One-Liner Wednesday: He Might Not Be A Bird’s Best Friend

Zen-Den and I were opening snail mail while standing at the kitchen counter.  I’d received a calendar from the Audubon Society whose mission is “to protect birds and the places they need.”

I didn’t ask for this calendar, it was just there, mailed to me, specifically– like many calendars are this time of year.  Z-D doesn’t get unsolicited calendars like I do, but me? I got choices.

2020 will not go unnoticed.

Anyhow, Z-D glanced over to see what I was looking at.   He saw what I had in my hand and asked: “Are you a member of the Audubon Society?”

I said: “No. The calendar just came in the mail.”

He said: “Why?”

I said: “Because this is what happens in September. Unsolicited calendars appear like manna from heaven.”

He said: “What’s the calendar look like?”

I started to show him the Audubon calendar, holding up each page that features a different endangered bird.  I thought he might like to see them.

However after three bird photos he cut me off saying:

“OK, I get it. You got a free calendar with pictures of birds not fat enough to eat. Lucky you.”

~ ~ ~ ~

This is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill. Click on the badge to learn more & to connect with other bloggers who are doing #1LinerWeds this week.

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Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

114 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday: He Might Not Be A Bird’s Best Friend”

      1. A few I receive because I do donate to like the Alzheimer’s Association and the Disabled Veterans, but I get many others. My guess is I’m on some list and these people would like for me to donate to them as well, hence the gifts! I get beautiful greeting cards, too. Oh, and pens!

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        1. I get lots of calendars from organizations I don’t donate to– but few from organizations I do donate to. I bet you’re right about being on a list somewhere. I occasionally get greeting cards, but have never gotten any pens. Not a one.

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  1. That one liner did make me laugh. Teal hunting season opened here last week, and people who want to add them to their life list view those birds somewhat differently from those who’d prefer to wrap them in bacon and add them to the grill. Now I’m envisioning a calendar with bird recipes for each month.

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    1. Linda, Zen-Den’s one liner made me laugh, too. He can be so honest sometimes that it’ll take you by surprise. I believe the man would’ve preferred a calendar with bird recipes, but *alas and alack* the Audubon Society doesn’t send those. Go figure.

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  2. That’s a good observation.

    I get one calendar, from one of the colleges I attended. I would actually enjoy seeing the pictures, and I am active in the alumni association, but every year, that calendar is destroyed on its way here. Ripped, torn, folded, mutilated. Somewhere between West Virginia and Connecticut, someone doesn’t like WVU.

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    1. Dan, oh that’s a sad calendar story. I am sorry, but wouldn’t you know? The one you like you can’t get, but I’m betting a calendar from the Audubon Society would arrive in pristine condition. Trying to guilt you into contributing. 🙄

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    1. Shelley, every year I’m inundated with these unsolicited calendars that are often pretty but I don’t ask for them. The Alzheimer’s Association has yet to find me. Perhaps they forgot. 😉

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      1. Me too – one year, back when we couldn’t afford or didn’t want to spend $ on art, we framed many of the photos on calendars because they were so pretty. LOL – eventually the AA finds us, I volunteer train for them, so I think I have an in. 😉

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  3. I get like 20 every year. I only need one. I rarely use paper calendars but I have one on my desk. They are mostly from animal rescues so of course they have gorgeous pictures. I have a hard time choosing and an even harder time throwing out the ones I don’t need. I don’t get one from the Audubon Society but don’t tell them about me. BTW none of mine have recipes either. I think you need Martha Stewart for that.

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    1. Kate, you get more calendars than I do. Congratulations. I don’t know how I’d decide which one to use either. It’s amazing/annoying how these nonprofit organizations [and in my case realtors too] find me, trying to get me to give them money [or business]. I must be such a disappointment to them… 🙄

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  4. Wow! I agree with the previous commenter: someone is fussy and hungry. 😉

    I don’t get calendars in the mail, either. I get little scratchpads and address labels. I use the former but not the latter. I wonder what the ROI is on all those unsolicited gifties? Must be worth it or they wouldn’t do it.

