Category Archives: Other

God Takes the Wheel

After surviving a recent trip through rush hour traffic, the Pope decided that on today’s highways, maybe prayer isn’t enough, so he climbed the Mount and returned with a new, slightly longer set of Commandments for modern drivers. Remember, these are God’s words. Violate at your own risk.

1. Pick one speed and stick with it. Nothing makes me crazier than the guy in front of me who slows down going up hill, speeds up going downhill and definitely speeds up whenever they’re in a passing zone so I can’t just pass and get away from him. Yes, dammit, I drive a car. Why shouldn’t I?

2. Drivers should drive. Not talk on cell phones, eat lunch, apply makeup, style their hair, read a newspaper or sleep. And definitely not more than one of these at the same time. And you twerps who text and drive? I’ve got a special place in hell for you. Yes. I. Do.

3. Children are not human air bags. In other words, restrain your kids properly in age-appropriate safety seats. Do NOT hold them in your lap. I don’t care if it’s only for a block.

4. People do not make good missiles. In other words, buckle up. I don’t care if it’s only for a block.

5. If you are not disabled, do NOT park in a disabled parking space (I don’t care if you stole someone else’s permit). If you do, you are a lazy, no-good, inconsiderate slob who might find all the air has been let out of your tires while you were in the store for “just a minute.” Or your tires have “disappeared.” Plus I have the power to smite.

6. Yellow means slow down and red really does mean stop, dammit, not giddy up. I mean this.

7. An all-way stop is a stop and wait your turn, NOT a roll and go because you’re more important than everyone else so shouldn’t have to wait. Why do you yahoos think I don’t notice your crap? I do. And I don’t forget it.

8. An all-way stop is a stop and GO when it’s your turn, not a stop and then let’s sit there for ten minutes with me stuck behind you because you’re not sure if maybe you should let everybody else in the world go first and then wait a few minutes more just to see how long I’ll pound my head against the steering wheel. God is NOT supposed to do that, it hurts.

9. If you’re first in the left turn lane and the left turn lane arrow turns green, for crying out loud GO-GO-GO. Do NOT wait until it turns yellow, leaving everyone else still stuck at the light as you go on your merry way. I’m God. I will catch you.

10. If you haven’t used your turn signal, do not turn. Just continue in a straight line until you are far, far away from me.

11. If you want to drive more than ten miles an hour over the speed limit, move to a country with an Autobahn. That’s why I created it, dammit!

12. Blinding everyone else at night with your high beams does NOT make you safer. It does, however, piss me off. Do you really want to piss me off?

13. If you’re driving on the highway and one or more cars are on the shoulder, do not slow down and gawk making everyone behind you for hundreds of miles have to slow down as well, starting a traffic jam that eventually will bring the entire United States interstate highway system to a grinding halt. (I like the United States. I did some of my best work here. What – haven’t you been to Yellowstone?)

14. In parking lots, go a reasonable speed and if you see a parking space for Pete’s sake PARK. Do NOT drive up and down the aisles for thirty minutes looking for a closer space or wait like a vulture for a space to open, engine idling, blocking all traffic while you contribute to global warming. If you do, Al Gore will come looking for you. So will I, but Al scares me.

15. When it starts to rain, do not be afraid; it will not hurt you and you do not need to slow down until you are driving slower than I can walk. Especially if I am stuck behind you.

16. Driving six inches from my back bumper will NOT make me go any faster. Plus I have the power to smite.

17. Four-wheel drive vehicles do NOT stop any faster on ice than the rest of us. For crying out loud, I gave you a brain – start using it!

18. It is never open season on pedestrians. Seriously, I like pedestrians. They are doing all the right things – reducing carbon emissions, loving planet earth, honoring their bodies by getting healthy. Do NOT mess with them.

19. Do not wait until I am less than fifty feet away before pulling out in front of me, making me push my brake pedal to the floor and causing my car to rise up on its front tires and do a little dance. Plus I have the power to smite.

20. If you do not have insurance AND a valid license, do not drive. I’m not kidding.

21. If you’re reading this and wondering what’s wrong with any of the things I listed in the other commandments, do NOT drive. Ever. I mean that. And I will know.

