Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dating Carbon



Though some slinky gowns grace my closet, I haven’t been invited to anything really spiffy for awhile. So imagine my flush of pleasure when IT arrived: The invitation to join Visa’s elite, the Black Card Club.

Never heard of IT? I’m not surprised. As Ashlee said (she’s the director of Customer Experience, by the way, and her name is just super cool), Visa extends this invitation to only 1 percent of all United States residents; that means only 4 million of us will squeeze into this Polo Lounge. So if you haven’t received your invitation yet, quit thinking it might be lost in the mail. Get real. You’re mastercard material.

Anything that’s worth anything costs something. And the black card, I mean Black Card, has an annual fee of $495. But before I hyperventilated on that, I read what Ashlee had to say, and of course she’s right. The Black Card is not another piece of plastic, because – it’s not plastic at all! No way, it’s carbon – a patent pending carbon card. And wait, it’s not a credit card; it’s a buying tool, guaranteed “to get you noticed.” It’s a buying tool, guaranteed to get you noticed, designed for those “who demand the best life has to offer.”

How did she know? How did she know, that even while I cut into a brick of Trader Joe cheese and slice a hunk of Ralph’s French bread, in my heart and in my head, I still DEMAND THE BEST LIFE HAS TO OFFER. Your net worth isn’t counted in dollars, it’s counted in tantrums.

So I wonder, what’s the first thing my buying tool can buy me? A membership to my buying tool? Then I can start to enjoy my 24-hour concierge service and exclusive rewards program promising luxurious perks. The letter is kind of hazy on the kind of service and perks coming my way, but I guess I’ll know who to call if my ceiling leaks again this winter.

There’s one thing of which we have no doubt, and that is the elemental composition of this card. Ashlee mentioned it at least three times (apparently some in the polo lounge are a bit thick-headed). But I get it. We’ll be an item, my Black Card and me. We’ll enter a fine restaurant or Ross Dress for Less and the cashier’s face will be bathed in awe when I say, “I assume you take carbon?”

46 comments:

Terri said...

For those of us who are members, their not called tantrums. They're passionate outbursts.

Desiree said...

That is a laugh and a half. Their data mining software must be crazed and confused--how else would they have come up with your frugal bargain lovin' name?

Laurie said...

Leave it up to a leftover 90s overconsumption-based agency to come up with a term as loaded with bad karma as CARBON!

When you purchase your Manolos, you can REALLY leave a carbon footprint. (I'm here all week folks, be sure and tip your waitresses.)

Just what do you get for a $500 annual fee? Can I just throw my tantrum now?

altadenahiker said...

You're funny, all three of youse. What's your annual fee? Maybe I can put it on my Black Card.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Bella!

bandit said...

So, will your membership be affected by cap and trade tax?

wv: screts; as in, how do you print trillions from thin air?
Obama and the Fed aren't capitalists-they're ALCHEMISTS!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Great, next time we go out you can pick up the tab. No need for this fellow =(

Virginia said...

You're hilarious! But I'm miffed that Ashlee doesn't find me conceirge worthy! Harumphh. Well I'm so po, I don't even get letters touting PLASTIC! But the real reason I'm commenting is ROSS FOR LESS. Laugh if you will folks but Virg is looking pretty good in some shoes and duds from there. Come on down here Hiker. We'll go to all the nicest places.....TJ's (TJ MAXX for you California folk's) and Ross. I'm banking on you whipping out the carbon! Or as a salesgirl said to me yesterday, "Shop till you drop and don't stop!"

Maybe they should have called it the RED CARD. That's where you'll be after paying the bloody annual fee!

My WV is BOODS! I beg your pardon!

Paula said...

I would be afraid to have a carbon credit card, I might drop it and break my big toe. Maybe this is for people who secretly want to extend their carbon print - they use the card and then thumb their nose with it before putting it back in their mortgaged to the max wallets.

You get all the good stuff, KB, all I ever get is AARP and Geico.

wv ectic

San Diego Farmgirl said...

I'd think a carbon card would leave a sooty mess, like a piece of charcoal. And I'd avoid licking the coke off it after a wild night with Brangelina. Like, carbon is highly toxic, duh?!?!
On the bright side, after the nuclear mushroom cloud clears, you can complete your Sharper Image order.

Keith said...

They sent me one. That fact alone made me shred it.

Mister Earl said...

Black carbon is this close to diamonds. Hysterical, AH. I haven't received mine yet. But I do get invited to a lot of "free gourmet dinners" at local fine restaurants where they will teach me how to retire. Maybe we should all go together to one of those...or to all of those.

The credit card companies hate me because I don't pay fees and I always pay on time. I use credit cards just to delay life by 30 days.

Laurie said...

Virg, the west side Ross used to be pretty good, but all I have ever seen over here are leftover taffeta prom dresses and t-shirts.

Maybe there is a secret back room for those packing carbon.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I wonder what 'they' do with the $495 annual fee. Is that Ashlee's commission? If she sells 10 clients a day, does she get $4950 daily?

I guess since carbon is "in abundance" in the sun, stars, earths, and most planets, it is a renewable resource. Good to see it is being to put to good use - for those who will pay $495 annually!

Great and FUNNY post, Karin!

Rob (Mr DL) said...

I thought we were headed into the carbon neutral age. Ah well, I'll just wait for that titanium card. When the time comes, I'll use it as a hip replacement...

