Monday, July 28, 2014

Chain Letter

Among the curious pieces of history found in the carrying case of my Commodore 650, was a chain letter, which my friend referred to as "old school spam." He was, of course, referring to internet spam, and not the canned ham loaf that is delicious with mustard and crackers.
The chain letter is the ancestor of "like and share" Facebook posts and e-mail forwards. I hate these online pests as much as everyone else, but a wave of nostalgia washed over me when I laid eyes on the chain letter.
It brought back an early memory of when I first learned what a chain letter was. My mother had received one involving the participants sending each other dish towels.
The one that I now possess involves sending someone a quarter and then, if everyone participates, you're supposed to receive a whole shit load of quarters. Apparently, the chain letter is the less dangerous cousin of the pyramid scheme.
I'm actually thinking about sending this one back into circulation, mostly because I think it will be fun to write letters to complete strangers. I only wish I could see the expressions of equal parts joy and horror on their faces when they release the chain letter is back from the dead.
What do you think? Should I soften the blow by including a brief explanation of how the chain letter came into my possession?


  1. A classic! I received a few like this back in the day.

  2. Heh, I remember a client back when I was printing full-time in the 80's who would order 10,000 copies of every chain letter he got ahold of - roughly once or twice a week. First-class postage was then just a quarter, so he was dropping $2,500 each time on postage and God alone knows how many man-hours stuffing and addressing envelopes. (not to mention the cost of the envelopes)

    For the record, he did not strike it rich, and quit getting his chain letters printed after a year of most likely bleeding his retirement fund dry.

  3. Well, you know what they say. There's no such thing as easy money. If there was, everyone would be doing it.

  4. I found one of these by reading the carbon paper off an Antares Efficiency. Which has this hidden tray built into the typewriter. It's nice to find hidden gems like these :)

    Still looking for typewriters and gems?