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21 September, 1997

American Express
Suite 0001
Chicago, Illinois
    60679-0001

Reference: Account 3787-894011-xxxxx

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have been an American Express card member, off and on, since 1989. I say "off and on" because American Express has twice terminated my card member account because of lack of payment.

You might remember receiving my letters after my account was terminated; I pointed out that I was very busy and paid the bill eventually. It’s not that I was spending exorbitantly and bouncing checks all over the place—it was that I was travelling and otherwise very busy and not able to focus my energy on things like paying my bills, feeding my tiger fish (Charlie), or doing laundry.

You guys aren’t very understanding, are you?

Anyway, I just had a great idea: you should add a scent to the invoice envelope. This is a great idea! Since you even send return envelopes even with a zero balance, I’m sure you go through scads of envelopes—it must cost only pennies to add a bit of fragrance to each envelope in such quantities. If you made the envelopes smell like tuna, or stale beer, or rotting pizza, I’d eventually notice that the bill was lying on my desk, unpaid, and I’d be quite motivated to send it out. If the bill was on my per

I hope you give my idea the consideration it deserves. By the way, let’s let bygones be bygones—maybe you could send me some American Express Travel Services boxer shorts as a token of friendship!

Sincerely,

Mike Blaszczak
Redmond, Washington
    98053