Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Chain Chain Chain... Chain of FOOLS.

Oh, I hate chain letters.

I hate them in all forms. I hate the email ones, like "forward this to 10 people and Bill Gates will send you $100" ones, and others of their ilk. My sister's MIL forwards me about 10 emails a week with pictures of kittens and babies with angel wings and other gag-worthy sappiness. Yeah, like God's just sitting back waiting to see if enough people forward this email before He decides to heal Aunt Fanny's Polyps.


I especially hate the snail mail ones that some dumbass sends to my kids, wanting them to mail a page of stickers to the person at the top of the list and add their name to the bottom of the list and make six copies of the letter to mail to six friends so they can all be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Look, I'm a grown up. I can handle disappointment. I expect to be disappointed by other people. I assume that everyone else hates chain letters as much as I do.

But they make it sound foolproof and fun, so that my poor kid gets sucked in and "doesn't want to break the chain", so she'll do it and wonder why she doesn't get anything in return, after she did everything she was asked to do.

Well guess what? I'm breaking the chain, geniuses. I hope that by doing so, somebody else will learn the lesson not to participate in stupid chain letters, and hopefully someday chain letters will disappear from the planet entirely.

Today, I received an envelope addressed to me from, of all people, Aunt Drama. Remember what fun we had at her house last weekend, when she told me all that stuff about how great I was for R? I rode home on cloud nine after that.

Inside the envelope was a scratch-off lottery ticket, and this note:


Here's how to play:

Send an instant scratch off ticket to the person on Line #1 on the bottom of this letter. Move the person on Line #2 to Line 31. Add your name to the list on line #2. Only my name and your name should be on the letter.

Send a copy of the letter to 6 different people.

This is not a chain letter; it is just for fun. If you cannot do this in 6 days, then please sent the ticket (not scratched off) back to me. It would not be fair to the others who are playing if you kept it.

Let's spend a few dollars and see if we can make someone happy and rich at the same time. You should receive 36 tickets in the next two weeks. It will be fun to see all the different tickets you get!

Remember, you only have six days, so get busy!

Ok, first of all, how does this NOT meet Chain Letter criteria? Whatever.

Thanks, Aunt Drama, for thinking highly enough of me to invite me to take part in this charming little diversion. I can't wait to tell FIL she sent me this, just to further fuel the animosity between them. MU-HU-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!

Maybe I'll tell her I won $100,000, just to yank her Chain.

As for the next link in the chain of fools, this time of year always signals my annual rant about the basic courtesy of the RSVP. Beeb's birthday party is coming up. R's side of the family, particularly the Aldis, are NOTORIOUS for never ever RSVPing. It drives me CrAzY.

I understand that some people think they're supposed to call only if they're NOT coming. Others think they're supposed to call only if they ARE coming, so if they don't call, I shouldn't expect them to show up. So, because the possibility exists that the hostess might not share the same view on RSVP etiquette, the best thing to do is to call the hostess and just let them know either way. We invited eight girls, and so far we've only had one little girl RSVP that she's coming.

The Aldigirl's yearly presence at Beeb's birthday party (and the yearly suckiness of her gift) is pretty much a given. I once wrote a post that sheds light on the Aldis' gift-giving history back when I wrote about The Fine Art of Fookery, but it was before Behold My Brilliance had quite the following it does now. So in case you missed it, I'll go ahead and repost the story for you newbies.

This is an actual email I sent to my friend Renee back in 2002:

Well, I'm sure you remember Mr. and Mrs. Aldi who are notorious for giving us re-gifted, crappy, age-inappropriate and incorrectly sized gifts (remember my Winnie-The-Pooh sweatshirt from the Juniors department and the Bubble Train for ages 18 months+ for Beeb's 4th birthday?) that were purchased on clearance and put away for a gift-giving occasion that could be months away, rendering the shitty gift virtually unreturnable and worth about 33 cents in store credit if you can even determine which store it was purchased from? And forget a gift receipt since you'd only get what they paid for it back, which probably isn't much more anyway. We end up giving the gifts they give Beeb to Toys for Tots, which means I have to figure out a place to store it for 6 months.

