Yesterday, the package arrived with the following note (which is literally copied word-for-word here):
Thank you very much for your order.
Unfortunately, the free gift we described in the promotion is not longer available.
We're sending you the enclosed item - which is one of our reader's favorites - as a substitution. We hope you'll find it interesting and useful, as this gift is similar to the product in the promotion.
If you have an questions, please contact us through e-mail at [redacted], by writing to [also redacted], or calling [aaaaand redacted].
We hope you enjoy this gift.
Etc, etc, etc."**
There are two reasons why this note caused my bride and I to collapse into tears of laughter.
1) It's about as generic as you can get. Seriously, Magazine Guys? I know that you have thousands of customers, but you couldn't print my name at the top to make me feel like I wasn't just Some Reader? After all these years, I thought we had something special!
2) The line: "We hope you'll find it interesting and useful, as this gift is similar to the product in the promotion." Why, you may ask? Because the gift they sent was this:
Why yes, Magazine People, I do find a plastic water bottle interesting and useful! Not only that, it is soooooo similar to a gym bag, I can hardly tell the difference.*** A $40 gym bag vs $2 water bottle? Different shades of gray, apparently.
The question I have is: Who in the world looked at the two and went, "Meh, close enough"?
I know this was a generic replace-like-for-not-even-close thing that wasn't intended to be hilarious. Ironically, instead of being disappointed, we laughed ourselves sick last night and want renew the subscription again, actaully right now, just to see what parallels they try to draw this time. If the bag-to-bottle ratio is any indication, I might wind up with a worn shoelace instead of a sexy personal trainer named "Tiffany".
*Not THAT one! A gym and heath one. Sheesh!
**I'm keeping the note, by the way. I might even have it framed along with the photo of the water bottle.
***If by "similar" you mean that it's something that I might use at the gym. FYI, I also use running shoes, weights, and stationary exercise machines, all of which would be lovely substitutes next year when we renew.