Thursday, March 30, 2006

American Express

It recently occurred to me that Jenny may be missing out on an important detail concerning credit card solicitations.

Whenever we receive mail, our 5 year-old, Samantha, is bitterly disappointed if she doesn't receive anything to open. As a result, Samantha now receives several credit card solicitations a day. (If you don't receive that many offers on a daily basis, I'd be interested to know. If you don't, a proliferation of such offers may well indicate that the banking establishment has little [read: no] faith in my financial solvency.)

For the most part, Samantha is appeased by this offering of spam. However, what's especially appeasing is that all of these credit card offers have fake little credit cards inside. Samantha is currently the proud owner of 200-300 such cards. (Sometimes she'll fan them all out on the floor and look at them admiringly for twenty minutes - is this a bad sign?)

At any rate, the upshot of all this is that printed on each of these 300 fake cards is the same fake name: J L Webb.

Do your fake cards say the same thing?

And, Jenny, if they do, have you just always assumed that this was a minor miracle of mass marketing personalization?

Or have you harbored a suspicion all along that your name was being abused, without your permission, by the banking establishment?

Whatever the case may be, Samantha is delighted to receive more credit cards in the mail every afternoon from her dear Aunt Jenny.


Nick said...

You laugh, but it seems that whenever someone who gets one of those cards actually goes and uses it, it comes out of our bank account. Thats the only explanation for our recent bank statements and obscene phone calls from washington mutual.

Jenny said...

It is such a comfort to know that Samantha has been receiving my letters ... I always think flimsy plastic cards make the best presents for precocious five-year-olds.

As for the identity issue, well, I actually remember the first time I saw one of the J L Webb cards. I was recently married and living in Provo when Antoinette, a good friend from high school living in New York, sent me a letter with said card enclosed. It took me a minute to catch on to what was happening--I thought that somehow she had obtained a credit card for me with my married name on it as some type of odd yet friendly "I hope you're settling into your new identity as Mrs. Webb" sort of gesture. When I noticed that the card was translucent and lacked the requisite magnetic strip on the back I was further confused. Why would Antoinette send me a defective card? Was this some kind of east coast calling card I wasn't aware of? I eventually straightened things out (I'm not that slow) and had a good laugh.

But it's still kind of weird to see one's name on a mass-marketing campaign designed to entice people to go into debt. I thought by marrying beyond the Jones surname I was leaving behind such problems....