I got home from work today, and my partner had picked up the mail. As she always does (which I appreciate) she had mine sorted on the coffee table.  I picked it up and went through the usual junk.

One, however caught my eye. The cover was a "lovely" personalized Christmas greeting which appeared to be personalized for me. "Happy Holidays, Pat" with a picture of a trimmed tree, a smiling and jovial Santa, and snowfall in the background. I opened it, and there was the hook.

"Did you miss out on the Black Friday bargains? Wanting to get that loved one something special, but just don't have the ready cash? Not to worry. Just sign on the dotted line, give us some personal information, and we will send you a check for $X,000.00 in time for all your Christmas needs. Don't let the Holidays pass you and your loved ones by. Let us help. And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones."

What they don't tell the suckers who fall for this emotional barbed hook, is the predatory interest you will have to pay after January 1st. As a former prosecutor, I once had one of these predatory lenders come in my office. He had the chutzpah to ask me to prosecute someone who failed to pay back his usurious interest rate. Over the term of the contract, the rate was 400%! I had the armed deputy "escort" him to the exit.

To all the rubes who live by the phrase, "I bought Christmas for my family," here is my greeting. Merry Christmas and to all, and to all, see ya' as they repo family the car, and you have to hitch a ride to Bankruptcy Court.

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