a dispatch from the ministry of silly names.

Last year, I received a package in the mail that was not addressed to me. It came to my house, because it was addressed to the mailbox that sits at the end of my driveway. But it was not addressed to anyone that lives in my house. I get some mail for previous tenants, which I sometimes forward, depending on whether they look like subpeonas or tax refunds. Those names are all familiar, though, and this package was meant to be delivered to someone that I'd never heard of: The Reverend Pamela Pumblebritches.

You're not supposed to open other people's mail, but I did it. I can only hope that Pamela is as forgiving as her title implies.

Actually, the package was for me, because it was my birthday. It was from my old college roommate, who is apparently a very silly person. I'd never known that about her, even after living together for 3 years. She seemed to think that I might be a very silly person, because she sent me earrings that looked like Philips head screws!

So that was a great joke, and the name Pumblebritches gives me a little private giggle even on the days when I don't wear the earrings. Fast forward to a few days ago, when I again received some mail sent to our good friend the Reverend. However, this mail was from State Farm Insurance. It advised Pamela that 70% of drivers that switched to State Farm saved money on their car insurance (makes you wonder about the other 30%, doesn't it?). Inside was even a fake check, addressed to Ms. Pumblebritches, promising her an unspecified amount of SAVINGS.

From this experience, we can learn that the online vendor of amazingly ridiculous earrings, Uncommon Goods, sells personal information to third parties. We can also fight back against the misuse of our information by always sending packages to silly names. That way, State Farm may have our address, but they will always be sending their letters to the wrong person. If you use a different name for each company you order from, you will immediately know who snitched.

Not that it does any good at all. You could complain about it on your blog, I suppose, and not order from that company anymore, but you're still getting fake checks from State Farm. Junk mail, like spam, is sort of inevitable. Then again, how mad can you really get when you are holding a letter addressed to Rev. Pamela Pumblebritches?

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