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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Post #26 - War on Spam - mr. Frank Volume 4 - 6/29/2009

Re: FW: Sorry For My Late Responce

From: Mr. Frank
Sent: Mon 6/29/09 4:50 AM

Hello Jerry,

Thanks for your mail, kindly get back to me with the below informations to enable us proceed, as we are short of time.

{1} Bank Name:............. ..........
{2} Bank Address.....................
{3} Account No:.......................
{4} Swift Code...{if any}
{5} Account Holder's Name: ....................
{6} Tel. Nos...................

I wait for your mail soon.
My response to mr. Frank, 6/29/2009

RE: Sorry For My Late Responce

Dear mr. Frank,

Why are you prolonging this transaction? I’ve given you all of the other info, except the bank account name and account number. Stop asking for the same info over and over!

As you are aware, I have a screening process. You are in the process of unlocking the bank code. The second of six questions is:

Tell me about your most embarrassing moment.

This should be simple. Mine involved my ten speed bike, a ramp, an on-looking cub scout troop, and a truck filled with cotton crossing a bridge over a lake of fire.

Please hurry!


Lance E. Antsyinmypantsy
My follow-up to mr. Frank, sent 6/30/2009

RE: Sorry For My Late Responce

Dear mr. Frank,

I hope life is going well for you. I’m feeling charitable today. I’ll tell you why in a minute. The second digit to my account is “4”.

I caught a strange but lucky break yesterday. That cricket, which was chirping over and over at night, drove me bonkers. I crushed it with my shoe. The manager of our shelter heard me. Being an animal lover, she hollered at me and kicked me out of the shelter with only a PB and J.

So I started singing. Right there in front of the shelter, which was adjacent to the Opera House. A local record producer’s wife was walking out of the opera house with her husband. They heard me singing. She told her husband that he should give me a recording contract!

I’m in the studio today, working on my debut single! It goes like this:

What’s the cream-cream creamiest spread there is? (Peanut Butter).
It goes well with jelly, like no other. (Peanut Butter).
The little kids like it in their lunch.
Come on now silly, you have a hunch. (Peanut Butter).

Erwin Rommel pops up from his tanks
Just to give Mrs. Rommel many thanks.
He can’t get over his lunch box.
He’s the one, the Desert Fox (Peanut Butter).

Jesse Jackson, Madonna, Bono too.
They eat it, and they all love you.
Cronkite, and Rather ate it between news takes.
But not that Brokaw—he liked steaks. (Peanut Butter).

I’m still working on it. Can you help me come up with a title? I’ll give you co-writing credits. Also, tell me about that embarrassing moment! I’ll unlock the 3rd digit. Whenever you get a chance (we have time)—I’m pretty busy right now.


Lance E. Antsyinmypantsy

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Post #25- Frito Lay Four Cheese Doritos--The Big Cover-up

I sent this on 1/25/2009.

Dear Frito Lay,

I spend my days up in the trees hosting corporate team building exercises on rope courses, 100 feet above ground. These exercises utilize peoples’ fears of heights and wedgies, to break down interpersonal barriers, and develop a foundation of trust. Participants must rely upon one another to progress through the course, promoting teamwork and honesty. At the end of the long days, nothing tastes better than a delicious, healthy-in-moderation salty snack from my pals at Frito Lay.

By the end of the course, people know quite a bit more about one another, and hopefully, something about themselves. One of the keys to this entire process is an uncompromised trust in me, their leader. That trust was compromised on our most recent adventure.

Generally, I provide lunch—a party sub, a cooler full of artificially flavored lemon drink, and a big bag of chips. On this particular day, I selected your Four Cheese Doritos from my grocer’s shelf. I thought the four cheeses could symbolize the four characteristics of a good team: Cohesion, Leadership, Obedience, and Trust. Without trust, there is no basis for leadership, obedience or cohesion. It’s one big frigging Rube Goldberg.

As we were enjoying our midday lunch, socializing, learning about one another, I learned that Connie from Accounting was a label reader. With her hair in a tight bun, and gray, shapeless outfit, Connie read the back of the Dorito Bag. In the Four Cheese Dorito ingredients, Connie counted six cheeses: Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, American, Swiss, and Colby. Each of these could go solo and carry their own chip flavor. Pardon me, Frito Lay, but where do you get off trying to “slip one by” on us?

Connie accused me of lying to her, which destroyed the trust that we had built all morning. She said, “If you are lying about tasty snack chips, what else are you hiding?” Connie created mutiny in the high trees—the entire team refused to participate in the afternoon activities. She questioned my certifications and the safety of the tree course. At one point, she suggested that my safety wires were fastened to the trees using Elmer’s Glue, and tattled to OSHA, who threatened to shut me down until a formal investigation could take place. I had to issue a letter of apology.

In a society where “more is better”, if the additional cheeses were a good thing, I’m sure your marketing team would want to boast: “Hey World, Our Chips Have Six Cheeses!” What is wrong with cheeses five and six, and why are you hiding behind the number four? Which of these are the second string cheeses?

Also, why do you always make the bag smaller and maintain the price? Are you trying to make me thinner? As a snacker, you have instilled distrust in me. I may have to shift my snacking allegiances to this upstart local company, Better Made. I would appreciate a written explanation regarding this erosion of trust. It seems that someone in your organization has cut the cheese.



Reply dated 1/26/09:
Response from Frito-Lay RE: Doritos, Reference #010449648A

Hi Jerry,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We certainly appreciate your concern on this important matter. Please know your comments will be shared with the appropriate teams within our company. Frito-Lay is committed to providing snacks of the highest quality and keeping our prices as low as possible. We make every effort to hold our prices, but inflation has increased our costs for doing business. As in all other industries, our expenditures for labor, ingredients, production and distribution all continue to rise. Even though Four-Cheese Doritos is made with six different cheeses, the main flavor notes are from the first four cheeses listed on the ingredient statement. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you again for bringing your concerns to our attention.

Best regards, Linda
Frito-Lay Consumer Affairs
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Post # 24 : Mr. Ilitch: Show Sparky Some Love! 9/27/2009

I have a lot of Ilitch love. I also have a lot of Sparky love. I was a little bummed when he wore the Reds Cap at his Hall of Fame induction. I think that decision puts a lot of pressure on the inductee. Nevertheless, I think Sparky deserves the same honor as the other Tiger Hall of Famers. I sent this to Mr. Ilitch today using the email address on their Ilitch Holdings site.

I'm not expecting a reply, but I'll repost if I get one.  I sent this on 9/27/2009.  Ten years to the day after the last game at Tiger Stadium.

Dear Mr. Ilitch,

I think the “Detroit Tigers Support Our Automakers” sign out in center field is one of the grandest gestures by an owner to his fans. Thank you for restoring pride to our city by rescuing two major sports franchises and restoring the most beautiful venue I have ever visited. When I am in the Fox Theatre, one of my favorite things to do after Sesame Street Live is to look up at the beautiful ceiling and count all the “lost” $10 Elmo balloons (the most I ever counted was 16). But I digress.

