Scientists this week disclosed the possible discovery of a new species of whale. While I didn’t quite approach that level of achievement, I got three credit card applications in the mail during the same week. This is significant because I also learned something. Bigfoot exists, and he’s amphibian.
But seriously, the legal print from two of the three, Chase and Visa, indicated that collection of personal information was for the use of fighting against money laundering activities and terrorism. I had to check in the dictionary what the first one was, but the second one sent an immediate signal to my brain. I’m hungry, it said. Then it sent a second signal, and I realized I had in my possession concrete proof that we have learned from our experience of two years ago. We have indeed implemented steps to never again let such a thing happen. It made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Have you seen those commercials recently where there’s a person talking, except it’s clearly not that person’s voice detailing adventures in credit spending? The point is that identity theft leads to ventriloquism, I think. Regardless, my discovery led me to question the third offer, the one curiously enough from the University of Maine Alumni Association, which featured no such disclosure. Should I be concerned that my school apparently doesn’t care if Osama bin Laden surfaces in order to steal my credit card?
Or perhaps this is a case of a biased sampling. If it is, then perhaps what I really need is more than three credit card applications to appear in my mailbox. Then I can cross-examine each of them in a scientific study involving complicated math problems that feature odd symbols and impossible calculations that would challenge even Albert Einstein – who would obviously needs to be revived somehow so the experiment could feel complete.
Just think. My routine up to this week had been to simply discard these gifts from the gods of plenty, of what I can’t say in a family newspaper. The allure was overpowering this time around. The Chase envelope boasted a recommendation by consumer-credit-cards-guide.com that read, simply enough, “Best Student Credit Card.” The Visa envelope featured a clever Instant Message design: How could I pass on such a thing? The Alumni envelope had a window where a promised Free Gift Offer! turned out to be a sweatshirt that was lovingly embossed with the words “Your School Logo Here!”
Indeed, I was moved. I think I’ll fill out all three applications. How could I possibly choose from among such enticing options? It was a learning experience. I don’t know how I can ever go back to the days where I threw this stuff away. By this time next year I anticipate becoming the proud owner of upwards of 100credit cards, enough I hope to fund an expedition to find Bigfoot. In the event of failure, there will be other applications waiting for me, which I can fill out and then use the cards that arrive to pay off all the other bills.
And they said nothing good comes from spam. Right now, I’m feeling superior to those scientists. I hold in my hands the power of No Annual Fee. Now seriously, what beats that? Oh, right, helping to win the fight against terrorism, one credit card at a time.
Anthony Laplume is a senior English major.