Dick Wolfsie: Eradicating Spam

Do you receive spam?

Of course you do: We all do. And I’m a bit fed up. I can screen my phone calls for telemarketers and have a pretty nifty spam filter on my computer, but someone has to do something about the clutter in my mailbox.

I spoke to Tom, my postman. I even gave him full authority to throw any questionable or unsolicited correspondence down the drain. Tom is afraid of accidentally throwing away a utility bill. I told him not to worry about it. These things happen.

I know I’m not the first person to write about spam. I wasn’t the first comedian to complain about junk food. I wrote stories about all the trash in my basement. I admitted last year in a column that I had already invested in junk bonds.

No one has written about more nonsense than me.

Which brings me back to my mailbox, a mailbox that only yesterday contained the seductive MoneyMailer. These big little packages are filled with enticing coupons — discounts that are the answer to every prayer you have, assuming at least one of your prayers is to find nine different companies that will shampoo six pieces of carpet for $34.95.

There are also coupons that I usually forget to use or can’t find when I order a pizza, or call the wrong pizza place, or by the time I try to use them they’ve expired, or I really don’t want cinnamon rolls with my pizza.

I noticed a coupon for a one night stay in a lavish suite that included a luxurious bath and pedicure for only $23. I asked, but when I found out it was a kennel I knew my wife wouldn’t like it. Oh wait, I got it: PETicure.

Cleaning seems to be an obsession for companies that advertise in these direct mailers. There are always services out there that clean your air ducts—something I’ve never done in 30 years of ownership, which might explain my cloudy complexion. Now that I mentioned it, sales people will be calling me tomorrow morning, and because I’m an easy mark, strange men will be crawling through my air vents tomorrow at noon.

Many dentists use coupons to market their services to potential new patients. Maybe the novocaine makes them numb.


Here’s my favorite of the pack, a “personal letter” from a colorectal doctor:


Because the YOU was in BOLD, CAPS, and italics, I became extremely uncomfortable, which I think is their goal. They made it look like everyone in central Indiana had already made an appointment, but I was just sitting on my… well, I was delaying the whole process – let’s just say it.

Taking care of our health should be a priority. This is a good time to think about required diagnostic procedures, even those advocated in promotional advertisements. If presidents can form exploratory committees, that’s probably a good idea for all of us.

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