When I walk through that beautiful ballpark, I see the beautiful statues of Tiger heroes—Horton, Cobb, Greenburg, Gehringer, Newhouser, Kaline, and Harwell. I think we are missing one statue.

Sparky Anderson came to this franchise at a time when we both needed each other. He was reeling from being fired by the Reds. We were at a low point—Fidrych was basically done, and the Parrishes and Trammells and Whitakers were still in the pipeline. Sparky lead us to a World Championship in 1984, and ALCS in 1987.

Sparky could have left for greener pastures like Parrish, Gibson, and Morris. He could have left when it was clear we were headed for some bad years, but he stayed. From my perspective, the only things he was ever guilty of were 1) being Captain Hook and 2) Over-Platooning.

Even after he left, Sparky kept his CATCH charity operating, and he comes back every year to host the golf outing.

I have heard, in the past, that there may have been behind-the-scenes issues, possibly related to his refusal to coach the scab players in 1995. That was almost 15 years ago, and no one is getting any younger.

I attended a game in 2000, where you had a pre-game honoring of Sparky. I thought it was nice, but wondered, why no statue or retired number? Before it is too late, I would like to see a Sparky statue, and have a nice “Sparky Day” to dedicate it. I would like to see #11 retired, like all of the other Tiger Hall of Famers. Maybe you could tie his charity work in with all of it. I’m sure the Detroit fans would appreciate this. Such a gesture would underscore the already exemplary amount of class that anything with the Ilitch name already exudes.


October 23, 2009

Dear Jerry

On behalf of Mr. Michael Ilitch and the Detroit Tigers organization, we appreciate that you have taken the time to contact us to express your kind words, and interest in Tigers history. We wanted to acknowledge your suggestion regarding former Tigers' manager Sparky Anderson.

Sparky certainly had a remarkable 17-year career with the Tigers, which included a glorious 1984 World Series Championship.

Over the years the Tigers have celebrated the great players and personnel who have worn the old English "D" and Sparky has certainly been part of those celebrations.

Please know each year the ballclub identifies and discusses significant milestones, records, and achievements in order to honor Tigers player (s), and team personnel. We do not have plans to retire a uniform number at this time, but we will certainly take your endorsement into consideration for Sparky Anderson during our next organizational review.

Thank you for your comments and support of the Tigers.


Ron Colangelo
Vice President, Communications
Detroit Tigers
Dear Ron,

Thank you for the response. You've highlighted many of the reasons why Sparky stands apart from his managerial predecessors and successors. In addition, he established himself as a Hall-of-Famer, wearing the Olde English D. And let's not forget his charitable works.

If there are other, "behind the scenes" reasons, that's a different story. I just feel like nobody is getting any younger--not Sparky, or Mr. Ilitch. I would hate for something to happen to one of them, and have this issue not handled. When Sparky is no longer with us, there will be plenty of focus on the Detroit Tigers, and "how could they have not retired the number and hoisted the statue while he was alive."


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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Essay# 2 – Celebrities, Politicians, and the Almighty Autograph

When I was young, I was obsessed with autographs. My first autograph was Hank Aaron at a baseball card show, back in the mid-80’s. He seemed cordial enough—he thanked me for coming out. I missed a Boy Scout camping trip to wait in line for Ted Williams. Ted couldn’t be bothered to look up and say “hi” or “thanks”.

I decided to attack the baseball world via mail. I would pose as a six-year-old, writing letters to my favorite baseball players on that crazy lined paper that kids use. I would send two baseball cards and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Then I would wait.

Some days, I’d get three back in a day. Some came back signed, others stamped, and others unsigned. Many never came back. Some, like Mike Schmidt, came with a thank you note. Others never came back. Darrell Evans took ten years to send them back. I really respected him for not just throwing my letter and cards away.

Currently, there aren’t any autographs that I would want. I’ve decided that most celebrities are people I wouldn’t want to meet or know personally, with the exception of People like George Kell, Ernie Harwell, or Al Kaline. When I started writing to companies and public figures in the mid-90’s, I requested a few autographs. I don’t know why—maybe as a trophy of sorts. I’m not really sure why, but I have a picture of Dave Thomas hanging in my basement.

Last week, I finally found the three ring binder containing letters that I wrote to Bill Clinton. Back in 1996, he and I squared off—he as a political figure who is too busy to send an autograph, me as a six-year-old filled with back-handed compliments and innocent questions, eager to tell him everything going on in my life. The result was almost a diary of make-believe events in my life, characters, and subplots. It lasted 16 months. I will start sharing these letters here and there, shortly.

The Herman Letters isn’t meant to be a political sounding board. I would have handled Reagan, either Bush, or Obama in the same manner. I’ve written Engler, Granholm, Fred Thompson, and John Glenn, as well. I’m sure I would have written a doozie to #16, Abe Lincoln about that beard. But mainly out of jealousy—I could never grow one like that.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Post #23 - How I Got My Roll-Through-A-Stop-Sign Ticket Reduced

One very early Monday morning in 1995, I was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign in Detroit. The sign is on 8 Mile, heading east, as you come off I-75. It was about 5:30AM, and I had been at the Page/Plant concert the night before. I missed the sign. I received a $94 ticket. This ticket kicked off a 4 month spree where I received 4 tickets, got kicked out of AAA, and had to switch to PLPD.

On the back of a ticket, there are three boxes:
1) Deny Responsibility (go to court)
2) Admit responsibility (pay full amount)
3) Admit responsibility with explanation (try to get it reduced).

I chose Option #3. This was my explanation, sent October 20, 1995.

To Whom It May Concern,

I received a citation, early on the morning of October 16, 1995, at I-75 and 8 Mile Road East. I rolled through the stop sign, where the two roads merge. I realize the severity of this type of infraction. Approximately 44 Percent of all automotive fatalities occur at intersections. I could have easily been another statistic.

However, I feel that I had a valid reason for coasting: Heading north oh I-75 in the left lane around Davison, I encountered a rusted out ’73 Primer Gray Trans Am parked on the right shoulder. I counted 3 or 4 men in that car. As I passed, the Trans Am rapidly accelerated and touched my rear bumper. The driver backed off and flashed his high-beams. These could have been gang members, out for an initiation death ritual, or escape convicts, out for gas money at any cost. I read the headlines every day! I know what goes on.

In panic, I switched to the center lane and accelerated. The Trans Am pursued, but soon slowed down. I exited at 8 Mile, hoping to “lose” the Trans Am, and the potential death threat therein. In my haste, I coasted through the stop sign, but only after looking both ways. The stop sign was not at an intersection—it was a merge. The sign was on the right, with traffic on the left. To be more effective, the sign really should be on the left side, because that is where the driver is looking. You could put those one-way blinders on so the 8-mile east traffic does not stop.

After going to college in Detroit for four years, I have several close friends who were victims to senseless crimes—car jacking, armed robbery, rape, and assault with a knife to the throat (which left a scar). All occurred because the victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time—on the streets after dark.

The shock of my incident rendered me silent. I was in the wrong place in the wrong time, and was lucky to ever again see the light of day. I feel no remorse for my actions, if they allowed me to see my family and continue to build the life toward which I have worked so hard. I was not given the opportunity to justify my actions. The officer, neither rude, nor polite, took my license, registration, and proof of insurance, and returned with my citation.

