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Friday, September 23, 2011

Post# 215 - The Miller Lite Vortex Colonic

I sent this to MillerCoors on 8/7/2011:

Dear Miller Brewing,

As the owner of a struggling coffee house, I hate seeing unused coffee go to waste.  I have attempted to add a colonic business.  Our motto is "Mac's Coffee and Colonics: Coffee In, Coffee Out."   We get significant drive-up business on Monday through Friday, 6 to 9 AM.  The colonic business is  hit and miss--lots of appointments from Halloween to New Years, and otherwise, an appointment here or there.

The thing with the colonics is, it just takes too long to attract drive-up.  The average session takes 29 minutes.  If, for a little additional discomfort, we could accelerate the process and make it 14 or less minutes, then, it becomes an impulse buy.  People can then order one up on the way to work.

This is where Miller comes in.

I've "fit" my colonic station with a prototype colonic apparatus.  The key element is the end from one of your "Vortex" bottles as the end-fitting.  You know, the "business end" of the machine.  The theory is: if beer flows out of your bottle faster, shouldn't the similar fluid dynamics apply for coffee?

Let's face it.  Studies show that one can ingest beer 37 percent faster with the Vortex.  My independent study shows as much as a 43 percent improvement.  I've tried this colonic apparatus out on a focus group--some expressed mild discomfort.  One subject labeled the larger end as, "intrusive."  Others really enjoyed it quite a bit.  Overall, I improved my throughput, bringing my average time down to 16 minutes.  With a few other process improvements, I believe I can get us to 14 minutes, allowing the business to "take off."

From a legal standpoint, would there be anything preventing me from using your Vortex bottle?  I'm sure a cursory check of emergency rooms around the country would show that these bottles have been placed "up there" many times in the past on fraternity dares, household projects gone awry, etc.  If there are legal loopholes, I'd be willing to go halvsies with you on this project.

In any case, things are on hold (but ready to go) until you get back to me.

Sincerely,

Jerry
------------------------------
Subject: Regarding Case #:20721323
Date: Tuesday, August 9, 2011, 11:14 AM

Thanks for contacting us.

Unfortunately,
MillerCoors
is not seeking any unsolicited business opportunities at this time.

We appreciate your interest in our company.

Cheers!

Sincerely,
MillerCoors
Consumer Affairs Department
Ref: Case#N20721323
-------------------------

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Post# 214 - Starbucks: The Cup Doesn't Exactly Runneth Over

Dear Starbucks,

On the way to work today, I stopped for my daily fix.  I was in a rush, so I went through the drive thru.  Normally, I like to go into the store—I enjoy the aromas, ambiance, Barristas, and the fellas with their sideburns, hemp ware, and laptops.

I ordered a venti skinny caramel macchiato.  I pulled around and plunked down my $4.40.  The women graciously handed me my beverage and we exchanged pleasantries.  As I pulled away, I sensed that it was “light.”  I’ve ordered several hundred of these, and I know how much they should weigh.  I pulled off the cap and noticed the cup was roughly two thirds full.  Yes, the delicious foam filled up some of the gap, but this venti was clearly a dodici.

About midway through my shift, my boss indicated that I was missing my normal pep, and that I was only operating at about 2/3rds effort.  He sent me home after 5 1/3 hours, so I was only paid for two thirds of my shift.

What gives with cutting corners on loyal customers?  Am I being penalized for only frequenting your store once per day?  Am I expected to bump it up to twice a day?

Is your operation error-proofed?  Are your people trained to fill it all the way?  Was I the victim of the Barrista whose mom never filled his cup more than two thirds full because he was a spiller?

I would appreciate a written explanation.  If you’d like a photograph, I took one.

This never happens at the gas station when I get my own. 

Sincerely,

Jerry
----------------------------------
From: info@starbucks.com
Subject: Re: the beverage I ordered at a store <<#211758-6468999#>>Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 10:11:03 -0500
Hello Jerry,
 
Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.
 
I am very sorry that your Venti Skinny Caramel Macchiato was only 2/3 full. That is not what we want to happen.
 
