About a week ago I got something in the mail from a company called Wine People, offering me $100 off on a case of wine. Included was a form letter addressed to me from one Andrew Stead, Wine Director. I don't know why they sent it to me, given that I've never shown the slightest interest in wine, or how they got my details. Rather than throw it out I decided to have a bit of fun by sending something back in the included reply-paid envelope. I wrote this letter to Mr. Stead:
I eagerly await my $100.
How delighted I was to receive your correspondence dated 20th September 2010, regarding the possibility of wine delivered right to my very door. A keen bargain hunter, I cannot deny that I was intrigued, even excited by the prospect of saving one hundred dollars on a case of your undoubtedly superb product; almost a fifty percent saving! And the extra three bottles of Heathcote Shiraz with which you so kindly seek to endow me made it even more difficult to resist.
However, humbled though I am by your generous offer, I regret to inform you that I am not a keen wine drinker. Oh I do so enjoy a fine single malt on the rocks while I sit by the fire on a cold Winter's evening. And a crisp ale does hit the spot while picnicking on a Summer's day, the wind ruffling my hair ever so slightly. But wine! Bleah.
And so your letter, along with the thoughtfully included Priority Order Form, sat on a shelf in my study neglected for a number of days. But eventually I came to realise that it would be remiss of me to let such a gesture go unremarked upon. I considered examining your website, but I find the information superhighway far too impersonal for my tastes. Tempted I was to simply call your telephone wine advisors – they are, as you say, the best in the business, an enviable rank in such a highly competitive field as telephone wine advice. But the more I thought about it the more I realised that I must respond to you directly, given that you took the time to pen such a personal letter to me, painstakingly detailing for me the amazing deals you were prepared to offer.
Since I feel it is rude to decline such a gift, I propose a compromise: Perhaps it will be agreeable to you that you simply send me the one hundred dollars I would otherwise be saving were I more fond of the wine in which you specialise. You have my details (and I would be most interested to learn how you became privy to such information), so you will have no difficulty in making the check out to me. Alternatively you may send cash. I am convinced that this arrangement should prove satisfactory for all concerned parties and that this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship for many years to come.
Yours most sincerely,
I eagerly await my $100.