2013-04-25 / Community

Pick a card, any card

Lois A. Corcoran

What costs upwards of five bucks these days? No, not a gallon of gas. I refer here to greeting cards, those thoughtful little sentiments people read before tossing them in the trash. Is it me or is that rather excessive?

Maybe it depends on how you look at them. Some people put an awful lot of stock in greeting cards. Mom, for one. She spends an hour trying to find just the right one to express her feelings. Meanwhile, my sister Joan will spend the same amount of time making the perfect card.

Aware of the time involved in their choices, I know they both come from the heart. Personally, though, I’d rather buy the recipient a giant chocolate bar. It’s quicker, costs less, and is far more satisfying in terms of taste buds.

To combat rising prices, I went into the greeting card business myself awhile back. I wrote my own jokes and printed them out in neat black letters on white paper.

Given the color combo, I called them Generic Greetings, and added the slogan, “When you care enough to send a merry jest.” To my amazement, I sold a few boxes to some kind merchants, who probably had to dust them once a year before giving them the boot.

Greeting cards can be highly entertaining. I spent a fair share of lunch hours in front of the card display at a local gift shop, yukking it up over well written gags. Some were so funny, I still recall them today.

It’s not hard for Reverend Darryl Newhouse to remember the greeting card he purchased in 1970. He and his friend have exchanged it back and forth ever since. “Now days you can rent almost anything,” reads the cover. The punchline inside instructs the sendee to return the card so the purchaser can get his deposit back.

The recipient did send it back, and thus began a 40 year commute for the unlikely greeting. I guess you could say it had many happy returns.

My favorite kind of greeting to send is the photo card, wherein the recipient’s face appears on it. But if I’m on the receiving end, the mug I’d rather see belongs to Abe Lincoln or Alexander Hamilton. Better yet, Andrew Jackson.

And if the price of greeting cards goes any higher, we’ll need that much to pay for them.

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