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    1. nance, I don’t get any little scratchpads, but would like to receive those. I occasionally get address labels, but toss them out. I agree that the ROI must be good enough for these organizations to keep mailing out this unsolicited stuff– but it seems wasteful to me.

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  5. Ah, it’s been a while since I’ve had a free calendar – which I’m much relieved about as I only use my online one & hate the waste of throwing them out. My ex’s family used to send each of us a different local calendar every Christmas 🙂 I do get those cards and pens though. The pens don’t last long though …

    Z-D’s comment made me guffaw. I could see Himself coming out with something like that too. ‘Tis why we love them, for sure 😀

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    1. deb, I agree about the wastefulness of sending out any of these items. It bugs me, but I suspect that the organizations who do this sort of solicitation don’t really care about my opinion of their business model. Just a guess.

      And yes, you’re right about why we love them. Make me laugh with your honesty and I’m yours.

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      1. From my years in internet dating, I always said I couldn’t be charmed into bed, but make me laugh and you’ve got a chance 😉 Then we’d have to discuss sense of humour and my were there a whole load of so called funny guys who had me raising the proverbial eyebrow.

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    1. Maggie, you might be right about it being an American thing. Canadians are too savvy to waste resources and time with such calendar nonsense. Although some of the calendars are quite pretty, but I don’t want them. Yet here they are.

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    1. L. Marie, yes Z-D can be quite humorous– especially off the cuff. We get unsolicited catalogs here, too. It boggles my mind how much paper waste arrives on our doorstep– unsolicited.

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  6. A friend showed up to lunch the other day with 8 calendars, one for every person there. I get the Audubon calendar, too. But I donate money on occasion so I’m never surprised.

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    1. Jean R, what a great way to spread the unsolicited calendar wealth among friends. I like that idea. If I donated money I’d understand a calendar from the Audubon Society, any nonprofit organization, appearing in the mailbox, but I don’t give money to them. Free calendars are a business model that baffles me.

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  7. Tons of calendars here too ~ Colonial Williamsburg, Sierra Club, EarthJustice, Environmental Defense Fund, ASPCA, Jane Goodall, the Humane Society. And address labels ~ Colonial Williamsburg, Heart Association, St. Jude, Southern Poverty Law Center, Jane Goodall, Earthjustice, PETA, Audubon, National Wildlife Federation. We also get notepads ~ American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America. And notecards ~ Colonial Williamsburg, Jane Goodall (featuring “stunning” artwork by chimpanzees . . . like footprints of babies made in the hospital).

    And not a single sandwich or adult beverage!
    Not even a cup of coffee.

    (We use the calendar and notecards from Colonial Williamsburg and donate the rest. Except the address labels which get shredded.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nancy, your list made me laugh. Oh. my. goodness. How many calendars does one household need? Not that many– ever. We rarely get notecards, which I rarely use anyhow. And we never use the address labels, either. Modern life, ain’t it grand? 🙁

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      1. The Colonial Williamsburg notecards feature gorgeous peacocks and/or colonial gardens and plants. I use those (and a few address labels . . . about 0.1% of the total) for my “not-very-extensive” correspondence needs. 😀

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  8. Don’t think that I’ve ever gotten a calendar, unless I specifically bought it. I would have appreciated getting one though…I have an odd fondness for calendars. Took me a long time to give up the paper version and just use Google on my devices.

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    1. Deb, I still use a paper calendar for the blog and a paper datebook for my life. However, I pick the calendars that I want and *splurge* about $15.00 on them– total. These unsolicited calendars are cute, but I’m not donating to any organization because of them. To me they seem like pre-trash.

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  9. And here I am faithfully buying calendars each year because I am just that much of an ‘old-style’ type of visual person…you’d think there’d be a marketing list for those types, eh?
    😀
    I do get address labels from charities (hate that word, but it has it’s uses in generic meaning like using it here) we donate to…weird that they’d keep on printing those given snail mail’s competition with email/internet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. laura, I buy paper calendars, too. I like the visual aspect of them. I like to see what I’ve done all crossed off and stickered and scribbled upon. Seems real to me. We get some address labels, too. Like you I wonder about the why of them. How many does any one family need in a year? 🤔

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    1. Janis, you’re the first commenter to have a husband who gets the calendars. I toss the address labels and don’t get any pads of paper– that I’d actually use. We have the same situation here: once you give money, the game is all about asking for more money. It’s not a great business model if you were to ask me.