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Why People Go Insane Through No Fault of Their Own

Warning: the incident described herein happened before implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the author has absolutely no idea if it will help others in similar circumstances. She hopes so but highly doubts it.

Contrary to what their names imply, health care providers do not exist to give health care and health insurance companies do not exist to offer health insurance.

Nope.

They exist primarily to make the rest of us crazy, with the added benefit of giving the people who work in those industries something to laugh at.

How do I know? I’m one of the rest of us.

I’m at the age when doing the things I used to be able to do – like exercise – is unwise. That’s because I foolishly believe my doctor’s advice that exercise is better for me than sitting on a couch drinking beer and eating doughnuts, which – unlike exercise – has never sent me to the hospital for x-rays and physical therapy.

Which is why I’m now crazy.

Because I ended up with a bill. And learned that physical therapists charge more than K Street lawyers.

I opened it up and learned they charge $519 for a 30 minute session which basically involved insulting my knees, telling me I’m an out-of-shape weakling, and snickering while watching me walk.

They then told me to go home. And come back in two weeks.

Foolishly believing that, because I had health insurance, the charges for therapy would be reasonable, I completed two more sessions.

All three sessions involved the same process. They asked me how I felt. The snickered as they tested my strength. They asked me to demonstrate the assigned exercises. They gave me new ones. They sent me home.

Then I got the first bill.

Keep in mind that no one, no one, could tell me how much my therapy would cost, I just had to promise I would pay, no matter how much it was. That may be why they think they can charge anything they like. And do, including $519 for some guy who’s not even a doctor to tell me my knees point in the wrong direction.

Of course, that’s not what I have to pay. I only have to pay the contracted rate of $368.49. For just one visit. The insurance company doesn’t pay any of it. That’s because we pay thousands of dollars for a top-rated policy.

Under a top-rated policy, after paying thousands of dollars in premiums every year, we get to pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses every year until we satisfy the patient obligation. Then, if we suffer a catastrophic illness on December 31st, the insurance company pays all the bills. Until January 1st. When the patient obligation starts all over again.

Of course, I happen to think that $519 (or even $368.49) is a ridiculous amount to charge someone just to ridicule them. Especially when the treatment doesn’t improve things. Which may be intentional. After all, this insures a continued revenue stream.

I, of course, called the health care provider to complain. A staffer, after telling me they can’t tell people what the therapy will cost before giving the therapy, said the manager would call me back to discuss my concerns. I foolishly believed this.

After never hearing from the manager (who may not actually exist), I called my insurance company (foolishly thinking I could find a less expensive option) because their “Explanation of Benefits” or “EOB” (commonly called Form #Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here) says to “call us to estimate treatment costs or to compare cost and quality of in-network health care professionals and facilities.”

The staffer immediately told me they didn’t know the prices and I’d have to call the health care provider to find out.

This is why I’m now crazy. Or would be but I don’t know if I can afford it because nobody will tell me what it would cost.

And the question is:

Why is sex for money illegal when it’s called prostitution …

but legal when it’s called porn?

Damn good letter

Sometimes I surprise myself by writing something which I think is actually decent. Other times I surprise myself by thinking that and actually being right. Other times I surprise myself by stumbling across an old letter in a stack of papers (those who criticize my filing system don’t understand it) and realizing I need to share it with the world. I may be wrong, but permit me the occasional delusion.

June 27, 2012

The Atlantic
600 New Hampshire Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

Dear Sir or Madame,

I had never heard of “Elizabeth Wurtzel” before. Something which – in light of her self-absorbed, self-importance – she would probably consider an impossibility.

Little did I know that anyone other than George Will could earn a living merely by being sufficiently insufferable.

Then I read 1% Wives Are Helping Kill Feminism and Make the War on Women Possible, which I at first mistook for an ill-advised, deeply flawed attempt at satire before realizing the author was, in fact, taking herself seriously as she made pronouncements on a subject about which she knows little and understands even less.