I am aware that traffic laws are enforced for my safety, and for that of the other drivers that I encounter. I also know that these laws are not flexible. I request some leniency in my case. I am not asking for absolution, but these points count toward my driving record, and there will never be an asterisk next to them stating the root cause. I would greatly appreciate any assistance available. Thank you for your consideration. Here’s to a new day!


They reduced my ticket from $94 to $30. I found out later that I “earned” 2 points.

Here was my thank you note, sent 3/16/1996:
To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing back in gratitude regarding my October 16 citation. I wrote a letter detailing my brush with death, and the circumstances early on the morning of October 16 that lead me to roll through the stop sign at 8 Mile/I-75 merge (see attached letter). You responded to my request for leniency by reducing my $94 ticket to $30, which I am happy to pay, as my disregard for traffic safety, while justified due to the sequence of events that occurred moments before, could have lead to a fatal accident. I have enclosed my check.

In the mean time, I have spent a few hours a week visiting a local elementary school and talking to the children about the importance of staying off the streets after dark, and not talking to strangers. I feel that this lesson will pay off down the road. Some of the children have mailed me little posters and drawings reflecting the message I relayed. To me, this is rewarding—to know that the message is clicking. If I can save one child from being in the wrong place at the wrong time (as I was), I have made a difference. I have enclosed one of those drawings. My refrigerator door is full!

I truly appreciate the leniency that I have received. The streets may never again be safe, but it is nice to receive this type of understanding!

Have a great day!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Post #22 - Blockbuster Video Free Video For Good Grades Scamola - 6/14/1997

Here's one from the archives. Better times, when free coupons flowed more freely.

Dear Blockbusters,

I can recall the struggles that one encounters in grade school and high school. The awkward age when you are too old to trick-or-treat, but too young to drive the gang around in dad’s car. Those pimples—more menacing than dandelions on a golf course. Voice changes, bed wetting, wet hacking coughs, raging hormones, and the struggle to make the grade in the classroom. Oh the plight of a child. But how many adults wouldn’t give anything for those carefree times.

As a foreman for a company that manufactures socks, I know all about 12 hour days. I also know about the big push in industry to get the working class back in school for graduate programs. If I don’t go back to school, I’ll be replaced by some jerk who just did. Combine this corporate pressure with the responsibilities of maintaining a house, a family, and all of the associated expenses. Those kids know nothing about pressure!

Last week, as I strolled into the local Blockbuster Video Center, I noticed a poster that read “Good Grades Earn Free Video Rentals”. I was excited—I had just earned an A- in my last graduate level course—no small accomplishment for someone in my position. My eyes lit up as I read that all I need is a report card to prove it. “I have that!” Then, my picnic ended as storm clouds enveloped the entire area and began emptying their overbearing cargo right in my five-bean medley. “…Limited to Grades 1 through 12.”

Why discriminate by age? Couldn’t we all use a little incentive, a little pick-me-up? Are adults “less important?” Do you restrict your offer because you know that the movie-renting population is older, and to include them would hurt business? Because you know that children are too young to have memberships anyway?

I need a written explanation as to why you can justify discriminating based on the number of candles on their cake. The very working class that puts bread on your table, by renting your movies, deserves better.

Having Puppet Shows Instead,

Larry Barnowski
Here is a reply, sent by Lisa, the Customer Service Representative at Blockbuster, on 6/30/1997

Dear Mr. Barnowski,

Thank you for your recent letter regarding Suggestions. Customer feedback is very important to us, and we are glad you took the time to write. At BLOCKBUSTER, we realize that nothing is more important than our members. We are dedicated to creating and maintaining an outstanding level of customer service.

We take your suggestions as a welcome show of interest and loyalty. Thank you for letting us know how we can better meet your entertainment needs. I am forwarding your comments to the appropriate department for their consideration.

Please accept these three free rental coupons as a token of our appreciation for the time and effort you took to give us these thoughts. Your patronage is very important to us, and we hope that you will continue to allow BLOCKBUSTER the opportunity to serve your family’s entertainment needs.


Customer Service Representative

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Post #21 - War on Spam - mr. Frank Volume 3 - 6/26/2009


Hello Jerome,

Thanks for your mail, well everyone has past, i once lost my beloved friend, whom is very much close to me right from my child hood, though i believe that everyone has a purpose of being alive, so i know that he choosed his own part, he has been like a brother to me, but he is no more. I love him much.

But allthesame i wish you will have your account information send to me so that we can proceed with the transaction, so get back to me with the required information.

Best Regards,
Second note from mr. Frank, sent 6/27/2009

RE: Sorry For My Late Responce

Hello Jerome,

How are you doing? i hope that everything is fine with you, i hope you were in reciept of my last mail to you, kindly get back to me so that we can proceed with the transaction as the need to delay is not necessary.

My response to mr. Frank, sent 6/27/2009

Dear mr. Frank,

Sorry to hear about your friend. How did it happen?

My hot plate was faulty. Burned down my trailer. Now I’m hanging out at the YMCA. Free wifi though!

Congratulations! You unlocked the first of six alphanumeric characters for my bank account. First character: H.

Next: I need to know your most embarrassing moment. Please hurry! I am eager to get this transaction completed.

Please comply with my screening process. Again, this is two ways, babycakes.

Lance E. Antsyinmypantsy
My follow-up note to mr. Frank, 6/28/2009

FW: Sorry For My Late Responce

Dear mr. Frank,

How are you doing? I certainly hope that things are going well. Please don’t delay in getting back to me. I am eager to proceed with the transaction. My cot has a small rip in it now. There’s a cricket chirping under the bleachers next to my cot.

Please hurry, as the need to delay is not necessary.


Lance E. Antsyinmypantsy

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Essay #1 - Why the War on Spam?

I wrote this on 9/21/2009:

Dear Jerry,

Why the War on Spam?

The goal of the UK Lottery Raffle people, Nigerian Prince, etc., is to drain my bank account. I figure, people must fall for it, or they wouldn’t keep doing it. I also figure the victims are the people who can least afford it.

Here’s how I see it. You’re a bank robber with a gun in my ribcage. The gun doesn’t work. Now instead of master/subordinate, we’re more equal, except you’re usually pretty dumb. On top of that, we’re in this unique relationship, founded on you trying to take my money.

That affords me the license to say or so anything I want to you. On top of that, you’re pretty dumb. It’s pretty liberating stringing you along.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Post #20 - My Letter to One of My Heroes, Ernie Harwell

This has been a tough year for Tiger fans. George Kell and Mark Fidrych both died. Tiger Stadium is crumbling down. And now, as if it couldn't get any worse, Ernie Harwell has inoperable cancer.

Once in a while I write a sincere letter. I have enormous respect for Ernie Harwell. He'll probably never read this, but it probably helped me deal with it all.  I wrote this on 9/17/2009, after attending Ernie's farewell game at Comerica Park.