I want to assure you that I will be following up with the store and its management team in order to ensure that we are making these beverages correctly. Unfortunately, I am unclear at which store this happened.  If you could please respond to this email with further information about the store location (such as cross streets), this would help us greatly.  Please also feel free to take a look at our store locator at http://www.starbucks.com/retail/find/default.aspx for store information.
 
What I would like to do, is to invite you back to our stores to have a drink done right. I would be happy to mail you some beverage coupons so that your next drink will be on us.
 
Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to fix this situation. I assure you that we take feedback from our customers seriously and will use this as an opportunity to improve the experience for you.
 
If there are any questions or concerns that I have not been able to address, please don’t hesitate to call us at 800 23-LATTE (235-2883), we are here Monday through Friday from 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM (PST).
 
 
Thank you,
 
Stephanee S 
Customer Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company
800 23-LATTE (235-2883)
Monday through Friday, 5AM to 8PM (PST)
 
 
If you would like to share your thoughts about your experience with Starbucks Customer Contact Center, please click on the link below to participate in a short survey.  Your comments will be used to ensure that any future experiences with Starbucks Customer Contact Center meet your highest expectations.
 
http://www.starbuckscontactcenter.com/?group=CR&template=CR348&CN=6468999&aspect=347&Email_DateTime='3/25/11 1:44:02 AM MDT'To: info@starbucks.comSubject: RE: the beverage I ordered at a store <<#211758-6468999#>>Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 23:17:10 -0400

Hi Stephanee, 

The Starbuck is on the corner of XXXX and YYYYY in ZZZZZ

My address is:XXXXX Bluh Bluh Ave.
Bluh Bluh, MI XXXXX
Thanks for your help. 


Jerry
-----------------------------

Note sent via mail on March 26, 2011:

Dear Jerry,
Thank you for taking the time to contact Starbucks Coffee Company.
Please accept the enclosed beverage coupons with my apologies for the experience you brought to my attention.  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to address your concerns and improve our operations.
If you have any further concerns, please feel free to contact us at info@starbucks.com or 1-800-23-LATTE (1-800-235-2883).
Sincerely,
Stephanee
Customer Relations
Starbucks Company
800-233-LATTE (235-2883)
Monday through Friday 5AM to 6PM (PST)
----------------
----------------------------
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Post# 213 - CNN: Stationing Reporters in the Paths of Hurricanes Is Irresponsible

I sent this during the height of Hurricane Irene, on 8/27/2011:

Dear CNN,

I've decided to boycott your coverage of hurricane season this year.  I feel that it's wrong of you to throw reporters out there on harms way as deadly hurricanes pass by them.  You do this every year.

You pick these brave (stupid?) people who are trying to climb their way into anchor jobs so they can stand out there and say stuff like. "It's really windy here!" and "These waves must be 35 feet tall!"  They interview local people who made the brave (stupid?) decision to stay in harms way, rather than get out of dodge.  These locals don't deserve the attention--you're rewarding them for bad decisions.

During a massive storm, the local reporter doesn't add much value.  In baseball, the teams use the flag to gage wind strength and direction.  Isn't that really all the reporter is?  A human wind vane?

Let's be really honest.  Storms are big business for networks like yours.  People tune in, in part, to see if the reporter will blow away.  They do this because you keep putting them out there.
Why not take a higher road?   Your meteorologists are bright enough to know the basic path of the storm.  Why couldn't you throw remote, anchored remote control cameras and weather vanes every few miles along the coastline?  You could collect weather info and stunning images without anybody risking their lives.

If you really feel the urge to throw people in harm's way, do something productive.  How about replacing news trucks with moving trucks and help the elderly and disabled who couldn't move?

Or here's an idea.  There are convicted murderers, rapists and pedfiles wearing shackles, eating our tax dollars, rotting in prison cells.  Why not give them a public speaking course, make them up and throw them out there iin harm's way nstead?  The shackles could be used to anchor them down.


Just some ideas.

Sincerely,

Jerry
------------------------
My follow-up, sent 9/6/2011:

Dear CNN,

I noticed you never bothered to answer my questions regarding your policies during natural disasters.  I don't think it's fair that you make your employees risk their lives in inclement weather (and for that matter, war) conditions, all for ratings.

By not acknowledging me, you're confirming what we all know--it isn't cool.  Face it--if your reporters were cows, you'd be running from animal rights activists.  Instead, they're people, seemingly lacking rights.

