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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Post # 114 - Colonel Conk and My Handlebar Mustache Question - 2/28/2010

Dear Colonel Conk,

Society is peppered with handle bar mustache guys. I’ve seen:

• Church Handlebar Mustache Guy

• Upscale Restaurant Handlebar Mustache Guy

• Bingo Tent Handlebar Mustache Guy

• Street Fair Wood Carver Handlebar Mustache Guy

• Train Club Handlebar Mustache Guy.
Each looks timeless and distinguished. Each looks equal parts fantastic and magnificent. I want in. I’m ready to become Newly Single Handlebar Mustache Guy.

I have purchased your Colonel Conk Model 118 Moustache Wax, and am thrilled to death. I have a question though. How does one handle the transition period between Standard Mustache Guy and Handlebar Mustache Guy? I’m assuming I need to grow her a little longer on the outsides (Fu Manchu-style), to create the “meat” (if you will) of the handlebar. If so, how do I do so without looking like something that might scurry out from under a rock?

Please advise. I want to join the club ASAP!


No Reply
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Post # 113 - War On Spam - Dude Asked to See My Mane - 2/26/2010

Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 00:32:13 -0800


Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 09:50:41 -0500

Dear Mr. James Fredmond,

Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long, long year. Stole many a man's soul and faith

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ. Had his moment of doubt and pain. Made damn sure that Pilate
washed his hands and sealed his fate.

Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name. But what's puzzling you s the nature of my mane.

Mickovski Jaggerovich

P.S. – Attached is a photo of me with my mane, in all it’s glory. (You requested my full mane).

Subject: RE:
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2010 19:28:17 -0500


Just following up--I was out of town.

I stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was a time for a change. Killed the Czar and his ministers. Anastasia screamed in vain.

I rode a tank, held a general's rank when the Blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank.

Pleased to meet you--hope you guess my name. What's puzzling you is the nature of my mane, oh yeah.

What's the story--what's the next step. Let's get moving! Don't be the freckled-bum chicken cowering in the corner of the locker room after gym class.

Let's go!

Mickovski Jaggerovich


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Post # 112 - Mountain Dew Typhoon: Pepsi Names Its Flavors After Natural Disasters - 5/11/2010

Dear Pepsi,

I take great offense to one of the candidates in your latest DEWmocracy campaign. There are three flavors: White Out, Distortion, and the topic of this letter: Typhoon.

I’m sure you’re trying to have fun with the names, and it can be fun to pretend, when you sip, you’re in the middle of a fun, refreshing typhoon. A typhoon or tropical storm is a tropical cyclone that forms in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. That sounds really refreshing.

Well, it isn’t.

As Typhoon survivor, I need to stand up and say “Wait a second!” Watching people around you die isn’t my idea of refreshment.

In 1984, Typhoon Ike, in the Phillipines, killed over 1400 people and left almost 500,000 homeless. In 2010 dollars, it caused almost $2.1 billion in damage. The Swatow typhoon in China resulted in around 60,000 deaths in 1922. The Super Typhoon Nina in China which contributed to the Banqiao Dam failure, resulted in over 200,000 deaths in 1975. Tasty? I think not.

But I get it—those things didn’t happen “here”. They happened “over there”.

Seeing a spiraling vortex suck your neighbor’s cow, and your uncle’s VW Rabbit isn’t any kind of picnic. Losing your home isn’t something that should be trivialized by stamping the cause on the side of a beverage container.

Marketing people can be brilliant at times, and at other times, so short-sighted. Open your eyes Pepsi!

That is all.


Subject: A Message from Consumer Relations 012330204A
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 11:00:21 -0400

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for taking the time to email us at Pepsi about Mountain Dew Typhoon. We appreciate your comments and, I assure you, we attach a great deal of importance to the views of our consumers.

For that reason, we sincerely regret that the name of this product offended or upset you. That was certainly not our intention.

It's extremely important to us at Pepsi that our produts serve to enhance the positive image that's helped place our brands among the world's most popular consumer products. If we should miss the mark, we need to know about it, which is why I intend to pass along your comments to our ad team. I want them to be aware of your opinion as they discuss future offers.

Thanks again for taking the time to email us and for sharing your constructive comments.

Dennis Dowd
Consumer Relations Representative
My 5/12/2010 Response,

Dear Dennis,

It sounds like you are taking this seriously. What will happen if Typhoon wins the DEWmocracy election? Will they pull it? How will the Pepsi Spin Doctors handle it?

