Valium Vickie

Saturday, December 29, 2012

'You just don't understand women'

"You just don't understand women." If you're a man, that's a phrase you've probably heard at least a few times in reference to your knowledge of the opposite sex. 

It's generally understood that men -- the whole lot of us -- will never be able to figure out the fairer sex. And when our lack of understanding in this area is acknowledged, it's quite a powerful sentiment.

In fact, I saw this comedian recently, and the best reaction he got in his entire set wasn't even during a punchline. All he said was: “Fellas, if I can give a little piece of advice, it’s this: Don’t even try to understand women because you never will.” That's all it took, and the women in the crowd just went ape shit. They were clapping and banging on their chairs and yelling things like, “I'm so fucking wet!” OK, fine. You're right. They weren't clapping.

Despite what this guy said, I think the real misunderstanding was between the women in the audience and the pandering, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing comedian. I think some women … some women may take the statement -- you just don't understand women -- the wrong way. I think maybe these women are so used to hearing men say it’s impossible to understand them that they really believe they’re as complicated as Quantum Physics. 

But that’s not what this comic (or most men for that matter) meant. He didn’t mean, “Don’t try to understand women because their hearts are as deep as the ocean, and you’ll never be able to fathom the complexity of their souls.” He meant, “Don’t try to understand women because they’re fucking crazy.” He was just smart enough – and hacky enough – to put it another way. You can’t just go around calling half the population out on their insanity – especially not when you’re trying to sleep with them, and live with them, and get them to have your children.

Saying “someone is impossible to understand” doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is reasonable or logical or even complex. If you know someone who stands on a corner all day trying to sell glasses of his own urine to people to help save them from the zombie apocalypse, you don’t say, “Let me tell you something Philadelphia, don’t even try to understand Homeless Carl, because you never will.”

But if you don’t get why your girlfriend spends 12 hours cleaning the house because there’s a 7-percent chance Brianna and Shea may “swing by real quick on their way to dinner” to drop off a dish, and she needs the place to be immaculate so when Brianna comments on how nice everything looks, she can sigh and say, "Oh God! This place is a such a mess right now" well, my friend, then you just don’t understand women my friend.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Best of @JaredBilski: 26 Tweets I Want To Remember (Sept. 2011-Dec. 2012)

I joined Twitter sometime in 2010 (follow me here). Since then, I've managed to dash off 922 tweets. When it comes to writing, 922 of anything sounds impressive. For instance, if I'd written 922
thought-provoking essays or 922 colorful, descriptive poems or even 922 mouth-watering recipes, you'd probably think, "My God, this Polish fellow is certainly prolific, isn't he dear?" But this is Twitter, and my tweets don't mean shit.

When I signed up for this thing, however, my intentions were pure. I thought it would be a huge challenge to condense my joke ideas and funny thoughts to a mere 140 characters. And it has been. It's been so challenging that I don't do it nearly as often as I should. Most of my time on Twitter is spent trying to engage Beetlejuice (@Beetlepimp) in conversation, or letting the eight people who follow me know that I'll be performing for seven people on Saturday at the ChuckleGiggleLaughRiotHut.

Every so often, though, this Twitter thing works exactly how I envisioned it. And when that happens, it's a goddamn beautiful thing. Here's what happens: I'll tweet out some zygote of a joke -- or a random funny thought -- that's retweeted by someone I respect, which gives me the motivation to flesh the idea out until it's ready to be tested at a number of soul-crushing open mics until, finally, roughly four to six months after the initial tweet, I'm proudly unveiling my beautiful, newborn baby at the ChuckleGiggleLaughRiotHut to the seven people I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Problem is, I forget most of the things I tweet as soon as I tweet them. So in the interest of preservation, I'm going to be listing the little zygotes that I feel -- with a little nurturing -- have a shot at becoming a healthy, happy "dick joke" babies some day, starting with the 26 most recent ones. Let me know which ones you think have potential or, even better, just follow me on Twitter and tell me there.

