It seems like every week I get a solicitation in the mail from some charity group, usually accompanied by a sheet or two of address labels. Apparently the thinking is that this is a useful gift that will make me so appreciative that I immediately grab my checkbook and fire off a large check. It makes a lot of sense………except for two things.

First, in the age of the internet, people are increasingly sending emails instead of letters, and paying bills online instead of mailing checks. Second, unless these groups never venture out of their offices, don’t they notice that every other charity on the planet is also sending me address labels? How many letters and bills do they think I mail, and just what exactly am I supposed to do with hundreds of labels? Save them on the off chance the post office will still be there when I emerge from the fallout shelter after Armaggedon?

After some thought, I’ve come up with some ideas on what we can do with all those labels, and what the charities could send out instead.


Paste them on the forehead of your wayward spouse to reduce the chances of them cheating. No need to sneak a peek at the left hand to check for rings, or inch closer to look for the telltale white band where a ring sat a few hours earlier. Just a quick glance at the forehead and you’re done.

Paste them on wedding gifts you send, so they can be more easily identified and returned when the couple breaks up. For added entertainment, the stickers could have a time release glue formula, so that after 1 year, 3 years, or 7 years, the sticker would pop open to reveal a “We bet you’d break up in 2021” (or whatever year you picked). If you guessed the correct year of the breakup, you’d get your gift returned and collect the pot of money.

Paste them on the nearest telephone pole, mailbox, or table at Dennys. Just to mark your territory, like Fido does.

Require donors to paste their sticker on the politician they buy, so the rest of us can figure out who’s beholden to who.

Paste them on the bumper of any fancy sports car you see. If the owner ever can’t be found, the first sticker gets dibs on the car.

Paste them on your kids, just before you send the kids off to the address shown on your chain letter. In 7 weeks, you’ll receive a new set of kids. Since we all know kids are better behaved when they’re at someone else’s house, every parent is happy. After a week or two, you repeat the process. More advanced users will be able to swap spouses and in-laws via the chain, as well as Aunt Mabel’s holiday fruitcake.


Since advertising is targeted to certain customers, the charities could do some targeting themselves. Send an attractive young man/woman and a bottle of champagne to the single folk, a new saw to the home improvement guy, a new pet to someone else, and some Ben and Jerry’s to the girl who just got dumped. Almost anything’s better than a label.

Early warning systems would be of far greater value. Phone or email alerts to tell us the neighbor is headed over, would be especially appreciated if we’re home in pajamas, unshowered & unshaved, looking like a police mug shot. Or to alert us that the relatives are heading in for visit, our kid’s boyfriend/girlfriend is headed over, or that Jehovah’s Witnesses are in the neighborhood. Another option is an alert ot our car as we drive home, letting us know that the kids/spouse/parents are in a BAD mood, the house is a mess, and the dog/cat just barfed inside the front door.

For those charities working in a foreign country, I’d be much more inclined to donate if my donation resulted in them taking a relative of my choice for a year or so. Preferably to some remote outpost. Preferably one that has no communication and no choice for return. Bonus donations would be given if they take two relatives instead of just one.

Lotto tickets in selected mailers would be a good idea. That would give us an incentive to open them.

If they’re gonna be staying with labels, at least send us somebody else’s labels. They’ll come in handy when we’re sending that obnoxious gift or unwelcome item to our rude boss, irritating co-worker, or despised family member or neighbor. Imagine being able to blame it all on Alice Smith, 114 Locksley Lane, Portland, OR. Just the thing when you want to send your boss the head of a mop, labeling it as “New Hairpiece”. The possibilities are endless………

3 thoughts on “Labels”

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