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An Open Letter* To Greeting Card Manufacturers

22 June, 2010

Dear Card Manufacturers,

Seriously. What are you playing at? I don’t understand. Surely the way to sell things is to make your product appeal to a wide audience, and to remove barriers to potential sales? What, then, is going on with these wretched cards?

I just don't understand.

Consider the Venn diagram of people you could give this card to.

I can but attempt to reverse-engineer the world of card designers from the end results: All men shall like football and golf, all women shall diet and hate men, all girls shall like handbags and shoes, and all boys shall like trainers and racecars. The existence of people outside these categories is thoughtcrime.

But perhaps you found a slightly unusual card, that might be appreciated by your intended recipient? Too bad: it says “To My Wonderful Uncle On His Wedding Anniversary“. Keep looking. This card is suitable for married uncles only. You cannot be trusted to select correctly stereotyped cards by yourself, much less write an appropriate message inside.

Card Manufacturers, this will not do. The people I want to send cards to don’t fit into your boxes. They like bizarre injokes, obscure technology, niche memes and weird food, and you will have a state explosion on your hands if you try to cater for even a small subset of this for every permutation of For My Delightful Sister On Her 21st Birthday. Why do you persist in labelling everything? Had you not done so, I could consider all the cards on the rack instead of the only three that apply, and in this wider selection maybe I’d find something I wanted to send.

I assure you, the card recipient usually understands why they are suddenly receiving all these cards. I sincerely doubt that anyone relies on the To My Incredible Cousin On His Graduation lettering to figure out who has sent this card and why, and on the offchance that they might, I accept full responsibility for including this information in a note on the inside.

Yours sincerely,
Unhappy Card Hunter from Dublin

Actually, I am going to make a New Tuesday Resolution**. I am going to start making cards again. It is much more personal, much more fun, and much easier on the soul than dragging jaded eyeballs over rows and rows of dressed-up gorillas, cartoon dogs and tired jokes about women drivers. I have been spoiled by the LSU Shop‘s selection of cards with awesome photographs and no writing; such things are the exception, not the rule.

And to those of you to whom I have sent a Standard Card, or neglected to send a card at all, I am sorry, and I will do better.

Right then. Where did I put my craft knife?


* rant. Let’s be honest here. It always is.

** the best traditions can always be improved upon

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8 comments

  1. Just had some wonderful “injokes” in a stir-fry. First of the season! (i.e. hundreds more to come)


    • Aaaargh! Noooooo!


  2. Moonpig and hallmark let you make your own online :p And don’t forget to make your own chocolate bar online at http://www.createmychocolate.com/ to go with it.


    • Um. I have just invented a chocolate bar with chives, bacon, salt, flowers and ‘Happy Birthday’ on. With great power comes great responsibility, I suppose.


      • mmmm bacon chocolate


  3. Saw this and thought of you 😉
    http://www.threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2010-06-23


    • Heh. When he picks out the “Sorry I Cancelled Dinner To Play Monster Hunter” he will discover that actually this card can only be given to grandmothers who listen to hip-hop at Easter. Mark my words.


      • Actually if you look at the previous comic, he’s probably going to pick out the “Sorry I had Sex in Your Car” one.

        Which will surely only apply to owners on VW Buses during the festival season 😉



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