Phones and mail

WATCHING A MOVIE on Mexican Netflix recently, I noticed Sissy Spacek had a mountain of mail she had extracted from her mailbox. Lots looked like junk, including an announcement that she may have won $10 million.

letterIt made me think: How glad I am not to get that stuff anymore. No junk mail, no sales calls on the phone either. You know, just when you’re sitting down to supper, those annoying calls.

I remember.

Here is the mail I get in my post office box: A very occasional note from The Vanguard Group. Once a year, the Social Security Administration tells me what I’ll receive in the upcoming year. Once a month, my corporate pension administrator sends me a note telling me what I already know — that I received another monthly payment.

All payments come electronically to my Mexican bank.

We also contribute automatically from the bank account to a high school girl in Guadalajara via Children International. That bunch is fond of sending letters asking for more, more, more. It’s the only thing that appears in my mailbox that could  be called junk mail, but I put up with it because it’s a good — if naggy– outfit.

A couple of times a year, I get a box of vitamins from Puritan‘s Pride.

That’s about the full extent of my snail mail. I don’t check the PO box often. There’s no residential delivery by the postal system to our backstreet Hacienda. I installed a mail slot in the front gate before learning this.

We don’t have a land-line telephone, just two cells. One — mine — is what I believe is called a disposable phone above the Rio Bravo. It’s what criminals buy to communicate temporarily with each other or with their victims. I don’t throw mine away. I’ve had it for many years. I can call and text, but nothing more.

I have no “plan.” I buy time, via my bank online, when I need it. Ditto for my child bride’s cell. The last time we drove across the Rio Bravo — in 2008 — both phones stopped working.

phoneHer  cell is a tad fancier. It has a camera. But she is so low-tech that something more elaborate would be a waste of money. Mostly, she does text messages and the occasional call.

Her phone was a hand-me-down from a sister.

Sales pitches via our cells as as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth. Land lines are available in Mexico, of course, and I hear that folks with them sometimes get unwanted calls, often scams or extortion attempts.

I don’t see the need for land lines these days. Seems old-fashioned, a waste of money.

We do have Skype. It’s a very convenient service even though the website is a disaster that was designed by a team of nitwits. No matter. The interface works well enough. I like Skype, which I use almost exclusively to call Vanguard. I also used it to call my bank in California, but they canceled my account in July, so …

Skype costs about $50 a year. Sometimes we call Mexico City.

I wonder if Americans still get junk snail mail and annoying sales pitches by phone when they’re trying to eat.

… if they still are told they may have already won $10 million.