Do the right thing!

My response, dated 5/13/2010


If you and I can’t agree that naming a refreshing soft drink after a tragic natural disaster in a third world country is stupid, then we don’t have much left to discuss.

The Marketing Team, the folks to whom you’re presenting my feedback, are feeling high and mighty about their Typhoon idea. You may need to go over their heads. You may need to blaze a trail.

I’m a bottom-line guy. Let me know when you’ve succeeded.

Thanks again.


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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Post # 111: War on Spam - Thomas Hondonshnockus, Crime Organization Consultant - 5/8/2010

Date: Sat, 8 May 2010 12:36:45 -0400

I am Mrs.pamela Etters, a devoted christian. I have a foundation/Estate uncompleted {worth sum of USD 8.5 Million Dollars}contact me for more details.

Contact Email:
Subject: RE:
Date: Sun, 9 May 2010 07:54:09 -0400

Dear Mrs.pamela Etters,

Fantastic! I too am a devoted christian. It is Mother’s Day. If you’re a Mother, hope you’re really enjoying a nice day. Maybe a cup of tea and some nice angel food cake?

I'm involved in organized crime. That’s sort of my day job. A lot of people automatically see this as a negative thing. My credo is, "not all crime is organized, but it certainly should be". People get sloppy--parties with go-go dancers in mansions when the Mrs. is in town? Please. I take a good or great mob, and I make it better.

I work as a consultant for various local mobs. I often stay with them in their safe houses, and observe. I then recommend ways that they can become more organized.

I also help them by coordinating their already-planned crimes (language in contract that all events are already planned, so I’m not breaking any laws). This is probably where I set myself apart from my crime-organizing peers.

Take right now for instance--First Communion season. What a great event with which to coordinate some murders? I take it a step further--I organize schedules to the point where four murders (in four separate counties mind you), take place in conjunction with the priest making the sign of the cross. The other families are usually upset and devastated, but later admit how cool it was. That’s a tribute to me.

It takes a lot of talent and attention to detail to coordinate birthday cakes and helicopters, World Series games and toll booth shootings, births and deaths, and even the old horse head trick. Finding isolated places to rig an ignition bomb for a betrayer is no small task either. What's really cool is when rival mobs hire me at the same time, and I'm able to coordinate opposing events.

I have several mob bosses on my linkedin account who have recommended me. They've labeled me a go-getter, and one who seizes the day (the Latan Mob uses a Latan term for it). One applauded my baseball bat placement at a long dinner table, in anticipation of his speech. He cited the perfect weight, and the pine tarred handle, which helped him make his point to the others at the table.

I guess what I'm saying is, I have some mad skills. You've struck a goldmine over here. I can take the ball and run. Run Forest run!

What's the next step? What do we do here? Where do we go now, Sweet Child o' Mine?


Thomas Hondonshnockus

Subject: Good day to you
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 18:57:32 +0000

Good day to you Dear Beloved Friend,

Sorry for the late response it was due to my health problem. I am very grateful to you for the interest shown in my plight and I want to assure you that, you will be greatly rewarded for what you have chosen to do. Although we have just known each other for the first time but I believe our father has directed me to you as I prayed and searched over the internet for assistance because I saw your profile on Microsoft EMAIL owners list and picked you. I am a born again Christian and take delight only in the things of our father and I have prayed a lot on this already and I believe so much in the manifestation of Christ that I know he will not fail me and I want you to know that you have to be strong in your faith as he {almighty} will surely strengthen you. Once again I thank you for your fast response, well i will have to introduce myself very well to you as I am Mrs.Pamela Etters from Iceland, married to Late Engr Brown Etters {PhD} who worked with MULTINATIONAL OIL COMPANY EXXON AS A DRILLING RIG SUPPLIER in Kuwait for 19 years before he died on the 22nd August 2008. We were married for good (24) twenty four years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death, he deposited the sum of USD 8.5 million Dollars with a bank In (UK) United Kingdom and this fund is presently with the bank awaiting my disbursement as beneficiary and the next of kin to this fund. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to cancer problem. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to help the poor in churches, mosque, Charity organizations or good person that will utilize this money in good faith. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money. I kept this deposit secret till date; this is why I am taking this decision. I don't think i will need any telephone communication in this regard because of health and the confidentiality of this transfer. I will also want to know a little more about you regarding your life, your spiritual life what you do for a living or if possible any picture of yours so as for me to know you more better and also know if you will be able to complete this. At the moment I cannot write much because of my health and i do not know when my time will be up so I require your urgent response if you are trustworthy and willing to help me finalize this transactions that I will immediately write my chamber to prepare a court injunction/power of attorney making you beneficiary to my fund as all other documents are with the finance firm as I sent it to them for safe keeping so my family members will not lay their hands on it. To prepare this document i will require your full names and address. With this document you will contact the finance firm to arrange the transfer of the fund to you. As soon as you have received the fund then you will help me set up charity or distribute it to charity organizations and hospitals. God permitting I pray to be alive when you receive this fund and start this project so that you can visit me here if you wish to.Attach is a picture of me on my sick bed and my late lovely husband for your preview.

