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July 19, 2006


Last week I got a letter in the mail from my thirteen-year-old sister, inviting me to take part in a "flip flop exchange." How does it work? I send a pair of flip flops to the person whose name is at the top of the list, then move my sister's name to the top of the list, add mine to hers, and send the letter on to six other people. They each send a pair of flip flops to my sister, move my name to the top of the list, and send the letter on to six other people. Ultimately, each person gets thirty-six pairs of flip flops. So it is basically a flip flop pyramid scheme, but the pyramid only has two layers. The letter specifically said "this is not a chain letter -- it's just for fun," but isn't that the definition of a chain letter? My first thought was "what on Earth will I do with thirty-six pairs of flip flops" but I didn't want to be the one to break the chain, and I certainly didn't want to call my thirteen-year-old sister to say "sorry, dude, I'm not doing this," so I did it. As David suggested, I can always donate the flip flops to charity. Or, if they happen to be super-cute, I can just wear them, though I've never much cared for the feeling of a rubber strap rubbing between my toes. In any case, it should be fun to see where my thirty-six pairs of flip flops come from. I forwarded the letter to one person in my Ph.D. program, one undergraduate, a friend from high school, a friend from college, a former coworker, and my sixteen-year-old step sister, so the exchange should soon be flourishing among a number of communities both here and in Los Angeles. And perhaps soon in Canada, as I suspect one person will forward her letter to a Canadian friend of ours!

Posted by eklanche at July 19, 2006 11:32 AM


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