Porno Mail Call

I was standing next to Mom, sorting the mail as she sat watching an afternoon game show.  The junk mail addressed to me or Bill went right into the little wastebasket next to the loveseat.  I kept any bills or other noteworthy mail and passed Mom all of her junk mail because she always opens every piece and reads everything that’s included inside the envelope.

While I was still rifling through a particularly voluminous stack of mail, she started inspecting the envelopes I handed her.  The first one she ripped open had no return address on the.

“Did you get one of these?” she asked, flashing the empty window envelope in my direction.

“I don’t know.  I haven’t opened anything yet.  Why, what is it?”

“It’s a check for two thousand dollars,” she said rather calmly as she examined the front and back of the letter that the check was attached to.

“I seriously doubt if it’s a real check, Mom,” I commented somewhat drily.

“Well it’s real enough if I cash it in at this hearing aid place,” she replied, waving the letter in my general direction.

“I’m sure it’s to put towards the purchase of a hearing aid,” I said.  “I can’t imagine how expensive they must be if they’re offering a $2,000 discount.”

“I can’t figure out why I keep getting these offers from hearing aid companies.  Do you get them too?” she asked, tossing the check and letter into the little trash can.

“Nope, I don’t.  Maybe they buy mailing lists based on age.”

“A mailing list of bandages?  What’s that?”

“Not bandages.  A mailing list based on age,” I said a little louder.

“But how would they know how old I was?”

“I don’t’ know.  Maybe your credit card company sells customer information to marketing firms,” I offered.

“This didn’t come from my credit card company.  It came from a hearing aid company.  How do they know how old I am?”

“Because someone is selling them information about their customers.  Places like your credit card company or insurance company or mortgage company,” I explained.  “They all do it to one extent or another.”

“I still don’t understand.  How does the hearing aid company know I’m 88,” she persisted.

“You’re not.  You’re 87 and it’s because they buy the information and sort it based on the criteria they need.  Like age or zip code or sex.  And then they target that group of people.”

“Well I guess I’m glad I’m sorted by age and not sex.  I wouldn’t want to get a bunch of dirty porno mail all the time.”

“Yes, that would be very, very bad,” I replied, hurrying from the room as I choked back laughter.

“I suppose I’d just have to give it all to Bill,” I could hear her muttering as she ripped open a Publishers Clearing House envelope.  “He’d probably know what to do with it.”

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