I may need to write a shallow letter about bathrooms or something after this.
Dear Ernie,

I'm sure you've been flooded with cards and letters. I realize that you may never get around to my letter, but this is as much of a letter for me as it is for you. I've never seen more class or dignity in the face of adversity, than what you've always embodied. Whether it was sudden termination from your job as beloved broadcaster, or inoperable cancer, you've kept your chin up. I've never been more proud to be part of a protest than I was standing in a sea of screaming fans, holding up my Ernie-on-a-Stick at Opening Day 1992, following your dismissal.

One of my prized possessions isn't the ball that I sent you and you returned autographed, in 1999. Instead, it was the lineup card from that night's game against the Blue Jays, on which you wrote me a note thanking me for my kind words. I framed that.
Your voice bridged several generations, and always felt timeless. As all of the players, coaches, owners and the generations of fans have changed, you have remained the one constant. Through all of the times, radical sixties, Detroit riots, Vietnam war, Watergate, gas crisis, hostages in Iran, and into the stagnant economy of the early 1980's (when I started listening), and post 9/11, you have provided Detroiters, Michiganders, and Tiger fans a sense of comfort and familiarity. My Great Grandmother lived in a nursing home and listened to every game on her radio, next to her bed. I'm sure you gave her that feeling of comfort and familiarity--probably took her back to happier times, when she listened with my Great Grandfather. In 1984, you made her day by wishing her a happy 90th birthday during the broadcast.

Your voice has provided a backdrop for most of my life. As a kid, when I listened, it meant a) the game wasn't televised or b) I was grounded off of TV because my grades needed some work. My grades needed a lot of work, so I was grounded a lot, and I listened to you very frequently. Over time, you won me over. One of my favorite memories is listening to a west coast game, late at night in a Virginia campground on the outer fringe of WJR coverage. I still remember your voice crackling, fading in and out, providing that reassuring sense of comfort and familiarity.

Another Ernie highlight for me was attending a wedding where you read the Song of Solomon verse that you made into a spring tradition. Typical Ernie--you walked in, read the verse, and, quietly walked out. I'm sure you didn't want to be a distraction to the ceremony. Afterward, I asked the groom how he knew you (he didn't), and how he was able to convince you to do this. He said, "It's simple. I asked him." You provided that "transistor voice from under the pillow" comfort and familiarity for him as he entered a new phase in his life.

As I walked around Tiger Stadium on that last day, your pre-game speech provided that same of comfort and familiarity. I was grieving that day, but that transistor voice from under the pillow told me that "it will be okay".

I was at the game last night for your farewell speech. Like the rest of your body of work, you exuded class and dignity, and you left us wanting more. As you thanked Detroiters, Michiganders, and Tiger fans everywhere, something must have gotten into my eye--you choked me up! Your positive attitude in the face of your illness is truly an inspiring example. During that speech, the sea of silent fans, players, coaches and press, to me, felt louder than the Ernie-on-a-Stick Opening Day crowd that screamed in support of you. I hope in that silence, and in the long standing ovation that followed, we provided you a sense of comfort and familiarity.

God Bless You! You will be sorely missed.

Jerry Herman

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Post # 19 - Kraft: Tainted Jello?

Dear Jell-O Folk,

I’m a simple man. I live a simple life. Once in a while, Marge would fix us some of your delightfully flavored gelatin desserts. This would qualify as the highlight of my week. I have always loved your products. However, my most recent “brush” with your products was unacceptable, to say the least.

This past Saturday night, I came home from preaching. I greeted my 18-year-old daughter, Mabel, and some of her sinner friends. Having screamed at congregations for some four hours straight, I had my sweet tooth. Right there in the refrigerator was some Jell-O that Mabel had prepared. Because it resided in ice cube trays, I figured it was “leftover” gelatin solution from some delightful gelatin dessert cups with whipped cream.

I decided to enjoy a rainbow of Jell-o snacks, one tray at a time. I think I had two trays worth—yellow, green, red and orange. This was clearly more than the standard eight ounce allotment. Gluttony is a sin! At first, I felt euphoria. Then everything became blurry. When I woke up the next morning, I had a really bad headache, and my mouth was dry. Mabel was really upset with me. Apparently, I had consumed her dessert and ruined her entire evening. The bed was spinning like some sort of sinful carnival ride.

Marge showed me a video that she had made—one of me urinating in front of a large group of neighbors, right on Mrs. Fredricks’ beautiful bed of lilacs. I also saw footage of me dancing naked on top of my car, out in the driveway. Apparently, I had also taken that car for a ride. I came home with several unhealthy items from Taco Bell, an R-Rated film from Blockbuster. Also, my paperboy pierced my ear. I don’t remember any of this, and now I owe Mrs. Fredricks some lilacs.

I went through the rubbish and found the empty Jell-O boxes. Nothing seemed odd—they were still within their freshness window. Can you explain this? Is there any sort of recall in progress for tainted Jell-O? Could this be an allergic reaction? Please advise. I'm hesitant to consume any more Jell-O products until I get to the bottom of this mystery.

I’m planning on speaking to my congregation about my Jell-O experience this Saturday. I just wanted to bring this product issue to your attention.


Automated note from Kraft, sent 6/10/09

Mr. Jerry,

Your feedback is very important and we'll do our best to respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible.

Thank you - Kraft Consumer Relations Day or night, 365 days a year, you can get instant answers to our most commonly asked questions by visiting

Other ways to contact us: Phone: 1-800-567-KRAFT (5723) Mail: Kraft Foods Global, Inc.Global Consumer Relations1 Kraft CourtGlenview, IL 60025
The next day, someone named “Amanda” left a voicemail on my cell phone, asking me to call. Verbal discussions in these instances are NO fun, and harder to tell the story later.
Note from Katherine, Kraft Consumer Representative, on 6/12/2009

Dear Jerry,

I’m sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience with our products. I understand how you must feel and I appreciate you notifying us of the situation. There’s nothing more important to us than giving you, and every one of our consumers,--high quality products.

After several attempts to reach you by phone, we are writing to let you know that we’re aware of your concerns and addressing them internally.

We appreciate you contacting us. It’s feedback like yours that helps us to continually improve the products that we offer. I have enclosed some reimbursement coupons for your future enjoyment. If you have additional questions, or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to check back with us at 1-800-572-3820.

We hope that your next experience with one of our products is a good one.



Ref: 19264912Y
Enclosure (10 coupons for free Jell-O or pudding)
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Post #18 - Bubba Keg Leaks and They Don't Really Care - 9/12/2008

The leaky mug part of my letter is 100% true. For four years, I've dealt with a leaky mug on my way to work. I'll reposition the gasket in the groove, and it will start leaking again two weeks later.

I've seen their improved design. It also has a bottle opener on it.
I refuse to buy the new one. The exchange below made me even more determined. I now put a big beach towel on my lap and drink in such a way to direct any would-be shirt stain drips onto the towel.

Dear Hubba Bubbas,

As a Suit Sales Associate at an upscale department store, my business is all about first impressions. Appearances are everything, and my apparel must be perfect for me to strike with a vengeance! I depend on my morning cup of coffee to put the extra spring in my step, and that coffee is carried in my trusty Bubba Keg 34.

