I always looked forward to the mail, in previous years. You could always count on exciting letters inviting you to attend a function, speak at a meeting, and invest in new ventures that would make you a lot of money. I remember when a new venture was a wonder drug like penicillin but I didn’t invest because it came from bread mold and I figured Mrs. Baird would soon have a lock on that.

Then there was the invention of plastic. I was offered a chance to get in on the ground floor but declined because it was obvious to me that there was no future in this stuff. It’ll never replace cast iron I thought. I put my money into lead paint. Now there is something that makes sense. Long lasting, solid, easy to stir with a picket fence stick.

Then along came a new toy called the Hula Hoop. Made of plastic of course. My cast iron company tried to compete but to no avail. Nobody was interested in quality cast iron toys with a coat of lead paint. And why was it called Hula Hoop? The things were made in Philadelphia and that isn’t exactly the grass skirt capital of the world. Some guy named Mahi Mahi Schwartz had a pipe dream and promoted Hula Hoops from Maine to California, Florida to Washington. Just my luck, I invested late and cornered the market in Honolulu. Hawaiians ignored them. The rumor got started that the friction would set fire to the grass skirts.

 Enter PVC which stands for plastic pipe they tell me. I figured anybody who would invest in plastic pipe and abbreviate it PVC was not too bright anyway. People in the know, like county agents, fertilizer dealers and cocktail waitresses told me, with a perfectly straight face that PVC stood for polyvinyl carbonate or something of that sort. Well, I wasn’t about to swallow that any more than I would acetylsalicylic acid. I’d rather have an old fashioned aspirin, something my spell checker on my computer agrees exists. Botox is another investment opportunity I got in the mail. This is a poison you inject under the skin to fill in wrinkles in your face. Now how did somebody even come up with an idea like this? What’s wrong with just eating at Whataburger until things stretch and fill in natural like? I turned it down and suggested they use some of my old lead paint which ought to be toxic enough.

So I’ve let all these golden opportunities go by waiting for something that makes sense to come along. The mail came today. I had some offers that apparently statistics show fits my level of intellect. The offers were for hearing aids, burial insurance and Viagra.

Why would anyone my age need a hearing aid to read the mail?

Or burial insurance before or after the hereafter?

Or, a trip to see a famous waterfall in N.Y.? 

Doc Blakely is a humorist and motivational speaker who resides in Wharton. For more information, visit www.docblakely.com.

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