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August 21, 1996

Foreign Correspondents
Copyright 1995 - Greg Bulmash - All Rights Reserved

In honor of all the ads I saw from Russian women and introduction services promising to help men find them while researching yesterday's column, I thought today I'd re-run this gem from November of last year.

Women rule the self-help section. If I were an alien visiting this planet and my first exposure to humanity was the book store, I might be fooled by all the self-help books into believing that American women are the most irate, hard to get along with, insecure, self-involved sub-species on the planet. And I'd be right.

That's why the concept of mail order brides has taken on a whole new life. From the old days of dingy back rooms where sleazy guys fixed up lonely and disgusted American men with foreign women, we've moved on to a new, high-class level of service with big, glitzy corporate offices where sleazy guys fix up lonely and disgusted American men with foreign women. The commercial offering has exploded. The opening up of the former communist nations has exposed a whole new group of desperate women looking for a better life in North America. This new horizon of dating/marriage opportunity sounded interesting.

Being the patriotic sort, though, I wanted to give a good old American dating service a try first. You folks know me best as Greg, but many major dating services know me by a different name. So when Date Perspirations (not their real name) sent their latest questionnaire personally addressed to me, Mr. Resident, I decided to fill it out and remit it in the convenient post-paid envelope. I was called late the next week by Susie, the Time/Life operator about renewing my subscription to Mysteries of The Unknown and getting my free, complimentary 7-11 phone card good for a one-minute call to a psychic friend. After I asked her what she was wearing, she hung up just in time to clear the line for the call from Donald (not his real name), the Date Perspirations (not their real name) operator, inviting me to come check out their local offices.

Being a No-Nonsense type of guy (sure, they're constricting but the sheer nylon makes my legs look great), I quickly cut to the chase. "What does it cost?"

"Well, sir," Donald (not his real name) said, "I can't give that information out over the phone. We have such a wide variety of plans available."

"So what does the cheapest one cost?"

"I'm sorry, sir," Donald (not his real name) whimpered like the lying dog he was, is, and shall be, "I'm not allowed to divulge that information. If you came down and took our tour, you'd be better informed and could see all that we have to offer."

"No," I said. "I want to know what it costs. If I can't afford it, I'll have wasted my time and then I'll be very angry and I'll have to break something, such as one of your salespeople."

Oddly enough, Donald (not his real name) hung up. Thus began the beginning of my exploration into the new horizons of international romance.

First I got a hold of a copy of a magazine which shall remain nameless. Inside I found pictures and short descriptions of five hundred women from the former Soviet Union, along with a price list. For ten dollars a pop I could pick the ex-commie of my dreams and get an address where I could send her a letter. And, on the back of the magazine, a big announcement reqested that penal personnel not let prisoners receive that magazine. Yup, that made me feel extra secure.

I picked three ladies: Ludmilla, Olga, and Bert (the name's odd, but Bert sure looked good in a bathing suit and was the only one without a moustache), sent off my money, plus shipping, handling, and processing fees, and soon I was the proud owner of three blurry Xeroxes. I wrote each the same letter.

Dear [woman's name here],

My name is Resident and I live in America. Yesterday I walked into a store just filled to bursting with food, bought a nice juicy steak and some fresh vegetables for less than an hour's wages, then went to my large, lonely apartment and ate them while watching one of the nearly 100 channels of television entertainment I receive. Then I went for a drive in my car. I didn't go anywhere in particular. I just went driving because here gasoline is cheap and plentiful.

Would you be interested in coming to my country? If you were willing to cook my food, clean my home, bear my children, and cater to my every sexual pecadillo (not to be confused with my every sexual armadillo, though I can get those if you like), we could possibly work out an arrangement. Seeing as bringing you here would be a large investment of my time, energy, and money, I would be looking for this to be a long term relationship. Thus I would appreciate it very much if you could send me a naked picture of your mother so I can see what you'll look like in twenty years.

If you like this letter, please write back. I am growing very fat without anyone to share all this food with me.

So far none of them have replied. But I have not given up hope. I heard a firm is starting up that specializes in Bosnian women. They ought to be easy pickings.

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