At night, I hop on my sleigh with my eight Alaskan huskies, and ride around my subdivision. We are 2010 Winter Olympic hopefuls. In the summer months, I glue castor wheels on the rails. During these exercises, I enjoy PowerAde—it keeps the vocal cords moist, so I can holler “Mush! Mush!” at the top of my lungs. My Bubba Keg 34 holds all 32 ounces of refreshment, with room to spare.

Whether my beverage is hot or cold, I always trust my Bubba Keg 34. However, I’ve found what I believe to be a design flaw in the cup itself. The lid features a circular seal that looks much like a rubber band, with non-uniform sections. The seal fits within the unique geometry of the groove, which goes all the way around the lid. The orientation of the seal within the groove is crucial to sealing capabilities of the mug. Over time, the screwing and unscrewing of the cap, seems to ever-so-slightly unseat the seal, creating a leak right below where my mouth goes.

The Bubba Keg becomes the Bubba Sieve. I get coffee drips on my shirts. I get PowerAde on my parka. It’s a nightmarish carnival ride, and I need to get off.
Coffee stains are difficult to remove. Suddenly, the first thing would-be customers see is a drip in the shape of Telly Savalas’ Kojak-shaped head, and not my welcoming smile. My laundry bills are on the rise, and my suit sales are dwindling. Who really wants to buy a suit from “Mr. Coffeestain”?

The huskies no longer respect me—they won’t mush. For the time being, the Olympics are on hold, and I’ve put numbers 4 (Rocco), 6 (T-Bone) and 7 (the Fonz) out to stud.

What can be done? I can’t continue this way. If this keeps up, I’m going to be broke and out of a job. I’ll be filling this thing at the soup kitchen and getting minestrone all over my parka.

Jerry Herman
Note from “Melissa” at In-Zone, makers of the Bubba Keg, dated 9/15/2008
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 13:10:44 -0400

Thank you for contacting InZone Brands, Inc. regarding our products.
We have designed new lids with a better gasket system. If you would please send us the lid & gasket we will replace the gasket and send them back in their lid with a new gasket it if the size is available. If we do not have the right size or style, I will send them a replacement keg.

Once we receive your lid & gasket we will send out a replacement and please allow 4-6weeks for your replacement to arrive.

Please mail it to: (No PO Boxes)
InZone Brands, Inc.
2251 Corporate Plaza Park
Suite 200
Smyrna, GA 30080
Thank You,
IN ZONE Brands, Inc.
Creator of The Bubba Keg, Belly Washers and Tummy Ticklers!
My response, sent 9/15/09


Thank you for your prompt response. I find it interesting that you changed the design of the gasket. It sounds like I bought too soon, and therefore have the leaky design. You can imagine the sting of buying a horse and buggy the day before the first Model-T came rolling down the street.

I only see one problem with sending my leaky design lid and gasket, for you to see if you have the right size and style. That is, I am then out of a coffee mug with a lid, for the next 6 weeks. That is 6 weeks of lukewarm coffee from a Ziploc bag with a straw. That is 6 weeks of tepid PowerAde, and an equally tepid fleet of huskies.

Is there, perhaps another solution? What about these words and numbers on the underside of the mug? I don't see any part numbers, lot codes, serial numbers, date codes, etc. Perhaps you have cleverly hid them. What about a photo of the mug? A photo of me with the mug? A photo of the lid? A photo of me with the lid? A photo of the gasket? A photo of the lid and gasket with the gasket "feeling a little leaky?" Let me know if any of these will work. I have preliminarily booked some time with a photographer friend of mine, at his studio for a shoot.

I'm not trying to be difficult. It's just that when I bought this mug, I wasn't signing up for a leaker, nor a six week beverage sabbatical.

When I bought the Bubba Mug 34, it was for three very important reasons:
1) Functionality-Hot or Cold!
2) Sex Appeal--The Ladies dig a fellow with 34 ounces of climate-controlled beverage, in a container that appears to have it's chest puffed out like the biggest, strongest rooster in the barnyard.
3) Shear Size. No one else had a 34 ounce mug that fits in a cup holder.

Let Me Know How We Fix All of This!!!

Jerry Herman
No Reply. They could have easily sent me the lid if they cared. Don’t buy anything from In-Zone (from my experience).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Post #17 - War on Spam - mr. Frank Volume 2

mr. Frank sent this note to me on June 24th. He wasn't keen on giving me any mr. Frank facts.

I am in reciept of your mail and i understand everything you talked about, my little problem now is that i need assurance of the safety of my fund with you once it gets to your custody.

I tried calling you on the number you provided but it seems not going through, once i hear from you, i will then forward an application to the Bank on your behalf requesting for the approval of the fund for onward transfer to your designated Bank account.

Best Regards,

My response to mr. Frank, sent 6/24/2009

Dear mr. Frank,

I see you’re in r-e-c-i-before-e-p-t of my mail. If you understand, why did you not tell me a Mr. Frank Story? It could be about:

a) a time when you loved and lost.
b) a time when you were embarrassed.
c) a time when you were afraid.

Giving my bank account number makes a lot of sense otherwise. For all the reasons you described.

You probably called after my mis-hap that spelled the end of Antsyinmypantsy Inventions LLC. See, I dosed off with my Telepath-one invention on my head. You may recall, it reads brainwaves and converts them to spoken word. Well, my invention called my wife and conveyed a strange fantasy I’ve been having about somebody at work. She filed divorce papers, took me to the cleaners, and now I live in a tiny trailer with a hot plate.

So I need this money as soon as possible.

Please engage yourself!


Mr. Lance E. Antsyinmypantsy
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Post #16 - Comcast Hosing DirecTV Customers

My letter, sent 9/2/2009:

Dear Comcast,

I had your service for several years. I found your frequent price increases to be an annoyance. I switched to DirecTV. It hasn’t been perfect, but I’m happy.

I enjoy Versus, especially during NHL Playoffs. You own this channel. DirecTV is upset because you keep raising your prices. Go figure.

Can you kindly get over it? Can you help the struggling sport of Hockey by allowing all people to have it beamed into their homes? In the end, it’s the people who suffer. People like me.
What’s it going to take to get the two of you talking again? And don’t think I didn’t also talk to DirecTV.

Think of it this way: you have millions of potential customers out there who, when they think of Comcast, will think of those people who "took away my hockey". I wouldn't want that.


Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 23:01:26 -0400
Subject: Thank You! Your Message Has Been Received (KMM39752516V46861L0KM)

We have received your e mail and thank you for using Comcast's online email support. One of our Comcast customer support representatives will get back to you. In the meantime, you may find our FAQs helpful to
resolve your inquiry so we invite you to visit   Or, for more immediate attention to your situation, try "Ask Comcast", a real time chat service, available by visiting and
clicking on the AskComcast link at the top of the page. We look forward to working with you.


Your Comcast Support Team
No further response. I waited a week and sent this on 9/11/2009.

