Fliers and Change: Two Things I Wish Would Go Away

I never take fliers.  It is very annoying to be walking down a sidewalk and be abruptly clotheslined by somebody shoving a piece of paper into your face.  Who the hell on this green, revolving Earth ever wants a flier?  For anything?  Who ever has followed up on whatever was being advertised on said flier?  Nobody.  When somebody hands somebody else a flier, they are either handing them litter, or a piece of trash to be carried until the receiver finds a trashcan.  Everybody else should do as I do, and decline to take them, so that whatever stupid freaking business owners are still fliering will freaking stop it already.  I.  Hate.  Fliers.

Along the same lines, postcards for shows are a giant waste of money and a thoroughly ineffective marketing tool.  Nobody ever, ever, ever goes to a show they weren’t already planning on going to (because they have a friend involved with it) because of a damn postcard.  Best-case scenario here is that one or even two lonely old people in from out of town might possibly, conceivably go to some show just because they saw a postcard for it, but even if you get three such audience members (which is an improbably high estimate), their admission is not enough to recoup whatever you spent on the postcards.  I hate being handed postcards more than fliers, because I actually have to take the postcards and act interested, and then I have to carry them around until it’s ok to throw them away.  Even if I actually plan on going to the show, I’m going to look in my email inbox (where undoubtedly there are at least fourteen different messages about whatever show it is) to remind myself of the time and place, not paw through my various handbags looking for some torn-up flier I was handed at a party three weeks earlier.

In marketing, it’s like…somebody starts doing something, and everybody just does it forever, whether it’s worth a damn or not.  These measures are not effective, and they are annoying, and they result in a huge build-up of worthless clutter in my purse.  Everybody, just stop it.

Another thing nobody agrees with me about – and I know with the economy in the shitter this is hugely optomistic of me – but can we just be done with change already?  It’s heavy and it’s dirty and it gets everywhere and it makes whatever else is in your purse smell like coins, and I amass pounds of it, and then when I try to actually use it up by counting out exact change when I buy something, it massively pisses off the cashier and everybody behind me.  The only thing you can really do with it is give it to homeless people, but then you have to juggle your bag and root around in it and shake it back in forth, all in a moving subway car, while you totter back and forth, and the homeless person politely waits and also totters back and forth, and everybody in the car stares at you and then you look like a real stingy asshole for not just giving the homeless person a dollar, especially after they stood there while you rooted through your purse for five minutes, and anyway, everybody (including the homeless person) knows you’re just trying to offload your obnoxious coins.  I hate small change, and I can see no good reason for it, and with the way prices are these days, why can’t things just be rounded up or down to the next stupid dollar?  At the very least, get rid of everything but quarters.

So, and but this is pretty funny.  It explains how to shut up a music geek at a party.  I used to kind of do this (make up a fake band) on occasion when some snobby guy at a party asked me what bands I like, but now I just never go to parties where I’m likely to run into any guys like that.  Or maybe it’s just that everyone suddenly realized it’s rude to grill strangers about their musical taste.


  1. Hope says:

    It’s soo true that marketing methods are bandwagon affairs. It comes from ex-(or current) performers sitting around trying to ‘brainstorm’ marketing options. When you don’t have money for a marketing staff, you do the next best thing: copy what the Met does.

    From the admin end, I do know that postcards are singularly useful in direct mail because they cost less to mail and remind your audience-old-people when your tour dates are. You know… septogenarians (?) who have cork boards at home instead of iCal reminders. But delivered in any other non-postal method = so much useless clutter.

    I have to take the opposite view of change, though. Sometimes I pay for metrocards with a larger bill than needed just so I get dollar coins back. Because it makes me feel like a pirate. With a pocketbook full of booty. Also am not above paying for my coffee with rolls of pennies; since I’ve gone through the effort of rolling them, I defy any cashier to say they won’t take it. Mostly because I am a 70-year-old in a 30-year-old’s body.


  2. Sara B says:

    I am only friends with other old ladies. Hence the love for you and Hope.

    So, people were talking about what to do to promote the QoS show more, and of course, someone said we should do postcards!!! God Damn it! Can’t they all just read this blog post and see how horrible postcards are???

    Maybe postcards are good for mailing old folks, but I do NOT want postcards or fliers to give to my friends, or hang up at my place of work!! Who the Hell am I supposed to give a postcard to? Chris P? Hope? Lo?
    Plus, they are a useless killing of tree’s that will almost def get thrown out rather then recycled.


  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hope, here’s the part that undercuts your entire pro-change argument:

    since I’ve gone through the effort of rolling them

    How do you even roll coins? Is there, like, a machine for that?

    Sara, if QOS didn’t know how you felt about postcards before, I’m sure they do now. 😉


  4. Elizabeth says:

    Argh, smiley! Real smiley! Quick, Mary Jane, shoot it!


  5. Quiconque says:

    “How do you even roll coins? Is there, like, a machine for that?”

    Family sweatshop. That’s how I roll coins. Rustle up the young’uns and pretend it’s a fun game. No, they cannot have any of the money. I have $85 in change sitting in a box in my sister’s house.

    The issue is not the rolling of the coins. The issue is the CARRYING of the rolls. I am old and infirm, and a box full of hundreds of little metal chips is too much for my tired body to bear.

    Being old, I think postcards are pretty. They make my cork board look special.


  6. Hope says:

    Why, yes, they do make a machine for that, which I believe is available on QVC or via special televsion offer only available to “Amazing Inventions” viewers.

    Wait… it’s not a fun game? I feel so used.

    It’s actually quite relaxing. Miyagi and I sit around the computer, listening to our NPR podcasts and stuff the coins into the paper rolls, seeing who can make the most money before the end of “Wait Wait….” You’d be surprised how dextrous his tiny paws can be when give an pile of dimes and the promise of table scraps.


  7. Mary Jane says:

    Nothing would give me more pleasure, sadly, they are indefatigable.


  8. Jason Tyne says:

    I’ve been on the no-change bandwagon for years. I actually think the solution is to get rid of of a decimal point. Ban all change, put out a ten-cent bill and be done with the hundredth place forever.


  9. Elizabeth says:

    Jason, your proposal is too complicated for me to understand. As I’ve discussed on this blog before, I can barely even add. You lose me at “decimal point” and “hundredth place.”


  10. Jason Tyne says:

    “Vote for Jason” = “No more change”

    “Vote for Obama” = “Lots of change”

    The choice is clear.


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