by Meridith Levinson

Data Mining: Offers You Can’t Refuse

Apr 15, 20063 mins

Dear Friend,

The road of life takes some unexpected turns. Who would have thought that the soul mate you married 16 years ago would be taking you to the cleaners today? At this difficult juncture, you’ll need the comfort of friends, a good attorney and…a tent! After all, you’ll need a place to stay if your other half wins custody of the house. Lucky for you, we at Outdoor Outfitters offer a range of tents to keep you dry and cozy. Bring this letter to a store near you, and we’ll give you 10 percent off your purchase. We know you need the extra money for alimony.

–Your pals at Outdoor Outfitters

Dear Neat Freak,

Everyone should take pride in his home and spend a few hours each week cleaning it. But no one should spend his entire Social Security check on Clorox cleaning wipes, as our information systems indicate you do each month. It’s neither financially sound nor psychologically healthy. In fact, your penchant for cleaning may indicate obsessive-compulsive behavior. If you’d like to learn how to control this disorder, please call my secretary at 1-800-URCRAZY to make an appointment.

–Seymour (Sy) Kosis, MD

Dear Mom-to-Be,

You’re glowing with expectation over the bundle of joy about to enter your life. Your skin has never looked more dewy. Even college boys are giving you a second look. But that radiance will wear off faster than Tammy Faye Baker’s mascara when your little one finally arrives and you spend the next year subsisting on two hours of sleep a night. Fortunately, Holistic Beauty offers a range of products to help you through this transition:

My Yogalates Video combines the meditative qualities of yoga with the rigor of Pilates to tone flaccid muscle and get you in shape for baby #2!

My Macrobiotic Cookbook contains 120 mouth-watering recipes guaranteed to help you lose the baby weight. You’ll never know how many delicious dishes you can prepare with cabbage until you buy this book.

And when the stress of being a new parent is just too much to bear, light My Tranquility Candle. Its m¿nge of warm Madagascar vanilla and calming chamomile is guaranteed to melt away tension. It works for colicky babies too!

To take advantage of this onetime offer, call 1-800-4SUCKRS.

–Belle Jolie, CEO of Holistic Beauty Inc.

Dear Valued Customer,

We hope you are happy with your recent purchase of a Hummer, designed to make every man feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger. We share our customer lists with select business partners whose products share synergies with our own. Our preferred provider of brand-name pharmaceuticals would like to offer new Hummer owners like yourself a free trial of Viagra. It’ll keep your engine humming. To activate your free trial, call 1-800-MECHUMP.

–The Hummer Marketing Team