Dear Comcast,

You people suck. I wrote you a note a week ago about my concerns with the Versus standoff with DirecTV. Your website promises a 24 hour turnaround. It’s been a week. No one responded.

I wrote a similar note to DirecTV, and we had about eight exchanges between Friday and Sunday. We basically agreed that you’re a bunch of irrational a-holes, each of us from first hand experience.

As an outsider who has already been burned as a customer, and as a second hand customer, you really don’t make me miss you. If you were an ex-girlfriend, instead of putting on a tight T-shirt and nice pair of jeans with a pouty lip, you pierced your eyeball, got a Popeye tattoo, garlic breath, and worst of all, a rotten attitude.

I’m really disappointed with your lack of customer focus. You should be ashamed. If you were my dog, I’d send you to your cage. But you’re my ex-dog; you’re pooping on everyone’s lawn. Knock it off already!

Take no pride in your actions—sticking it first to DirecTV, and then to me. Take a lap of shame around the Comcast compound. That is, if you can with all those ugly piercings, and that brand new ink.


Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 23:55:10 -0400
Subject: Thank You! Your Message Has Been Received (KMM39902976V41308L0KM)

We have received your e mail and thank you for using Comcast's online
email support. One of our Comcast customer support representatives will
get back to you. In the meantime, you may find our FAQs helpful to
resolve your inquiry so we invite you to visit
Or, for more immediate attention to your situation, try "Ask Comcast", a
real time chat service, available by visiting and
clicking on the AskComcast link at the top of the page. We look forward
to working with you.

Your Comcast Support Team

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Post #15 - Leggo My Friggin' Eggo!

I sent this to Kellogg on 5/4/2009:

Dear Kellogg,

My children, Shawn (8) and Parker (6), are weathering their formative years. I have always taught them to be selfless, to share, and above all, to get along. One day, I’m going to be grabbing myself a big ol’ dirt nap, and I don’t want the kids arguing over the Herman estate.

I’ve noticed lately that they are possessive. They fight over their soccer ball. The last of the pudding, the television clicker. It never ends. I discipline them. I ground them. But they still bicker.

I think I figure out our problem. Each and every morning, they fill their bellies with delicious, and more importantly, nutritious Eggo waffles. The flavors may change, but the brand remains the same. Each and every morning, they can be heard yelling the same thing at the top of their lungs!”

Not “Love Thy Neighbor.”
Not “Blessed is he who is meek and humble, he will inherit the earth.”
Not “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s ass.”

Instead, “Leggo my Eggo!”

Yes, it’s cute. It harkens back to my childhood. But no doubt, it has started more than one dorm room squabble. It screams “Greed is Good!”

Ever think of changing your slogan? Something like “Let’s split that last Eggo, Even Steven.” Set a good example. Maybe then, less pimple-faced pinheads would be seen coyly sneaking out of grocery stores with cereal boxes in their crotches.

Until I see a new slogan, I think I’m going to serve mush. It was good enough for Spanky and Alfalfa. It’s good enough for Parker and Shawn. And nobody ever fought over mush.


Consumer Affairs 020136125A
Sent: Wed 5/06/09 10:32 PM


Thank you for contacting our company regarding the advertising for Kellogg's® Eggo® waffles. We sincerely appreciate your interest.

Viewer reaction, such as yours, is helpful to us and taken into consideration when developing future advertisements. Your concerns have been forwarded to the appropriate company officials and we hope future ads for this and our other products will be more acceptable to you.

Again, thank you for sharing your views and interest in our company.


Consumer Affairs Department



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Post #14 - The Castaway Bay Adventure on "Spring-the-Clocks-Forward Day"

I sent this on 3/17/2009, after a nice visit.

Dear Castaway Bay,

I love your Water Park and hotel, located in the nearby city of Sandusky, Ohio. As the part-owner of a taxidermy and build-a-bear workshop, I work a lot of hours--I need my downtime! When my family and I need a not-too-far-away getaway, you know where we go. That’s right—we hit the “Bay”. I know every nook and cranny of every one of your slides, and navigate them with the precision of a skilled surgeon. I love the fact that Peanuts characters hover around your lobby like dancing Statue of Liberties and Ben Franklin's outside accountant offices during tax season. Where else, but the Castaway Bay Gift Shop, can one find a Franklin or Violet stuffed character? Incredible!

Let's get down to business--life isn't all about stuffed animals and water slides! As your guest in Room 439 on March 6 through 8, I think you know exactly why I am contacting you. As you know, my family and I spent $218.00, plus applicable state and local taxes, for two days. It seems that March 6 through 8 was a “spring forward one hour” weekend. As a result, I was undersold by one hour. This means that I missed out on one of my sleep hours in your closest-to-the-window bed, in the safety and comfort of room 439. I must say, I feel a little cheated. I believe the annual spring forward weekend was implemented by the hotel and tuxedo rental industries to save themselves millions of dollars.

Don’t get me wrong—we had a blast. The slides were slippery, the water was warm, the wave pool was wavy, and the giant bucket “got me” again. When will I learn? It’s like a 300 gallon colonic. I helped Angela, 15, of Aurora, locate her contact lense in the wave pool--this was no small task. It took about a half hour. Because the water was so clean, the lens was free of scratches. Nice job on the water filtration. Give everybody a pat on the back.

Back in the room, the people on my floor, and I had a great time. First, like any great castaway team, my floor formed a government. Randy from 444 was nominated as our President. He coordinated a progressive party—each room had a different food item or non-alcoholic beverage. His Alternate, Dan (from Dan and Tina in 441) served the best New Orleans-style “dirty rice” I think I have ever had. I had three helpings. Steve in 449 was a retired circus clown, so he entertained all of the kids with his squirting flower routine. As the floor "elder", he also taught the children how to tie various knots--square, clove hitch, and bowline, to name a few. We had an Electric Football Tourney in 454 with Peter and Kristin. I won an autographed, life-size cardboard cut-out of Jack Wagner (from TV's General Hospital and Melrose Place).

And our Treasurer, Stacy, in 433 managed to bring in most of the members of REO Speedwagon for an unplugged midnight performance. Russ from 452 is a drummer, so he sat in with the band. In the morning, we all enjoyed some Cuban pastries and bagels with cream cheese, courtesy of Brian and Connie in 440, and some fresh fruit, from Vince in 455. All except Tim from 448, who missed 8:15 roll call, and had to run a lap around the parking lot. We saved him some breakfast though. A great time was had by all! When it was over, we agreed to reunite this 4 th of July at a nearby park in Sandusky.

Back to the matter at hand though—life isn’t all about free concerts, Jack Wagner replicas, and continental breakfasts! I feel that you owe me 1/48 th of my total bill, less applicable state and local taxes. That works out to $4.54 by my math, which at times, has been questionable (just ask Sister Josephus from high school).


Tenant, Room 439.
PS--would you have any interest in the Jack Wagner replica? I am willing to donate it, for the cost of shipping.
No Reply

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Post #13 - War on Spam - mr. Frank Volume 1

This is a five parter--mr. Frank, trying to lure me into his scam. It was a chess match, to say the least.  This all started on 6/22/2009.