I gave you better options: remote weather stations and web cams, or convicted inmate reporters.

Why not get back to me at 19 minutes after the hour?

Jerry

Monday, September 12, 2011

Post# 212 - War on Spam: Dad Stuck in Scotland!

Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2011 07:46:52 -0700
From: My parents' email address
Subject: Help Needed!!!!! 
To:

I'm writing this with tears in my eyes,my family and I came down here to Edinburgh Scotland for a short vacation unfortunately we were Robbed at the park of the hotel where we stayed,all cash,credit card and cell were all stolen from us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.

We've been to the embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and our flight leaves in few hrs from now but we're having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the bills lease i need you to lend me some money, i promise to refund it as soon as I'm back home,I am so confused right now and thank God i wasn't injured because I complied immediately.

Waiting to read from you.
Julius
-----------------------------
To: A different email address, similar to my parents' address
Subject: RE: Help Needed!!!!!
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2011 08:41:50 -0400
Dear Dad,

Hope you had a happy 4th.  It sounds like you didn't get to light any sparkers or eat the cake with cool whip blueberries and strawberries that form an American flag.

Here's the deal, I took 6 days to respond because I'm a little upset.  You see, I didn't get to eat any of that cake either, because you and Mom borrowed my cake pan and didn't return it.  That is not cool!

I'll help you, but know that I'm upset about the cake tray thing.  Also, you didn't even tell me you were going to Scotland!  Also, how about a "please?"  Or a "thank you?"

Does this mean you can't babysit this weekend for little Lonnie and Raquel?  They were so looking forward to picking fresh peaches in your backyard!

First things first--what's the next step?  Where do I send the money?

Thanks,

Your Loving Son,

Jer-Jer
--------------------------------------
No Reply
--------------------------------------

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Essay # 9 - Detroit Tigers 1987 Pennant Race Thrills

As a Detroit Tiger fan, this time of year is usually meaningless.  With our team relevant again, my thoughts turned to the 1987 playoff run, which was very exciting.  In 1984, we were in first place the whole year, with a target on our backs.  In 1987, we were the hunter.

The 1987 season started like a lot of baseball seasons in Detroit--they got off to a slow and frustrating start—11 and 19.  Lance Parrish had left via free agency, which really stung me as a fan.  In his place, we had a rookie catcher, Matt Nokes, along with Mike Heath.  We had youngsters like Jim Walewander and Scott Lusader.  Pat Sheridan played a larger role now.  Our rotation was Morris, Petry, Jeff Robinson, Tanana and Terrell.  The closer role was less defined, with Guillermo Hernandez (8), Mike Henneman (7), Eric King (9), and Mark Thurmond (5) each having a handful of saves.

Pretty early on, Sparky proclaimed, “I want to tell people something right now, this is a very good baseball team. Make no question about that. And this will be a very good baseball team. I will say this: the people of Detroit will be very happy come October 4.”

They picked up Bill Madlock around June, who caught fire when he arrived.  At the trade deadline, they made the John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander deal.  People often talk about this deal as the classic "mortgaging the future" deal, whenever a similar deal is made.  That year, it worked for us though--Doyle went 9-0 in 11 starts down the stretch.  He was awesome.


In August, with the team still in the hunt, my brother and I went to the Tiger Stadium box office and bought tickets for the last game, “just in case”. 
The last weekend in September was a crucial four game series in Toronto.  The Tigers were ½ game behind Toronto going in.   They lost each of the first three games by one run, including the nationally televised Saturday game, where they blew a 9-4 lead.  After the Saturday loss, Kirk Gibson said, ““Maybe we’re just setting the greatest bear trap in history.”  The next day was an extra inning victory featuring a Gibson homerun and game winning single.  They entered the last week, 2 ½ games behind with 7 left to play.
That week, Toronto was swept by Milwaukee, and Detroit split a four game series with Baltimore.  Toronto came into Detroit for the final weekend with a one-game lead.
That Friday night, my brother, his friend, and I went down to the ballpark, hoping to buy bleacher seats.   But knowing our odds were slim.  The line to the Bleacher Box Office was around the stadium.  It looked pretty doubtful, but we jumped in line anyway.  After a few minutes, a hot chick and her friend walked up to us, at the back of the long line and said, “if you want these three tickets, I’ll give them to you for face value.”   I thought, “She must be an angel.  Hot chicks don’t walk up to people with tickets.  They give them to their boyfriend.”  We scraped together $12 and walked past the entire line, and into the ballpark.
It was a rainy, damp Friday night.  I remember watching the steam waft out of the park into the lights.   The Tigers won 4-3, behind Doyle Alexander.   The Tigers chased Jim Clancy out in the 3rd inning, and David Wells pitched 6 scoreless innings.  As we were walking out, there was an electricity in the air—people high-fiving in the streets.  We saw Tom Monaghan’s helicopter land one of the buildings across the street.   
The Saturday game went 12 innings, with Morris pitching 9 and giving up two runs, and Trammell singling in the winning run in the 12th.  That was Trammell’s 105th RBI, and we thought he was the shoo-in for MVP.

