Home Country: Mail order madness

Published 8:02 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

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By Slim Randles


You have to know Bert really well before he’ll share his secret with you, but if he does, it’s as though he’s revealed the reason for life and sunshine and the main reason our dogs think we’re smart.

Oh, Bert gets down in the dumps just like the rest of us, but he has discovered a way to jerk himself out of the bar ditch by his own belt loops, and he finally broke down and explained how he could remain so cheerful during a year and a half of basic house arrest during the pandemic.

He looked up from his coffee and whispered, “mail order madness.”


“What you do is buy stupid stuff. Cheap stuff. Maybe even stuff you’ll never use, but maybe it’s a pleasant color, or lead you to daydreams where you become dang near adequate.”

“For example?” asked Doc.

“Okay,” Bert said, “ask yourself this … what’s the very best part of ordering something through the mail?”

Our mouths still hung open.

“Anticipation,” Bert said. “I love it. You can do it with a computer, or just send off for a catalog. The simplest way to get anticipation kinda mail is to get those catalogues. List your address and name, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to add the title ‘Purchasing Coordinator’ below your name.

“Then you add a note telling the catalog folks not to give your name out to anyone else or little old ladies will pull out their whiskers, one at a time. It doesn’t hurt to add that the chairman of the board mustn’t find out what has been ordered. Then be sure the item you order is really cheap and makes no earthly sense at all. Hey, why waste money? Think porcelain frog soap dish here.

“This will immediately start a flood of catalogs coming your way. You have now broken once and for all the evil shadow of boredom.  Besides, you know you’ve secretly wanted a porcelain frog soap dish anyway.”

Pick up “Home Country: Drama, dreams and laughter from the American heartland” www.lpdpress.com.