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Who Wants To Be A Double Millionaire?

January 28th, 2008

million-dollar-junk-mail.jpgThis humorous piece by Dave Hughes is a good example of how the psychology of junk mail marketing can keep us hanging on to the idea of striking it rich through the mail even though deep down we know that it’s extremely unlikely. Although the author does not actually specify, I could imagine that the two million dollar piece of mail in question was for one of those Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes that we can never seem to win.


As I sit in front of my computer, sitting perched atop the classy cheap particleboard computer desk that simply screams “Spent all your money on the computer, didn’t you?”, I find myself staring down at two million dollars. I’ve come to realize that two million dollars is enough money to change your life forever, to allow you to reclaim past dreams, reorganize your priorities, and possibly get that snazzy Formica computer desk you’ve had your eye on. However, I don’t want you pitiful poor saps to think that this money will change me.

I’ll still be the same, lovable Dave. So much richer than you that you won’t be worth my spit if you spontaneously combust, but basically the same guy.

Let me tell you the story of how I came by this sum of cash. I’ll type slowly, since I know how you poor people read by moving your lips.

I was sitting in the computer chair that I got for Christmas, amazed by the fact that the screen looks so much bigger when your butt is more than two inches from the floor, when the impulse came over me that would lead to enough riches to ensure that I can get a decent interest rate on the loan I’ll have to take out when my kids go to college.

I decided to check the mail.

Unfortunately, my wife had beaten me to it. I walked into the kitchen, where she sat with a look of stunned disbelief on her face. Scanning the mail scattered on the table in front of her, I quickly noticed what had her so shocked.

“Is that money figure right?” I asked.
“Yes. Can you believe it?”
“That can’t be right; this must be some kind of mistake,” I said.
“I know. Kirkland’s never has a half-off sale!”

It’s amazing how quickly a silent count to ten can go by. When I got there, I said “Not the sales flier; the overnight envelope with the money in it.”

This led to a quick scramble around the table until she found the envelope I had seen. “Oh, that’s nothing.”

Nothing. Even though it was addressed to her (more or less; my wife’s name is Chris, so it’s addressed to MISTER Chris, but hey, why be whiny when someone’s giving you money, right?), she said I could have it. The fool. Now the money will be all mine.

Sure, to a person of average intelligence, the little tricks they pull to make you think it’s not real may work. Sure, the fact that the envelope says, “To be delivered by USPS personnel only” to make it LOOK like they’re trying to make it look unofficial, but I’m on to them. Yes, the ordinary mail-opener might be convinced that the contents of this envelope aren’t worth squat by the fact that the flap labeled “Contents Secured under strict supervision of Reader’s Digest Postal Compliance Managers” isn’t glued down. Of course, most people wouldn’t notice the small announcement on the other side of the envelope, the one that says, “Notify postal authorities immediately if contents are not intact”, and most of those that did wouldn’t be able to figure out its significance.

Think about it. The only way you would know if the contents were not intact, unless you were there when they stuffed the envelope, would be if it contains what it says it does. Like two million dollars.

Duh. Am I typing too fast?

However, my mother always taught me to not be greedy, so I’m going to handle this with the utmost of class.

I’m gonna wait a while before I open the envelope. Just knowing that I’ve got two million dollars right here in front of me gives me a feeling of security. Of course, even though the envelope is lying on my computer desk, there is a small (and I mean SMALL) chance that there could be complications. I just noticed that, in the box where it says “value of enclosed documents: $2,000,000″, the word “potential” is there as well.

However, it would be an awful lot of trouble to go to just for the purpose of fooling someone into thinking that it’s an important document so that you would be sure to open it. Come on. How far-fetched is THAT?

The problem with you poor people is that you’ve got no faith. I’ll open this envelope soon enough, and chuckle over your lack of faith regarding the contents.

Later. I’ll open it later.



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