Monthly Archives: May 2011

Dear Car CD Player

Dear Car CD Player,

You are old and currently located in a 1998 Plymouth Neon named Mayflower. I can understand why you would be cranky with your position in life. I also understand that, being old, you cannot read or play CD mixes that have been burned from a computer. You probably just have problems with newer technology, so I will cut you some slack on that topic.

What I don’t understand is why you are so picky about the original CDs you choose to play. Is the soundtrack from the motion picture Once just not good enough for you? Is there a reason you will play Bringing Down the Horse by the Wallflowers only when it’s warm outside? Why, oh why, will you play the soundtracks from both the musicals Cinderella and The Sound of Music, but you’ll only periodically allow The Village musical score to play?

I don’t understand your reasoning, Car CD Player. I wish you would at least be picky in a logical way. Perhaps you could reject all CDs with blue album covers or any music that contains a cow bell. Then I can at least buy CDs with confidence, knowing that you will play them. Right now, it’s just a giant game to which only you know the rules.

Please enlighten me to your reasoning for rejecting my music. I’m not offended that you hate it; I just want to know what you hate so I can make decisions in the future.



Dear Coupon Holders

Dear Coupon Holders,

You have in your hands a piece of paper with quite a bit on information on it. Each coupon in the coupon book issued by my company has the name of the product for which it is intended, a photograph of said product and the amount of money you will save if you use the coupon.

It also has one more piece of vital information: the date range for which the coupon is active. This date range is printed on the front of every coupon book, as well as on each individual coupon. It is highlighted in a color different than the background to emphasize its presence. Really, there is no missing it.

I know the books were sent to your home a week or two before the coupons begin. Believe it or not, this is not a ploy to trick you into coming into the store early to purchase items at full price. Some people like to plan their shopping lists. Some people like knowing what’s on sale before the sale begins so they don’t buy those items in the wrong time frame. Some people want to receive coupons earlier rather than later.

So, please, do not get frustrated with me if you have shopped using coupons that are not active yet. You meticulously combed through the issued coupons to find each and every item you could possibly want; you probably saw that date range twenty times during the process.

Also, please do not ask me to risk my reputation and my job for your benefit. Even if I had the power to magically make the coupons work on dates earlier than the ones listed, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t own this company, I don’t make the rules and it’s not my place to choose which rules are worth following. I cannot imagine how much trouble I would be in if I gave into your requests. Your asking me to “help [you] out” in this instance is basically asking me to risk being fired so you can get two dollars off a bag of chips.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to helping you in the future. As long as you’re not asking me to do something that goes against my conscience.


Dear People Who Leave Frozen Items on Non-Freezer Shelves in the Grocery Store

Dear People Who Leave Frozen Items on Non-Freezer Shelves in the Grocery Store,

Your actions cause my view of humanity to change in a negative way.

Stop it.


Dear People Who Aren’t Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

Dear People Who Aren’t Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs,

It has come to my attention that some of you like to be buried with some personal effects. While this is a personal choice, it is a personal choice that defies logic. I’d like to take a moment to tell you why.

1. Most likely, the action of burying items with your body is in direct opposition with your religious beliefs.

It’s a little silly, really. Most religions have a belief in the afterlife and most describe it as something better than on earth. As a Christian, I know that nothing on earth can compare to the glory that it will be to be united with Christ. My appreciation for worldly things is lessened much when thinking about it. As such, it would be silly for me to pack up everything I love here – things that will rot in a casket – in preparation for spending the afterlife with Christ who is far more beautiful and worthwhile than any things I could try to bring with me.

I have never heard of a modern religion that teaches that it is necessary to be buried with one’s things. I may be wrong, but it seems that people who currently ask to be buried with their things are defying their own religious beliefs by action.

2. Those things will just rot away.

Really. You can’t take them into the afterlife with you. I promise. Your toy yo-yo from elementary school, your prized water beetle collection and your pet salamander all have this in common: upon being buried with you, they will slowly start to decompose. It’s just the way of life. And death. Even the yo-yo, which is made of primarily inorganic ingredients, will eventually end up as a useless pile of lead-free plastic and string that would make any child cry.

Also, the entire idea of taking physical things into a spiritual realm is ridiculous. If your body stays in the crypt, there’s no reason to believe your stuff won’t do the same.

3. Your friends and family – the living ones – could probably make use of the items.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about people, it’s that people like stuff. As much as I’d like to blame this on being an American or even just a Westerner, I’ve been to a couple of third-world countries and the fact remains: people like stuff. While I don’t think you should actively contribute to society’s constant lust for more material goods, if you can no longer use your personal items, you might consider that someone else can.

Perhaps you have a nephew that has always wanted a water beetle collection. Giving yours to him might inspire him to become a water beetle researcher. Gifting your salamander to your brother could mean that he now has something living and breathing to remember you by. It also means that the salamander won’t be buried alive, which is an end I think we’d all like to avoid.

So, though you may really want to take your things to the grave with you, your friends and family might find some of those things useful here and now.

I hope you consider my points. Burying yourself with material items is clearly not the way to go. In avoiding this practice, you’ll be acting on your personal beliefs, avoiding looking silly and helping out loved ones all at one time. Please keep this in mind.