OK, I'm done now.

Wayne said...

It's mildly ironic. It's a Black card, but really, Visa wants you to go into the Red.

I presume there is a small hole in one corner so it can be worn as a necklace.

Platinum cards must be sooo last month.

altadenahiker said...

Oh, I detect a whole lot of jealousy here. Thought that might happen. It is I, and only I, who can call Ashlee on that dark and stormy night and say, "Hi, I know it's really late, but my toilet's backed up. I need the concierge service asap. And maybe he can also bring one of my Luxury Gifts?"

Barbaro said...

There must be some limit to exclusivity's appeal, but I haven't found it yet. Credit cards are such dehumanizing beasts, perhaps even the most frugal among us can be forgiven for craving something more. (My solution is to pay cash; I love the feel and smell of it, the way every note is different, how anything bigger than a twenty causes a stir...)

I'm curious that you list Grieg as a favorite, since he so often gets drowned out by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, the other Big Guns.

Susan C said...

I've heard everything now.

altadenahiker said...

If you're going to drown, that's a pretty good pool. But I don't agree...

The Sage of Altadena said...

I don't know what's funnier .. Ashlee with the "eeeeee's", a carbon card (hey, it's not just a buying tool, it's a buying tool MADE OUT OF DEAD TRICEROTOPS), or just another wonderful KB cold-eyed look at the latest foolishness. I wish you would bottle whatever it is you have so I could buy it! Thank you for another wonderful insight!

Petrea said...

I think they've got something here. Hell, we've been in a recession and everyone's just trying to come up with ideas. How to make money when no one's buying on credit and and there's no purchase on which to charge interest? Light bulb! Charge for the card! It's brilliant.

Poor Visa, they're just trying to get by. How else are they supposed to make money if they can't abuse their customers?

Cafe Pasadena said...

I think the last really Spiffy event you attended was when I invited y'all to our event back in January. Free parade included!

So, you're right - it's been awhile.

Virginia said...

Maybe I can't HAVE concierge privileges cause I can't spell it correctly on a regular basis. Excusez moi, Ashlee.

Laurie, here in Bama, Ross is top 'o the line you know! Yee hawwww.

KB I'm thinking my bitterness is showing right? I don't want no stinking BLack Card.

Margaret said...

I'm feeling a little slighted. Sniff.

Mister Earl said...

There you go again, Karin, playing the Black card.

Shell Sherree said...

Hahaha!! Does this mean you'll be upgraded to the Black Label scotch as well?

My wv seems to think I should be getting one of those invites: upgal.

Ken Mac said...

i thought this stuff disappeared with the collapse...guess not! You are speshful and give my love to Ashlee

altadenahiker said...

Or how about asking the cashier, "Your sign says no credit cards, but do you accept buying tools?"

TheChieftess said...

Hmmmm....do I have to trade in my United mileage card in order to be offered this fabulous new buying tool???

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

You know what they'll all be saying behind your back, don't you? "That Karin--what a card!"

-K- said...

After being notified that the interest rate on my current card is soon going to almost 30%, I don't care if my next one is made out of silly putty.

Seriously - 28.9% for a never-late, steady customer of several years.

But at least "Dating Carbon" made me forget about all this craziness for a few minutes.

Trish said...

two friends were sitting here with me while I read this post out loud to them. We were ALL in hilarious laughter!

I love the comments too...am surprised the NdoubleACP hasn't clamped down on this card! I mean, what next, a white card? sigh.

What amazes me is I have used platinum cards etc, I don't think one cashier has EVER noted that, even at more shi-shi places. and certainly haven't been offered one of these cards...tho we are so po'd at Amex I can't even print the words for them here, am sure they "talk amongst themselves" and know this.

And, I do have to note, *I* do have a black card, it's the color my bank sent me when they issued my mastercard...don't think it has anything to do with carbon...but I'll ask next time I talk to them, tho G-d forbid they'd charge me $495 a year to use it...;-)

Shanna said...

So funny!!!

wv: prebor
After this, everything will be so...boring.

Mister Earl said...

I guess one could say that not only is the card a tool, but whoever forks over the $495 is also a tool.

Mister Earl said...

"I'll never be seen, without
my Carbon 14."

WV: piker

Laurie said...

I just went through today's mail. A coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond, a flyer from Big Lots and my electric bill.

Oh Ashlee. Why not me?

AmyR said...

Oh great, you spilled the beans. Now they're going to have you killed.

Paula said...

wv ingoot

Better than a Black Card, but not better than a Black Taco.

TheChieftess said...

Mr. Earl...I love it!!! "I'll never be seen without my Carbon 14"...classic! They should be so lucky to have that as their advertising slogan!!!

Anonymous said...

Is that a buying tool in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me.

GG

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Ever get the feeling the universe is trying to tell you something? I never read the fine print. Now I'm getting nervous. I think I'll head over to the bank as soon as it opens.

Might "Discover" my $11.99 ITunes charge is up to $463.68

wv: depar

as in despair

B SQUARED said...

I never knew they played polo in a lounge.

BANJO52 said...

Great satire again. I especially love counting in tantrums instead of dollars.

And as someone's already said, such literate visitors here too.

Mister Earl said...

Actually, B Squared, they play Pocket Polo in the Polo Lounge.

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