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  10. You get an influx of calendars, I get my weight in return address labels all with a nice little request for a donation. For the address labels I didn’t request. That annoys me which I’m betting is not the response they’re going for. 🙄

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    1. Laura, yes I get annoyed with the organizations that send me the unsolicited calendars. I send no money their way, which like you said, isn’t the response they are going for, I assume. Just another bother.

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  11. Nobody ever sends me calendars! Who do you have to know to get on this marketing list? The only mail freebie I’ve been inundated with lately are address labels. Three sheets, two of them from St. Jude. Yes, I use them… and since St. Jude already gets 34 cents for every pizza I buy from Domino’s, I don’t even have to feel guilty about it. Though it does get into my pet peeve of charities wasting money on mass mailing ad campaigns, which is the main reason I will never EVER sign up with AARP when I finally do hit the magic number in a few years…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, you get address labels from St. Jude? They never send me a thing and I might like getting something from a saint. Oh well. I agree about charities wasting money on mass mailings. I don’t know who convinces them this is a good idea, but it isn’t.

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  12. I’m very particular with my calendars. Kind of like my planners. Very personal. Have to be just right so I don’t use the freebies we get, even the ones my husband insists on “picking up” when he is out. At least, I don’t use them as calendars but I might cut them up and use them in my craft projects. The one that bothers me the most is the one we get from our real estate agent. It is filled with gorgeous, huge homes that I know we will never be able to live in. Why you wanna do that to a person?

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    1. Janet, I’m like you. I know what I like in my paper calendars so I buy what I want. These unsolicited calendars are wasteful but they show up here. Our realtors send out magnetic calendars to put on your refrigerator. I find this amusing because the realtors are the ones who push you to buy a house with stainless steel appliances– that aren’t magnetic. 🙄

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    1. joey, clearly you have a better appreciation of good bird photos than Z-D. All he sees when he looks at a bird photo, apparently, is what’s for dinner. Like that’s a surprise to me. 🙄

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    1. dawn, I’ve been amazed by how many commenters don’t get free calendars in the mail. I assumed everyone did, but no. The Audubon photos were beautiful, but I didn’t ask for the calendar and therefore I won’t be paying for it. Just saying…

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    1. philmouse, we’ve yet to receive a note pad which makes me sad. That’s something I could use. We get greeting cards, but no postcards. And we get address labels sometimes. I toss those in the trash which seems like a waste to me. This whole idea of sending unsolicited items to unsuspecting people then trying to get money from said people is, well– stupid and out-of-touch with the times.

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    1. J-Dub, we get so many calendars, some wall calendars + magnetic ones + poster ones. I dunno why they appear here, but it’s that time of year. Our dentist never sent us a calendar. I feel neglected.

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  13. I’m jealous…..I never get any calendars…..they’ve gone the way of the dodo bird here. Even the free milk calendar which used to come with the newspaper is extinct. I usually have to go out and buy one.

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  14. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the sammie – if and when I get unsolicited material and if the pictures are pretty or interesting enough I may remove them with the thought of maybe framing them. Needless to say I have a drawer full of such. I’d go bankrupt if I had to frame them all … Zen Den’s comment made me laugh thanks Ally Bean 🙂

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    1. Susan, I know what you mean about how some of the photos in this calendar [many unsolicited calendars] are pretty enough to frame. I’ve never done that but who knows, you might end up with a gorgeous one-of-a-kind picture. Glad Z-D made you laugh.

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    1. Pam, exactly! Why are these nonprofit organizations wasting money and resources trying to get money from me when they could just. feed. the. birds. with the money they have? It’s infuriating but seems to be the business model for many of these organizations.