Await your responds and God bless you.

Mrs.Pamela Etters
Subject: RE: Good day to you
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 22:05:41 -0400

Dear Pam Pam,

You sure type well for being so bed-ridden. You described your late husband as “lovely”. I’ll say!

You asked about my life. I have no wife or kids, or any traceable family. As I stated previously, I’m a Crime Organization Consultant, and highly sought after.

Funny thing happened today in the cafeteria. I was eating my fish sticks and tots with my colleagues. One of the mob bosses heard me complaining that a local store overcharged me for hair curlers by 50 cents. He ordered the store to be burned to the ground. Something about mobs—they even look after non-direct employees.

You asked for a photo. I have attached one. This is me, as recently as tonight. The store thing sort of turned into an weenie roast.

Let me know what the next steps are, before you keel over.


Thomas Hondonshnockus

Subject: Dear Beloved
Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 05:58:36 +0000

Dear Beloved Friend,

God bless you and I thank you so much for your word and trust, commitment and assurance towards the use of this fund to help the less privileged which has been my dream as well as my late husband, I want you to know that God definitely has a purpose for this and he will surely guide you through this noble course even when I am not alive but my spirit will be with you, but always pray for me.I have already issued a letter of authority to the finance firm in (Uk)United Kingdom making you beneficiary to my deposit. I take this decision because my time is short and I want to dispense this fund in the right channel before I leave this sinful world. God has led me to you and I want you to know that so far you have heeded to his call he will not let you down.I believe the bank will confirm my decision and send me back an acceptance letter tomorrow so as soon as I hear back from the branch manager I shall provide you the contact details so that you can get in touch with them for the funds to be released I can count on you and trust you because this is a huge sum of money to you.God bless you and please do not let me down even if I am not watching you do as if I am with you and do the best to make sure this hope are used for what their made for. Its hard trusting you by faith are stronger than anything else and mercy will not allow you fail this task because it’s all in your hands now. I will only send you the bank details for contact with the bank when I receive an email from you assuring me that you are you are fully ready to take up this project with all your heart and promise to keep every information shared between us this day and be young strictly confidential to your eyes alone till this process is fully completed and the funds transferred to you in your country, when i get that i will send you the bank details for contact and make the final order for them to pay you upon your contact so get back to me at your earliest convenient with assurance to be loyal as promised previously.

Your sister in the lord.

Mrs.Pamela Etters.

Subject: RE: Dear Beloved
Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 05:55:12 -0400

Dear Pammy,

I assure you that I am fully ready to take up this project with all my heart and promise to keep every information shared between us this day and be young strictly confidential to my eyes alone till this process is fully completed and the funds transferred to me in my country.

I need to run now. There's a high school graduation party mostacolli tray that I need to rig with explosives. Just wait 'til they sprinkle on the "cheese".
Don't forget to rotate sides in that bed. You're no good to any of us with bed sores.


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Monday, May 17, 2010

Post # 110 - Whataburger Whatawasteoffood - 2-24-2010

This really happened on the way through Alabama.  It really did bug me, and not because I wanted the fries.

By the way, I live in Michigan, so there's not "one near me."  So they lie in their commercials too.
Dear Whataburger,

My kids are young and impressionable. Norma is eight-years old. Capers is six years-old. We try to teach
them right from wrong.
  • The Golden Rule.
  • Penny saved is a penny earned.
  • Better to give than receive.

