Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

August mail in the Who’s Mailing What! Archive heralds the changing of the seasons as well as back to school. Despite such motivations, the mailstream witnessed few novel efforts from the retail sector. Let’s take a look at those few retailers who broke out of the pack and did some things out of the ordinary. Responding to the recent draconian postal rates, some mailers changed their formats without changing an iota of their content—and thus gave a glimpse of the future. Radio Shack simply folded its old 9˝ x 11˝ flier in half in order to save on postage; it utilized an envelope-like flap

I remember visiting a very wealthy friend who had a splendid estate right on the water in Marblehead, Mass. The path from the house to the tennis court went through a stand of pine trees where a collection of tiny gravestones lined the walkway. It was a pet cemetery—the burial ground for family dogs and cats going back to the 19th century. Pet owners become deeply attached to their animals, and the joint suicide of a childless couple in India over the passing of a beloved canine may be extreme, but entirely believable. “Puppy” was very likely the only family they felt that they

On Dec. 8, 1928, The New Yorker ran one of its most famous cartoons drawn by Carl Rose with text by E. B. White. It depicted a small child eating dinner. The caption: Young mother: “It’s broccoli, dear.” Young daughter: “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” Recently, I’ve been buying bagged spinach and either microwaving it in the bag or sauteing it with a ton of garlic. Great stuff, until nearly 200 people in 26 states became seriously ill with E. coli from tainted bagged spinach supplied by Natural Selection Foods in California’s Salinas Valley. At least one person died and 29 others

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