The Mystery of the Catalog

It’s always nice to receive mail. There’s just something about getting that envelope and holding it in your hands. It could be anything from a card to an invitation to one of the many soirees I am frequently invited to. (Editor’s note: Nathan not only has never been to a soiree, but he is only 30% certain what the word even means.) The mystery of it, then the slow reveal of opening the envelope to reveal the hidden secrets of your mailbox.

Of course, like everyone else, I have email, text messaging and social media. This means that more likely than not, my mailbox is empty save for mail that a neighbor forgot to forward (Yes, I’m talking about you Gustavo) and one of the many credit card offers I get. Credit card companies seem to think that I need a lot of cards. If I took every credit card I was offered, I would be forced to bring an entire series of wallets with me, each filled to the brim with potential debt.

Fortunately there are still findings to be unearthed in my mailbox. No, they aren’t as pleasant as a nice letter from a pen pal (Remember those?), but they are just as mysterious. I’m talking about the rogue catalog that somehow finds its way to me.

In the stack of mail I received today, I encountered the usual. Two credit card offers, one credit card company offering me a loan, and a letter from the New York Times telling me that Creystina’s subscription was about to run out. I do not need credit cards or loans and I have no idea who Creystina is, so I quickly tossed those aside. Then, on the bottom, I saw it.

It was from a company named Seventh Avenue. Their motto: “Always Fun, Always Unique, Always Within Your Reach.” This is a confusing motto because right below that, they tell me that they are in Wisconsin. That means that due to my current location, they are actually never within my reach. I drove through Wisconsin once, so they might have been, for a split second, within my reach, but now they are decidedly not.

I was ready to toss this like the rest of them when I noticed the sticker on the front. The red print screamed with urgency. “LAST CHANCE,” It read in gigantic bold letters. I was instantly drawn in. Last chance for what? Am I about to miss out on something great? What if they were offering free cruises or one million dollars to the person with that particular panicky red sticker? I read closer.

“We don’t want to bother you with unwanted catalogs. This could be you FINAL CATALOG. Please order TODAY to receive future editions!”

This was confusing. Up until 30 seconds ago, I didn’t know this was a company, let alone that they had catalogs. I didn’t recall having any other chances, so it seemed pretty hasty of them to jump all the way to my final chance. Now, just like that, they are trying to rip my newfound catalog away from me. How can this be my FINAL catalog? I am losing my chance to buy leopard print armchairs and Clucky, Plucky Chickens plate sets. I will be forced to sit on regular chairs and my plates will be much less plucky and clucky.

Just as my confusion reached its peak, I got the great news. The company was nice enough to approve me for $400.00 credit, just enough to buy four zebra tables. That means that I can see a zebra nuzzling her foal in every room of my apartment!

Maybe the U.S. Postal system isn’t obsolete, I thought. I mean, here I was holding in my hands a chance to turn my home into a jungle oasis or a Victorian suite. I could drape literally every square inch of my home in velvet. Without the Postal Service, I wouldn’t have this opportunity at my fingertips. The USPS can do anything they set their mind to.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is I don’t understand why I have this catalog instead of my package that was supposed to be delivered a week ago! I mean, I don’t ask for much! Just one lousy package! I DON’T NEED A CATALOG THAT OFFERS ME A PARROT WINE BOTTLE HOLDER! I WANT MY PACKAGE! FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON THE MORE IMPORTANT MAIL AND STOP SENDING ME CRAP!!! YOU HAVE TO BE THE MOST WORTHLESS…

(Editor’s note: At this point in the post, Nathan went on for 560 words insulting the USPS. Then at one point he went on a very short rant about the downfall of western civilization and how American can’t expect to excel in the world if they can’t deliver one single, solitary stupid parcel in less time than it would take for him to handcraft the item that was ordered himself. Then he blamed it all on “that general guy,” whom I believe to be the Postmaster General, but at that point I had really stopped paying attention. We’ll jump back in at his conclusion.)

And that is why we’re all doomed. There is nothing that could possibly make me regain faith in mankind at this point. I don’t feel that I am overstating it when I say that we might as well just go ahead and go extinct because the demise of mankind is clearly on the horizon.

With that said, I could really use a Retro Phone Coin Bank. Maybe this catalog will come in handy after all…

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