Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 1999 /27 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760
THEY STARTED ARRIVING about a month ago -- slowly at first, just one or two at a
time. They were hardly noticeable then. But with each passing day their numbers increased
... and still they came. Soon it was impossible to ignore them. They were everywhere you
looked. Now theyíve taken over the house. They are in every room. And thereís nothing that
can stop them!
Iíve tried to fight back, but itís no use. Every time I think Iíve made some headway
in this battle, just when I think Iíve gotten rid of most of them, there they are again. The
ones Iíd thought Iíd done away with have all returned -- and with them are new ones. No,
itís hopeless. I canít keep up.
There is nothing to do now but wait it out. And keep telling yourself that
eventually IT WILL STOP. At least it has in the past. IT MUST! Once Christmas has come and
gone it will end. The invasion of the fall mail-order catalogues from hell will at long last
be over -- for another year.
I really donít know where all these catalogues come from and WHY they come to ME. I
donít subscribe to these things, nor do I request them over the phone. Nevertheless here
they are, all with my name on them, like itís some big practical joke. Catalogues from
companies Iíve never heard of -- located in TOWNS Iíve never heard of and would never want to
Have you ever gotten a catalogue that you think youíve already received? Well,
thatís because you have. Some companies actually send out multiple catalogues to the same
addresses. These catalogues are identical inside, but they use different covers. I guess the
idea is, if youíve already ordered from one of their earlier catalogues, the different cover
will fool you so that you will order again. Is anyone really THAT stupid? Wait. Let me
take back that last remark until I have a chance to check my bank statements.
Now for the dumbest part of this little tale. Get this -- I canít throw catalogues
away until Iíve looked through them. I have come to the belief that it is somehow unfair to
toss these things out without affording them the respect of AT LEAST turning their pages.
Like some kind of burial with honor, I guess. The problem is, I donít have the time to
really look through all of these, let alone enjoy them.
Every great once in a while, I will take a deep breath, muster up all my courage and
actually throw away a catalogue of which I have not opened. The subsequent guilt that
overtakes me following such a reckless action is not worth it, I must tell you.
So, there they sit in the den, the living room, the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms,
every place -- just waiting to be gratuitously thumbed through before they can be disposed
of. The Sharper Image, The Vermont Country Store, Barnes & Noble, Gumps By Mail, The Disney
Store, The Tog Shop, Harry & David, Brookstone, Bloomingdales By Mail, Herringbone,
Levengerís, Bachrachís, Hickory Farms, and Balducciís are just a few of the ones that came in
TODAY. Okay, Iím exaggerating -- The Tog Shop came in yesterday.
There are so many catalogues out there that Iíve heard there is even a catalogue of
catalogues. I havenít gotten that one yet -- but Iím sure itís on its way. I just hope they
donít put multiple covers on that one, this business is confusing enough as it is.
PLEASE DON'T CUT AND PASTE THIS COLUMN! ONLY SEND OUT THE URL. WE NEED THE TRAFFIC.
JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written
thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a
letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.
10/29/99: When my wife was young and Gay
10/22/99: Too Late for Dinner
10/15/99: Pondering, Musing and Supposing
10/05/99: A Message From Your Journalistic Human Interest Commentator
09/24/99: The Getting Away With It Decade
09/17/99: The Scoop of the Century
09/09/99: Important Millennium Advisory
09/03/99: Ask Mr. Politically Correct Man
08/26/99: Broadcasters, Please mind Your Manners
08/19/99: The Golden Age of Jerkdom
08/12/99: Dressing Down...and Out
©1999, Greg Crosby