A big rule in our household is “Waste not want not.” I’m sure my kids get tired of hearing about third world countries where little kids eat mud pies. It bears repeating--there are little kids in third world countries eating mud pies.

My wife, Norma and Capers were driving through Alabama to get to Florida. We stopped at one of your restaurants, because we don’t have them in lovely Michigan. Connie and I each ordered a “#1” with side salad instead of fries plus two kids’ meals.

As I dished out the food, I noticed that we were given fries instead of salads. No big deal--this happens often, in almost any restaurant. I was getting ready to walk over to the counter when the cashier walked over to our table with two side salads. She apologized. My wife said, “Do you want the fries?” She replied “yes please.”

The cashier then walked over to the waste basket, ten feet away, and threw all of those fries out. My wife and I looked at one another dumbfounded. Just then, Norma said, “Daddy—she wasted food. Doesn’t she know about the mud kids?”

Please understand—I’m trying to watch my waistline. I didn’t need the fries. But there are two principles in question here.

The first principle is that of food waste. When you’re a kid, who would you rather listen to? Your fuddy-duddy parents or the cool chick with the highlights and pierced lip? Not two days later, Capers is throwing out a plateful of spaghetti citing “the lady with the fish hook in her mouth.”

The second principle--your employee made Whataburger seem “cheap”. “If you want fries, you gotta pay, Bro.” Was she protecting for the possibility, that after our burgers and salads, we might still order fries?

Often in the food service industry, when an order is presented incorrectly, the server apologizes and says “just keep it—we’d have to throw it out anyway.” Sometimes they even go over the top and throw in a “enjoy it as a thank you for your continued loyalty.”  Everyone is happy—the minor inconvenience is replaced with a little bonus food.

I guess I’m wondering about the Whataburger Order Mistake Food Policy. What do you instruct your employees to do in this event? I could see putting the food back, if it hasn’t yet entered “Consumer Zone.”  Do you instruct your employees to grab it off of our trays and throw it in the garbage? Or worse, do you leave it up to the employee to decide, based on whether he or she “likes” us?

Either way, you left us with a bad taste in our mouths. And that taste wasn’t French Fry.



Follow-up on 3/1/2010
Hi--I sent you an email on February 24th about an odd experience at one of your locations, and never heard anything back.

You might recall my story about a man and his midwestern value family, unwittingly exposed to food waste by the fishhook lady? Unordered fries thrown in the trash a mere ten feet from my impressionable kids' eyes and ears? Thou shalt not waste? Does any of this ring a bell?

I asked if you had a policy for unordered food (food on my tray that you gave me that I didn't order).

I see three possibilities:

1) You never received my email (even though your site said you did).

2) Your elves are in the workshop creating a policy because I've exposed a chink in the Whataburger Armor.

3) You don't have a policy, and aren't planning on answering me because I'm not a short car drive away.

Which one is it?


Jerry, Connie, Norma Jean and Capers
Follow-up 3/8/2010

Dear Whatburger,

It’s been two weeks since I complained. I thought you could learn, grow, and improve as an organization. And not a single peep out of anyone there. But you were there when the wallet was out. How odd.

I send a follow-up, just in case. Not even the sound of a pin drop.

I realize I live outside of “Whataburger Territory”. Michigan has none.

Three things:

1) Restaurants in the south migrate north.

2) People in the north migrate south.

3) I have a really big mouth.

From this day forward, anytime the Whataburger name is uttered, I will squeal like a pig. I will climb the tallest mountain and share my tale with all. I’ve already converted a few loyalists.

You lost a customer for life.


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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Post # 109 - Magic Chef, Walmart, and This Too Shall Pass - 8/17/09

This started as an innocent letter to "Magic Chef", the supposed manufacturer of my bread maker.  All I wanted was a replacment paddle thing for my bread maker--mine disappeared.  As it turns out, Magic Chef is another name for....Walmart.

Dear Magic Chef,

It happened last month--I made a loaf of bread using my Magic Chef bread maker. The loaf was intended for my Great Auntie Marge's 95th birthday party. We had rented a moon bounce, hot air balloons, and a Frank Sinatra sound-a-like. The loaf would be the final piece in a delightful deli spread. The guests--Marge's still-living friends, and relatives, but no kids (Marge doesn't like kids), would take turns at the different activities, while enjoying thinly sliced cold cuts, delightfully aged cheeses, and gourmet spreads, on my delicious bread.