Sunday morning, my stomach was in a knot.  We were up by a game now, and trying to avoid game 163.  The funny part is, we had six tickets and four people—my brother, my dad, my brother-in-law, and me.  Two had backed out, and we were having trouble finding people to go with us.  In the end, my brother-in-law invited his brother, and my dad invited my godfather.
It was a nice autumn day—partly sunny with a little nip in the air.  Our seats were in upper deck right field.    Herndon put us on the board in the 2nd inning with a bases-empty home run.  From there, I saw one of the most exciting pitching duels  of my life, between Jimmy Key, and one of my favorite pitchers, Frank Tanana.
I always loved Tanana.  He came up as a fireballer, ran into arm problems and totally reinvented himself as a finesse pitcher.  It was always fun watching him frustrate hitters.  On that day, he pitched a 9-inning shut-out.  In the 9th, I remember security guards and horses on the field.  I remember that giant knot in my stomach getting tighter and tighter.  It wasn’t an easy shut-out.  There were six hits and three walks peppered in there.
I taped the game, and I can remember George Kell’s call on the last play, with Garth Iorg at the plate: “And a tap to the mound, this could be it!  It’s all over!  The Tigers win it! The Tigers win it!  It’s all over.”  Here is the footage.  This is video gold for Tiger fans.  Here is Ernie Harwell's call of the last half-inning, also gold.  Fans rushed the field, and we sat and watched the chaos.  It felt so good.
That capped off one of my favorite sports moments and periods.  I felt very lucky and blessed to be able to share it with my dad and brother.  I’ve been to a lot of great sporting events since then, including the final game at Tiger Stadium, and Game 4 of the ALDS (where we eliminated the Yankees), but the final game of 1987 at Tiger Stadium is probably the most special to me.
I like to block out the series that followed, with Minnesota.  That’s where my dislike (and respect) of that franchise originated. 
-------------------------
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Post# 211 - Speedway Gas and Their Round-Down Rewards Program - 6/17/2011

Dear Speedway,
I’m a Speedway loyalist.  If I’m running low on gas and there’s a Sunoco, BP, Texaco, or Mobil, I take my chances and keep driving until I find “the way.”  Over the past few years, I’ve accrued 42394 points.  At 10 points per gallon, that translates to 4239 gallons, roughly.  At an average of $3 a gallon, that would be $12,718.  If you use a rough average of 13 gallons per fill-up, that’s 326 fill-ups.
The reason I write, as I was filling up tonight, I noticed something that I’ve never noticed before.  I purchased 12.965 gallons.  You gave me 129 points.  You rounded down.   Conventional mathematics suggests that we round up from “X.500” or more, and round down for ”X.499” or less.  You rounded down.
Why do you round down?  I figure, statistically, half of the time, my fill-up is an “X.499 or less.”  In these instances, it would make sense to round down.  It would be very cool of you to round up, but I get it.  The other half of the time, my fill-up would be “X.500 or more.”  This would be a round up situation.    So for 163 of my 326 fill-ups, instead of giving me the round-up point, you kept it.
What do you do with our round-up points?  They have to go somewhere.   Are there little children in Honduras with Speedway accounts who are collecting our round-up points?  Because that’s just not fair.  It’s intolerable, unsavory, and downright naughty.
Does SMI, as a corporation, not understand the round-up/round down principal?  Do you need to go back and look at your book-keeping?  Is your $44.5 million in earnings from 2010 accurate, or did you round some stuff down?
We the people of Speedway want our round-up points back.  I want my 163 points back.   I want my round-up points from here on out.    I’m sure it seems tiny to you—a little point here, a little point there, across several million loyal customers.  It’s big to us.  It’s big to all of us.  We’re all up in arms.
Let’s get this fixed ASAP!