From: mr. Frank (
Post fact 8098 Zurich
Swiss Clearing Number: 230
Postal Account: 80-2-2
Web site:

Dear Good one!!!

I am an investment consultant working with Bank UBS AG Zurich at their offshore department Zurich Switzerland. I will be happy to work this deal out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if you are capable to keep TOP SECRET. I need strong Assurance that you will never let me down, if I transfer this money to your account.

During one of our periodic auditing I discovered a dormant accounts with holding balance of US$ 232,000.000.00 {Two hundred and Thirty Two million US Dollars only} Sometimes a person will open a bank account, deposit money, and then disappear into the tin air. Banks are not always able to find out what has become of these silent customers, or to know whether they should follow up on requests from people who claim to be heirs to the accounts. The main problem is that the customer resides abroad and, due to bank secrecy, the bank cannot publish notices in the international press to locate the depositaries. This has led the majority of Swiss banks to refrain from opening small-deposit accounts for foreign customers; for fear that they will forget that the account exists. It has happened in the past, however, that customers pass away and their heirs can neither prove the death, nor their heir ship. This was a frequent occurrence during the wartime periods, and the banks have now set up a simple, rapid resolution procedure operating to their customers’ advantage. Dormant assets are defined as any assets deposited with a bank (i.e. an account, a custody account or a safety-deposit box) for which there has been no contact with the customer in the bank’s files for the last ten years or more. If you believe you have claim to a Swiss bank account for which the holder (e.g. an ancestor) has not been in contact with the bank for over ten years, there is a fairly simple procedure to follow, depending on the date the account was opened this account has not been operated for the past years. As at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this business until your response is received. If you are not familiar with Swiss Dormant Accounts and profile, please take a moment of your very busy schedules to read about Swiss dormant accounts:

If you know that you are capable to handle large or small amount on trust and can keep secret and ready to take 40% of any amount I transfer to your account from the dormant account and I will take 60%, send the following information by return mail:

Beneficiary Bank name...?
Bank address..................?
Account no.....................?
Swift code....................?
Account name.................?
Beneficiary address...........?
Your phone no................?
Your Occupation?

Tell me more about yourself, while I look forward to receive the above Information. I want to re-assure you that this business is risk free and you can send an empty account to receive the funds, provided that the account is capable to receive incoming funds. Contact me urgently via email privately for further details:(
Thank you for your time and attention.

Warmest regards
Mr.Frank donald.
My response to mr. Frank, 6/22/2009

Dear mr. Frank,

I am a small business owner, on the brink of a major telecommunication breakthrough. I can keep a secret. I never told anybody that my uncle offed a guy for taking advantage of me. He gave me his teeth. They adorn my necklace. But your secret is safe with me.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Bluetooth phones. An earpiece interfaces with a separate device, allowing people to look like aliens talking to themselves. I’ve taken this technology a step further. By adding one electrode, and a few simple macros, I’ve invented the Telepath-one (patent pending).

With the Telepath-one (patent pending), the user can communicate via telephone, using brainwaves rather than sound waves. No nagging people behind you in the movies. You can argue with your mom or girlfriend while sitting in the boardroom with crusty old codgers, determining how to “put it” to the man!

Your business proposal will help me. That should fund my operation for roughly 3 months. Perhaps you want in? I’m assuming you’re “mr. Frank” because you own a wiener hut? Or because you suffered an unfortunate third degree burn in college, trying that trick with the lighter, after too much cafeteria chili.

Here is my info:

Beneficiary Bank name: Federal Bank One and Three Fifths
Bank address: 1 Cupmilk Lane, Teaspoonsalt City, MS 80088
Beneficiary address: 8 Dashpaprika Street Worchestershire City, MS 80088
Your phone no. 666-554-4565
Your Occupation: Inventioneer
Age: 39
Bank Account Name, Account Number, Swift Code: ___________________

Before we get any further, I need at least one mr. Frank story. It can be about a time when you loved and lost. It can be about a time when you were embarrassed. Or a time when you were afraid.

Please comply with my screening process. This is two ways, babycakes.


Lance E. Antsyinmypantsy
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Post #12 - DirecTV Over a Barrel with Comcast

Dear DirecTV,

I’ve been a loyal customer since 2002. We almost had a divorce last summer when your box blacked out my local Tiger games for most of the season. I kept having to call and re-explain my problem, and the tech person, different each time, had to take me through the same set of instructions, regardless of whether I told them “we’ve already done this, this doesn’t solve it.” But that’s in the past.

Here’s my problem. Playoff hockey. Unfortunately, most of it, especially during the week, is on Versus. Comcast owns Versus. Comcast blows, and we can all agree on that. They have you over a barrel, and I understand that. I have two thoughts.

1) Does DirecTV own any channels that are contracted to Comcast? In other words, does DirecTV have a barrel of their own? If not, you should buy a “barrel”—some staple channel to leverage Comcast to come to the party.

2) If that doesn’t work, I’d like to trade the following channels for versus:

ABC Family – tired of Blossom

BYU TV – I really don’t care

The Church Channel, Gospel Network, The Word, EWTN (the one with the codger Nun)

CSPAN/CSPAN2 - Yawwwn!

Fine Living – Is Robin Leach still alive?

Fuse – MTV’s disappointing nephew.

Galavision/HITN/ONCE America – I’ll miss the talk shows. Adios muchachas!

GemsTV/Jewelry TV/HSN/QCVC –tired of Mrs. Brady pushing Snuggies on us.
GSN – I wanna play games on my TV remote all night.

Lifetime (it will be tough)

MSNBC – just give it back during natural disaster season. “Thanks for the update, Meredith. Now come out of all that rain and wind!”

MTV/MTV2 - since they don’t really show videos, and the newer music stinks

NASA - Since space travel is all fake.

Oxygen Network – Can I get more reality in my life?

SyFy Channel – New spelling, still ain’t buying it. Still catering to thirty-year-olds who surface from mom’s basement, only to heat up their Chef Boyardee.

Tennis Channel — Anna Kournikova retired. What’s the point?

TLC – I don’t need some dude wearing a purple Bill Cosby sweatshirt and hair that looks like he slept on one side, telling other people how to dress.

TV Guide Channel – a channel about what’s on TV. On TV.
VH1/VH1 Classic – sad when a Sade video qualifies as a programming highlight.

I guess what I’m saying is, I want cafeteria-style programming. The channels above are the tepid tapioca. The room-temp, half-a-peach in heavy syrup.

Can we do something like this to offset the additional cost of Versus? There are plenty like me who want their hockey.


Jerry Herman

PS—I’m addressing this with Comcast as well.
This is Mary Ann R.’s, from DirecTV Customer Service, sent 9/3/09
Dear Herman,

Thanks for writing. I understand your concern about your programming.

Our agreement with Versus expired on August 31, 2009. DIRECTV made every effort to keep Versus a part of its programming line-up, but due to unsuccessful contract negotiations with Comcast, the owner of Versus, the channel has been removed.