They say it happens for every baker once--you bake a recipe to perfection, and it seduces you with no warning. That bread came out perfect, and it was all crunchy on the outside and steamy moist on the inside. The steamy aroma grabbed a hold of my attention like some gin-fueled temptress. Next thing I knew, I tore into that loaf like a rabid bear. In my mind, as I ingested large chunk after large chunk, I thought of mean things Marge did to me as a kid. Pennies for Halloween. Eating all of the cookies. Clipping her toenails in my father's lazy chair, and not chasing after the shrapnel. As I polished that last bite, I thought "to heck with Auntie Marge."

As I hastily threw back together the ingredients, I realized that I accidentally ingested the little paddle that kneads the dough. Often, that thing would come out of the bread maker, impaled, if you will, in the bottom of the loaf of bread. I've had several close calls, but this time, I accidentally swallowed it. I know it's large, but this loaf was REALLY good and I got a bit overzealous. When I get overzealous, sometimes I forget to chew. This was confirmed when I received my x-ray, which shows it more or less "lodged" in my intestinal tract.

Doc says it's harmless, as long as I don't feel any pain. He said more harm could come from operating, than could come from having it "pass" naturally (which could take 7 to 10 years). Doc said I would know when it was "passing". He also gave me a special "permission slip" for airport security, since it may set off the alarms.

To me, this is something that should be fixed with your design. The paddle shouldn't come out in the loaf. That seems unsafe to me. A lesser man might have encountered complications.

In the meantime, is there any way you could send me a replacement paddle? Otherwise. I have to wait several years to bake bread again.

By the way, Auntie Marge won't be having another birthday. She passed.


Reply from Ray at Magic Chef, on 8/18/2009

That is not a product that we sell or service. Please contact Wal-Mart Small Appliance @ 800-966-6546 for assistance with that item.

MC Appliance
I sent this on 9/13/2009

Dear Walmart--

I was referred to you by Magic Chef Ray. He said Walmart Small Appliances services Magic Chef Breadmakers. Please see my attached note. And no, it still hasn't passed. Can you help?

Walmart replied on 9/15/2009 with a survey asking me to critique how well they handled my problem. It was 25 questions--basically five questions restated five ways. I'll skip to the comments section:

Dear Customer,

Our records indicate that you recently contacted our Customer Service Department at We would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to share your experience with us so we may continuously improve our service in the future.

The survey is short and should not take more than 5 minutes to complete.

Thank you in advance for sharing your time and opinions with us today. We really appreciate it.

It's Your Walmart!!!

Walmart: Is there ONE thing could have done to completely satisfy you? Please be as specific as possible.

Jerry: For starters, respond to my note before you send a survey asking how well you handled my problem.

Walmart: Do you have any other comments you would like to share with us about this experience with's Customer Service?

Jerry: Unacceptable. This survey would have been much more positive had someone responded first. It looks bad--like all Walmart cares about is their image.

Response from Walmart on 9/15/2009

Thank you for your message.

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for your correspondence regarding your merchandise inquiry. Our goal is to assist you by forwarding this information to the proper department. Please assist us in expediting your resolution by providing the following information:

Regarding the Wal-Mart store you visited (there may be more than one store in your city and we would like to narrow it down to your local store):

- Store number or telephone number (located near the top of store receipt)


- Street address including City/State

Regarding your contact information so someone may contact you back:

- Your telephone number

Regarding merchandise information:

- UPC #, located underneath the product barcode or on your receipt

If it is a food item:

- 'Best By' date
- Lot code number (located next to 'Best By' date)

If the UPC number is unavailable, please provide the following:

- Brand name
- Model number (if applicable)
- Please, describe the size, color, use, etc. of the product

Your Walmart experience is important to us and we will make every effort to address your issue in a timely manner.

Thank you for allowing Walmart to continue saving you money, so you can live better.


Walmart Customer Care

For further correspondence regarding this issue, please reply to this email.
My response on 9/22/2009:


This breadmaker is a Magic Chef. I contacted Magic Chef. They told me to contact Walmart. This was all covered in my original note.

The breadmaker was purchased circa 2004 at your store in Livonia. This isn't a store issue. It's a design issue with the product. The paddle in the bread machine came out in the loaf of bread. I accidentally swallowed it. My x-ray is attached.

