July 6, 2009
If writing this column has taught me anything, it’s to ALWAYS check inside envelopes (and occasionally mattresses) before tossing them out. Because you never know when they might contain someone’s life savings, the only existing copy of a will, an unpublished Shakespeare play or nude photos of a celebrity.
The latest schlub to learn this lesson the hard way is Achim Gerber, a music professor at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. Gerber, preparing for an upcoming trip to his homeland in Germany, had obtained 3,500 euros — more than $5,000 U.S. dollars — and stashed it in a white, legal-sized envelope. As so often happens, that envelope ended up in the recycling bin and, subsequently, a Greater Greenville Sanitation Commission collection center. Though it took a month of searching through 20 tons of packed paper, Gerber, with help from Greenville sanitation employees, found the envelope. He reportedly emitted a “bloodcurdling scream” of joy and hugged all assembled, who were amazed by his luck.
So I ask you: Envelopes — harmless stationery or GATEWAYS TO HELL?