  1. When the basket is passed around @ church instead of cash I put news stories on molester priests who were passed from parish to parish in it
  2. Every time my dog won't eat her dinner, I tell her to think about all the poor, starving dogs in China that will become somebody's dinner.
  3. In Ann Coulter's defense people are genetically predisposed to act in accordance w/ the appearance of their face & she has a very cunty face
  4. Best age to have kids? 48. Then when they ask to move back in after college, you can say: Of course you can room with me at the nursing home
  5. Old-People Speak 101: "You should've seen this town back in the day" translates to "This town was better before the minorities got here." 
  6. Does anyone else have trouble determining if a person is really, really drunk or just European?
  7. Augusta National added its 1st women members on the condition they're OK w/ being called Sugartits & receiving playful taps on their bottoms 
  8. Scott Stapp's autobiography reveals the Creed singer tried to commit suicide, confirming that not even Scott Stapp can stand Scott Stapp.
  9. If you're upset about the way Chic-fil-A treats gay people, then you'll be absolutely appalled by how it treats gay chickens.
  10. Next time your in a swanky bar, order a 'Pittsburgh Racist' and watch as the pretentious 'mixologist' pretends that he's heard of it.
  11. 'I don't know if it's b/c I'm ur mother or if it's the wording, but I just don't find that fisting skit funny.' - my mom's critique of a bit 
  12. I can't wait until the first crop of kids from 'Toddlers & Tiaras' start resurfacing in episodes of 'Intervention.' #anaturalprogression
  13. The problem is, after you take it enough & build up a tolerance, 5 Hour Energy becomes 22~minute energy.
  14. Next time u call Customer Service, have filthy porn blaring in the background & say, 'can u speak up? Im in the middle of something.'
  15. New greeting card category: 'Loss of a God': ~ For people who just found out the religion they subscribed to their entire lives is bullshit.
  16. Been watching a band for 20 minutes now & I can't tell if they're Christian rock or just really corny, either way God would be disappointed
  17. Plato's Closet sounds way too pretentious for a place that sells USED clothes. That's why I'm opening up my own store: Aristotle's Asshole.
  18. Waiter: What kind of toast? Me (not understanding the question): umm, American I guess. Waiter: That's gotta be white, right?
  19. Can't a guy just blast Elliott Smith from a Boombox while standing on the edge of the Walt Whitman Bridge w/out people assuming the worst?
  20. There are probably a lot of people in prison who take offense to the phrase, "the truth will set you free."
  21. Transgender Tabbies: A daring reality show about cats who are trapped in the wrong bodies & owners who pay for their sex-change surgeries.
  22. #StripClubFun Go to a club, jump on stage & scream, "honey have you lost ur goddamn mind?" as you attempt to cover a stripper with a blanket
  23. Aren't they all 'Drug-Free School Zones' or are there places where it's like 'These kids will never be shit, so peddle ur crank right here'?
  24. 'It's all smiles and handjobs until someone loses an eye' ~ Stacey, victim of an unfortunate digital manipulation accident.
  25. Guy in the funeral procession: The fact that you're dancing in ur car leads me to believe u don't care about the guy you're going to bury
  26. Rite aid worker: 'don't you want to save twenty percent with a wellness card?'Me: 'that's ok, i don't much like Jews.'

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Transcript of My Talk with a Comcast Rep: Volume 2

I've become quite fond of using Comcast's Live Chat service. Here's another word-for-word transcription of an online chat I had with a very helpful Comcast rep recently: (Note: I cleverly jumbled some on the letters in the rep's name to protect his/her anonymity.)

The Surface Problem

analyst Bronald Fouie has entered room
Bronald FouieHello Jared, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Bronald Fouie: Please give me one moment to review your information.
JaredMy Issue: My girlfriend told me we have Showtime -- after reviewing my bill, I noticed there was, in fact, a $10.00 charge for a Showtime promotion. Two questions: 1.) Why is it there if I didn't ask for it? 2.) How is it a promotion if you charge?
Bronald FouieLet me check on the account, Jared.
Bronald FouiePlease give me 2 to 3 minutes while I pull up the correct account. Thank you.
JaredI will meditate for 2 to 3 minutes on my secret mantra, which I'm not at liberty to tell you. Please let me know when you're ready.
Bronald FouieThank you for waiting, I have the account now. To complete verification, may I have the last 4 digits of your SSN?
JaredOf course, it is π. May I ask is your full name Bronald Fouie? If so, Fouie is an unusual last name, but it is also rather nice.
Bronald FouieBronald Fouie is my first name. I do see here that you have Showtime under promo, $0.00 x 3 months/step up promo is $10.00/month x 9 months. Regular rate is $19.99/month. I can remove it from your account if you want.
JaredBronald Fouie, I never asked for Showtime, which I find to be inferior to both AMC and FX ...
JaredSo, my question, Bronald Fouie, is WHY was it added in the first place. I never authorized it, so it seems like Comcast just arbitrarily added the charge to my account and hoped I wouldn't notice.
JaredTo me, this seems highly unethical. Don't you agree Bronald Fouie?
Bronald FouieJared, let me just check when was this added. Please give me a moment.
JaredTake your time, Bronald Fouie. The last thing I want to do is jump to conclusion. I'll continue my meditations in the meantime.
Bronald FouieThank you.
JaredAre you still here, Bronald Fouie?
Bronald FouieThank you for patiently waiting.
Bronald FouieI apologize for the long hold.
Bronald FouieI have removed Showtime and the charges for 2 months. This might have been accidentally added through the remote control. The credit will reflect on your online account within 24 hours.
JaredIt's OK, but sometimes if I get to involved in my meditations I lull myself into a semi-conscious state.
Jaredtoo involved ... Sorry my grammar has been off since the "incident"

