Golden Subscriber
 "I only read the articles."

A girl who says she's from Sacramento phones me (temperatures in the 80's there,
40's here, Lake Erie) on my private land-line asking me if I'm enjoying my magazine
subscription. How can I enjoy my subscription, that, though paid for, never came in
the mail? She wants to do the talking here, though, so my story can wait.
She tells me that I'm a Golden Subscriber, which also entitles me to my choice
of three magazines: Lollipops, Razors  and some name that still remains
meaningless to me. She's fast, she's smooth, and she's long on the draw...
I interrupt, though. Late last year I paid the magazine's renewal invoice,
way ahead of time, and I was still dropped from its mailing list. No more articles.
     No Problem, she says, I'm calling you because you are definitely
on the list and you most definitely will receive my magazines.
Somehow, I'm back on a magazine list that generates cute-sounding girls calling
me at home and offering to send me more of the magazines that I already don't get.
     I only read the articles, I repeat.  She goes back into her Lollipops and Razors
and whatever forever riff. She next offers me her personalized services.
     No, I don't believe her when she promises me that she'll personally see to it that
I receive all of her magazines. Not even when she says she'll affix the
stamps by herself, all of them, for every issue. Self-stick, no doubt?
 I don't ask, yet I think the next offer is for me to give her my email and credit card
number so she can forward to me the pictures of her licking my stamps and mailing my
picture-books to me. Instead, I ask what sort of articles her magazines have.
She answers by reminding me that I am a Golden Subscriber...
Can you go up the ladder, let someone know of my subscriber's troubles, I ask?
No answers coming from her telephone lips. What company are you calling for,
who do you represent? She hesitates, then quickly answers: "PMS."
"P M S," I say? PMS?  
     "No, no," she answers, slowing her voice-train down, repeating it until she communicates slowly that
the letter M is really the letter N. Therefore, the long name of the company is not P*M*S; it is P*N*S.
"What's this all about: P*M*S to P* N* S?, " I say, just before she unilaterally terminates our
Golden Subscriber interlude. I wonder if she will call me again tomorrow, perhaps at the same time?
     I only read the articles, though.





Adventure Travel