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  15. we don’t get calendars, we get address labels. Lots and LOTS of address labels. When the world sent mail all the time getting address labels was good because you used them, but I don’t mail things now so I have a bulk of these labels that have little no purpose. Not that I’d want a ton of calendars either. Maybe if they stopped sending these items in the mail, they could use that money for their cause?

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    1. teacherturnedmommy, we only get a few address labels that we have no use for. I agree with you SO MUCH that if a nonprofit would use their money for their cause, instead of wasting it on unsolicited paper stuff, they’d be ahead of the game. Just saying…

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  16. We seem to get calendars, notepads, and cards. I do love the pads because I’m constantly scrawling something either at my desk or when I’m speaking to someone on the phone. I end up taking all the calendars to our gym and putting them in the communal magazine section; I’m assuming they’ll find a good home somehow. – Marty

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    1. Marty, I wish we got notepads. I’d use those in a heartbeat, but these calendars are of no use to me. I like how you deal with your unsolicited calendar surplus. Very smart.

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  17. Zen-Den does come up with some good retorts. Interestingly, it’s the same in our household. I get the ‘free’ calendars and my guy gets none. Many of them are beautiful (even the one from our local bank) and I feel guilty just throwing away. So one calendar goes on the other side of the basement door; another on the back side of the closet door; another ….. Well, you get the picture. (and yes, pictures of not-fat-birds are aplenty). 🙂

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    1. Pam, I like your approach to household calendar dispersement. I feel sort of guilty about not using these calendars, too. BUT I didn’t ask for them. It’s time for nonprofit organizations to find a new business model– being associated with waste isn’t a good look for them.

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  18. Zen-Den is witty and provides fodder for your blog posts. I have to rely on my furry friends’ antics unless I stray far from home. 🙂 I used to get a lot of calendars, greeting cards and even tote bags, all from supporting National Wildlife. And don’t get me started on address stickers from supporting veterans organizations – in my lifetime I could never use them all up, especially since I pay 99% of bills by electronic banking and write very few cards and zero correspondence by snail mail. I don’t have room for a wall calendar (lots of Early American/colonial knickknacks on the walls) so I don’t use them. I feel badly as it is a lot of trees downed to create calendars, etc.

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    1. linda, yes, Z-D’s quips could be a whole blog in and of itself. But he doesn’t write this blog, so I only use his words occasionally. Plus often what he has to say is not PG-13 and while I’m not offended, I don’t go that route here.

      I agree about the wastefulness inherent in these unsolicited calendars and address labels and notepads. It’s stupid. But I’m a bit jealous that you get tote bags. I’ve yet to receive one of those.

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      1. Ally – Guiding Eyes for the Blind also sends tote bags. I bought their Christmas cards after they send an unsolicited packet of cards one year. They were really cute cards and had the matching envelopes, envelope stickers and address stickers. I don’t send that many Christmas cards and they would have done for two years, but they had the wheels in motion, and soon after paying for the cards, I got a calendar, assorted greeting cards, general purpose address stickers and a tote bag … the same items every year. I ended up with a ton of cards so I stopped sending money to them after a few years. Finally I get nothing else from them. I have enough cards to last the rest of my life. Interestingly I just went on their website and you can buy just one style of card – the assorted cards only go to donors. I had a friend who was training a puppy at his home for the Rochester School for the Blind.
        He had to take Max, a German Shepherd, out in the streets and on UM campus as part of his socialization and acclimation to traffic and crowds … he had Max for quite a while then turned him in to go through final training. https://www.guidingeyes.org/holiday-card-inquiries/

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  19. Hi. I donate to quite a few charities. But I’ve never donated to one simply because they sent me an unsolicited calendar. I guess, though, that these charities’ marketing strategy works pretty well. Anyway, there’s always room for calendars.

    Neil S.

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    1. Neil, I would immediately understand if I’d donated to a group and they sent me a calendar, but the ones I get are out of nowhere. I think it’s wasteful on the part of the nonprofit organization, but like you said, the strategy must work because every year the calendars keep coming.

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