The Underlying Cause

Bronald FouieNo problem at all, Jared. I hope everything is okay.
JaredYou mentioned the remote ... how would the remote subscribe me to Showtime .... I'd like to avoid this if I could in the future
JaredBy the way, I can't very well mention the incident without giving you additional details
Bronald FouieSometime when you access a program or movie through On Demand, it will ask you if you want to subscribe the certain network in order to view the program. It would be best not to order OnDemand programs that requires channel subscription.
JaredWhen I was much younger, a worker at a cable company (which shall remain nameless) did something horrible to me ...
JaredAnd that's a big reason for my distrust of cable companies right now
JaredYou see, Bronald Fouie, a cable repairman, technically an Independent Contractor, I know, I know was scheduled to fixed our faulty cable
JaredNot only did he fix the cable that day, but he also fixed fixed my live-in girlfriend's diminished sex drive as well
JaredFor several months, the two fornicated behind my back, but that's not all ...
Bronald FouieThat a very terrible thing to happen to anyone. I can just imagine the pain that you were going through. I'm reall sorry to hear that, Jared. I hope everything is better now.
JaredIn addition, to mess with me, the cable repairman would intentionally interrupt my cable signal and he and my girlfriend would laugh the laugh of lovers
JaredBefore she moved to Montana to start a family with this cable repairman, she told me the whole story.
JaredI've come along way since then, but the Showtime thing brought it all back.
JaredSee me and this girlfriend used to watch the softcore pornography on the Showtime channel, and the promotion stirred up some raw memories that I'm just now realizing I haven't dealt with properly.

The Resolution

Bronald FouieI'm really really sorry, we have no other direction to go but to move forward. I do belive that horrible experiences like this make us a better person.For the Showtime concern, you may forget about it. I have removed Showtime and all its charges. The credit will reflect within 24 hours.
JaredThank you so much, Bronald Fouie. And thanks for letting me vent! I really needed it.
Bronald FouieThank you for your sharing and spending some time.
Bronald Fouie It is my pleasure. I'm glad we were able to resolved your billing issue. Have I addressed all your concerns, issues for today?
JaredYes you have Bronald Fouie. The world needs more people who truly care like you do!
Bronald FouieThank you for the kind words, Jared.
Bronald FouieIt is my goal to exceed your expectations, and I hope that you will take a moment to complete the short survey; your feedback will help us to continue improving how we serve you. Our goal is to provide you with a consistently superior customer experience – that’s our guarantee. Learn more about the Comcast Customer Guarantee at guarantee
Bronald FouieI had a wonderful time speaking with you today. We are grateful to have you as a Comcast customer and look forward to continue being the provider that helps you stay connected to your services. We value your business here in Comcast. If you need assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us through Live Chat or E-Mail (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Comcast also offers great FAQ and Help forums located at click here to help you solve many issues on your own. You can also reach us at 1800-XFINITY (1800-934-6489)during business hours from Monday-Friday between the hours of 9AM-5PM. Thank you for contacting Comcast and have a great day.
Bronald Fouie I'm glad I had the opportunity to resolve your issue. It is my goal to exceed your expectations, and I hope that you will take a moment to complete the short survey; your feedback will help us to continue improving how we serve you. I thank you for your time. If you don't have any other concerns, you can click on EXIT CHAT then kindly take the 12 question SURVEY. Your feedback will help us improve our service. Thank you in advance.
JaredI would be happy to Bronald Fouie

In case you're wondering, I did fill out the 12-question SURVEY, and I gave Bronald Fouie sterling marks for his service.

Monday, November 12, 2012

You're donating what to the homeless!?

If you've been reading this blog, you know I have a penchant for sending ridiculous letters, requests and event proposals to a variety of organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Upper Darby Library and the Westboro Baptist Church.

Well, recently, when I was going through my records (i.e., wasting time at work looking through a folder on my desktop titled "Random Shit"), when I came across something I meant to post on Craigslist -- but never actually got around to doing. Probably a good thing, but just for yourself:

HH Foundation -- Donations, Volunteers Needed

What do clothing, food, shelter and hangers all have in common? If you said all of these are things the majority of homeless people are lacking, well, my friend, you’ve hit the nail on the head. And with all the resources in this beautiful country of ours, don’t you think that is absurd? Don’t you think all people should have enough food to eat? Don’t you think everyone should have a warm roof over their heads? Well, so do I, but that’s not what this request is about. 

There are plenty of charitable organizations out there dedicated to the providing food, clothing and shelter to the homeless, but we’re not one of them. Nope. That’s just not our bag. Sure, those organizations serve a key purpose in society, but some are also very short-sighted. Think about it. While it’s nice to give away your old wardrobe to a homeless man or woman who really needs it, what are they going to do with that Old Navy sweater or Lane Bryant blouse when they’re not wearing it? Shove it in a shopping cart? A trash bag?  Then, the next time they go to put it on, it’s so bunched up and wrinkled, they end up looking, well … homeless. That’s where the Hangers for the Homeless (HH) Foundation comes in. Our motto: “Just because you’re homeless, it doesn’t mean you should have to look like a slob.” 

That’s why we’re asking everyone fortunate enough to own a surplus of coat hangers (we also accept lint brushes and dewrinkle spray) to donate their extras to the HH Foundation – the first charitable organization in the U.S. dedicated solely to providing the less fortunate with devices to keep their wardrobes wrinkle-free. What if you don’t have a single hanger to spare? No worries, come out for the HH Foundation’s first “Homeless Hang,” an event where like-minded philanthropists go around Philadelphia passing out hangers, on Fri., Feb. 27, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Please respond to this post with the subject line “HH Foundation” if you are interested in donating or participating in the “Hang.” SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Can Einstein Medical Center Montgomery save marriages?

