I used to love greeting cards. This was back in Junior High when I didn't have a very firm grasp on things that were cool versus things that will ensure that I keep my virginity well into college (this sentence seems to imply that nowadays, my grip around "cool" is steady and tight, this is a lie.). Back in the day I could spend a few hours in a Hallmark store giggling a Maxine jokes (that old lady is a cad!) and envying my Aunt Karen's box of cards that allowed her to send everyone in the family at least two cards for every birthday (she probably had TONS of boyfriends!).
Has anyone been to a Hallmark store lately? Since the internet now allows me to forget friends' birthdays up until the very last minute and then greet them with a "happy brithday! wooohooo!... we're old." on facebook it had probably been at least 6 months since I set foot in a card store. On Saturday I had to dive into the bowels of Disney themed ornaments to search out a "congratz on spreading your seed!" card. Unfortunately Hallmark not longer offers actual cards (unless you're willing to purchase one of the no irony "little girls are love and kisses and farts of sugar" tragedies).
Let's suppose for some reason (perhaps the card recipient is deaf?) you don't want your card to play a popular song at maximum volume. You should probably go to another store because, as you can see from the picture at left, at Hallmark it's all annoying jingles and quotes from not so funny movies into infinity. There also seems to be an overabundance of country music themed cards including a birthday card that plays 'Live Like You Were Dying" which I only recommend for birthday boys who are under age 30 unless you want to ruin the special day with the implied "because you are, really soon".
There is one way to avoid the din of sound cards and that's to go green. At Hallmark caring for the environment means having no sense of humor. It also means taking every single opportunity to note your superior recycling skills. Every card in this section is a parody of how people in Alabama picture "those liberal Env-I-Ron-Mentals." There were pictures of vegetables on more than one card. There were repeated chants to the earth goddess. I believe one card included a coupon for tofu. Apparently Hallmark has identified the market for "green" cards as "strictly people who have full time jobs protesting for PETA."
Lest you think Hallmark has completely failed to join the 21st century let me assure you that on their web site in addition to demos of how to wrap packages and recipes for strawberry jam (cause if anyone knows cooking it's the stationary store!) they also offer premium ecards.... for $1.99 each. Frankly this seems like a smoking deal for an video of an orange couch with clip art of dogs haphazardly crossing the frame to the dulcet tones of Jungle Boogie. It appears that Hallmark has only been able to legally source a few songs for the ecards so most the cards feature either "Jungle Boogie" or "Hot Stuff." Really what more could anyone need?
This entry is cross-posted at Burt Reynolds' Mustache