Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Electronic Memories

‘Why would Thistle Hotels be writing to us? We’ve never stayed in a Thistle.’
Rising from the depths of sleep, I feel my brain turn over. The cogs creak reluctantly, the pistons begin to rise and fall. ‘We have,’ I say, ‘we spent a night in one in Bristol.’
We wanted to see our daughter. We took her to the movies and then had a brilliant Chinese meal.
’Why were we so stupid? Why did we give them our email address?’
I don't remember, but we did. And we handed it out to a whole regiment of businesses, across the UK and beyond.
Unlike many of our friends and relatives, these people will never forget us. Thanks to them, we will feel wanted forever. The 'salon' where I had my hair cut once in 2006 will go on updating me about its wonderful new stylists; the place I bought a ladder from in 2007 will keep on sending me pictures of their stylish lime-green trowels and their spades for the disabled; the mail order site I got a belt from last year will continue to flood me with once in a lifetime on-line opportunities. We’ll be reminded eternally of where we’ve been and what we purchased, our last four years memorialised in a steady stream of friendly messages, full of eager hope that one day we - and, more importantly, our credit card - will return to spend just a pound or two more.


  1. I suppose the best revenge would be to buy the cheapest item available from any given supplier - say a set of remaindered Take That kirby grips - ensuring that their IT budget for creating the spam mails always exceeds their revenue :-)

  2. oh, I feel guilty now! I'm one of those marketing types who collects customers emails and then sends them newsletters!

    I don't do it for business reasons. I just do it because I hate people.

  3. Which Chinese did you go to?

  4. Gadjo - Take That kirby grips, I want them.
    Worm - I'm glad you do it for the right reasons
    Brit - I will ask the daughter, although whether she'll remember I don't know as she got sick of the weather and moved to Barcelona where it's all tapas and dishes of octopus, goat's cheese, pinenuts and spinach for tuppence halfpenny.