If you live within a ten-mile radius of Norristown, Pennsylvania, you're no doubt familiar with the brand new state-of-the-art hospital that sits on a plot of land that used to be Woody's Golf Center. With a grand opening that included Vegas-caliber outdoor lighting, a public open house, and a number of highly produced commercials, Einstein appears to be marketing its new hospital as a premier resort destination. So I decided to see if Einstein Medical Center Montgomery really is as accommodating as it claims.

Below is a letter I sent to the Einstein Montgomery's Public Relations Director, a PR director who shall remain nameless for ValiumVickie's purposes (I used the PR Director's name in the actual letter).

Dear Unnamed Public Relations Director,

I'm writing in reference to a recent Einstein Medical Center Montgomery commercial I happened to catch while I was watching "Wheel of Fortune" with Libby, my wife of 25 years. First off, bravo, my friend, bravo! The commercial was inspiring, and the hospital itself looks absolutely magnificent. I was so moved by what I saw that I turned Libby and said, "Get your shawl, dear, we're going to have a look at this place for ourselves."

If I may be so bold, Dear Unnamed Public Relations Director, I must admit: The commercial just doesn't do the hospital justice! That building is marvel of modern architecture. It's fresh, it's sleek, it's, dare I say, sexy even. Einstein Medical Center Montgomery would look more at home next to Revel Beach Casino in Atlantic City than a McDonald's in Norristown. Nevertheless, from the outside, the hospital feels more like a resort than an infirmary. And that brings me to my next point, Unnamed Public Relations Director.

It would be dishonest of me not to be frank with you Unnamed Public Relations Director. (If your first name was Frank, it would have been difficult to refrain from writing "frank with you, Frank" right there -- but I digress.) Something has been missing from my marriage for some time now, Unnamed Public Relations Director. And I'm afraid Libby and I have had to resort to some extremely drastic measures to ignite the fires of our passion that burned so effortlessly just a few short years ago.

Why am I telling you this, Unnamed Public Relations Director? Because I believe Einstein Medical Center Montgomery must be the next destination in my sensual adventures with my wife. I'd like to procure the finest suite in your hospital for a romantic weekend. To keep up appearances -- and to satisfy a personal fetish -- I will of course don the garb of an ordinary patient. My wife will play the role of the busy, annoyed nurse -- a nurse whom I will eventually wear down with charm. Obviously, we can the do the nurse-patient role-playing routine anywhere. But the thrill of role-paying in an actual hospital -- combined with the first-class amenities Einstein promises -- is just what this marriage needs, Unnamed Public Relations Director!

Now let us talk logistics. Although I have top-of-line healthcare coverage, I'm fairly certain even my plan wouldn't cover this little in-house visit, and that's fine by me. Thanks to a class-action settlement, a few wise investments and a family business that has flourished despite treacherous market fluctuations, I'm dangerously close to being what the populace likes to refer to, cynically, as "The One-Percent." Therefore, I'd be more than happy to pay for my "treatment" out of pocket. However, if there happens to be some red tape preventing this type of thing, I have a contingency plan. On Mondays and Thursdays, I practice Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music. Being an older gentleman, I must do extensive stretching exercises before class. Without my limbering up routine, Unnamed Public Relations Director, I'd be virtually guaranteed to pull a muscle, which should, I assume, legitimize my hospitalization.

Please let me know what you think of my proposal ASAP, as my marriage is deteriorating rapidly. As you consider your options, Unnamed Public Relations Director, I'd ask that you look at my request from a public relations standpoint, your forte, I believe. Think of the potential headlines: "How the comfort of Einstein Medial Center Montgomery saved this couple's marriage." A win-win, Unnamed Public Relations Director -- for me, yes, but more importantly, for Einstein Medical Center Montgomery!

Francis "Frank" Pipkin

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Atlantic City used to be even more disturbing?

On the Atlantic City boardwalk, somewhere between the Trump and the Tropicana is wooden cut-out painting of what the buildings in city must've looked like back in its infancy. At first glance, it's beautiful in things-were-so-much-better-back-then type of a way. If you've ever heard an old person say, "You should've seen this town back in the day. It was really something (Translation: There weren't any minorities)," then you could probably picture it.

At first glance, the cutout looks like a Norman Rockwell depiction of the shops on Main Street USA. But if you look a little closer, there's something very disturbing about the cutout. One of the buildings has these three high windows that are reflecting blue skies with puffy, white clouds. The windows have a number of things written on them but, unless you're up close, it's difficult to make out what's there.

What's written underneath the windows, however, is tough to miss. In big white block letters there are two words: LIVING INFANTS. True, it's less jarring than a sign promising DEAD BABIES, but still, it makes you wonder: "What types of businesses used to line this boardwalk?" A closer inspection of the small print directly on the windows gives you a little more detail about what this LIVING INFANTS business is all about: "Atlantic City's Baby Incubators" and "Come see babies that weigh less than three pounds!" reads the fine print on the windows. And underneath this one-of-a-kind offer is the price: "25 cents!" What a deal, right?

Can't you just picture an elderly man walking along the AC boardwalk with his grandson, grumbling about the outrageous prices that establishments were charging. "$3.75 for a goddamn slice of pizza?! That's a goddamn crime if you ask me," he'd say to the impressionable child. "Why, back in my day, we'd have a grand old time for just two quarters. We'd spend the first quarter tying a bit of a load on, you understand. Then, we'd pay a quarter to spend the afternoon walking through the Living Infants museum. These little bastards would fit in the palm of your hand, I tell you. Not a one of these sons' of bitches weighing more than three pounds. Quite a sight, I tell you," he'd say as his eyes glazed over with nostalgia.