I don't have a phone. I threw it out when I became Amish. It didn't take, and I'm part-way back. No phones or TV's. Computers only for email and internet and games. Amish people eat bread, so I felt justified with my bread machine purchase.

Model Number is CBM-310(310).

Walmart Michelle's response on 9/28/2009:

Thank you for your message.

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for contacting us about the Magic Chef Breadmaker that you purchased. We appreciate your comments and have forwarded them to the appropriate areas for review. Unfortunately, we do not carry replacement parts for this model any longer.

Again, thank you for contacting us and for your business. We look forward to serving you in our stores for many years!

If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us at by e-mail or at 1-800-WALMART.

Thank you
Wal-Mart Merchandising Team

For further correspondence regarding this issue, please reply to this email.
My reply 9/28/2009, sent to Walmart Michelle and Magic Chef Ray

Dear Michelle,

I am angry.

I am actually yelling the words that I am typing, at my keyboard. Are you actually sending this case to Ray at Magic Chef Appliances? What that really means is, no one at Walmart read my original note that detailed that Magic Chef Ray referred me to you.

So my question is, for both you, Walmart Michelle, and you, Magic Chef Ray: Who stands by a product that neither party wants? At some point a decision was made that Products 1 to 1000 were staying with Company X, and Products 1001 to 2000 were staying with Company Y. Were there other products whose customers, it was decided, would not receive support?

The irony of my situation is, I need lots of fiber to “push” the paddle out. That fiber comes from the very bread that I CANNOT MAKE because no one will provide me the service that I need.

Magic Chef Ray, I’m sorry—I don’t know much about your outfit—maybe this is standard procedure—to magically disappear. Walmart Michelle—I expect more from your outfit, founded on Customer Comes First.

I think you should both drop and give me 20.

It will be a long time--a very long time--before I spend money on either of your products.


Walmart sent two follow-up letters by mail, asking me to call about a settlement.  I didn't call--the word "settlement" sounded a little too official for someone who lost his breadmaker paddle and was just looking for a replacement and a better product for future customers.  It sounded like they were finally making an effort.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post # 108 - My One Wish From Genie - 12/30/2009

My exchange below with Genie made me less-than-excited about buying future products from them.  The problem is, they have most of the business.
Dear Genie,

In the movies, some low-life dusts off a funny looking gravy boat and a genie pops out and grants three wishes.

Right now, I have one wish. That your outdoor remote touchpad garage opener wouldn’t make my house the laughing stock of the neighborhood.

You see, when I bought my house in 2000, I thought a Genie Garage Intellicode Door Opener would be a great addition. Around 2003, I thought the keypad feature would make it easier to come and go with my rapidly blooming taxicab business.

After about year, the battery cover fell off. The retaining feature on the cover must have worn down. Nothing holds it up. Due to the fact that the other end slides “up”, it’s a little hard to duct tape it. The cover blew away one blustery day. Now, the battery just dangles. Is that even safe in the rain, for the kids to be touching a key pad with a wet 9 volt battery dangling down? I say no. And so it sits there, dormant.

Did you people do any testing on that battery cover? Did you think it all the way through? Why wouldn’t you 1) have a hinged design or 2) have it enclosed under the sliding plastic cover?

As it stands, I hear my neighbor referring to us as the “Danglers”. That’s fine—I threw some grubs on his lawn and ran over one of his sprinkler heads with the lawn mower. But my point is, I shouldn’t have to resort to that type of sophomoric behavior.

Can you give me a written explanation?  I have a photo, if it helps.


1/4/2010 response from Genie:

Re: Dangler‏

Dear Valued Customer:

Thank you for contacting Genie regarding your issue/question. We appreciate your business and hope to assist you further. Please see the below response to your inquiry and if immediate assistance is needed, please contact our Customer Care Helpline at the number below.

There is a one year warranty on remotes and keypads. To order a replacement battery cover you can call the number below.

If I have not answered your question or you need additional assistance feel free to reply to this email or call us at 800-354-3643. We are available Mon-Fri 9am-8pm and Sat 10am-6pm EST.



Customer Care - Level 3 Support

The Genie Company

My 1/4/2010 Response to Genie:

Dear Brenda,

If I worked for Genie, and someone sent me the photo that I sent you, I would be embarrassed. Let me see if I have this straight: A battery last somewhere between 6 and 12 months. I probably replaced the battery twice before the lid became a driveway ornament. You’re basically telling me that a Genie battery cover is only good for one or two uses. I’m betting there’s a little mark-up—that it doesn’t actually cost the $9 that you charge, to manufacture the lid. Probably more like $0.09. So over 6 years, at one replacement per year, that’s $54.

