or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Recent Junk Mail – Books and Pets

   May 3rd, 2007 Brian Herzog

I get a lot of junk mail coupons mailed to my house. Usually they're neatly tucked into a single envelope, which is easy to put right into the recycle bin without opening. But for whatever reason this week, I opened the envelope.

Most of the coupons and advertisements were what you'd expect - oil changes, gutter cleaning, eye glasses, etc. But two of them stood out.

The first is yet another outlet for old or used books. It is a company called "Got Books," which will take pretty much anything (books, magazines, CDs, records, etc.) and then sells them for profit and as fundraising for local charities. They'll even pick up your items free (if you're in New England, and they have a location near you). Since they make money off the deal, I can't really endorse them, but it is another option to get rid of unwanted items: http://www.gotbooks.com.

And the second one just couldn't pass by without comment. It's a company called Pet Butler, and their slogan is, "Got Poop? We Scoop!" Yes, you hire this company to come and pick up your dog poop for you. Yes, there is really a company that does this, and you can become a client at http://www.petbutler.com (again, it's a business, so no endorsement is implied by this link).

Of course, the burning question is this: what do they do with it all? Their website has a humorous Top 10 listing, and a more serious answer in their faq [pdf]:

We throw it on your neighbor’s lawn and leave a business card! No, actually all pet waste and trash is bagged then taken to the proper city dump station or placed into our dumpster where it is stored until collected by a licensed commercial waste hauler who quickly and legally disposes of it. In some areas there are local ordinances that forbid anyone from removing pet feces from a property in which case we will double-bag it and put it in your trash can or other designated area. Unfortunately there is no commercial use for dog mess as it is protein based - poisonous to lawns plus we normally collect a lot of rocks and trash which would ruin fertilizer.

Hmm - I wonder what you can tell about someone's life when they are this entertained by junk mail.

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