How strapped were people for entertainment in Atlantic City back then that paying money to stare at tiny infants constituted a good time? Sure, today's Atlantic City is one of the most slimy, insidious places in all of the country, and there's a lot of freaky shit going on down there, but you'd still probably have trouble finding any businesses in the tiny baby-watching industry.

And where did all these babies come from? I envisioned a large man in a fedora, a soiled undershirt and dress slacks held up by suspenders. He'd have a cigar permanently propped in his mouth, a rolled up paper in his hand and he'd reek of cold cuts. Giuseppe they'd call him -- or Felix, and this bad man would wander from hospital to hospital searching for the smallest babies in land. Giuseppe or Felix would seek out weeping parents and make them an offer they couldn't refuse. "Look, this place can't do anything for your baby no more," he'd say while gently massaging a distraught mother's neck, "but my employer can." In this way, the world's largest collection of tiny living infants would be assembled and then prominently displayed on the Atlantic City boardwalk for profit. Indebted to the "employer" who kept them alive, these babies would eventually grow up to become sideshow freaks at traveling circuses in towns like Branson, Missouri and Keosauqua, Iowa.

I say "envisioned" in the past tense, because that's what I pictured before I did some digging. (No I don't watch "Boardwalk Empire.") As it turns out, the real story behind the LIVING INFANTS is way less interesting than the one I'd imagined.

See back in late 19th century and well into the early 20th century, premature births were a pretty big deal -- and doctors and hospitals did a really shitty job of keeping those little babies alive. Then this German dude, Dr. Martin A. Couney, comes along and invents the modern baby incubator -- which he uses to treat his own prematurely born daughter. He claims the incubator he's created can take care of the whole preemie death problems. But Dr. Couney's colleagues in the medical community think he's full of shit, the banks won't finance his incubator production and the hospitals don't want anything to do with the devices. So he does the only thing he can: He takes his show directly to the people.

Armed with a handful of tiny babies that some German hospital decided die anyway, Couney takes his incubator project to 1896 Berlin Exposition, where he charges admissions to help finance the the venture -- and ends up drawing huge crowds in the process. The whole thing is an overwhelming success, and all of the original babies skirt their death sentences. Before you know it, hospitals start referring parents of preemies to Couney for care -- care he administers at no cost to those parents -- and just like that these LIVING INFANT exhibits start popping up everywhere.

Eventually, the first permanent baby incubator exhibit winds up on the auspicious Atlantic City Boardwalk (right across from the Million Dollar Pier where this horse tried to commit suicide on a nightly basis) in 1902. Finally, in 2012, a slightly hungover Polish-American notices the cutout that pays tribute to the incubators, takes his picture next to it and writes a rambling, nonsensical blog post about the whole thing.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Transcript of my talk with a Comcast rep

I don't understand why people don't enjoy talking to customer service reps more. It's amazing. I called a Comcast rep the other day, and it started like any other call:

Comcast rep: Thank you for calling Comcast. My name is Steven; how may I help you today?
Me: I'm so wet.

This guy didn't miss a beat. "I'm very happy to hear that, sir. Now, for verification purposes, can you please provide me with ...," the rep shot back. It's impossible to get these people to go off the script. It doesn't matter what you throw at them.

Comcast rep: Thank you for calling Comcast. My name is Steven; how may I help you today?
Me: We gotta get rid of these Mexicans, my friend!
Comcast rep: I'd be happy to assist you that, sir. But first, to expedite the process, could you provide me with your account number and five-digit Zip code.

OK, that last one never happened. But the first one did. And you know what's even better than talking to a Comcast representative over the phone? Talking to one of these guys (or gals) online. Here's a word-for-word transcription of an online chat I had with a very helpful Comcast rep recently: (Note: I changed a few letters in the rep's name because, well, I never know what you're allowed to put on here.)

