Ever wonder what kind of emails the publisher of a newspaper receives? Of course you don’t, so just pretend. About 10 percent come from people happy or mad with us. The other 90 percent are from people who want free publicity.
You’re going to think I made this up, but any of you are welcome to scroll through my deleted emails any time you’d like (which would make you a bit creepy).
In the span of one hour earlier this week, here’s a sampling of what the free-publicity hounds sent:
A PR flak in The Woodlands invited me to attend an EXCLUSIVE tour of the Houston Boat Show Set-Up. Can you imagine the utter joy of watching dually trucks back trailers into NRG Center? Deleted.
Another fellow asked me to please promote the Cattle Raisers Convention in San Antonio on March 31, because, well, he probably doesn’t know that the average lot in our coverage area is about the size of a cattle pin.
A recording studio called Prosthetic Records asked if we’d promote their upcoming show called Hour of Penance, which will obviously have you slapping your knee with good times. According to their release, here’s all you need to know about the show: “Death metal is more than just music, it transcends such a limited mortal state of mind. Death metal is the aural expression of humanity’s darkest side…” Sign me up! Deleted.
The Democratic National Convention has delivered some particularly nasty notes lately. On this specific morning, they wanted members of the media to know they were bolstering their operation to support the investigation of Ivan Drago’s steroid use during the election. Deleted.
A group of writers, aptly calling themselves #WritersResist, want us to cover their “Writers Resist” protest on Inauguration Day because they plan on defending Democracy in the “Alt-Right Era.” OK, I don’t even know how to explain that one, and I’m still trying to get my arms around when the Liberal Press Machine actually made “alt-right” part of our modern-day lexicon. Deleted.
I’m on the FBI’s press release list (not most wanted, I don’t think), and this morning, they needed us to publish a story about the “Bicycle Bank Bandit” who made off with a lot of cash. So we’re having a hard time catching dudes with sweatshirts on Schwinns now?
A sweet lady somewhere near Westheimer sent me a note asking if we’d publicize her event in a couple of weeks called “Rose pruning done right.”
I’m not kidding. All of these emails came within 60 minutes of each other, including one from the Baylor College of Medicine wondering if we’d like to interview a doctor who has serious concerns about reality TV. The title of the press release read: “Expert cautions reality television love might not be so real.”
Well stop the presses. You’re telling me that a handful of meticulous men and women who go on national TV and swap spit in mansions with fine champagne and SUV limos may not be real? Get out of here!
If that gets you a little depressed at the beginning of a New Year, I may just have the cure, which I obviously found in an email.
Just before Christmas, the subject line read: “Professional Hugs and Cuddles: Now Available in Houston.”
Now, if you’re like me, your reaction would have been something like, “What the… No way!” Professional hugs and cuddles? Is this some sort of millennial brainchild where we have an artificial intelligence creature walking around cuddling us any time the wind blows our hair in the wrong direction?
I couldn’t resist. Professional research dictated that I point my web browser over to HoustonCuddler.com. Give their PR lady, who also happens to be their CEO and Chief Hugger, credit.
Apparently – though I won’t be convinced until one of you emails me and tells me you’ve purchased said service – you can pay someone to come cuddle with you for an hour. Or a day.
Among all the flowery talk throughout the website, this is what I found most convincing:
“If you’ve come to this website, it is DEFINITELY not by accident. You need me and I need you. I came forth, into this human body, as a very pure form of divine love. Life caused me to loose [she meant “lose,” I think] my way at times, but I still feel the strong surges of love and compassion flow to me and through me. I am on this earth to share my love… my compassion… and my energy with you.”
Speaking of loose.
All along the pages of this website, you can find beautiful nuggets of compassion. You can also find the pricing.
The standard offering is $80 for an hour. Twelve straight hours of having a snuggle buddy will run you a cool grand. (Not sure if that includes potty breaks or not.) You can get an overnight stay for $800, but this is purely platonic stuff, according to the site. So an overnighter is cheaper than 12 hours of spooning splendidness?
There are other fees associated with this service, so buyer beware. You’ll have to pony up $30 for a background check, you’ll need another $20 for an initial consultation (basically, can the provider wrap her arms around you kind of stuff). Oh, and you’ll need to pay $0.54 for every mile your cuddling comrade must travel.
So if you turned the page to 2017 and need to feel a very pure form of divine love, I guess you’ve got your options now. You can thank me later for keeping you abreast of the recent trends in the continued frailty of the human psyche.
I think I’ll go hug my wife and boys.