Don't miss this one, because it won't last long...
If there is profit in chaos, then get ready to profit off of Zynga's new "envelope" delivery system for your Mafia Wars free gift/crime spree/energy pack/mafia add requests (...and requests from all of Zynga's games). You'll find this recently-added, tan and white envelope in the upper right corner of your MW screen, to the left of the HELP drop down menu and the right of the ever-changing free gift icon. It is a means by which Zynga can cross-promote its games, especially if you are already playing one of the others.
What's the chaos? Actually, the envelope looks quite orderly - all your free gifts for Mafia Wars are there, and you just click them in a row and immediately see what is inside your Mystery Bags, etc. No more shuttling from your Facebook home screen, then into Mafia Wars, and back out to Facebook, repeat x30. But the chaos is that THE GIFTS DON'T LEAVE YOUR FACEBOOK HOME SCREEN AFTER YOU OPEN THEM IN THE MAFIA WARS ENVELOPE.
What's the profit? It's not an exact science, but if you work quickly, or in two browsers, or just have some decent luck, more than half (sometimes nearly ALL) of the gifts you open in your Mafia Wars envelope can then be opened again if you go back out to Facebook and look on the right side of your screen for Mafia Wars Free Gifts, where you are used to finding them. Sometimes, you get caught and the screen will say "there was an error." Sometimes, all you are getting are two Motion Sensors from the same sender.
But sometimes you are getting two Mystery Bags per person - with a different gift in each. And some of you are seeing how powerful these Mystery Bags are getting. So it's worth a try.
Zynga tried this delivery system some months ago, and it had the same quirks - you had to act quickly, but you could go 2-for-1. Make sure you are opening the Mafia Wars envelope first to get your gifts, and then go out to Facebook and see what meat is left on the bone. You certainly won't lose anything, and could rewards yourself considerably.
I assure you - Zynga caught this flaw last time around and stopped the envelope/gift delivery system within the game. This won't last forever, so give it a try. I'd love to hear your comments on how you fare.
P.S. - Just as I said this is not a Zynga cheer-leading blog, it's also not a cheating blog. This is not cheating - this is a temporary flaw in the game that attentive players can benefit from. And personally, this is my way of settling my score with Zynga for discontinuing that great Mafia Wars-Poker promotion where you got a stamina refill or 5 reward points once a day just for winning three hands at poker. That was a great promo... now gone... and the envelope is a great opportunity... grab it while it lasts.