Tuesday, May 16, 2006

From Bone - Humor

I'm subletting Pia's place for the week. So far, I kinda like it. It has all the amenities of the big city while still feeling warm and homey. It's like the Stratford Inn relocated to Manhattan. Although I did catch a peek inside her medicine cabinet this morning. Yama hama! And before you ask, I didn't open it. It was already slightly ajar. I just nudged it a little. This is my first experience with the rent-a-blog feature. Hopefully it will go much better than my rent-a-date fiasco back in '97. It's definitely cheaper.

Here's a statistic for you: 90% of greeting cards are useless.

That's according to the field research I did last Friday. How many different ways can you say "Wishing you a day filled with happiness and love?" Evidently, at least eighty-seven. If my local Hallmark is any indication. Who's writing these cards? And how much are they getting paid? Whatever it is, it's too much. They all say the same thing! I would like to apply for that job.

There are basically three kinds of cards (since I can no longer seem to find any stores that carry Ziggy). First are those generic say-the-same-thing cards I just mentioned. The majority of the cards in the store seem to be of this persuasion. That leaves only the ever-shrinking humor section. And the deep, two-page-long mushy cards.

I was reading one of the latter Friday. The first page seemed OK. I was thinking this might be the card I go with. But then on the second page was a line that said something about giving you the praise and honor you deserve." To which I remarked louder than I intended, "Praise and honor? She's not the Lord."

Another part of the problem is that they are now having to make cards for every possible relationship and family situation. So instead of many from son, from daughter, and for wife cards to choose from, there are more categories now. Such as blended family, just-like-family, soon-to-be-family.

I even saw a placeholder that read "For Ex-Daughter-In-Law." Had to think about that one for a moment. As a man, I will never be able experience the closeness a woman feels with her son's ex-wife. What's next? For Ex-Son-In-Law's New Wife? For Tramp Son Slept With One Drunken Night? From One Of Your Baby's Possible Daddies?

The need for all these tremendously cuts down on the number of cards in each section, including my favorite section, the From Son-dash-Humor category. Which has all but been eradicated. The few cards that are left often seem to be lacking on the humor side.

For example, I picked up one so-called "humorous" card. There was a picture of a puppy inside and his tail was raised from the rest of the card so that it would "wag" when you opened it. Written beneath the puppy were the words "Happy happy happy happy happy happy Mothers Day." That's funny? Really? To who, the dog? What makes it funny? The tail or the six happy's? That's about as funny as (choose your own analogy: a catheter/a Jimmy Kimmel monologue/CSPAN).

And as long as we're on the subject, I cannot believe they're still making the card that doesn't open and has some stupid little message printed on the back. Even more than that I can't believe I'm people are still falling for it. How long is Big Greeting Card gonna milk that one? Boy, I bet the guy who invented the card that was glued shut is rich.

In closing, I know we face many issues and questions in these most uncertain of times. Illegal aliens, polygamy cults, Deal Or No Deal, how in the world Elliot is still on Idol. But first and foremost, we must attend to the greeting card problem in this country. It's urgent. Father's Day is June 18th.

"Daylight licked me into shape. I must have been asleep for days. Moving lips to breathe her name, I opened up my eyes..."


  1. I am usually really good at finding the perfect card that says just want I want. Especially in Hallmark Gold Crown store or Target. I love Target cards. Actually, I like Target cards better. Yep, I'm a card-a-holic. Bought one just today as a matter of fact. Do you think they make a card to give me... "I know you're addicted to cards, so I bought you this one.... blah, blah, blah"

  2. I wish I was creative enough to post an entire blog about greeting cards.

    Talent, my friend.... fudging talent.

  3. Cheaper? Hate to say this but I'm one of the most valuable pieces of real estate around....In every sense actually

    And the ex-daughter in law card makes me happy. I get them ;)

  4. We've been buying a lot of our greeting cards at our Church lately. There's a scrapbooking/stamping/card making group that gets together to make the cards and then one lady sells them with the money going to different programs around the Church... I have to wonder though if the Church is providing the materials or if the ladies are donating them. They're very nice cards.
    But for Mother's day, DH didn't get his mom a card until Mother's day and the selection was wiped out. He did manage to find her a really nice card though...but no gift. I got tired of being his personal secretary and he hasn't quite caught on even with my reminders. Oh well.

    Darly made me a great card for M day. And I know she'll make DH a great Father's day card. I think that DH remembered to get me a card, so I'll have to get one for him too. Too bad I can't buy him the sexy cards anymore...Darly can read them now. Darned that homeschooling! Who taught her to read? Oh yeah, that would be me.

