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Chicken Soup For The Soul

My downstairs neighbor
a cheery well meaning busybody of a woman
stops me in the elevator one day
and asks me what is my email address?
I ask her why do you want to know?
You can talk to me the old fashioned way
face to face
but she says she has something very special to send me via email
so against my better judgment I give her my email address
and the next day when I wake up
I turn on my computer and what do I see?
in my email box something called
Chicken Soup For The Soul
my downstairs cheery well meaning busybody of a neighbor
signed me up for a free lifetime subscription to
Chicken Soup For The Soul
Every day you get to read a new heartwarming story
true stories
written by real people from all walks of life
some stories have a o. henry type of ending where
a special lesson is learned
or a long-standing hurt is mended
or a particular obstacle is overcome
Chicken Soup For The Soul's motto is
'changing the world one story at a time'
I read them every day
sitting at my computer
drinking my coffee
listening to the birds chirping in the trees outside my window
these sweet sweet stories make me smile
sometimes they choke me up
they make me think my life isn't so bad
compared to the troubles others have to endure
Then my work takes me travelling for a month
and when I come back what do I see?
an entire email box clogged to the rafters with many many heartwarming
stories from Chicken Soup for the Soul
I don't have time to read them
but I want to read them
so I click on 'save'
but then have no time
and eventually I end up deleting them, unread.
I feel guilty.
Pretty soon, the guilt mixed with the no time thing
makes me realize these chicken soup stories have become
a cyberspace nuisance.
I once appreciated this little bit of sunshine
in my email box every day
but now I get a bit riled up when they greet me
every time I turn my computer on.
I run into my downstairs cheery well-meaning busybody of a neighbor
and she asks me if I love reading the chicken soup stories
as much as she does
and I lie and say oh my yes
because I don't want her to think I am a
cold hearted uncaring selfish bitch
so now I feel guilty for not reading them
and for lying about it
Next day I scroll down to the bottom of that day's particularly
heartwarming story
about a puppy and chipmunk who become best friends
the moral being YES, world peace is possible
YES we CAN all get along and NOT eat each other
but enough's enough, so
I follow the directions to
'unsubscribe to Chicken Soup for the Soul,'
I do everything as I am told,
to the letter.
But the next day when I wake up and turn on my computer what do I see?
A brand new story from "Chicken Soup for the Soul"
about a father of 8, in desperate need of a car
who accidentally dials the phone number
of a rich old geezer on his death bed from a weird blood disorder
who has a Mercedes Benz
and no known relatives to leave it to.
So I 'unsubscribe' again, but then the next day
there's fresh chicken soup for the soul in my email box.
So I write a letter to the webmaster of "Chicken Soup For the Soul"
asking that I be taken off the list.
Not only do I get no response, I keep getting "Chicken Soup for the soul" stories.
More heartwarming stories.
People tell me I should never have written that letter to the webmaster
•- they LOVE to get letters like that.
It's proof that you are receiving their email, reading their advertising
making you an even more valuable name on their mailing list
a name they will sell to others, assuring more unwanted email
for the rest of your life.
But then I remember -- I am a member of America Online
I can block email from a specific sender -- I follow those
directions to a T, but the next day what do I see when
I turn on my computer?
Yes, more Chicken Soup for the Soul.
PLUS information on how to subscribe to "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul."
I email them back:
There is no teenager in my soul
there is no teenager in my house
Stop sending me this email!
I don't have time to read it!
Your stories are heartwarming
but my heart has been warmed to the point that I have literary heartburn!
Please! Stop!
No answer.
Eventually, even though the world political situation grows
bleaker and bleaker
what bugs ME first and foremost is seeing the unwanted
Chicken Soup for the Soul every day in email box
I can't stand it!
I don't want it!
I get the shivers in the supermarket
when I'm in the chicken soup aisle
I get the shakes in the music store when I'm in the Soul aisle
I contemplate changing my email address completely
but that would inconvenience a lot of people
so in a fit of rage on a particularly nasty morning
I smack my computer monitor so hard
it falls out the window.
Unbeknownst to me, below my window on the street
a horrible crime is in progress
A very bad man named Lefty
is robbing a poor pitiful orphan named Hope
of all her worldly possessions
she was running away from the convent orphanage
where she was sooo unhappily held against her will for all those years
and now here she is, being robbed by a very very bad man
My computer monitor hits Lefty in the head
doesn't kill him
but knocks him out cold and opens a horrible gash in his scalp.
My downstairs cheery well-meaning busybody of a neighbor
witnesses all of this and calls the police
runs outside, does mouth to mouth on Lefty
accompanies him to the hospital in the ambulance
At the hospital Lefty needs a transfusion
turns out he has a weird blood type
and DNA tests prove that Lefty
is the long-lost ne-er-do-well father
of the poor pitiful orphan Hope he was robbing
AND the son of the rich old geezer who was still on his deathbed
after giving away his Mercedes Benz to that desperate father of eight
who turned out to be Lefty's twin brother who was kidnapped at birth
and raised by a pack of Right Wing religious fanatics in Texas
til he escaped and regained sanity working in the Cirque du Soleil
as a contortionist up in Canada
up in Canada
up in Canada
Well Lefty apologized to Hope for trying to rob her
and Hope's donated blood not only saves her long-lost daddy Lefty,
it also saves Lefty's long-lost father the rich old geezer with the Mercedes Benz who's going to live!
(and whose puppy and chipmunk just gave birth to a litter of 8 pupchips, praise the Lord)
they are all reunited
are now in family counseling with Dr. Phil
where they are making tremendous progress
How do I know this?
It was in today's edition of
Chicken Soup for the Soul
that appeared in my email box this morning
The story was sent in by my downstairs
cheery well-meaning bride-to-be of a neighbor,
yes, Lefty's fiance
and soon-to-be adopted mother of the no-longer poor pitiful orphan named Hope
I'm sorry
I'm getting all choked up
I can't wait to see what email I'll get tomorrow from
Chicken Soup for the Soul