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Must resist

Since moving into my apartment, I’ve received the scattered loose ends of previous tenants in my little box, but most of it is junk in the purest sense of the term. I get offers to sign up for AOL, catalogs for stores I’ve never heard of, course lists for colleges in Arizona, and of course piles of credit card applications, but where are the envelopes bulging with cash and a tear-soaked ransom reply? Where the latest installment in the Best of Zebras series from the discovery channel? Where the naked pictures of overseas girlfriends that got lost in the mail just long enough for their intended recipient to move out and for me to take their place? I actually received some mail that may not have been trivial the other day, apparently from someone’s estranged wife. It looked like it was an invitation of some sort. I almost forwarded it along, but then decided that if she didn’t have a current address, she probably wouldn’t be able to get a hold of him by other means after I wrote “return to sender” on the front and dumped it summarily in the corner mail box.

It’s all junk, except for yesterday’s find from the BMG music club, which read, “TO: Ming Lee, Preferred Former Member. RE: What We’re Doing To Win You Back.” The fact that BMG had taken the time to capitalize every word, even “To”, piqued my curiosity, so I committed at least one federal crime and opened the letter. Apparently what they’re doing to win Ming back is wooing her with really shitty music. I’ve got their big sheet of colorful album-stamps spread out on my lap right now, shaking my head in wonderment. If this is the selection they send out to every customer, their days are numbered no matter how many CDs they give you for the price of one. Classical and opera consume a full two-thirds of the sheet, with eight out of the twelve included genres falling into that category. I like classical music as much as the next guy, but do “Baroque & Early Music”, “Classical Essentials”, and “Classical Light” each deserve their own section? The “Rock and Pop” area is shoved onto the far right side of the mailing, and comprises two dozen albums, staunchly flanking the hundreds of violin concertos on its left. I can’t make any sense of the selection for this last genre: Stevie Ray Vaughn is next door to Alicia Keys, No Doubt is snuggled right against Kenny Chesney (“She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”), and, in crowning irony, the next stamp over from The Essential Billy Joel is The Eminem Show. What sort of twisted marketing executive dreamt up this collage? I don’t know whether to laugh of cry.

Never before has the temptation to commit mail fraud been so great. I’m considering affixing seven of the least-threatening stamps and mailing it back – maybe the Baroque period has something good in store for me. I wouldn’t even have to sign up with a fake name, since they’ve so thoughtfully provided one with a credit card on file somewhere. Although, if I were to use one, it would be Hugh Geerection. Say it again, slowly.

It was 50 degrees and pouring rain as I left for work this morning, and I dressed appropriately. Bryan is my tried and true walking partner these days, and the good news is the sudden downpour worried him even less than it did me, and our mosey was unhastened by the weather. Then around noon, the clouds parted and baked the earth. When I left the office at four to attend a meeting at the Daily HQ, I felt like a Minnesotan stepping off the plane in Miami. All I needed was a quilted scarf and a hat with ear-flaps to complete the picture – as it is, I was sweating up a storm by the time I reached the communications building. The meeting wasn’t a wholesale waste of my time, as I did receive a copy of last year’s Welcome Edition free of charge in addition to a couple slices of pizza. For those of you unfamiliar, the Welcome Edition is a special 70-page issue of the Daily which is sent to every incoming freshman every year. I don’t need to tell you how badly I need to address those freshmen. Four articles should do the trick, but the head editor has formally banned the use of first- and second-person writing. My editor told me “I know that’s kind of your style, maybe it will be a fun challenge.” I told her, somewhat indignantly, that is my style. If I can’t tell amusing anecdotes about me and my friends, tossing in the occasional dull pearl of wisdom, what’s left for me to do? If you people have any ideas for topics that wide-eyed freshman might want to read about, and which I could do justice, send them my way.

Posted in Musings.


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