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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Letters

Part L in the 2015 A-Z Blogging Challenge


When I was in primary school, I was at my aunt's house flicking through the TV Guide and I came across an ad for a clairvoyant. She was an older woman with silver eyes and very small pupils and she promised to fulfill three wishes for anyone who decided to write in to her and ask for them. At the bottom of the ad was a checklist of the things she could help with. They included things like "Get a promotion at work", "Win the lottery", "Become popular", "Find the guy/girl of your dreams" and simply "Live happily". All the reader had to do was tick the three things they wanted and send the ad in an envelope to the provided address. The clairvoyant would provide it for them completely free of charge. That sounded perfectly reasonable to an unhappy 12-year-old me, so I grabbed a pen and started considering my choices. I think in the end I picked "Get the boy/girl you're after", "Become popular" and "Win the lottery" (impossible for anyone under 18, I now know). And being the little sad-sack I was, I also decided to scribble the words "I know I'm only 12, but PLEASE!" I sent it off and forgot all about it.

A week later, my parents handed me a letter from New Zealand. It had that same picture of the clairvoyant on the front, albeit in black and white. My parents wanted to know what it was and I was too young to realise that I had a right to privacy. I opened it up and read aloud how this woman had apparently studied my stars knew how to make my three wishes come true. I don't quite remember how she justified that it would now cost over $300, but I was still interested. My parents... They weren't. They wondered allowed how anyone could sleep comfortably at night trying to prey on kids and angrily threw the crumpled-up letter in the trash. I guess that wasn't going to happen.

A week later I received another letter from the clairvoyant. My excitement returned as I sat down at the kitchen table and read it.
'Michael! I'm offering you the chance to achieve all the things that will fulfill your life. Now is the time to act, as the stars are aligned in your favour [conveniently]! Act now before the stars shift and your moment is gone forever!'
I didn't get to read any further because my Mum walked in at that moment and looked at what I had.
'Argh, how did this creep get our address?!' she cried as she grabbed the letter and tore it up.
'Yeah, that's so weird isn't it? I said as casually as possible.
'Did you sign up to anything or put your name down for something?'
'No...'

When the third letter came it was Mum who saw it first. She came into the kitchen with a vein showing on her forehead.
'There's another letter from that psychic lady. She said through gritted teeth. I'm going to have to do something about this.' And she left without another word. The letters stopped coming after that. Three weeks later I was ruing my missed opportunity when I decided to ask Mum how she'd stopped it.
'Well I tore up that last letter and put it in a reply envelope with a note saying "STOP SENDING THIS TO MY 12-YEAR-OLD SON!"'
'Wow, and it worked!' I said, outwardly impressed but inwardly disappointed.
'Yes it did. But I still don't know how she got our address.'
'Imagine if she'd sent a letter back saying "Your son asked me for these,"' I chuckled.

That ought to throw her off the trail.

25 comments:

  1. Very smooth! I'd never have figured it out....

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  2. Thank goodness you weren't old enough to send her any money. I wonder how many she sucked in with this scam?

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    1. Anyone older and/or wiser than me would have probably been a little more onto her tricks.

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  3. lol I'd still like to win the lottery, what's 300 bucks in exchange for 50 million. Oh what scammers can do.

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  4. very funny and a lesson learned at age 12. Mom's don't know everything

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    1. I'm not sure how learned my lesson was. I'm still VERY trusting.

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  5. You would've been in big trouble!
    Still, that was wrong of her to send that to a kid.

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    1. Yeah scammers are probably the one group that don't see age, gender or race. Heck, they don't even care how much money you've got. They'll take it.

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  6. This was hilarious, maybe because I used to do stuff like this all the time.

    John Holton
    Blogging from A to Z 2015 Cohost
    The Sound of One Hand Typing

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    1. Answer suspicious ads or create them? ;)

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  7. Very funny story...liked the vein standing out on her neck. A sure indication of the mood.

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    1. Yeah and she never gets actually angry :P

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  8. The psychic failed when she didn't realise that she was going to send your mama ballistic. Which puts some of the rest of her 'talents' in doubt.

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    1. Yeah she was so close! Then she failed to see that and it all unravelled ;)

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  9. That's too funny, and yet I still hang onto the fortune cookie fortunes, that turned out to be right!

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    1. There's an episode of The Simpsons where Homer is tempted to cheat on his wife and feels awful about it. He's having dinner with this new girl and he opens a fortune cookie which says "You will find happiness with a new love". He whimpers in despair, the scene cuts to the back room where there's two giant barrels and two staff members. One says "Hey boss, we've run out of new love fortunes!" and the other says "Okay, open up the ones that say stick with your wife."

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  10. That was a pretty shrewd double bluff you threw in at the end, but you're lucky it didn't backfire!

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    1. I think I might have a career in deceiving people. It seemed to work for her...

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  11. Uh, maybe you should have paid the $300. I mean, you are a popular guy, but look at it this way. You haven't found the girl of your dreams yet, and you haven't won the lottery. Darling, Michael. I think the stars are no longer in your favor since you didn't pay that old hag :)

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    1. It's okay, I look at it this way: I got $100 value absolutely free :)

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  12. For $300 she'd help you win the lottery. But... if she knew how to win the lottery, why would she need ANY money from YOU?

    It's actually amazing how many adults, even, can't seem to see the logical flaws in come-ons like that.

    My Pa was no dummy, but he WAS a horse player, and horse players are a "breed" unto themselves. He'd sometimes buy these horse racing systems for $25 or $30 that were guaranteed to pick the winners and bring in, like, $10,000 a week.

    I used to ask him, "Pa, if this guy's betting system can really make that much money at the race track, why would he be selling it to you for $25? Why wouldn't he just keep mum about it and make all that money for himself using his own system?"

    But you can't reason with a horse player, not even a pretty smart one. And people are going to believe what they WANT to believe.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I'm amazed that his child had to point that out to him :P

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