The Poor Sausage Never Had a Chance

CatSausageSlightlyLighter.jpgDear Ben Silver® of Charleston, SC: Thank you for your 134-page catalogue of cashmere sweaters, Harris tweed jackets and other clothing for people with “sophisticated and elegant taste.”

However, wool makes me break out in an ugly rash and not one of the items in your catalogue fits me, since I am 6-foot-10. (Yep, really.) So won’t you take me off your mailing list, pretty please? 

Sorry to to pick on you, Ben. You’re just one of hundreds of companies that have stuffed my mailbox with misguided missives over the past few months.

In fact, I received 138.5 pounds of catalogues this holiday season—with more than 38,000 pages of products—and the only item I purchased from them is a yard-long Usinger’s summer sausage.

That’s the sausage on the right, festively attired in holiday foil, next to the nearly four-foot tower of catalogues I’ve been saving over the past 11 weeks. In total, 515 “wish books” crossed my threshold, or nearly eight per mail-delivery day.

It’s ridiculous to compare the two, of course. (I launched the competition on October 1, after receiving my first catalogue of the season.) But it does illustrate several serious points:

• Why does Mrs. Fields keep bombarding me with mailings, when the last order I placed with her was more than a decade ago, when designer cookies were still a novel idea?

• Who is buying $195 Dumbledore and Voldemort bookend sets—and why am I receiving The Noble Collection catalogue that sells them?

• Why don’t sophisticated direct marketers make it easier to opt-out of costly catalogue mailings? It would save so many trees, so much postage—and so much time composing nonsensical blogs like this one.

As I write this, there are only 6 days, 9 hours, 10 minutes and 21 seconds until Christmas. If you need a few last-minute gift ideas, give me a call. I have a whole stack of them in my den.