January 9, 2022

I took a stroll through my inbox today, and realized that many, if not most, subject lines for mass emails are pretty ridiculous. Here’s a small sampling:

She died from a snakebite. But the real killer was her husband (CNN)

I expect more from CNN than this obviously clickbait-y headline. Of course I opened it though. Isn't it every wife’s nightmare, when hubby arrives home with a bouquet of roses that includes a hidden copperhead? I have never been very cautious when Steve brings me flowers, but I may have to re-evaluate!

Our Most IN-Demand New Denim! (Betabrand)

Opening this tantalizing email reveals the promise of One ZILLION New Designs. For blue jeans? What, do they have three legs? Do they double as parachutes? Can you use them as coffee filters? How many changes can we ring on this most basic type of pants? I am in good shape, jean-wise, so this gets a hard pass.

Top Ten Gifts We’re Into This Week (The Grommet)

Cilantro Microgreen Kit! Magnetic Construction Blocks! Hexagonal Beer Pong Game!  This is the online equivalent of the 100,000 catalogs I’m getting in the regular mail on the daily, and I honestly can’t see one item that I’m tempted to buy for my “near and dears.” However, I am considering the Amazing Butter Dispenser as a treat for myself, because I never figured out how to use a butter knife.

Save 10% on Your Car Hire Now (Irish Car Rentals)

The girls and I were in the Emerald Isle in 2017. Much as I’d love to be planning another road trip in Eire, it’s just not in the cards right now. But wow! 10% off is much too good to pass up, so I may go ahead and rent a random car in Ireland anyway. You don’t see deals like THAT every day, right?

Your 1974 St. Pius High School Yearbook is On Sale! (

OMG!!! For a mere $99.95 plus shipping, I can own a second copy of my senior yearbook, just in case I accidentally toss the first one into the trash! I long to page through and delight in the hairdos, the “most likely to’s”, the football pix (many) and the theatre pix (relatively few), that capture the special flavor of a Southern high school in the early 70s. No photos of my peers smoking pot on the school lawn during “open campus,” but I don’t need pictures to remember that!

And so on (and on). 

I send my fair share of weekly church emails to our Confirmation parents, Bible Study members, etc. and I think I’m missing the boat, as they don’t stand out from the crowd (which is perhaps why I get such a poor response). But what if I used some “teaser” subject lines? Here’s my thought going forward:

SUBJECT: 10% Off Denim Yearbooks When You Hire Your Irish Car and Buy Our Venomous Beer Pong Game!

Now that I have your attention, Sunday School at 9 AM this week. 


    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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