|The best way to hear about the current Mom's reactions, comments, and the overall success and/or failures in this project is right here. Feel free to comment, as that's what makes the Postcard Project even more fun!|
|Will - PostcardsForMom Creator
You? - Main Postcard Prankster
|Your Mom? - The Next Postcard Victim
Postcard Project Update - Thursday, September 02, 2004
Hi everyone, This is Betty Anne!!!!!
I am posting through Wendy's blog registration. I cannot believe she did this for me! It has been so much fun. Thank you honey. She and her sister are both such sweeties.
I suspected they were responsible for the cards at first, but then some of the handwriting matched closely with several members of my sister's family, and they travel and have friends all over the country, so I thought my sister and her boys were writing the notes and sending them to friends to mail. I also had a lot of notes from Arkansas and Missouri, and my sister traveled there this summer and visited a lot of our relatives, so I really thought it was her.
Wendy and Amy thought it was unusual when I started writing responses, but then Wendy sent me some stationary with 'Betty Anne' printed on the front of the cards in large hot pink letters. I see you have some posted on the web-site. I wrote a lot of responses that came back as 'undeliverable - no such address', or 'no one by that name at this address'. Between that and the sheer volume of trying to write responses to everyone, I just gave up.
Wow, I cannot begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed the 'silly mail' All of the cards, keys, buttons, and photos are in albums, baskets, paper bags and covering the dining room table. I'll tally everything up over the Labor Day weekend and let you all know what my 'take' was.
Let me tell you that I have been sent a scarf and two different Hickory Farms packages. I have received a used pass to Paris Disney World, and coins from a lot of different countries. I have coupons to a French McDonald's. I have recieved cards from almost every state, Japan, China, Indonesia, Austrailia, England, France, Germany, Austria and more.
I enjoyed the keys most of all (I liked the buttons too), as the notes explaining what the key was for were the most creative. I got a notice from an orthodontist that I missed my appointment. I received a page from an electrical catalog listing adaptors that said 'adapt' and nothing else. I got pictures of keys, keys to cars, keys to hotel rooms in exotic places, keys to peoples beach houses, keys to peoples back doors, keys to diaries, keys to lockers, keys to outhouses and sheds, and one key to the city. I got a lot of birthday cards, and just last week I got a couple of Christmas cards. I am going to send a picture of myself, my husband, Wendy and her family, Amy and both of the dogs for Will to put on the web site.
Anyway, the most important thing I want to say is to the person who wrote you saying this is a mean prank: It is NOT mean, it is a wonderful prank. It is so much fun to go to the post office and pick up funny mail from strangers. I usually went to the sandwich shop next door to have a glass of iced tea while I read my mail, and every time someone would come up to me and say somehting alonge the lines of "I have never seen anyone so happy to open their mail before!" I would explain to them that I was getting mail from total strangers who pretend to know me and that they were sending me keys (buttons, etc). All of them thought it sounded like a lot of fun. The people who run the post office where my box was all want to know how to do this for someone they like. Like I wrote in my note to Dylan, a good practical joke is a carefully structured thing. To recieve 1 or 5 or 10 notes from strangers in one location can be scary, but to receive hundreds from all over the world is just plain funny.
The auction worked well. Do that again. Someone gets to prank their Mom, a Mom gets lots of fun mail, and a charity gets a donation. Everyone wins (except that strange person who doesn't think this is nice).
I have a special greeting for Margaret, Kennedi and Chico, who have been including me in thier European travels all summer. I love you, thank you for the picture and I will write soon.
My favorite note was probably from Lola, who reminisced about our rodeo days, but really, my favorite is whichever one I am holding in my hand at the moment.
I am at work, so I have to go now, but I will send another post soon. I look forward to sending postcards to another mom soon.
Love to all of you,
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 12:56 PM
To: 'Betty Anne'
Subject: RE: Postcards
From: Betty Anne
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 12:55 PM
Subject: RE: Postcards
Shall I go to the web site now?
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Full text of archived story
Mail prankster has a new target for postal surprises
TODD C. FRANKEL
Of the Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
June 21, 2004
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 12:39 PM
To: 'Betty Anne'
Subject: Read This
It's Too Late!
Time's up! They made Mom give back the keys to the post office box yesterday -- a full ten days earlier than I expected. Since my name was on the form she just called me to ask "what's up?".
I sent her the link to the article from the Washington Times. I'll send her the articles from the St. Louis Dispatch next, but I suspect there will be a post from her before the afternoon is out! Yipes!
Sorry if the comment about the website seemed hyper-critical. I intended it as constructive criticism, because a lot of my friends complained about it (but still went on and signed up, so maybe it's moot anyhow.) Anyway, will all who were offended, please consider forgiving me?
If anyone has a suggestion about how to tell Mom, please weigh in. Mom is coming to spend the night at my house on Saturday, and I'm considering just showing her the newspaper articles, and then the site. Maybe I can get her to bring her scrapbook and we can start scanning more letters and responses!
I am sorry I haven't had time to post much lately. The time limit on the auction was attractive to me because it was over the summer. I work full-time, go to law school at night and have a small child, so when school started up a few weeks ago, everything went haywire for me again.
I do want to thank everyone who was kind enough to send my Mom a letter. I suspect you'll never truly know how wonderful receiving all of your mail has been for her -- unless she manages to find a way to express it herself -- but your participation has been a wonderful, kind, selfless gift and I am humbled by it.
Postcard Project Update - Monday, August 30, 2004
I wanted to wait for other comments before weighing in on this one.
In all honesty, since Betty Anne was chosen, I've really only made two changes to the site, and those are additions. The Press Kit and the Featured pages are new. Both were great additions, and helped with our publicity.
As for the way you get the address, it's the same as when my Mom was the target. I require the form for a few reasons.
For one, it keeps a mailing address from just being posted on the website. By requiring the person to enter a few valid tidbits of information, I at least know there is a real person behind the request.
Two, most spammers/hackers/etc won't waste their time filling out a form. Good.
Third, I like to keep the email addresses so that every month I can remind our hundreds upon hundreds of participants to mail something to the victim. While they don't have to sign up for the newsletter, most all do. I only send one a month, so it's not (what I consider) intrusive.
As for Wendy, Amy, and Betty Anne, I hope they've had a great time with the prank, and I hope they keep us informed as Betty Anne starts to figure out whats going on.
However it is finally revealed, I think an update is owed to all of the crazy people around the world that took their personal time (and expense) to mail something to Betty Anne. I'm sure Wendy and Amy will let us know - don't worry (they have lives, too!).
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