Sincerely,

Jerry
---------------------------------------
No reply.  I sent the note below on July 10th:

Dear Speedway,

I sent the note below on June 17th.  Your website states that you respond within two business days. 

It's been over three weeks.  What's going on over there?  Not cool.

Sincerely,

Jerry
-------------------------
July 12, 2011

Dear Jerry,

This is an acknowledgement of your E-mail. I apologize. Our system
does not show us ever receiving an E-mail from you.

When Speedy Rewards points are calculated on fuel purchases, our system
only recognizes the points earned up to a tenth of a gallon. For your
purchase of 12.965 gallons, your total points earned calculated to 129
total points.

Again, I apologize for any inconvenience. As a one-time courtesy, I
have added 250 points to your Speedy Rewards account

Thank you for taking the time to write us. We are always interested in
hearing from our customers whatever the reason.

Sincerely,
Robin
Speedway LLC Customer Service

----------------------------
Subject: RE: Feedback From Speedway.com Sent to: Speedy Rewards
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 19:31:16 -0400


Robin,

I appreciate your response, and the points.  I'm just curious why you only round to the tenth decimal place.  This rounding convention goes against all that we learned in school, in classes like accounting and chemistry.

My concern is, people throughout industry are going to adopt their own willy nilly rounding conventions. Suddenly my $4.99 salad dressing and $2.99 chocolate chips are going to cost $8.87 because of the "Floogleburger" Rounding Method.  My employer is going to "Round Way Down."  Why?  Because rounding conventions are out the window.

And then, vocabulary conventions will go away.  Suddenly, the strudel that I order with my coffee is a cold and intrusive colonic nozzle.

And lastly, traffic law.  A green light in Town A will mean "go." Guess what?  In Town B, it's now yellow.  Who knows about Town C--nobody is driving there because of all the strudel.

My point is, conventions are there for a reason.  In this case, to make people feel like they aren't getting ripped off.  If you're showing three decimal places, you should be rounding to three decimal places.

Thanks again for responding- sorry you didn't get my first note.  Maybe the IT Guy is on a coffee break.

Sincerely,

Jerry
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Post# 210 - Build-A-Bear Workshop: Let's Add A Sorry Station

I sent this to the Build-A-Bear Workshop on 8/3/2011:
-----------------------
Dear Build-A-Bear,

I've taken my sons Elias and Jefferson to your workshop, and I know the process by heart:

Step 1: Select a character.
Step 2: Stuff the character (insert a tube into the rear end and shoot fuzz all up in there).
Step 3: Washing and drying the Bear (this is appeasement for the kids)
Step 4: Naming and Registering
Step 5: Payment

Here's the deal.  I think there should be an additional step for the kids: apologizing to parents.  Apology is a big step (Step 9) in the AA program.  It's kind of a big deal.  At what point do kids have a right of passage where they are required to apologize for things like:

1) making flatulent noises in a restaurant 
2) proclaiming that the large man in the checkout line should be buying veggies instead of chips.
3) letting toothpaste encrust on the bathroom counter 
4) using the last toilet paper and not replacing or notifying an adult
5) telling embarrassing parent bathroom stories in front of other parents 
6) throwing their jeans in the washer with an orange crayon in the pocket.
It would be really easy for you to add a step.  Add a "Sorry Station."  You'd probably get more business from frustrated parents.  Let me know what you think.

Sincerely,

Jerry
--------------------------
From: Guest Services
Subject: RE: Suggestion
Date: Friday, August 5, 2011, 11:58 AM

Dear Jerry,


Thank you for contacting us.  We appreciate you sharing your suggestion with us. 
We are always open to suggestions from our Guests and we will be happy to pass this along to our Development Team for review.

Thank you again for sharing this with us. Please let us know if we can further assist you!



