Database dumbassery made unintentional hilarity out of a mailing from an outfit called the Danbury Mint yesterday. Fortunately my spouse is a sane, non-jealous type. The rather elaborate mailer promised an item "as unique as the love you share," namely a heart-shaped diamond-and-birthstone pendant with all the subtlety of a Super Bowl ring, "only" $69 plus shipping and handling. I am supposed to give it to my love for Christmas, customized with our names and birthstones. In a classy touch, the mailer included a sheet of birthstones sticker to help me denote ours correctly on the order form. And the elaborate, glossy, multi-part mailer even included several images of the item with our names engraved, to commemorate a love that will be "together forever...today, tomorrow and always."
And the names engraved were Joel and Frances.
"Who's Frances?" my wife - Rosemary - demanded to know.
With a smile, thank god.
Yes, the dipshits at the Danbury Mint wanted to commemorate forever a love that doesn't exist. Expressing their heartfelt desire to honor our loving bond in gems and gold - with a 90-day satisfaction guaranteed return policy - they got my wife's name wrong. And it's not just like they misspelled it. They gave me a whole new spouse.
"You're keeping it?' Roe asked when I failed to toss the thing in the recycle pile, mildly annoyed until I explained that it would make a swell blog post. I could, I suppose, concoct an outraged think piece about the impersonality of computer-driver marketing, the whole garbage-in/garbage-out syndrome as it applies to romance-driven direct mail and so on. I figure this might have something to do with the other Joel Brown in the next town over, but I'm too lazy to look up his wife's name. I am planning on checking my credit card expenditures, though, too.
But all I really have to say is, Danbury Mint, THANKS A BUNCH for exposing my SECRET SECOND FAMILY. All those exhausting years of subterfuge and racing back and forth, blown for this exclusive offer that's not available in any store.
I'll take two please, and we'll talk about the engraving.