Here’s what she said (in fewer than fifty words): women only have value if they get paid. Being a mom is not a job. If women don’t have a job because they choose to be a stay-at-home mom, their husbands think all women are dumb. And THAT is the reason for the war on women.

And here are some of the gobsmackingly astounding things she wrote.

Who can possibly take feminism seriously when it allows everything, as long as women choose it? The whole point to begin with was that women were losing their minds pushing mops and strollers all day without a room or a salary of their own.

Wow. Just wow. I mean – the whole point of the feminist movement was allowing women the freedom of being able to choose because women were sick of having no choices, of being treated as inferior beings, denied equal opportunities and treated disparately because of their gender.

And no, it wasn’t that women “were losing their minds” – merely that being treated as property (or children) by a patriarchal society, limited to narrow roles in home, schools, and the workforce was intolerable in a society which pretended to offer liberty and justice for all.

Got pregnant? You’re fired. Got married? You’re fired. Won’t have sex with me? You’re fired. Want sports? Forget it. Want to be a lawyer, a pilot, a doctor, a dentist, a firefighter? Forget it. Want equal pay? Gee, you’re cute when you’re angry.

Let’s please be serious grown-ups: real feminists don’t depend on men. Real feminists earn a living, have money and means of their own.

Whoa! She doesn’t even realize that “real feminists” often are men. And that “real feminists” believe that opportunities and rights should not be denied or abridged on account of sex (which works for both genders – including Mr. Moms.)

This woman claims to be a lawyer – so she should be well acquainted with the established principle recognized by the courts that marriages are economic partnerships and each partner contributes value even if not a paycheck. And that, by law, it’s not “his” paycheck – it’s hers too.

All of which those same courts take into account when dividing assets in divorce proceedings. That male executive who worked his way up the corporate ladder to the multimillion dollar salary? He was able to do so because his worthless stay-at-home wife was his unpaid assistant, entertaining clients at dinner parties, organizing charitable fund-raising events, buying the gifts and sending the cards that resulted in profitable business deals, and taking care of their home so he could focus on business instead of the mundane details of life that drag people down – things like picking up the dry cleaning.

And it is those ladies – those stay-at-home wives in wealthy families (who, after all, don’t get a pay check) – who she uses to condemn all the fairer sex as failures unless they have a real job – you know, one with a real pay check. Without one you just aren’t equal. Because “there really is only one kind of equality … and it’s economic. If you can’t pay your own rent, you are not an adult. You are a dependent.”

[T]hese women are the reason their husbands think all women are dumb … As it happens, fewer than 5 percent of the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, 16 percent of corporate executives, and 17 percent of law partners are female. The men, the husbands of the 1 percent, are on trading floors or in office complexes with other men all day, and to the extent that they see anyone who isn’t male it’s pretty much just secretaries and assistants.

There you have it: the reason women earn less than men, the reason women hit a glass ceiling, the reason women are not 51% of CEO’s, corporate executives, law partners – or elected officials – is their own fault. It has nothing to do with discrimination, with centuries of being chattel, of having few to no rights, with living in a society where the power continues to remain vested primarily with white males.

It’s all “because feminism has misread its mission of equality” and “being a mother isn’t really work.”

In other words: being equal means you don’t have the right to choose.

Perhaps you feel controversy might help you sell magazines. At least let the controversy be based on well-informed and well-reasoned (if differing) opinions. Not pretentious, pompous poop like this.

Sincerely,
Wisconsinwit

Mythical Creatures

Tooth Fairy. Bigfoot. Hassle-free rebates.

Proctor and Gamble, that sexist Satan worshipping corporate alter-ego for the devil incarnate, offers rebates. Lots of rebates. They suck you into buying their stuff by offering you stuff in return. Good stuff like money and cookware.

And you believe it. (Cue evil laugh.)

It starts so innocently. And it’s so easy! Just buy an electron microscope, read the fine print on the rebate form, mail the completed form and required proofs of purchase to the P.O. box in Strongsville Ohio and, in a few short weeks, a set of highly desirable and exceedingly valuable cookware will be yours, free!

And you believe it.

