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I sent a birthday card to a friend having one of those significant, milestone birthdays. The card said how valuable and collectible our old childhood favorite toys would be today, with the sentiment ” You’re not old, you’re collectible.”

I like it: collectible. A keeper. Something to hang on to. A person/thing/memory of value. I wrote a message on the card wishing him a ‘collectible’ day.

A few days later, he sent me an email thanking me for the card. He said he had spent the day with his two adult kids and his Absolutely Perfect Grandson. They hung out, ordered pizza…okay, salad, too….and just enjoyed the day. Sounds like it was collectible.

My new signoff now will be Have A Collectible Day. Just so you know. Although that bit about our childhood toys…..got me to thinking.

I got a Toni doll from Santa when I was about six. I saw my exact Toni doll, whom I called Alice, in an antique store on Pine Street in Philadelphia. Price tag: $400. Ah well.


Here’s little me with some of my now collectible dolls. That’s Alice there in the front–the cute blonde with the red bow and plaid jumper. Wow, look at some of those other oldies but goodies: Little Lulu, Howdy Doody, The Magic Lady, Jerry Mahoney. I could have been rich! 

I’ll Bet It Seemed Like A Good Idea

You boomers out there, you know we’re bombarded with all kinds of targeted advertising of, let’s say, questionable taste.

Bladder leakage? No problem. We have pads of ever size, shape and, absorbency! And for you guys, we have ’em shaped like, well, like you! Overactive bladder? A little pill will take care of that. Forget looking for the restroom! You might not even need those pads!

Oh, yeh, and we have pills to relieve that pesky painful sex if you’re a gal of a certain stage of life. Which you might need if you are closely related to someone who is a guy in need of a pill that makes him want to sit side by side with you in a couple of old claw foot bathtubs and see if his heart is healthy enough for sexual activity.

But friends, I recently received, right here in the comfort of my own home, a marketing piece that astonished me. And I believe it was carefully targeted to….Boomers.

No, really. A letter announced I had won a Major Award. It had a VERIFICATION NUMBER and everything. Wait for it.

Here’s the first paragraph of the letter.

CONGRATULATIONS! On behalf of the Management at A Certain Cemetery, we are pleased to provide your family verification that you have been awarded one burial space absolutely at NO COST!

Naturally, I though it was a joke. But it was legitimate. I had been selected ‘at random’ for this limited offer….current market value of my burial space is $1,500. ! All I had to do was contact the Awards Secretary (within fifteen days) to confirm my information and I was under no obligation to purchase anything.

Like, I don’t know, a casket to go with my burial space? How about a nice granite marker?

I got the giggles. The kind of giggles that start bubbling up slowly. I reread the Award Verification. I re-reread it. Then I noticed a line at the bottom of the letter, under the signature.

Please accept our sincere apology if this has reached you at a time of illness or loss.

Giggles erupted into screaming, howling belly laughter. WTF? Maybe you should have thought of this a little sooner!

I am not making this up. I couldn’t. But it would have made a great Seinfeld episode, wouldn’t it?

George gets this letter and plunges into angst. It’s an omen. He’s going to die. In fifteen days. Somebody’s after him. A former girlfriend? Jerry says fugeddaboutit.

Kramer decides they should investigate. They sneak into the cemetery at night and explore all the available burial spaces included in the offer. He advises. This one’s too small, this one’s too big. That one under a big tree. It’s too shady and could cause moss to grow on the marker……oh, yes, the marker, available for a limited time only at the introductory price of only….but oh no! The stone on the  occupied space right next door reads………Susan! His deceased fiancée! Doom! It ends in hilarity as Kramer falls into one of the Limited Edition plots and George is too short to pull him out. They call Jerry who is waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant. Hearty laughter all around.

Sounds collectible! Ya gotta laugh, dontcha? Here’s the letter.