I just figured out how Genie makes their profit, didn’t I? Under-design the battery cover, so people need to buy frequent replacements. I choose NOT to participate in your wicked game.

Instead, I will keep my dangling battery version of the genie remote keypad visible for all to see--sort of a nice word-of-mouth advertisement for Genie. Neighbors will come by on warm summer nights and stare at the shiny, unsafe 9 volt battery and quickly look away. I’ll address the pink elephant head on: “That’s Genie’s under-designed remote keypad. The battery cover works twice. Don’t buy one.”

Furthermore, I’m thinking on my next big garage door opener purchase, I’ll take all factors into account, including this kind of nonsense.

Thanks for the up-sell

My response, sent 1/5/2010

Dear Brenda,

Sometimes when I pull up to the Krispy Kreme Drive Thru for a dozen donuts, they throw in an additional half dozen, just to say “thank you”. Once I lost a bag of groceries in the Meijer parking lot, and they replaced everything that I reported missing, on my word. I’ve read where Smuckers puts a “little extra” jam in their jars as a sign of customer appreciation.

When I pass a Dunkin Donuts, I keep driving until I reach my Krispy Kreme. When Walmart and its lower prices moved into town, I maintained Meijer loyalty,. When I get a hankering for a PB and J, there’s only one choice,--Smucker’s. These companies bend over backward for their customers, and I appreciate it.

I send two notes, expressing my dissatisfaction with your keypad. I describe a problem that I am having with your product under normal use. The tone of your notes is very strong—this is a problem for only one of us.

“We do not have an issue with the battery cover. It is something that we have very rarely had to replace.”

This translates to “that’s your problem, Bub.” To me, this is unacceptable.

Whatever. I’m out of spit. You keep thinking you don’t have a problem. I’ll keep being dissatisfied, and we’ll probably both be right.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Post # 107 - Corona Twelve Pack and Any Salty Snack Rebate: The Great Lie 1-1-2010

This was a rip-off.  I didn't fall for it, but I wonder how many people did.  The "details" on the back are things like receipt with beer and snack circled, UPC codes, etc.  Nothing about what constitutes a salty snack.
Dear Corona,

Imagine a hectic day-before-Christmas Eve at the grocery store. People hustling and bustling to get their final food purchases to feast and entertain. Perhaps later they might go wassailing, but that’s too far off in the future. People in long check-out lines are crabby and focused on one thing: getting out of there.

As I went through the beer isle, I saw a great deal—a $5 rebate on my favorite beer, Corona. The qualifier: “Any Salty Snack”. Your words, not mine. So I grabbed a "twelver" and a bag of pretzels, since nothing goes better with Corona than salty pretzels. Of course, this also meant the purchase of a few limes.

I walked up to the self-check area with my “lesws-than-15” items, and proceeded. I always ring up alcohol last, since someone needs to check my identification. Toward the end of the process, as I was being carded, the cashier said “read the fine print on that rebate”.

I couldn’t believe my eyes: “$8 Minimum Salty Snack Purchase Required”. For portraying such a carefree lifestyle in your ads, you sure do care how much I spend on my snack, and how salty it is.

What salty snack costs $8? Most bags of chips cost $5 or less. If I bought two bags, would that constitute ONE snack, or two?

What constitutes “Salty”? Would 500 mg of sodium per serving cover us? Vague, and subject to the discretion of someone I’ve never met at the rebate center--probably a saltaholic.

Then I wondered what constitutes a snack. Is it something strictly for between meals, or as an accompaniment, such as chips, pretzels, etc? Does pizza count? That’s pretty salty, and can probably exceed your $8 bogey. At the same time, people eat pizza for lunch and dinner. Heck—I’ve eaten it cold for breakfast. Is pizza a snack or a meal?

At the end of the day, I had the cashier take the beer back, which upset the line of people behind me, because it took more time. I felt tricked. I felt betrayed. I felt like a jackass.

I feel like you intentionally tricked people with your vague “Salty Snack” description, and $8 minimum fine print. I feel like you intentionally put a vague, difficult-to-attain qualifier on the rebate to get people to buy your beer under false pretenses. How much does Corona pad their bottom line by tricking their loyal customers?


