A rather impressive spray of paperstuff--fliers, catalogs, real estate posters and coupon books, for starters--was erupting from my mailbox this morning. I expect this when there are back-to-back Post Office outages like New Year's Day followed by the National Day of Mourning for President Ford. I gathered the bonanza of (mostly) bulk mail in my arms, went back indoors, and was about to dump everything on my desk.
One envelope stood out, though. My fingers discovered it before my eyes did: the paper was creamy-smooth and heavy--not quite card stock, but definitely thicker than the paper with which crackly bill envelopes and flimsy dry-cleaning ads are made.
I extracted the ivory envelope and turned it right-side-up. A late Christmas card, perhaps? An early Valentine? Oh my. It's an invitation. And it's from Donald Trump.
This is going to be good, I thought. He's even hand-addressed it to me in what looks like royal blue fountain-pen ink--how correct!
I pondered the envelope for a moment: Wow. The Donald wants me to attend something, I thought. Perhaps he even wants the pleasure of my company, or, if it's something really formal and he's keeping with the correctness motif, the honour of my presence.
I slipped my index finger under the flap (with nice heavy paper, you see, one doesn't have to worry so much about slicing one's finger open) and took out the card. Two tickets drifted to the ground like leaves, but I let them stay there momentarily while I read the Special Invitation. Surely you must be as excited as I was? Good--then I will share its message forthwith, word-for-word, bolds and scare quotes--all his--intact:
Please be my personal guest to hear my real Trump story on wealth creation from my son, Donald Trump Jr., and be trained by "4" self-made multi-millionaire experts in America. They will share with you unique wealth creating secrets and strategies. As my special VIP guest, I have enclosed two (2) personal guest tickets and you will receive a special gift; a complimentary edition of "Trump--Think Like A Billionaire" at the conference. The suggested tuition fee of $149 is waived for you.
At this once in a lifetime financial conference you will learn how to:
1. Find income producing properties.
2. Slash captial gains tax to "0" when you sell real estate, stocks, or your business.
3. Lower your current tax bill up to 31%.
4. Learn how to cash in on the new billion dollar booming foreclosure opportunity.
5. Protect 100% of your personal assets from all lawsuits, liens, levies, bankruptcy, or even a divorce.
6. Get government approved investments guaranteeing 9.6% to 32% return.
"Think Big. Live Large!"
Turn this Special Invitation over to see the location, date, and time of the event. Call now to accept this invitation at (800) ___ ____. Seating is limited. Be there. Just one new idea can make you rich.
Real Estate Billionaire
Now, I would still be awash in the Special Feeling that a Special Invitation like this is supposed to create were it not for my cat Marley, who, having missed his human underling during the ins-and-outs of the holidays, has become quite insistent on leaping onto my desk and batting my nose. Yes, Marley, that fur-covered klutz, miscalculated his leap rather spectacularly, as is his wont, and skated across the stacks of paperwork and mail, sending them all tumbling to the floor.
What's this? I thought, spying two more ivory envelopes. My name was penned on both in the same royal-blue ink; hell, it wasn't penned, it was printed, using a font cleverly designed to resemble the bubble-shaped hand you'd expect of an (undoubtedly) twentysomething assistant who worked for The Donald. The Special Invitations differed only in the location of the convention site printed on the back. One was for a seminar held at the Tampa Convention Center, a 600,000 square foot facility capable of holding numerous groups of 7,500 people each (seating is limited?); the other two were for seminars in Clearwater and Sarasota, also in large facilities.
Three-dimensional spam from the world's biggest ham! How utterly incorrect. This isn't Lucky Lager. Now I was irritated.
Still, I thought, I'd better R.S.V.P. I mean, my mother reared me properly. So:
Dear Mr. Trump,
Thank you for the kind and very Special Invitation to your February seminar in Tampa. As well as the ones in Clearwater and Sarasota.
I regret that I am unable to attend; suffice it to say, there are too many unsorted socks in the world and just not enough hours in a day. That said, I am touched that you were thinking about me, particularly as I am a woman d'un certain âge as well as un certain I.Q.--and therefore hardly typical of your customary
preytarget market--so I feel compelled to return the favor, if not with an invitation in kind, at least with a few suggestions for upgrading your marketing efforts.
Where to begin? Personal Guest. Rubbish. We have never met. And I don't imagine you've been busy researching me on the sly, planning for the moment our eyes finally meet and you make me your Personal Guest at something. You don't even attend these things, right?
"4" self-made multi-millionaire experts in America. Learn how to use quote marks (hint: you don't need them around the number four, and, by the way, the number four should be spelled out). In America? Didn't you say
you your son"4" experts were coming to Tampa (and Clearwater, and Sarasota)?
Billionaire. Now there's a nice, spewy word that really gets your toes tapping, huh? Methinks you need to lose it. Seriously--you're rich; we get it.
Protect 100% of your personal assets from all lawsuits, liens, levies, bankruptcy, or even a divorce. No-one would question your prowess in that oily arena, sir, but did you think for a moment that by committing your Personal (sorry) Credo to mass-mailed "writing" (now, those are some correctly-applied quote marks!) you might be showing the world--the reading world, at least--that you are a colossal, gaping asshole?
Oh, right. Never mind.
In closing, I wish you, as well as your son and the "4" self-made multi-millionaire experts in America, a very Happy New Year. I would wish you a prosperous one, too, but given the number of suckers born every minute, that, as we say in England, would be stating the bleeding obvious.