Beary Truly Yours,
Elita
Guest Service RepresentativeBuild-A-Bear Workshop®
-------------------------------
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Post# 209 - AT&T: How About Considering My MimeFone 2000 Proposal?

My letter to AT&T, sent 9/5/1996:
 ----------------------
Dear AT &T,
As a self-taught Mime, I have not spoken in 14 years. Words take away from self expression--they cannot add value to a thought or feeling. Freud alluded that communication is 85 percent nonverbal. I believe we can easily round it up to 100 percent! Aside from passing checks, I never write. It is with great regret that I resort to the written word now, but I see no alternative.

My biggest nonverbal challenge has been communication by phone.  Time after time, when the phone rings, I foolishly pick it up, only to realize the helpless situation in which I have placed myself.   I have contemplated Morse code, and even those “typing” phones, but sadly, those methods only relay words--the very cause of all of this rage!!  Finally, it occurred to me like a blinding ray of sun--the MimeFone 2000!!!
               
The MimeFone 2000 consists of two virtual reality gloves, a video camera to record facial expressions, and a video screen to display facial expressions and two robotic “hands” that duplicate the gestures from the  other line.  The person speaking on the MimeFone places their hands in the gloves, faces the camera, and expresses their feelings to the other person.  Now, I know you are thinking that the other person needs the MimeFone also.  Well, to achieve ultimate satisfaction from this service, the answer is an obvious “Yes”  However, the listener can pay for an interpreter--a middle person to (dare I say it) verbalize the gestures and expressions.  The Mime can hear the interpreter, and if the verbalization is incorrect, he or she can gesture “No!”  And so forth.   By the year 2000, my goal is to have MimeFones everywhere that a verbal phone already exists. 
               
This nonverbal technology is bound to make all of us stinking rich.  Sure, every verbalist has this image of a Mime’s lifestyle as being carefree and reckless--tons of cash, women, and creature comforts.  That is what they see at their County Fairs and Art Expo’s.  On the contrary, the life of a Mime is often filled with a degree of loneliness, poverty, and angst.  With this nonverbal technology, my life of poverty will be over--and forever!
               
Furthermore, this is merely a steppingstone for my larger goal--to replace the English Language by nonverbal, or “Mime” expression, by 2000 AD.  The United Mimes of America!  We will re-establish ourselves as the World Power.  At his State of the Union Address, our nonverbal President (N.V.P) will be seen performing the “I’m Unpeeling a Banana” to demonstrate our nation “unpeeling his new, overly ripe and unappealing) budget plan," and “I’m Trapped in This Box"  (Actually the confines created by my party’s past mistakes) routines. 
               
My request to you is simple:  An honest opinion about our future endeavor--will we make millions together, or trillions.  I must conclude this letter now, as I have obligations as the President of Mimes Opposing  Crime, a nonprofit organization, which I personally founded in 1992.  M.O.C. is 85 strong, and actively recruiting in theater schools, coffee houses, and street corners around the country.   Our nonverbal demonstrations often have musical accompaniment, and little refreshments.   
                                     
Nonverbally Yours,

Jerry
----------------
No Reply
----------------
Follow-up, sent 11/19/1996:

Dear Non-Communicators:

There are five things that nonverbally upset me:
1) When one of our newer mimes uses flour and Crisco instead of splurging for real facial make-up.
2) When Randall puts itching powder in my black tights--Yee-Oww!!
3) When I wash my black clothes with my white bed sheets and everything ends up gray.
4) Verbal communication of any type unless it is an absolute emergency.
5) Companies who fail to respond, either nonverbally or verbally, to their customers’ concerns.

On September 5, 1996, I wrote you a letter--my first verbal communication in 14 years (excluding checks).  I explained how, as a self-taught mime, my goal was, by 2000, to eliminate all verbal communication, as words only interfere with the true expressions of our thoughts and feelings.  I proposed the MimeFone 2000--a revolutionary means of spreading nonverbal communication throughout the modern world.

It consists of two virtual reality gloves, and a video camera to record facial expressions, as well as a video screen to relay facial expressions and two robotic “hands” that duplicate the gestures from the  other line.  The person speaking on the MimeFone places their hands in the gloves, faces the camera, and expresses their feelings to the other person.  The other person can either communicate with a MimeFone 2000, or pay a third party to verbally interpret the gestures of the mime.  It can’t miss.