JaredOne question: Will my late fee be waived b/c I was sorting this billing situation out and did not pay the full amount last month
Nod BoaldLet me check it here, Jared.
Nod BoaldJared, it seems I cannot process the return label to you, however, you can visit this site: and a technician will assist you in this link. Or you can also return your modem to your local office near your place.
JaredOK, that will work
Nod BoaldRegarding the late fee, it will still applied on your bill.
Nod BoaldMay I ask if I answer all your questions and concern, Jared?
JaredWell, I'm kind of unhappy about the late fee
Nod BoaldI'm really sorry I can't waive it for you, Jared.
Nod BoaldI do apologize.
JaredIt's OK Nod Boald
Nod BoaldThank you for understanding, Jared.
Nod BoaldWill there be anything else that I can assist you? I will be glad to.
JaredIs there anyone who would be able to help me with the late fee or is that like pine under the frank as they say in Kentucky
Nod BoaldJared, the late fee is a fine that we charge if there will be a late payment that is made.
JaredNod Boald, when you explain it like that, it makes sense. Also, I haven't told anyone this before but I think I'm I'm going to divorce my wife.
JaredShe a sneaky******, and her cooking is horrific
JaredWhat do you think?
Nod BoaldJared, I cannot give a comment on that, however, every actions is always based on what we perceived.
JaredExactly! Thank you Nod Boald, so you think I should do it then. I knew I was right
JaredThank you so much for your help! I'll leave you with a saying my grandfather used to say to me when I was a boy:
Nod BoaldYou're welcome, Jared.
Nod BoaldWhat would that saying Jared?
JaredGramps (Deceased now): "You're gonna die kid, we're all gonna die. But if I can offer you one word of advice, it's this -- grab the world by the balls and pull that son of a****** til your eyes bleed. Anything less & you may as well just drop your drawers, bend over and say, 'Give it to me, world. I'm a coward and a fraud!'"
Nod BoaldThanks for that, Jared.
Nod BoaldWill there be anything else that I can assist you? I will be glad to.
JaredI hope that means as much to you as it did to me. And who knows, Nod Boald, maybe we'll meet again ... but if not. But if not God Bless you
JaredOne more thing, Nod Boald ...
Nod BoaldSame to you Jared.
Nod BoaldWhat is it, Jared?
JaredI love you, Nod Boald. But I love you in the way I love the entire human race. We're all one! Goodbye.
Nod BoaldThank you Jared.
Nod BoaldAs part of Comcast Customer Guarantee, were here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions.
Nod BoaldIt was a pleasure helping you out! Can I ask for a little favor? Please answer the survey after this chat. Your favorable answer will inspire us to continue improving our service. Please click "EXIT CHAT" then "TAKE SURVEY".
Nod BoaldThank you for subscribing to Comcast. Have a great day!
The chat session has been closed
Nod Boald: Analyst has closed chat and left the room

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Talk to your doctor about pills, pills and more pills

Drug companies never cease to amaze me. There's this drug commercial out there right that I love. 

It's for an antidepressant ... but there's a catch. The ad (above) shows this attractive, middle-aged woman wrapped in a worn gray sweater at home. She's leaning against her french doors, staring at the outside world with a forlorn look on her face. Her family is also in the shot, but they're so far in background they appear blurry to the viewer -- a strategic tactic to show the distance this woman's depression is placing between her and her loved ones. Then she speaks: "I'm taking an antidepressant, but it still feels like I need more help." That's when the narrator, with the soothing golden voice, jumps in to let her -- and the millions of people like her watching at home -- know that it doesn't have to be like this.

"Approximately two out of three people being treated for depression still have unresolved symptoms," he says, so all the sad, sad Americans know that they're not alone in their struggle.
"If your antidepressant alone is not enough, talk to your doctor. One option he may consider is adding Abilify. Abilify is approved to treat depression in adults when added to an antidepressant ... talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of adding Abilify today ..."

You know what? No thanks. No. I'm not going to talk to my doctor about adding Abilify. I got a better idea: How about you go ahead and make one pill that actually works? Go back to the lab and mess around with the little mice and figure this shit out? Why can’t you just take the one kind of effective happy pill and put it together with the other kind of effective happy pill and make one super-effective happy pill you greedy sons of bitches? 

Why would they want to do that when it's clear people will take anything that commercials tell them they should, and doctors will prescribe anything the drug companies come up with? Because drug companies know that there’s no limit to the amount of things people will put into their bodies, if there's a chance it'll make them feel something close to happiness. Hey, two to three pills a day to block out a shit life isn't really that bad of a deal when you think about it, right?

The next step

In 10 years, there will a commercial out there that goes, “You’re already taking an antidepressant, an antidepressant on top of that antidepressant and another antidepressant with 600 times the recommended daily dose of B-vitamins to counteract the fatigue symptoms of the first two antidepressants. You rub a mood-enhancing cream all over your body twice a day, drink a serotonin-boosting tea in the morning and use an FDA-approved nasal spray to ward off sadness. But sometimes, it’s just not enough. Insertia can help. Insertia is the only suppository on the market that, when combined with an extensive regimen of antidepressants, can help to lessen the symptoms of depression in adults. Plus, it can help with regularity, as well. Insertia: You stick it up your ass, so life stops getting you from behind.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Inspirational Quotes & Why Benjamin Franklin's An Asshole

Do a quick Google search of "Inspirational Quotes." You'll get millions of results instantly. People LOVE this shit. Here's one from motivational speaker Jack Canfield, "Twenty things completed have more power than 50 things half completed." So true, Jack. So true. And then there's this little guy: "Life begins -- at the end -- of your comfort zone." That one is from some post titled, "55 Inspiring Quotations That Will Change The Way You Think." Oh, and for effect, that quote is perfectly centered directly between breathtaking blue sky and rolling, verdant hills. It's really quite lovely.

For many people, these inspirational quotes are uplifting, motivating and maybe even life-changing -- though I really, really doubt it. But every time I read one them, I always think the same thing: "That guy's a dick." (Except for when I read a Gandhi quote -- that guy was always starving so he probably couldn't help being so dramatic.)

And this is especially true of any quotes by businessmen and marketing gurus. On first read, these little phrases of hope tend to sound like they rolled right off of said speaker's golden tongue. I can almost picture Bill Gates staring off into the distance, reflecting on his very existence and saying, "It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure," in response to a waitress's question about whether he saved enough room for dessert.

