Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fan Mail

Last week as I blithely drove to work in the morning, obeying all the rules of traffic, I noticed a car attempting to turn left out of a gas station across four lanes of busy traffic without regard to the cars around him. I honked to let him know I was coming and couldn't slow down (there were cars behind me) and he slammed on his brakes just as he hit my passenger-side fender with a very unsatisfying crunch. Ugh. By the time I got to the gas station (about three minutes later), he was long gone and my car was crumpled in front.

It was annoying (and will cost an annoyingly high amount because we couldn't track down the perpetrator), but I'm fine. Since the other driver stopped as he hit me, the impact was only enough to hurt the exterior of the car.

Two days later, my car is in the shop, I'm going about my life fairly normally, when I return home in the evening and check my mailbox. Imagine me opening the mailbox and letters pouring out like a cliche film montage. Yay- letters! I don't usually get this many letters. People are writing to me!

After I brought the initial bunch inside, my joy was somewhat diminished when I discovered that seven of them were from legal firms offering their services, and three were from chiropractors. But still, they took the time to write to me! Fun! I opened them all.

Despite despising the sleazy ethics involved, I find this hilarious. Only one of the first seven legal letters actually spelled both my names correctly, another one addressed me correctly, but in the body of the letter referred to me alternatively as "Mrs. Johnson" and "Mrs. Jackson" (I am not married, nor is my last name "Johnson" or "Jackson").

My favorite was the letter that resembled a belated birthday card, in a pretty canary yellow envelope. I excitedly tore this open revealing a card bearing photograph of a droopy sunflower in a vase and the cursive letters "Sorry about your accident . . ." I opened the card and inside it read "If you're fine, WONDERFUL! If not, you may need to see a chiropractor." Inside the card were two coupons for $10 off a first visit, plus a second card. This card informed me that it contained a simple test to see if I might need chiropractic services: "Think you don't need to see a chiropractor? Take this simple test to find out!" (In other words, "Think you don't need a chiropractor? Think again- your alignment sucks!")

After careful inspection I discovered that most of the envelopes had minuscule lettering on the back stating "this is an advertisement for services" so I'm guessing there's some sort of state law that allows such blatant solicitation providing the disclaimer is barely visible.

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