Did you ever stop to think that this scenario is the very reason for which I loathe verbal communication?  If I could mail you my nonverbal interpretation of this letter, it would conquer all.  You would be caught up in the rapture, feeling all of my passions, inner feelings, and aspirations.  You would, in a sense, be a part of what I am feeling in a manner that words cannot express.  There would be an immediate connection between our inner souls, with the experiences and feelings of all of our past lives connected for that one brief moment.  But the words just got in the way now, didn’t they?  Test that out in your little town.

I also asked for a phone for my wife because her G.E. verbal phone crapped out on her.  I have tried to get her to become nonverbal, but the response is always the same nonverbal gesture with her middle finger.  This issue, above all, has placed some strain on our relationship over the years, but love conquers all.  She loves my act, especially my David Byrne “Once In A Lifetime” impression (same as it ever was...). 

Don’t forget--it was the spoken word that caused Black Monday.  Verbal communication caused the Beatles’ Break-up.  Verbal communication probably caused the exile from Eden, too.  If we let it go, it will ruin the world.  Please respond to my letter, and let’s finally chalk one up for the verbalists!

Mime on, You Crazy Diamond,

Jerry
-------------------------
No Reply.  AT&T missed out.

--------------------
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Post# 208 - Figuring Out The Coca Cola Secret Formula

This letter was sent on 3/20/2011:

Dear Coca Cola,

I am allergic to pollen.  Always have been.  It took years and years to figure it out.  I would sneeze and cough so hard that I would vomit.  The only thing that would settle my stomach?  Coke.

About 25 years ago, you changed Coke.  Coke II was a wretched concoction.  Unable to settle my stomach down, I decided to figure out the source of all of my ailments.  I entered an allergy clinic in Telluride, Colorado.  Later, when you changed to Coke Classic, I hopped back on the bandwagon.  To this day, I can’t go 24 hours without my Coke.

At this clinic that I mentioned, I made several lifelong friends.  Each year we meet for a weekend in June, in a different friend’s host city.  On the first night (Friday), we eat whatever the host likes.  Those who are allergic stay home until Saturday morning.  On Saturday and Sunday morning, we eat a menu that complies with each friend’s diet.  In other words, if one person can’t eat something, no one eats it.  We respect one another’s allergies.  It’s all part of the solidarity.

Guess what?  This June, my friends are coming to my town for the weekend...  On Friday, I want to serve portabella burgers and sweet potato fries, with Coke.  I’ve verified the ingredients in my burger (the bun, the mushroom, sautéed onions, provolone cheese, zippy mayo, and mustard).  I’ve verified the ingredients for my fries (sweet potatoes, butter, bourbon reduction, and a tiny dash of cayenne pepper).

I now need to verify that Coke will work for each of my friends.  Here are their ailments:

  • Julie is allergic to coriander.  It makes her sneezy.
  • Timothy is allergic to caramel.  It gives him a rash.
  • Steve is allergic to vanilla.  He gets nasally.
  • Alan is allergic to caffeine.  His whole back gets itchy.
  • Max is allergic to orange oil.  He breaks into a cold sweat.
  • Stephanie is allergic to nutmeg.  She gets a fever.
  • Juan is allergic to lime juice.  He starts coughing uncontrollably.
  • Louis is allergic to citric acid.  He’ll be running for the restroom.
  • Suki is allergic to corn syrup.  She vomits like the penguins at the zoo.
  • Barbara is allergic to lemon oil.  She loses her voice.
  • Lance is allergic to neroli.  He develops goiterous bumps.
  • Tom is allergic to coca extract.  He experiences mild nausea.
  • Charlene is allergic to cinnamon.  She hallucinates Hanna Barbara characters.

I don’t know your secret recipe, and frankly, I find it ridiculous that people try to copy something that they can just buy for a buck at the store.  Am I right?  The reason I write you (aside from wanting to thank you for always being there for me in my time of need): I need to know which friends I should tell to not come until Saturday.  Again, without divulging the special recipe, can you tell me who, based on my friends’ allergies, I should ask not to come until Saturday?

Any information that you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jerry
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