You Must Send this to Five Friends…Or Else. This is Not a Joke!

Failed to Return Chain Letter

Failed to Return Chain Letter

I miss the 1970s. I realize I probably romanticize my childhood, but the dawn of the computer revolution was a magical time. Computers were in their infancy and wouldn’t become home appliances for another decade. Pinball was still dominant, with video games still a few years away. Cable TV was new. You had to see movies in theaters as there was no other option. Music was played on records. And phones were tied to cords, with most homes only having one. Funny to me that teenagers would actually sit at home “by the phone” so as not to miss important social calls.

One of the goofy things we kids would do was write chain letters. My own kids had no idea what I was talking about when this came up over dinner the other night. On that same note, my daughter had only recently heard of the “Muppets” and referred to their green-skinned amphibian leader as “Kirby the Frog.”

A chain letter was a great summertime project. It started by crafting some sort of form letter. The form letter invoked powerful benevolent or malevolent forces depending on the extent to which the reader followed the instructions. Some letters would bring great fortune or true love. Other letters would bring financial ruin, heartache, or even death if the reader failed to follow the instructions. My neighborhood gang of Michelle, Ana, Big Matt, and Toothless Eddy all preferred the latter invocation of the form letter.

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