back in the fall of 2010 when we were in Bellevue to witness friend Mary Nevans-Pederson’s exhibit of photographs at the art gallery associated with the restaurant and coffee shop. She and her husband Clayton really recommended this place, and they were right. (It’s so good that Janet had, once we had enjoyed a meal there, passed on the recommendation to her boss, who has frequented the place several times since — while we malingered at home.) Amusingly, both of us enjoyed risotto, mine a sausage-less shrimp dish (it was supposed to have Andouille sausage, but it happened they didn’t have any Wednesday night) and hers orange roughy on a very different rice accompaniment.

Our whole birthday experience at The Happy Bean was really great, even though Janet left her reading glasses on the table, and we still have yet to pick them up, although the waitress called us specially to let her know, the call arriving even before we reached home after our visit. The relevant moment (at least for today’s post) arrived when, having listened to the message from The Happy Bean, she sat down with me to open her birthday cards before we retired for the day. Mixed in, as I already indicated, was the amazingly bad piece of hardcopy spam we feature today. I have scanned the document so you can see what some scam artist thought was appropriate to send someone on her birthday.

Here is the mailing cover (that which you see when the mail arrives):

That which was not a birthday card for The Lovely One

Notice the official look, particularly the dove with olive branch that looks strangely governmental and which directs the eye to the “United States…” Yet this bit of garbage did decidedly not come from anything even remotely official (in fact, it took me close examination to discover the name of the sending corporation**, if that).

Once we opened the trifold card, we found this:

Jut what every woman wants to read on her birthday…

Itʼs not sorry enough that she (I believe) has one of those paltry little life insurance policies provided through work just for the costs of a funeral (costs which The Lovely One wishes to avoid entirely, by the way, preferring to donate her organs and remains however possible; just within the past few weeks she talked about the futility of graveyards for us twain, with no one bound by blood descent to visit such ancestral shrines — I agreed in advance, naturally). But what organization was offering her this brief chance to “qualify” to pay them money for this questionable service? I really had to search the flyer to find the tiny print…

The response card at the bottom of the “information” pictured above

Note the absence of information about the “sponsoring company” (would that be the appropriate term?) on this response card, above. When I mail back such cards for magazine subscriptions, the magazine in question is always clearly marked. So I checked the address side to verify to whom the card would be returned…

The address side of the response card

Nothing. We return to “Processing Center” at a P.O. Box in Phoenix. Really solid. Again, no identifying insurance company behind this scam. Finally, I checked the back of the two folds that contained the “information.” One fold was the front cover, the side addressed to The Lovely One. The other fold was this:

Look closely. You can finally find an insurance company name…

Find it? “The Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company.” Well-known outfit… But they actually exist. Here is their “funeral planning” link. However, if this bit of sleaze portrayed in todayʼs post is their modus operandi, I canʼt say much for that company. Not much except… stay away from those slimesack scambags.

Has anybody received equally amusing sucker-mail?

* (whose website, at least yet on the Big Birthday, as our wonderful waitress noted herself, was somewhat out of date)

** Considering my skeptical, if not openly antagonistic attitude toward Big Business/Multinational Corporations/Old Wealth trying to control our nation and politics with Big Money, is it any wonder that my erring fingers seem invariably to type “coprolation?” The scent of “coprolite” in that error is too good to resist.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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