No hablo Ingles.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Post # 106 - Lenscrafters Lenses for Three Eyes - 2/20/2010

Dear Lenscrafters,

I am wondering if you might be able to help me. I have a rare condition—a third eye. When I tell people this, many think I’m referring to the Taoist belief that we possess an ability to sense what others are feeling, above our standard five senses, and that this ability evolves over time. Nope. I have a third eye. Smack in the center of my forehead, above the standard set. I’ve Googled three eye humans, tri-optic humans, etc. I’ve never found anything outside of comic books and Chakras.

It really hasn’t been a hardship. I often wear a sweatband in photos, and around folks who don’t really know me. Two developments have pushed me to go public, which I am doing now.

First, I have decided that my third eye is part of who I am, and that those around me, need to love all of me.

Second, I need corrective lenses for all three.

My options are:

1) Wear three contact lenses. Can we set up a three lens-at-a-time deal instead of the standard two lens plans?

2) Have a special set of frames specially crafted. I’d prefer round lenses, for symmetry.

Do I have options through your company? I can understand if my lenses take 90 minutes instead of the standard hour. After all, there are 50 percent more lenses to craft.

Please let me know. I’ll be keeping an eye out for your response.



PS: I have AAA—does that get me a discount?
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 09:29:25 -0500
Subject: Third Eye [Incident: 100219-000610]

Subject: Third Eye Discussion Thread Response (Milton)02/22/2010 09:29 AMJerry,

Good morning and thank you for contacting Lenscrafter regarding your request for frames that will service a third eye. I need assistance in this matter and refer to you to contact our nearest location which I listed below for assistance:

Formerly D.O.C. Optics
23000 Eureka
Taylor, MI 48180
(734) 374-8500



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Monday, May 3, 2010

Post # 105 - Stiga and The Twelve Apostle Table Hockey Set

I grew up with Table Hockey, and I love it.  Late spring is the season for hockey (NHL Playoffs) and kids making their First Communion.  I thought, what better than to try and combine the two.
Dear Stiga,

I grew up with one of your Table Hockey sets. I loved it more than life itself. We’d play for hours at a time. Then, one day, my Grandma’s 19 year-old boyfriend accidentally backed over it when we were cleaning out the garage.

Fast forward 20 years. My son’s First Communion is rapidly approaching. I’m getting the itch. You know—the table hockey itch. I’d love to get him a “Stanley Cup” table hockey for his First Communion. However, the Missus has a rule in place—no non-religious gifts allowed!

I think I found a loop hole:
-There are twelve hockey players on a table hockey set.
-There are twelve disciples.

Why couldn’t Stiga create a Twelve Disciples Table Hockey Set? Stick John and Simon Peter on opposite teams to keep it fair. This version would qualify both as a religious item, and a keepsake that my son and I and his uncle could play for hours and hours.

How much would it cost? How quickly could it be done. Do you need a copy of the painting as a reference? Please advise.

Subject: SV: Table Hockey
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 08:29:10 +0200

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for your email. Nice to hear you like our products.

We have no plans of making a Twelve Disciples Table Hockey Set.

However, you can buy 2 Team pack “Paint your own” Part no 7111-9090-99 and paint the players in the way you want them.


Per Andersson
My response, sent 4/12/2010:

Dear Per,

You responded quickly--maybe a little too quickly. I’m sure at some point, 3M didn’t plan on making sticky notes, but that seemed to work out pretty well for everybody.

Look, you just rejected my idea without doing the legwork. In the US alone, there are 3 million eight year-olds. 720,000 of those kids are Catholic. Most of those kids have dads, and all of those dads love table hockey. You could seize control of the First Communion gift market. Somewhere around 500,000 Twelve Apostle Table Hockey sets per year, offseason. Open your mind a little.

Heck—sell the apostles as an upgrade. That way, once the smoke clears, dad can do the old “switcheroo”. Leafs and Wings in place of Simon Peter, Andrew, James the Greater, James the Lesser, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, Thaddeus, Simon, and Judas Iscariot.

Look—you’re suggesting that I paint my own. My painting sucks. Plus, look at the painting—some of them had oddly shapen heads, haircuts and facial hair. We need these to be sculpted.

Won’t you please reconsider?


P.S. – I hear Pope Benedict enjoys the table hockey. Does that change anything?
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