And I'm sure you remember how we attempted to rise above this gift-giving inequity and continued to buy cool gifts for their daughter Aldigirl, such as a wooden dollhouse and a Rainbow Princess Barbie, which were met with Mrs. Aldi muttering "oh greeeeeeeeeeeeaaat, more little pieces for me to pick up..."

Well, we got wise to their scheme and decided to play it to our advantage. Now, we look for toys with lots of parts that are completely annoying on clearance and put them away to give to Aldigirl. It's like a sport, and R and I are great at it. In fact, it's brought us closer together as a couple. At one point we found the Baskin Robbins mini ice cream maker on clearance for $3.49 at Target, but then we found it at WalMart for 20 bucks, so we returned it to WalMart (hee hee) and made money on the deal.

Then we found Cootie Jitterbug - a battery-operated, noisy and annoying version of the original, and put it away for nearly a year until Aldigirl's birthday. Thank GOD they didn't have a party for her again this year. Every year they try to cram like 12 grownups and 7 kids in their house. No, Reverend Aldi had a conference in LA, so they actually purchased a plane ticket and took Aldigirl to Disneyland for her 4th birthday. Whatever.

Anyway, we presented Aldigirl with her gift at Easter (in a non-reusable slightly torn gift bag, as I had covered every detail) and to my delight, she shrieked "I ALREADY HAVE THIS GAME!!!" Gleefully I imagined the scenario that we had endured so many times before - standing in line at the return counter "um, yeah, I got this as a gift and I need to return it..." "yeah, RIGHT! we haven't had those on the shelves for 6 months! You can have a dollar in store credit, if ya want it..." "no, thanks..."

Well, apparently Mrs. Aldi knew exactly what it was worth since she probably bought it at the same time we did, and her reaction was "oh...you love that game...now you can have one upstairs and one downstairs..." And the best part was that I was in the bathroom at the time, where I could hear everything and yet freely snicker without fear of an embarrassing social faux pas. I was so tickled by my triumphant victory, I don't even care if she's onto us, which I suspect she is.

Last year Aldigirl gave Beeb what appeared to be a surprisingly cool gift - a "Juice Box" MP3 player. It was cool, but we soon discovered that it was discontinued and finding new cartridges for it was going to be a major pain in the ass. Another clearance rack fiasco. Thanks, Aldis. At least they're consistent enough to be predictable.

The Aldis also conveniently decline any invitation that would interrupt Aldiboy's naptime.

I'm hoping it's at 3:00-ish. Fingers crossed.


Dan said...

The other thing I HATE to receive would be those farrrrrrrrr fetched stories that are always easily proven false at Urban Legends. I finally started hitting reply all and pasting the link so every one that was sent the email could see what an idiot the sender actually is. I once did it in my company email and it went to over 60 emails (some were on the management level)and 3 countries. Needless to say it has been 4 months and never have heard from this person again.

Penny Karma said...

Maybe I'll "accidentally" email my sister's inlaws some hardcore porn.

That oughta shut 'em up.

Elspeth said...

That is hilarious -- I got a wedding gift from a friend that was worth $8 -- new (not on sale) from Mikasa. I think the salesperson actually felt sorry for me when I tried to exchange it. Now she has kids so maybe I should try your system!

JRS said...

I have a gift idea for an Aldi--take one of the fugs out of circulation and gift one of them with it.

'Course, they sound so tacky, they might actually like the fug. That would defeat the purpose.

Penny Karma said...

I had this great plan to give Aldigirl and Mrs. Aldi matching Fugly scarf/hat ensembles for Christmas last year, because they both lack the vital crainial region that identifies and steers us away from Tackiness.

I was all set to do something deliciously snarky, and then I wound up giving the furry Pepto-pink scarf I made to a 12-year-old girl from a needy Freecycle family instead. She loved it, and I felt pretty good because I did something nice.

Last Xmas we gave Aldigirl a fugly brown furry scarf that I made out of that Free skein of Bernat Disco I sent away for (in the true spirit of Aldiness) AND a Learn To Knit kit.

She's worn the scarf proudly several times, but to my knowledge she hasn't knit anything herself.

I'd be willing to bet that they've re-gifted the Knit Kit.