Thursday, February 3, 2011

your tax dollars at work

At the bottom of my Lands' End packing slip is printed:  "Thank you for your order.  We hope you love getting this as much as we love sending it!"  Wow, they love sending me stuff.  I can imagine a busy warehouse with rows of workers wearing orange florescent jackets and holding huge rolls of shipping tape.  And they are smiling and laughing and slapping each other on the back and some of them are even singing because they love, they love sending complete strangers suede clogs.

I always purchased a subscription to Vanity Fair for my mother and every year I would receive renewal reminders to send them more money.  At first the notes were insignificant and kindly but as the weeks went by their intent became loud and demonstrative, the envelopes slashed with red capital letters an inch high.  It became a game waiting to see what the publisher would do next.  They saved the best for last. It came in a plain white envelope and printed in an average font:  Don't disappoint Marie Giegerich."  Guilt, the all powerful guaranteed manipulator of human behavior. These people have psychologists in their ranks and I'm writing a check.

My son is somewhere in Laos and his mail is forwarded to my house and he got a letter from the Social Security administration and we have all received them. They give projected estimates of what our retirement benefit will be depending on what age we leave our jobs.  Across the envelope it states: this letter is to be opened only by the addressee UNDER PENALTY OF LAW.    Has anyone ever broken this law and been arrested?  How come we never hear about it?  Where are they imprisoned? How long is their term? I never see their name in the newspaper police beat.  FBI agents surrounded the suburban home of Herb Krogotski early Tuesday morning.  He was alleged to have opened Federal mail despite the fact he was not the payee.  Krogotski's attorney states, "This is a total set-up.  Mr. Krogotski accidentally opened the notification thinking it was his TV Guide bill."

On my copy of  It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"  this warning is printed:  "Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized pictures reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion and video tapes."
Never saw one of those video copiers mentioned on the Ten Most Wanted List in the glass cupboard at the Post Office- only serial killers and drug traffickers there.  The guy is probably serving time with Herb Krogotski in a faraway Federal penitentiary cursing the day he wanted an extra video copy of an imaginary pumpkin.