Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Gourmet Junk Mail....
this time of the year, my mailbox begins to sprout gourmet food gift
catalogs. It seems that everyone with your address and a mail order
business wants to sell you their goods. I don't know how they all get
my name as I have never ordered anything from most of them. I suppose
these businesses exchange lists of potential mail-order customers.
The gift catalogs start arriving at the beginning of October. At first
it is only a trickle. Before Christmas it becomes an avalanche of
sausage and cheese, gourmet popcorn, decorated cookies, gourmet
popcorn, spiral hams, gourmet popcorn, fruit baskets, gourmet popcorn,
chocolate candy and gourmet popcorn.
I blame my sister for the popcorn. One year she sent me a can of fancy
popcorn from The Popcorn Factory. I'm sure it was supposed to be a
one-time transaction, not a life-long friendship. They flood you with
catalogs not only at Christmas, but all year long. I got even with my
sister for giving them my address, though. The next year I sent
popcorn to her.
I think these places must have a pretty good idea of what happens to
the catalogs shortly after they hit the door. Otherwise, why would
they send another one a week later? Maybe they think you will
eventually break down and order. Or maybe they think your trash can is
full of catalogs sent by the people they gave your address to and
there isn't room for another.
And what do you do with all the fancy tin cans that this stuff comes
in anyhow? They are too pretty to throw away, but you really can't use
a decorative tin Christmas can for much … except popcorn. So, I
put them in the attic.
When I finally decided to clear the attic out one year, there were
dozens of empty cans, too pretty to throw away. I gave them to
charity. I don't know what the charities do with them. Probably sell
them back to gourmet gift catalog stores.
This year I got a catalog from a new place called Cheryl's. Cheryl
makes decorated cookies. She really thinks highly of her product. You
can get a free sample of 6 cookies for $6.99 shipping. That comes out
to over dollar a cookie in my book. I had the ridiculous idea that the
cost of free stuff was nothing.
We all know that the postal employees play soccer with packages at
Christmas, especially when they are marked fragile. With my luck, my
friend would end up with a box of gourmet cookie crumbs. I guess they
overcharge for stuff to pay for the cost of printing up the glossy
I just bought a tray of decorated cookies at Walmart for $6 and got a
couple dozen. Walmart doesn't pack them in fancy cans and mail them
for you, though. Or maybe they do. They just didn't have my address to
send me a catalog.
One year I thought I would save all the catalogs that came and see how
many I got in one season. I had to end up throwing them away. By the
middle of December, the coffee table collapsed.
After that, I began to have reoccurring nightmares that the gourmet
gift catalogs stacked up so high they fell over and buried me. It was
awful. What was even more awful was when I checked the mailbox and
found my dream coming true.
My sister says she loves to order thing. by mail. By the time the
package finally arrives, she has forgotten what she ordered, and it is
almost like getting a gift in the mail.
I just thought of a use for the leftover cans. I can use them to hold
all the catalogs.
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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