From New York, original humor & commentary by Brian Sack.
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eBay: Drive Someone Insane with Postcards

You are bidding on a rare chance to traumatize a treasured friend or relative with baffling, mind-numbing, mystery correspondence from abroad.

Here is the arrangement:

I will be spending the Christmas holiday in Poland in a tiny village that has one church with no bell because angry Germans stole it. Aside from vodka, there is not a lot for me to do.

During the course of my holiday I will send three postcards to one person of your choosing.

These postcards will be rant-ravingly insane, yet they will be peppered with unmistakable personal details about the addressee. Details you will provide me.

The postcards will not be coherently signed, leaving your mark confused, guessing wildly, crying out in anguish.

"How do I know this person? And how does he know I had a ferret named Goliath?"

Your beloved friend or relative will try in vain to figure out who it is. Best of all, it can't possibly be you because you'll have the perfect alibi: you're not in Poland. You're home, wherever that is, doing whatever it is you do when not driving your friends loopy with international mischief.

Your target will rack their brains in the shower. At dinner. During long drives. At work. On the golf course.

"Who did I tell about the time I got fired by a note on my chair?" they'll ponder, "And where the hell is Szczeczinek?"

But wait, there's more.

To add to the sheer confusion and genuine discomfort, one missive will be on an original promotional postcard announcing the 1995 television premiere of Central Park West on CBS.

Another will be a postcard celebrating Atlanta's disastrous hosting of the 1996 summer Olympic games.

Your mark will be at a complete loss, desperate for answers, debating contacting people he or she hasn't talked to in years.

"I know this will sound weird," they'll say, "but by any chance were you in Eastern Europe ranting about cantaloupe... twelve years ago... right before some show with Mariel Hemingway debuted?"

When you decide to end the torment is completely up to you. If you can, I recommend owning up on 1 April 2008 - giving you nearly half a year of joy and a George Clooney-esque level of prankage. If you can't hold it in that long, I totally understand.

Bid early and often.


Buyer should probably understand that on a few occasions the Polish postal system has proven itself to be somewhat lacking: Christmas cards have arrived on Easter and vice-versa. If not all cards arrive promptly, one may blame Poland's communist past.

©Brian Sack | Filed under: eBay | 13 Comments | Email to a Friend
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Genius idea, Brian. I've placed the first bid, deciding who to torment will be fun.

Hilarious! But why offer only one? Make some money, man--offer several!

I am sorely tempted but will be lacking the all-important excuse, "I'm not in Poland."

Also: Szczeczinek or Szczecinek, near-ish to Koszalin, Darłowo and Słupsk?

If it's the former it must really, really small. If it's the latter: well, it still isn't all that big. :)

It is at moments like these, in the light of beautiful, well-crafted pranks, that I am reminded there are genuine good people left in this world . . . people who need postcards from Poland. (Cue background music - Joy to the World) Thanks for renewing my holiday spirit and faith in mankind's ability to deviously undermine the sanity of friends.

This is highly reminiscent of a prank I pulled a few years ago. My roommate at the time was a Japanese guy, so I wrote a series of letters from various time travelers who know him in the future, then paid some other Japanese person that I know to translate them for me. They followed some intricate plot that involved him burying things in the ground wrapped in aluminum foil. I had a different person copy over the Japanese characters by hand onto the postcards for each different character in the story. I then distributed the postcards (stamped) at a conference I went to that summer to people from around the country, with index cards indicating when they should drop them in the mail, so over the course of a week he slowly received the letters from all around the country.

Damn, that is brilliant. I wish that damncoyote hadnt bid so high.

Okay Mister "I've Got Free Time to Diddle The Postal Systems of Two Democracies" Sack

I hope you will devote some of your holiday "free" time to editing and posting your Crank Dat Soulja Boy video.

Hmm...what happens if you are already in Poland (like myself).

Would you be willing to do the same from the U.S. (if I send you a Polish translation)?

Looks like there is now a copycat auction up on eBay, posted 5 days after yours. eBay # 230204962960

[ Thanks. You can copy the concept like this guy did - even if it's kind of lame - but there have been three folks who copied my text (and in one case, the photos) - and you can't do that. eBay's very swift about pulling those. -B. ]

Oh well, if that recipient is savvy he'll google the city name and the way this post is being spread through the 'Blogosphere', it (the post) will be the 1st Google result. Then the recipient will realize what just happened.

Brilliant! And how I would love to take advantage of this opportunity - except I actually will be in Poland... so I'd sadly be lacking an alibi.

Pure unfiltered genius. For what it's worth, I'd gladly do the same for anyone in Poland...

Wouldn't it be more inventive to write them myself, buy some Polish stamps from a stamp collector's store, and drop ship through a Polish postmaster?

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