Sideglances
by SARAH GREENE
Aug 22, 2013 | 784 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IF IT WEREN’T for junk mail, I might not have any mail at all. At least not every day, as I do now.

Looking at a few recent mailings I am amazed, as usual, at the numbers of organizations that have purchased my name from different sources.

Starting with a stack on my bedside table, I see a card saying “Yes! I want to renew my subscription to FREE INQUIRY!” i consider this publication quite pricey at $35 for six issues, and in the year I got it I didn’t learn enough to justify renewing.

The Nature Conservancy sent me a beautiful calendar “filled with stunning images from our 7th Annual Digital Photo Contest.” It hoped to guilt trip me into sending a contribution, since the calendar was “a small token of appreciation” for my support.

I may respond favorably, mainly because the mailing included a graph showing this “charity you can trust” devoted 10.4 percent of its income to “Fundraising and Membership;” 13.5 percent to “General and Membership,” and 76.1 percent to “Program.”

My research indicates that some organizations only spend 10 percent on Program.

TEMPTING indeed is a piece of mail with a postage-paid envelope addressed to a box number in Big Sandy. John Hopkins University publishes a newsletter, Health After 50, and includes a free issue.

“Chronic pain after a stroke” is the lead story, but many other issues are covered inside,

“A deli dilemma” warns that food prepared and sold in a delicatessen, if not handled properly, can be contaminated with a rare but potentially fatal bacteria. (The source of this warning is the Center for Disease Control.)

THOSE TWO I have mentioned don’t actually qualify as “junk mail,” but I have many others that do. Or so I thought until I started going through the stack of mail on my bedside table. It seems I may have thrown away all the true junk mail as it arrived.

I find a note from Sara Dumas, now living at Hemphill, who sent a clipping from the San Augustine Tribune. She correctly thought I would be entertained by reading Affix a Prefix by Harry Noble.

It reads in part:

Take a word, place a de out front;

It’s a game—a new meaning hunt.

An exercise in semantical play,

A hidden definition expose”.

Press all dresses that’s been depleted;

While discarding pants that are deceited.

Speaking of how one is dressed,

Pity the suit that’s been depressed.

Sara accompanied the clipping with a few words on a Sierra Club note card whose cover pictured a gray wolf with its young puppy.

The Sierra Club card says on its back:

When the Department of the Interior last removed Endangered Species Act protection for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, the result was massive wolf hunts that killed nearly 200 of these majestic animals—including the entire Cottonwood Pack of Yellowstone National Park.

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