We understand how important Versus is to you and we are sorry that we have had to remove it from our lineup. Comcast regularly tries to charge us amounts well in excess of what is fair and reasonable to carry the programming they own. Their reason is obvious: they want to stifle competition from DIRECTV. Comcast's unfair terms undermines DIRECTV's ability to offer our customers the best possible value. If we simply accept these terms, we would have to absorb the unreasonable costs Comcast wants to charge us, and in turn we will be forced to increase the rates our customers pay. We do not want this to happen.

While we are unable to comment on upcoming programming decisions, we are always reviewing our programming options to make sure we bring you the best possible TV experience. We value your opinions about our programming, so I have forwarded your request to DIRECTV management, who review every suggestion, inquiry and complaint for trends from our most important customers to determine what channels should be considered. In addition, whenever we add channels to our lineup, we release a statement to the press, so keep an eye on the news to find out about the newest channels or visit our web site at We're glad you're one of our loyal customers. It's feedback like yours that helps us remain America's #1 Satellite provider.

For more information, please visit

On another note, I see that you have been a loyal DIRECTV customer for many years. As a way of thanking you for choosing DIRECTV I've added complementary STARZ to your service. STARZ will remain active on your account until 12/02/09. We hope you enjoy your gift.

I hope you find this information helpful. Thanks again for writing and stay tuned to for the latest news and information about our services.


Marie R.
Employee ID - 100180390
DIRECTV Customer Service

P. S. Football season is almost here! Catch up to 14 games every week this fall with NFL SUNDAY TICKET, now available at

This is my response to Marie Ann R. , sent 9/4/2009:

Dear Marie Ann,

I can appreciate your predicament, and sympathize. We (you and I) are in lockstep in our hatred of Comcast.

But what about my hockey?

You may see a big dip in membership around April when the playoffs start. Like I said--two solutions:

1) Cafeteria-style programming where I pay for only the channels I want, plus Versus, and you keep the Old Nun Network.

2) Strong-arm Comcast in the same manner, on a channel or channels that DirecTV owns.

If you don't own any great channels, let's get busy! I recommend a 24 hour monkey cam channel. I love watching monkeys fight and chase each other around at the zoo.


This is Pat L.’s response, sent (same day) 9/4/2009

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for writing us back. I understand your concern about your DIRECTV programming.

In the meantime, you’ll still be able to watch plenty of similar sports programming on other channels we carry.

College football - available on Big Ten Network, CBS College Sports, ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN GamePlan, The Mtn., local channels and your RSN.

NHL - available on NHL Network, NHL Center Ice, and your RSN.

Mixed Martial Arts - available on HDNet, Spike TV, and UFC on DIRECTV Pay-Per-View.

Auto Racing - IRL on ABC, Formula 1 on Fox and Speed.

Bull riding - available on ESPN2 and the Houston Rodeo on DIRECTV Pay-Per-View.

Hunting and fishing - available on ESPN2, The Sportsman Channel, The Outdoor Channel, and Pursuit TV.

I wanted to assure you that I've forwarded your email to DIRECTV's Management Team, who review every suggestion, inquiry and complaint for trends from our most important customers to determine what changes should be considered.

Thanks again for writing.


Pat L.
Employee # 100166676
DIRECTV Customer Service

P. S. Football season is almost here! Catch up to 14 games every week this fall with NFL SUNDAY TICKET, now available at

This is my response to Pat L., sent (also same day) 9/4/2009


I appreciate all of that. I appreciate the free Starz too.

But what about my hockey?

Watching bull riding just isn't the same. Center Ice is $39.99 a month, and only carries select playoff games. I'm particularly interested in the Detroit Red Wings' quest for the cup. Come April, I'm going to need to make some serious decisions.

Thank you,

This is Fiona M.’s response, also sent 9/4/2009

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for writing back.

As soon as we have determined the schedule for any of our sports subscriptions, we post it at

Based on your zip code, you have been assigned a local RSN. You are authorized to view the pro and college games shown on that channel. Due to contractual broadcast rights between the networks and the leagues, those who live outside of your area are not authorized to view the same games. As I check your zip code, I found out that DETROIT RED WINGS is part of your in-market team. With a CHOICE subscription and a permanent phone line, you may be to watch their games at your local RSN, FSN Detroit.

You can also find out when any specific program or sporting event is on DIRECTV by using the online TV Listings. You can access the online listings at or by clicking on the "TV Explorer" tab at the top of the page and then selecting "The Guide (All Channels)".


Fiona M.
Employee ID 100206372
DIRECTV Customer Service

P. S. Football season is almost here! Catch up to 14 games every week this fall with NFL SUNDAY TICKET, now available at

This is my response to Fiona, also sent 9/4/2009.

Hi Fiona,

Yes. I'm aware that I can watch my Red Wings on channel 663, FSND. I do indeed have the plus package and a permanent phone line, so we're all set. During the regular season. I wasn't, however, aware that I could look the whole programming schedule up on the guide. That must be new.

Here is the heart of the matter: During the playoffs, the games, most of them anyway, are on Versus. THIS is the issue. Playoffs. What fun is it to watch a team fight and grind to get to the playoffs, only to have to go to a friend's house or a bar every night and watch on DishNet or Comcast? My point about the Center Ice package is, even if I pay $39.99 a month, my playoff games may or may not be available, depending on the decisions rendered by the Center Ice Bean Counters.

This is a really big deal for a lot of hockey fans. Especially in Detroit, known as Hockeytown. As we approach the playoffs, I may need to switch providers. And as for the bullriding option, you get that nun from the Old Nun Network on a bull, than I'll say all is good.

Separate topic--does DirecTV have something like Center Ice for NFL? Something where I can watch most of the games every single week?


This is James M’s response, sent 9/5/2009

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for writing us back.

I have forwarded your comments on to DIRECTV Management for review with regard to the NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

On another note, The NHL Network is included as part of the NHL CENTER ICE package during the NHL season. To see the NHL Network in the NHL off-season you'll need to subscribe to a package that includes that channel.

Currently the NHL Network is available on channel 215 as part of our CHOICE XTRA, PLUS DVR, PLUS HD DVR and PREMIER packages. To learn more about these packages, or to change your programming to a package that includes the NHL Network, visit our web site at

Thanks again for writing.


James M. - 100338692
DIRECTV Customer Service

P. S. Football season is almost here! Catch up to 14 games every week this fall with NFL SUNDAY TICKET, now available at directv
My response to James M, sent 9/5/2009. By the way—this is EXACTLY how it works if you call their customer support more than once to explain a problem. Zero communication from one rep to the other, and you end up re-explaining the same thing over and over.

Hi James,

I feel like Bill Murray's character in Ground Hog Day.

Yes. Center Ice Package. I get it. That helps DURING the season, when I have access to the Red Wing games on Fox Sports Detroit.

The issue, as I've laid out with your coworkers, Marie Ann, Pat L., and Fiona, is playoff hockey. Most of the playoff games are, unfortunately, on Versus. I don't like them being on there any more than you. So while I appreciate your suggestion, it doesn't really help fix the issue. The only thing that does is a quick resolution to the Comcast/DirecTV standoff. This feels like the Big Ten Network circus all over again!


This one is still active. I'll update with any new developments.
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