Okay, consumers: Here's the plan. First we're going to sit down and write letters to the phone company, the electric company, the credit card companies and all the other companies that send bills to us. These letters will say:


We here at the (YOUR LAST NAME) household are of course eager to continue serving you in the capacity of customer, but due to the large volume of monthly bills we receive, we cannot possibly be expected to identify you from just your name and address. Therefore we have assigned you the following Personalized Account Number: 38929-84582309583-059H-2-92-242334090 985-820987SNORKEL32759-32908457209 7-34752 309475903-757209FFG- 248572DWEEB309 847520 3-32822823479823847-2982095891098 38439 85-3983478894598-3988DOOT73459. Please be sure to write your Personalized Account Number on ALL BILLS AND OTHER CORRESPONDENCE that you send us, because otherwise we will have NO IDEA who you are, and we will be forced to treat your bill or other correspondence with no more respect than we would accord to a recently discarded dress shield.

If at any time you have a problem with your account, do not hesitate to call our convenient Hot Line Service Number, (YOUR NUMBER). Please be prepared to:

1. Listen to a prerecorded version of the popular "rock 'n' roll" tune "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree" until one of our Service Representatives can spare a moment with you.

2. Give your name, Personalized Account Number and a brief description of your problem.

3. Suddenly without any explanation find yourself listening once again to "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree."

4. Talk to a COMPLETELY NEW Customer Service Representative, one who is totally unfamiliar with your situation, who in fact appears to have just arrived on this continent via parachute, and who therefore of course will need to know your name, Personalized Account Number and a brief description of your problem.

5. Experience another sudden unexpected burst of listening enjoyment involving the hit song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree."

6. Experience the following sound: "click."

7. Call our convenient Hot Line Service Number, (YOUR NUMBER).

Please bear in mind that these new procedures have been designed for YOUR PROTECTION AND CONVENIENCE, and if you deviate from them EVEN A TINY LITTLE BIT we will turn your world into a LIVING HELL as part of our continuing effort to SERVE YOU BETTER.



But that is JUST THE BEGINNING of our plan, consumers. Next I want you to purchase a number of wooden packing crates, each one the size of an emerging African nation, and I want you to ship these crates over to the individual Japanese manufacturers of all of your stereos and television sets and other household appliances, along with a sternly worded notice stating that these crates are "ORIGINAL PACKAGING" that for various unspecified legal reasons must NEVER EVER BE THROWN AWAY even if this means that ALL OF JAPAN WILL BE COVERED WITH "ORIGINAL PACKAGING" TO A DEPTH OF 600 FEET.

And THEN, consumers, we're going to purchase ALL THE SEATS on a selected commercial airline flight, and when this flight finally arrives at its destination and the door is opened, we're going to announce, in unison, that unfortunately, because of "equipment problems," we are NOT READY AT THIS TIME to get off the plane, and we also are not ready at this time to announce when we WILL be ready to get off the plane, but that we do hope to be able to make some kind of announcement "within the hour."

And THEN we're going to track down the executive director of the Third Class Mail Association, and we're going to KILL HIM WITH HAMMERS. Hahahahahahahaha. And THEN we're going to ...