The holiday season is upon us, which means only one thing… it’s time to buy a bunch of crap nobody wants or needs.
Here’s a tip: use your American Express card. It won’t come back to haunt you five years from now. Plus, the extremely talented Julia Rothman drew this fancy picture that wouldn’t have the same class as if say, it was the KISS credit card.
Although, to be fair, Amex doesn’t rock-and-roll all night and par-tee everyday quite like Visa.
Shop out with your cop-out!
Money for Nothing: The original American Express card started ringing up sales in 1958, but it wasn’t the consumer-friendly Jerry Seinfeld/Tiger Woods branded purchasing apparatus that modern shops know and love (except, of course, for all those trendy joints that commercials say only take Visa.) The first Amex cards were purple and made of paper—but for a lousy $6 a year what do you want? Plastic? That would have to wait until they switched materials in 1959. But like Kermit said, it ain’t easy being green, so they wouldn’t change the color for another 10 years. As a bonus to their exclusive fraternity, however, they added the “Member Since” insignia in 1963, in part so during the holiday season you can brag to any broke-ass relatives you don’t like about how long you’ve been a card-carrying denizen in the exclusive Amex social circle.
Numerology Freaks Know the Truth: All Amex cards start with the number 37. Here’s the eerie part: 37 is the same number of words in this paragraph. Try blissfully kick-starting 2008 with that coincidence on your mind.
American Express Idols: The Amex card has been vouched for and utilized by statesmen like Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Herbert Walker Bush (possibly to buy his son’s male cheerleading sweater and megaphone set); sexy fat chicks like Ella Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Taylor; allegedly indie artists like Annie Leibovitz; plus-size-schnozzed legendary character actors like Karl “don’t leave home without it” Malden; literary windbags like James Michener; and robust, voices-of-the-Gods like James Earl Jones and Elvis Presley. The King’s card later sold for $63,000 at auction. And man oh man, is he going to have some kind of “Blue Christmas” when he attempts to make his triumphant return and he can’t call his favorite Memphis diner and charge up some of them fried peanut-butter-and-bacon sandwiches he done so loved so much this time of year.
Season’s Greetings: Don’t spend too much. Linger under the mistletoe. Spin the dreidel. Embrace the fruitcake. Get loopy at the office party. Carve the Roast Beast. Watch Frosty. Sing “Rudolph.” Toast the Ghosts of Christmases past. Help an angel get its wings. Sleep off New Year’s Eve. Don’t start that diet just yet. Exhale when it’s over. Long live the King. Amen. Happy holidays. Shalom. A-thank-ya very much.
(City, Winter 2003)
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