WELCOME TO THE VIRTUAL HOME OF BRONSON L. PARKER. A native of Tennessee, "Bo" is a former journalist and writer of historical non-fiction. His creative writing career began after retirement from his day job as an appointed public servant in his adopted town of Hampton, VA. "It isn't a gipe site," he says. "If I enjoy something I read, or learn something about the writing game that I think is worthwhile, I'll have a few comments to make. His goal is to make it a fun site, both to write and, hopfully, to read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"YOU'VE BEEN PRE-APPROVED!" "OFFICIAL NOTICE OF ACCEPTANCE"

Mail with one of the above phrases boldly printed on the envelope. We see them almost every week, and glance at them without thought before tossing unopened into the round file. But sometimes—don’t know why—a memory is triggered.

This one took me back some four decades to the days when the worthlessness of such “good news” was first realized. It started with a gift subscription to a magazine shortly after my wife and I got married.

The magazine, when it began to arrive, was addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Ronson Parker.” For the lack of a “B,” we began to share a name with a brand of cigarette lighter.

And it grew from there. As time passed, catalogs began to arrive in our mailbox with the same mistake in the address. We were ignorant in those days about the selling, buying, and swapping of mailing address lists.

But we became curious about how this was happening, started asking questions, learned a bit about the process, and began our amateurish process of “tracking” where our names would go next.

Since the address was the important item, we began to use different variations of first names when a mail order was placed. This was during the days before the Internet and on-line shopping took over.

We reached the point that orders were being placed, using one of the names of our two Siamese cats, Samantha and Pyewacket. It was after this that the fun really started.

We never had the nerve to respond to any of the requests, “simply sign and return,” but got a lot of laughs from knowing we had two cats that had been “pre-approved” for credit cards and life insurance.

1 comment:

Vicki Lane said...

For years I received solicitations of one kind and another addressed to U. Leemp -- the result of my messy signature using my initial and my married name -- V. Skemp.

I always pictured U. Leemp as a tall, rather academic-looking Scandinavian...