Robert H. Treller
c/o Publishers Clearing House
P.O. Box 1140, Adelaide Street P.O.
Dear Mr. Treller,
I am just recovering from your joyous announcement that I may be eligible to win a staggering million dollars. Wow.
I looked through all the Publishers Clearing House propaganda enclosed and decided I would start my literary adventure with the little letter you wrote to me. At the top of the letter in giant capital letters was a single word, "IMPORTANT." Mr. Treller, I'd be lying if I didn't say you disappointed me just a little.
I must admit, I loved reading "Dear Lincoln Trudeau" -- I could barely tell that my name was printed in a different typeface. Your people did a near-flawless job of trying to disguise your form letter.
So you say I'm qualified for the final round where thousands did not. Believe me, if there's one thing the homeless are thankful for, it is lack of junk mail. Incidentally, how on earth did I manage to escalate to this coveted "final" round without entering any of your contests, without answering any skill-testing questions...what makes me so damned special? See, this is where your little story starts to fall apart. Mr. Treller, please understand you would make a poor witness in the court of law.
Also, you mention that if I win, I will be issued my money from some enigmatic "Prize Patrol." Mr. Treller, this frightens me. I do not want any group of people trespassing on my land who operate under the name "Prize Patrol." If any such people come within spitting distance of my house, I'll be on my phone and the only buttons I'll be pushing will be "9" and "1".
You say I must send this back "immediately" and that the deadline is "coming up fast" yet you then say the deadline is July 31st. Relax a little, Mr. Treller. Have some dip or something. Tell you what -- hire yourself a person to massage you daily -- just take it out of my cheque for a million dollars. What's the big panic all about? I suppose you expect me to believe the world will end "soon" also? Oh, Mr. Treller, PLEASE -- is the sky falling as well? You remember what they said of the Boy Who Cried Wolf, now don't you?
And you have given me your "Best Wishes." BEST wishes. You must understand that the word "best" implies a distinction of some sort -- are you trying to tell me that every other "finalist" was told they would have to make do with merely "good" wishes while some guy Lincoln Trudeau would receive the esteemed "best" wishes? Way to arouse jealousy, Mr. Treller. If anyone visits my house and torches it, I'll find my million dollars through my lawyers.
Or maybe your plan is more fiendish still...MAYBE...oh, please dear God NO -- you didn't tell every finalist they got your "best" wishes? Oh, you monster, how could you? Cheapening the street value of your "best" wishes with every winner...how could you prostitute your feelings of goodness like this?
After my brief reading of your rather disturbing letter, Mr. Treller, I started leafing through the little magazine offers you sent me. First I see one asking if I'd like a book, "Fat Burning Foods." Just what the hell are you trying to say, Mr. Treller? Since when is it customary to insult the obesity of a customer and then trying to sell magazines? And no, I do not want the "Rice-A-Roni & Noodle-Roni" cookbook. Who have you spoken to that told you I could cook? And what the hell is "Noodle-Roni" anyways?
The next little glossy piece of paper says I could be in the driver's seat of a 1995 Jaguar this summer. Cool. It says I should indicate my choice of colour. Brother, if you're sending me a Jaguar it can be puke-orange for all I care. I'll just deduct the cost of the paint from my million-dollar cheque and do the job myself.
Then, as I started looking further in your envelope, I found a BUG! What are you trying to do to me, give me a heart attack? Sure, you know about my cooking habits and my weight, but nobody told you about my delicate blood pressure? We do have murder laws in this country, Mr. Treller.
Oh, wait, here's the next magazine offer. In traditional marketing style, you're trying to toss me a sex-related publication in hopes that I am one of those hormone-driven males with no brain to guide me. The effort is appreciated.
So you decide to show me the cover of "Playboy", the issue with Pamela Anderson on the cover, and a token interview (with Christian Slater) to give the illusion of intellectual content. Great -- supposing I wanted that particular issue, though? It's already come out now, hasn't it? HASN'T IT, MISTER TRELLER? If I were to pay you 4 payments of $8.63, I would quite frankly be royally pissed to find that my Pamela Anderson issue was not included in my subscription.
