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Oh, the wisdom that comes with age . . .
buzzed, B&W

Originally uploaded by hairylunch

So, last week, I received the letter shown on the right in the mail.

Dear Mr Ernest Chang,

Our records show that you haven't yet registered for the benefits of AARP membership, even though you are fully eligible.
Great, so the only place I can think of that knows me as Ernest Chang is my Discover card. This means you're probably using ChoicePoint data. I do wonder what your search criteria is, since it's apparently not age. I mean, I realize I attended my 10 year high school reunion last year, and I may be a bit slow, but give me a bit of credit - I did graduate before I was 40 . . .
If you have already sent in your registration, please excuse this notice. If not, I urge you to register now so you may start enjoying AARP benefits and services with no further delay.
Oh, benefits! I'm trying to imagine my going to Denny's and trying to present my membership card . . . I did have pink hair at one point but I don't think that's quite the same as the pink-haired old ladies. . .
You need only return the form above. Please remove and keep the card above as your record of enrollment. You will receive a new card and Membership Kit, with full details on your benefits.
Even better! A brand new card! I'll make sure to keep it in my wallet, right next to my Flat Earth Society card. I'm sure I'll get the same looks when I try to tell people I'm 50 and belong to the AARP as when I try to explain that our planet isn't spherical, but is instead shaped like a pancake . . .
As a member, you'll have the resources and information you need to get the most out of life over 50. You'll have access to exclusive discounts. Dependable insurance programs and investment resources. Important health-related information. And much more. The 22 benefits shown on the back are only a partial list!
Is one of the benefits when I turn 50 the fact that I don't have to write with good grammar? Have you not heard of a colon? Maybe some commas? My memory may be failing and my risk of Alzheimer's may be increasing with my advanced age, but I do believe I could read a sentence that contained a list of items . . .
I look forward to you joining us. I think you'll agree with our other members: AARP is one of America's very best values.
Well, I may join one day, but that day would be in the year 2029 at the earliest. While you may be looking forward to that date, I can't understand why, as you'll probably be dead by then . . .

[Old Bill's signature]

William D. Novelli
Executive Director

P.S. Please send in your registration by the date requested. Thank you - and welcome to AARP!
No, no, thank you!

On a slightly more serious note, Novelli is actually a pretty good guy who was previously the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, worked for CARE, and is a pretty well recognized social marketer, and even used those techniques for the Peace Corps. Still, the AARP could be a bit more rigorous about who they send these letters to. A quick google search suggests I'm not the only 20 something getting this offer . . .