Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inappropriate Cards (today and yesterday)

I left North Carolina late in August, 1986. A change descended as I left the world of fulltime work and home ownership to return to school. Looking back on it all, it was either an act of faith or great stupidity. After all, I was rather comfortable in my life. I'd had a succession of girlfriends, a house with apple trees, a canoe with streams of white water just out of town, my beloved Appalachian Mountains just an hour’s drive away and the beach five hours to the east. I gave it all up to cross the Mason Dixon line and enroll in school in Pittsburgh, a place known for cold winters, smoky steel mills and a pretty sorry baseball team. By the time I’d arrived, Roberto Clemente was long been dead and Willie Stargel had retired. As I left the South with everything packed in a car including a bottle of decent Scotch (given to me by coworkers who said I’d need it to keep warm), I promised everyone I’d send my new address and phone number when I got settled. I’d only been in the Steel City for a few days when I came across a “historical” post card of the city. The photograph, taken on a midmorning in April 1911, looks toward "The Point.” At that time, The Point was a rail yard and the air so smoky that you could only make out the shapes of buildings. This was at the period of history that executives would take an extra shirt to work with them and change at lunch, their first shirt being dirty from the air. The photo looked so dirty, an image a lot of my friends had of Pittsburgh, so I brought a stack of the cards to send out to friends and family. On the back I wrote a simple note, “Having a great time, wish you here,” and added my address and phone number.

Thursday is Inappropriate Card Day—a holiday thought up by Diesel over at “Mattress Police. I want to get in on this holiday while the gettin's good and before Hallmark ruins another holiday in their attempt to commericalize every single day of the year. But there's a problem. On Thursday, I’ll be flying south to Cancun (and then riding through the jungles for a few hours in the back of a van). Before I go, I'm gonna clean out my card drawer in my desk (old dated Christmas Cards, Hanukkah cards, birthday cards, get out of jail free cards, whatever I can find). As I travel and listen to Pink Floyd on my iPod, I'll address them and maybe even write notes in them. There are a few folks who need to receive a such a card. And because I won't mail the cards till I get back in the states, these cards will arrive long after ICD, just like my Christmas Cards (which generally arrive at their destination sometime between New Years Day and the Fourth of July).

Surprise someone and send out your own inappropriate card! This is a great opportunity to clean out desk drawers and recycle. Didn't Obama say something this evening about going green? And just imagine the look on the face of one opening your card and thinking “WTF” (can someone explain to me why folks always seem to think of the World Tennis Federation on such occasions?).


  1. You're sending one to Murf, right?

    (Murf, please post a pic when you finally receive it. Thanks!)

  2. What a fun idea. I have some old cards that wold be very good for that purpose.

    Are you going to Chichen Itza? I recommend it!

  3. I don't keep cards (unless they mock W, but here is my submission


  4. My wife would never let me ruin a perfectly good card by sending it out of season!

    But she isn't here right now so perhaps I can get away with it.

    Have a safe journey!

  5. The title gave me an impression that you were going to send out naughty cards! :)

    Strangely only the words Pink Floyd scream out from the article, so I'm going to listen to Pink Floyd today! YEAH!!!

  6. Yes, I better be a recipient of one of these cards!

    I'd had a succession of girlfriends

    Nice to see that you packed the ego for the trip as well.

  7. A great act of faith to be sure! Need to look in the drawer for some strange cards... that would be fun. And Cancun!? Fun...

  8. I recommend renting a car and driving to Merida.

    Have fun.

  9. TC, if Murf sends me an address, maybe...

    Kenju, we're going by there!

    Walking Man, interesting photos at the site you linked to

    Ed, don't blame me for all that you do while she's not in the country!

    Mother Hen, sorry to disappoint you as to the type of cards!

    Murf, I don't know you address and even if I did, I could never spell the name of your city--does it start with an I or Y--I keep getting those two confused.

    Beau, I really won't be in Cancun for long :(

    Fantasy Life, that sounds like fun!

  10. I'm reasonably certain you can get her address. Just ask Ed if all else fails. Rumor has it he's quite the sleuth.

  11. TC, it was easier than that--I'm pretty sure I could have googled her name and that wierd named city and come up with something... It's too bad I'm fresh out of Winter Solstice cards--one would have been perfect for you!

  12. That's it, you've inspired me. Time to go through the old drawers and see what I come up with. Maybe I'll pour myself a tall glass of red and get "comfortably numb" before I start writing.

    Enjoy your trip!

  13. Have fun. I'll be in that neck of the woods Saturday through Tuesday of next week. (Akumal, south of Cancun near Tulum.) I need me some sunshine and Leon Negra beer!


  14. Great post! I love the tale, love the photo, wish you a grand time in the jungle, and think ICD is a great idea!

    On Knitters for Obama, we've been sending out cards to 10 other knitters for Xmas, Valentines, and next up is Earth Day. Getting things in the mail that aren't bills or solicitations is a welcome occasion.

  15. You've gotta get over your hatred of Ypsilanti. It's not that difficult! 8-) I mean, if a Norwegian/Irish/German/Dutch/English girl from Wisconsin can get it, surely a former Southern boy should be able to figure it out too, right? O:) That's what I thought.

    Oh and no need to worry about the Winter Solstice card. I assure you I'm fine :)

    Have a wonderful and safe trip! I can't wait to hear details!

  16. I was recently turned on to the cards at someecards.com. Their slogan? "When you care enough to hit send."

    Now that's where I send all my cards from.

    Have a good trip.

  17. It was fun reading about your Inappropriate Card Day Celebration. I always enjoy reading your posts; just don't get here often enough. ;)