    I know what you mean about the cards being really stagnant...same joke or saying on 50 bazillion cards. They need to come up with something original.

  5. Well, I am a sucker for cards ! It's kind of ironic that you write a blog like this , because I just bought you a card today ...lol
    Now I dont want to send it ! So you just screwed that one up ! Thanks alot!!! lol

    There are some cards though that are way out there ...I especially liked the " For Tramp Son slept with one Drunken night " How do you come up with this stuff ??? lol

  6. Groovie: Yeah, you are a card-a-holic. I know they make a card just for you. I happened to pick one up the other day. Here, open this... heh heh.

    Blondie: You are much too sweet and kind.

    Pia: Should have known. There's always one in every bunch ;-) Have to watch what I say, since you're my landlord and all this week.

    Renee: Yes. A little more originality. That's all I'm saying. Thank you :)

    And from what I know, a lot of guys depend on their wife to remind them about holidays. And by remind them about holidays, I mean go ahead purchase cards for them.

    Amber: Yeah, I like that one, too. Actually that particular one wasn't too hard at all to come up with... whatever that means.

  7. jjDear Mr. Bone,

    It is with much regret that I inform you that the persistent and long going greeting card virus is not confined to your territory...It is all over I'm afraid....My shores are infected...There is simply nowhere to hide...


  8. You are correct, sir! Choosing a card these days is akin to Chinese water torture. I can't swear by it, but I think I bought my mom the same card this year that I bought her last year. Or the year before. I'm seriously going to start writing my own damn cards. I've started buying the blank ones. Geesh.

    And the Magic 8 Ball is correct, Taylor will win AI, unless you went with the "Kat's got boobs" vote, which may cause her to win while sitting on the floor. What's up with the sitting on the stupid floor?

  9. Oh, so you are saying that I should go back to buying all the cards & gifts for his mom? I suppose that would insure that she a.) gets a gift and b.) gets something decent...huh?

    I guess I stopped when I kept bugging DH to take Darly out to get me a gift and he said "you're not my mother." Nice huh?

  10. *cackle*

    I like "For tramp son slept with one drunken night" -- and the occasion would be... birth announcement? get well soon? graduation? There are just no good choices.

  11. Lux: Thanks for that update. It appears we may be dealing with a veritable bad card pandemic here, my friends.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Carmen: Ah yes, I'm glad you brought that up. I've experienced the same thing. Seeing the same cards year after year. Wondering if I have already given a particular card previously.

    Renee: Well, as you just pointed out, it does have its advantages :)

    Eh, guys say things like that sometimes when you get on our nerves. Just overlook it.

    Lostcheerio: Well, I was thinking Mothers Day :) Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Thanks for the little dose of the Cure!

    Yea, greeting cards are expensive and usually pretty shmaltzy as you have so aptly noted.

    I think it would be great fun to work for a greeting card company. Hey, how bout we do it together? You be the funny, sappy guy and I'll do the artwork? Deal??

    And, I finally got to see Idol last night. Elliott is cute, and can kinda sing. It's his teeth. They have to get fixed. I love Katherine. She's awesome!

  13. I made my own cards this year. I hate the stupid zinger cards...people should be allowed to give a loved one a zinger card for an important event like Mother's Day. Just don't give a card. And I hate that the sappy cards are filled with false emotion. Everything I don't say the other days of the year, well, maybe there's a reason I don't say it. It's sappy, false emotion. Don't get me wrong. I love my mom. Dearly. But I'm not going to spill emotional vomit on a card and hand it to her. I'm going to tell her I love her, hug her and be done with it.

    Does that sound like part guy to you?

  14. Exactly !

    This is why I just make my own damn cards.

  15. I laughed out loud when you wrote

    "But then on the second page was a line that said something about giving you the praise and honor you deserve." To which I remarked louder than I intended, "Praise and honor? She's not the Lord."

    LOL. Anyways, I've got to say that I'm rather disappointed with Hallmark as well. I wasnt impressed with the Mother's Day card selection and I almost walked out empty handed.

    You're right. All the cards are getting way too specialized and they all say the same thing...nothing.

  16. Carnealian: OK, you can do the artwork, but they can't all have pictures of cemeteries on front :-P

    And Elliott is gone at last!

    Lass: Maybe partly. I think most guys are fine with the zinger cards :)

    M: I think that is a fine idea. That or start buying cards that are blank inside, as Carmen suggested.

    Chickadee: "All the cards are getting way too specialized and they all say the same thing...nothing."

    You summed it up well.

  17. Online greeting cards are just as bad. It's hard to find a middle ground with them.

  18. I don't send online cards that often, and when I do, its only the free ones. They're not usually great. Probably more of a selection online than in most stores, though.