Oh, and the Playboy subscription comes with a "free" collector's copy of "Playmate Fantasies", which is "sure to set hearts afire all across Canada" (wrong organ, Treller). Yeeha. In all your research on my life, did it ever come up in your reports that I still live with my parents? They certainly would not approve of me ordering this magazine.
Playboy is advertised as "48 pages of sensuous photos of some of the world's most beautiful women". First of all, there is a disproportionate amount of American women in Playboy, so this is misleading already. Also, does 48 pages include all the advertisements as well? This is important to me, Mr. Treller! Your lack of complete information worries me.
Also, on the little sheet of paper offering Playboy (and others which I did not mention as they are not as entertaining to criticize), I'm told these offers are "JUST FOR YOU!" So you expect me to believe you and your minions of marketing mayhem made only one copy of this glossy full-colour sheet of paper and decided out of the goodness of your hearts to give it to me? Something sure smells funny around here.
And then I took a look at all the stamps (oh how I love licking stamps, mmm that fresh glue taste). Over one hundred stamps you've given me, in fact...yet on the return envelope, you ask me to pay my own postage. You're just waist-deep in hypocrisy today, aren't you, Mr. Treller? Look, take the cost of the stamp out of my cheque; we'll call it even.
Now finally I get to the juicy part -- the three "Winners Document" forms. The first form asks if I'd like my money in certified cheques or deposited electronically in my bank. Man, you can give me the money in pesos or rubles for all I give a damn. Just make sure it doesn't get lost in the mail and you'll get no further complaints from me.
The second one reminds me that the infamous Prize Patrol will come calling with flowers and balloons. Oh, really? And just how much money in flowers and balloons? Maybe...A MILLION DOLLARS? So that's your little secret -- very clever, Mr. Treller. Scamming winners by giving them psychotic amounts of novelty items. Look, I'll buy my own patrol (and I won't call them the Prize Patrol either), I'll get my own balloons (and I'll pop every last one and then send you the deflated wads of rubber) and my own flowers (maybe I'll even send you a dozen roses, just to show you that some people in this world still care).
Then the third form says to sign to say I will accept the money. How many people do you expect to refuse a million dollars? How pompous and stupid can someone possibly get? Tell you what -- if I ever win the million dollars, just send me the cheque -- I'll figure it out. Stop notifying me in advance; I find it rather annoying (just in case you skipped the first three pages).
Then just as I finish my funeral pyre for the rest of the letter you sent me (ahh the sweet smell of capitalism in flames -- burn, baby, BURN!), I notice one last form. Why -- it's from YOU! It's headed, "Dear Entrant".
Entrant? Is that all I am to you now? First I'm this noble Lincoln Trudeau, deserving of your best wishes and the research of your Prize Patrol and now I'm some lowly entrant? So the Titanic Treller has more than just one face, it seems.
The rest of the card says unless I order now or write back for more bulletins, this may be the last Sweepstakes invitation you can send me.
Cry me a river, Mr. Treller. Cry me Lake Simcoe if it drains the sadness from your heart. How panicked do you expect me to become upon reading this? In fact, never write to me again. If this is what I have to go through for ten million dollars, I'll die homeless in a gutter in a puddle of my own bodily fluids.
And don't be writing to any other members of my family either. See the address listed -- "633 Stonebridge Lane"? Mark that in your little black book, Mr. Treller -- we have no patience for your crap. Next time you have a chat with any of your other junk-mail buddies, why don't you tell the rest of them not to send us any of their brand of rubbish either? Variety is generally welcomed, but not when it comes to junk mail.
Let me make this crystal clear, Mr. Treller: I have no use for you. Neither does any member of my immediate or distant family. Besides everything I've said so far, the environmental side of me screams bloody murder every time I watch hopelessly as big business further obliterates what little we have left with such blatant foolishness. If your company went bankrupt tomorrow, do you think I would care? Do you think anyone would? Does anyone even like you, Mr. Treller?
Thank you for your time and consideration.
P.S. No, no, NO, I DO NOT want a subscription to the "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" magazine. You know, I wasn't going to write you a bloody thing until I saw that -- that was what pushed me over the edge. For future reference.