That's not how it happens. I know the people who said these things or wrote them or whatever thought long and hard about it. And I think that's what bothers me the most. I think most people actually believe that the visionaries credited with saying these inspirational things are so brilliant they're actually shooting pearls of wisdom right out of their tight, pretentious assholes on a whim. But I know there had to be first drafts and second drafts and so on.

Before John D. Rockefeller said "A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship," he probably spent weeks strutting around an expansive mansion spewing out imperfect versions of his famous maxim, while some assistant followed obediently behind, scribbling furiously in some little book. Maybe the original one wasn't quite as punchy, maybe it was something like, "A friendship founded on business is better than a situation in which two gentlemen, who happen to share a great affinity for each other decide, impulsively, to go into business with one another precisely because of that friendship. That my friends, is much worse." But people only see the finished product.

Of course, I also like to think the author's inspiration could come in another way. Take Benjamin Franklin, for example. That guy was a piece of shit, a complete fucking asshole. Benny Franklin was a Class-A cocksucker. But history was kind to Mr. Franklin, and we know him mostly for his numerous accomplishments. Benjamin Franklin is quotable king. "Poor Richard's Almanac," which was published by Franklin, is chalk full of sayings that get passed along from generation to generation. But on top of the Almanac, Franklin used to run a profitable insurance scam. Philadelphians would purchase fire insurance from Ben and, in exchange for their business, Franklin would give them a plaque to attach to their home as proof they were insured. Problem was, the plaques were wooden, so when the fires burned down people's home, the plaques were destroyed, too. When people went to collect on their policies, Franklin supposedly refused to pay out without the plaque. "A penny saved is a penny earned," is easy when you're fucking trusting people out of their hard-earned pennies, right Ben?

Anyway, I like to think that Ben Franklin's most inspiring quotes came to him during moments of absolute depravity. I picture Big Ben plowing two -- maybe three -- of the wives of his closest colleagues, while piles of money he'd amassed from things like the fire insurance policy racket are strewn all over his bed "Indecent Proposal" style. While his conquests scream out the inadequacies of their husbands, a touch Franklin insisted upon, Ben is compelled to vocalize his thoughts, as well. "Little strokes fell great oaks!" he screams while he continues to thrust rhythmically. "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," Franklin whoops as two women switch places. "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," he exclaims triumphantly as he reaches climax and collapses headfirst on the bed. And in this manner Benjamin Franklin's most memorable quotes were composed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Obscure Online Reviews

It's been a little while since I gave our Vickie the old reach around (i.e., written any blog posts). And that's mainly because I've been plenty busy with another very promising writing gig. I've been knocking out online reviews of an assortment of companies at a feverish pace. (Note: I understand that people work really hard to keep their businesses afloat, so my nonsensical reviews are exclusively positive.)

This new obsession started a month ago when I was down the shore for the first weekend of March Madness. Every year, anywhere from 15 to 37 guys pile into a single house to watch basketball, drink countless beers and pretend we're still able to whatever we want, whenever we want to. At one point, everybody was hungry, so I started looking for places that are: a.) open during a time of year when between 15 to 37 guys are in town, and b.) offer a delivery option. That left us with this place. But before I got a chance to call in our order, my friend Dan started reading off a series of reviews that made us seriously reconsider. The reviews all gave the place one star and said things like:

Chris ‎ - Feb 26, 2011, (one out of five stars), 
Rip off alert!!!! False advertising of prices on banner outside resturant. We expected a pizza slice and soda as advertised for $.99 each. The bill, Over $4 per person. The staff claimed the banner said "price before 3pm" but it did not. When we went back in to tell them banner was incorrect, staff ignored us and walked into back of store.  
Disliked: Service, Value 

As we weighed options our options, I came up with what I considered a brilliant idea: "Hey guys, how great would it be if we just started writing these elaborate online reviews about businesses that have absolutely nothing to do with the products being sold?" As soon as I said it, Dan started typing away furiously on a laptop. When he was finished, the pizza place we'd been debating over had its first new online review since 2011. Dan gave the place five stars, and his review read:

Me and Gramps got a great tour of the shark tank, and even had the opportunity to feed the crazy rascals!!! The sea lions were little Anton's favorite but Suzanne thought they smelled like Dorchester! Times are crazy and this place sure 'aint. Next time we'll be sure to spend more time with the sea horses. 

In the end, we did end up ordering a bunch of pizza from this place (several times during the night), and the pizza was delicious. But before we placed our order, I had the following conversation with the pizzeria:

