On Saturday I received a letter that had the potential to change the course of my life, the lives of my loved ones, and the lives of those freeloading, barnacle-like friends of mine who are always asking me to cosign for them.
When I opened the mailbox I was still a little woozy from breakfast. I’d met two buddies at a local restaurant earlier in the morning, and while we were putting a serious dent in the national egg and pork reserve a guy sat down in the booth next to us who had apparently spent the night in a vat of Tire Fire Cologne for Men. To quote the late Richard Pryor, “There’s odor and then there’s oh dear“.
It’s not my intent to overstate the level of Olympic-caliber stench that was wafting off of this fellow, but every flower in the restaurant began to wilt as soon as he walked in. Mind you, all of the plants in this establishment are artificial.
The guy at our table with the most sensitive schnozz noticed something was wrong immediately. Judging by the pained look on his face I thought he might be passing a stone or possibly remembering the summer he interned for David Lee Roth.
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After a few seconds, I noticed the smell. As I took a bite of my eggs the cologne stench numbed my tastebuds. The third guy at our table was lucky enough to have a sinus infection, so we nominated him to make a run for it and tell the world our story.
After the paramedics cleared us to drive I headed home. By the time I made it to La Grange, I’d regained the use of my left arm and was able to check our mailbox. Somewhere among the pounds of flyers was a letter from the company that manages my 401k.
I was assuming the purpose of the letter was to inform me that the fund manager had raided the account and had disappeared into the Ibiza night. Surprisingly, the letter stated that I was due a refund. Visions of super-sized Happy Meals danced in my head.
I drove up to the house holding on to this refund letter as if it were Steven Wright’s rare photo of Houdini locking his keys in his car. I was afraid to read the letter past the first paragraph, so I took it to The Wife who was in our kitchen paying bills at the time.
“Those bills aren’t going to know what hit them after you read this,” I said triumphantly handing The Wife the refund letter. “I don’t know how much we’re getting, but since they took the time to compose a letter and pay the postage to deliver it, surely there must be some sort of financial windfall at hand.”
The Wife looked over the letter, reading paragraph after paragraph that basically gave the same information over and over. Whoever is in charge of this company’s customer correspondence must have a vendetta against trees because when all the fluff propaganda was removed, there were around three sentences that actually served some sort of communicative function. There’s more informative text in a fortune cookie.
After The Wife finally macheted her way to the crux of the biscuit, the letter stated we’d be receiving a check in the amount of $5.47.
I may be the mayor of simpleton, but why wouldn’t they just send the check and the letter at the same time to save on postage? With this mentality, it’s no wonder a VHS copy of Weekend at Bernie’s is currently accruing more value than my 401K.
Mine is one of the few portfolios that rely heavily on companies that manufacture beepers, dot matrix printers, and textbooks for cursive writing, so get busy hipsters! Drop that organic produce and go buy a beeper. It’ll be ironic, I promise.
Jon Dawson’s books are available at www.JonDawson.com.
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The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston and 960TheBull.com daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of 252ESPN.com stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m.