‘Welcome to Costco, I love you’

Nov 18, 2009 at 6:00 am

To: Faceless multi-national conglomerates

From: Faceless Consumer #7348-3c

Subject: Please stop trying to sell me things. Please.

I know I couldn’t have chosen a more inconvenient moment to ask. It’s almost Christmas, the economy is a train wreck, and CEOs the world over are being asked to wipe their own asses and accept crippling cuts to their annual bonuses because we, the consumer public, are largely broke and 10 percent jobless. I understand that we have a personal responsibility to correct this egregious situation by shopping more.

Fine. I’m a consumer.

And until our tidy little arrangement collapses under the weight of your maniacal greed and our physical/cultural obesity, until we are finally plunged into scavenger tribalism, we will continue to suckle at the teat of the corporate fascist state that you’ve so cleverly renamed the global free market economy.

I’ll go to the store every damn day and buy something. I promise.

But for Chrissake, can I get a little elbow room?

Would you mind easing back the throttle on the ad placements in the crappy movies I watch? I get the red ass when it’s insinuated that the $9 I just paid to see another tacky blockbuster wasn’t enough, and that I should run headlong to the nearest Best Buy to drop my 401(k) on a new Macbook, stopping only to guzzle my own body weight in blue Gatorade.

The glossy ads that are weekly crammed into my mailbox don’t get me in the mood to buy anything. On the contrary, they antagonize me. Listening to people talk about TV commercials makes me want to fight them, and then come looking for you. Is this the relationship you’re trying to cultivate?

Your hip grad-student geekaroid advertisers with their nuanced, sympathetic algorithms are good. I won’t lie. I appreciate a sharp-looking package. But you’re ultimately wasting your money.

I buy the things I need when I need them and the things I want when I can afford them. I don’t require coercion.

If your mustard tastes good and is made of actual food, I’ll buy it twice. If your boots are at least assembled in America and don’t fall to pieces on my feet, I’ll tell my friends they ought to try a pair. Sunglasses are a total wash because they are invariably lost before they deflect one harmful UV ray, so stop all advertising at once. The Bluetooth headset you want me to wear with my jogging outfit? Buddy, you officially wasted 12 cents of your postage budget.

And damn it, I buy beer all the time, and not once have I been been met outside the Circle K by a gang of hopped-up nubile coeds in DayGlo bikinis. I don’t appreciate being led on, and I’d like a refund please.

By the way, the pharmaceutically embalmed, joyous go-getters of indeterminate ethnicity that you’re soliciting with your advertisements don’t live in my apartment building. I think they live in pulsating cocoons that dangle from the rafters at the Colgate factory in the lab where they mix up vats of dental whitening cream. Would you please divert your mail to them there?

If you really wanted to sell me something you’d stuff your ad in the sleeve of a Black Sabbath record and hang it on my doorknob by a string of chorizo sausage. That would get my attention.

I recently asked my mailman why all my junk mail was arriving on the same day, while my real mail was suspiciously absent on that day. As it turns out, first-class mail must be handled by actual mailmen, whereas anybody can deliver junk mail, and so it is increasingly delivered by subcontracted carriers who do not receive USPS benefits. Where’s my real mail on those days?

I’m going to return all the junk mail you send me in the next two months. Furthermore, I’m going to encourage the 84,199 weekly readers of this publication to do the same. I will personally orchestrate this project and establish a site where people will drop off their junk mail. I will cram it all, willy-nilly, into odd-size boxes, tape it up with duct-tape, mark it “Return to Sender,” and dump it on the front steps of the post office. Will they subcontract some kid to throw it in the Dumpster? Let’s find out.

Eat a Peach,


Readers: If you are interested in saving your junk mail for the Junk Mail Killa’ 2009 campaign, send your email address to [email protected].