Woman from Pizza Place (WPP): Thanks for calling, XXXXX Pizza. Pick up or delivery?
Me: Actually, I'm a reporter from the Dorchester Times. I'm writing a piece on the dangers of false online reviews to local businesses, and I was wondering if you've read the online reviews of your place recently?
WPP: No, I can't say that I have. We do a pretty good business here, and all of our regular customers seem completely satisfied.
Me: In many cases, negative reviews are created by jealous neighbors, angry family members, jilted ex-lovers and, sometimes, even by the competition.
WPP: What are you saying ... that there's a bunch of negative reviews of our place online?
Me: Well, yes, it seems there are a few. Like I said, based on my research for this story, I've found that the majority of extremely negative reviews are completely made up.
WPP: So what type of things do they say?
Me: Well, this one says, "They are constantly messing up orders," and this one says, "False advertising of prices on banner outside resturant." And restaurant is spelled wrong, so obviously this person didn't take the time to proofread his or her review. But wait ... here's a glowing review for your place. They actually gave you five stars.
WPP: What does it say?
Me: It says, "Me and Gramps got a great tour of the shark tank, and even had the opportunity to feed the crazy rascals!!!" And there's three exclamation points, so this person was really enthusiastic about that part.
WPP: What the hell?
Me: Wait, there's more. Its goes on to say, "The sea lions were little Anton's favorite but Suzanne thought they smelled like Dorchester! Times are crazy and this place sure 'aint. Next time we'll be sure to spend more time with the sea horses."
WPP: I don't understand. That doesn't make any sense at all. What the hell is that person talking about?
Me: Honestly, I'm not sure. But that's not important. The important part is this person is a big fan of your restaurant. No one gives out five stars on a whim.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Listen, My False Patriotism Has Nothing To Do With You Ladies

A few weeks ago, a very strange series of events took place at a bar on Jack Frost Mountain in the beautiful town of Lake Harmony. This is how I remember things happening:

I'd just come back from skiing, and a group of my friends had snagged a few tables directly in front of a band that was covering staples of 90's rock radio like, "Santeria," and "Lump." I sat down, had a a beer and decided tostay for a while. I was talking with my friends, but it was impossible not to notice the people at the table across from us. All told there were maybe 15 women between the ages of 35 and 60. They were dancing and singing and drinking excessively. When the band broke into "Under Pressure," the women's enthusiasm was at a fever pitch. One heavily tattooed lady with a Dee Snider haircut and a Paul Giamatti body played the most passionate air guitar I'd ever seen. After few more songs, the band took a break. That's when a couple of Yuengling reps announced it was time to do the drawing for a free snowboard. It also happened to be when I decided to start chanting, "U.S.A. ... U.S.A. ... U.S.A.!" A few of my friends joined in, but the chanting died down pretty quickly, and I'm pretty sure we failed to convince the rest of the bar that the snowboard drawing was a patriotic moment.

Here's the thing: I've always loved chanting U.S.A. at unexpected and often uncomfortable times. Sometimes people will actually join in, but most times people just stare in confusion. No one has ever asked why I was chanting. So I wasn't really prepared when one of the women from the large group was over at our table questioning my friend Ryan about the motives behind my U.S.A. chant. Apparently she wasn't satisfied with his answer, because after he finished, she asked me directly. I considered trying to explain myself to her, "You know how sometimes crowds of people will spontaneously break into U.S.A. chants -- like when they announced that we killed Osama Bin Laden? Well, what I'm doing isn't anything like that ... with me, it's totally different, you know? I like to chant at off-peak times, like when a guy starts screaming at his wife in a 7-11 or a beer guy gives away a snowboard to a lucky drunk person, you know? I can't tell you exactly what types of things make me chant; it just kind of happens. I just know when the moment is right."
Instead I just said, "I kinda like to do weird shit sometimes."

But this woman wasn't curious, she was suspicious. Unbeknownst to me, the women sitting across from us were all very Puerto Rican -- and all very proud of it. Also unbeknownst to me, these proud Puerto Rican women interpreted my U.S.A. chant to be some weird type of challenge to the legitimacy of their citizenship -- to the entire citizenship of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, I guess. In fact, one of the things that lady said to my friend was, "You know we're U.S. Citizens, too. Right?" As if I'd ever questioned it in the first place. As if in the middle of a Yuengling snowboard raffle, in the middle of a loud, crowded bar, I thought to myself, "How can show these Puerto Rican bitches what I think of their homeland? Oh yeah, I got this."

For the record, I had no idea these women were Puerto Rican. It's not like they were all wearing tee-shirts that said, "Don't fuck with Puerto Rico." And even if I did know about their nationality, it's not like I was standing on my table, pointing at them and chanting, "This is U.S.A./You don't belong/Your country is a joke/Go back home/Go back home!"

But none of that mattered. These rough, tattooed, Freddy-Mercury worshiping, beer-guzzling broads were convinced that they'd been wronged, and they didn't intend to take it lying down. After the incident, several of them made some aggressive gestures toward the girls in our group. And in the ladies' room, a member of our group overheard members of the Puerto-Rican Pride Posse fuming about my actions. When she tried to explain that my false patriotism had nothing to do with them, she got nowhere. The situation became so tense that a few of the guys in our group started tossing out hypotheticals.
"So what happens if they do try to fight us?"
"I think we just push them ... we push them really, really hard."

Then I did what I do best: I left everyone else to deal with the situation that I created. And because of my early departure, I missed out on something truly special. While I was out skiing, the slighted Puerto Rican ladies all decided to stand up on their chairs, face my friends and belt out an impassioned version of "God Bless America." After their rendition (not sure if the Snider/Giamatti woman broke out the air guitar), they abruptly left the bar. But not before stopping in front of my friends' and bidding them, "Adios, bitches." After hearing the rest of the story from the guy who was prepared to push these angry women "really, really hard" if things got out of control, all I could think was: "I can't wait to write this up on my shitty blog."