Two weeks later, my envelope was returned to me marked “return to sender – no such address.”

I got out the microscope so I could read the contact number on the form. I called. The people at Proctor and Gamble said that was impossible.

After I explained I was Satan’s niece and could sniff out whoever had stamped “return to sender” on the envelope, they said I could fax or email it to them.

I faxed it, within minutes, writing “Attn: Karen” on it with my phone number, as I was directed.

A few days later, I found a message on my answering machine from Theresa telling me that she understood I wanted to submit my rebate via fax so call her back to arrange it.

Which of course I already had done.  And of course the only way Theresa could have my number was if she had received my fax.

I decided, despite possessing Satanic powers, to just scan all the rebate materials and email them.

The next day, I received an email from “Sade” at P&G Promotions, addressed to “Dear Minnesota Wit.”

Yes, you are correct. My name – which is clearly written on everything – is not Minnesota Wit.

Sade promised she had received my “information and will send it over to Special Handling. This process will take 3-5 weeks to get the rebate sent out to you.”

Thirteen weeks later, I started to wonder where it was.

Phone call #1: We have no record of you submitting anything.

Phone call #2: We received your submission, but it was never processed. No, we don’t know why and we have no way of ever learning why someone stuck your submission in a drawer and never processed it. We’ve never heard of “Sade.” Or “Karen.” Or “Theresa.” And we ran out of cookware in December, no sets are available, so we are sending $50 gift cards.

The next day, they sent me this email:

Thank you for participating in the P&G Breast Cancer Awareness Program. Your submission has been received and is currently being processed. Your FREE Pink Cookware set will arrive in 10 – 12 weeks.

The next day, they sent me this email:

Your submission was processed and shipped Fedex smart Post three days ago. You should receive it shortly.

Phone call #3: What does “shortly” mean? Because it’s not happening.

Phone call #4: The last time I called, you said “shortly” actually means 6-10 days but that would mean already here and it’s not.

Phone call #5: The last time I called, you said that 6-10 days actually means 6-10 business days but that would mean here by last Friday and it’s not.

Phone call #6: The last time I called, you said it actually didn’t get shipped until Friday and that it would be here today and it’s not.

Phone call #7: The last time I called, you said it actually shipped on Thursday and that it would be here today and it’s not.

And that’s when they said they were sending me a gift card in addition to the cookware and it should be here tomorrow. Via special delivery by Santa and his team of unicorns.

Edward Bulwer Who?

Someone, somewhere, gets paid to write stuff like this:

I’ve read this publish and if I may just I wish to counsel you some fascinating things or advice.

They have to be paid – who else besides Lewis Carroll would spend their time making up jabberwocky? Unless, perhaps, maybe their entire family was kidnapped, bound with duct tape and is now being forced to watch endless repeats of The Wiggles. Think I’m kidding? Try watching. Within 15 minutes you’ll be reduced to a whimpering puddle of protoplasm. Now imagine your granny being forced to watch. You’d write anything they asked.

I only say this because I actually read spam. Or rather, purported spam.  Because not everything sent to your spam box really is spam. I learned a long time ago that spam filters were designed by someone who felt wronged by a cruel world which had failed to recognize his evil genius, condemning him to a lifetime of spam writing instead of fulfilling his destiny as the galactic emperor.

So he vented his anger by creating an algorithm that randomly routes emails to the spam box even when the email is from your boss who has sent you an email thousands of times before but the one time he emails you an offer for that dream job in Paris and needs your answer within an hour that email will not go to your inbox. Instead, ten days later you will find it in your spam box – assuming you’re smart enough to check it every ten days.

But that’s just email spam. WordPress blog spam is not the mundane, incoherent “drug-rolex-webcam-Nigerian bank deposit” type of spam. At first I thought if  might be poetry,  but then I realized that this spam aspires to greater heights:

The International Whistlers Convention is held on the campus of Louisburg College. If you have purchased a used option, you’ll most likely want to call in tractor services so that you can get help fixing any issues that might be lingering within the machine. He frequented the nearby Audubon Society sanctuary in Sharon, where he took great interest in all the birds.

The Squishee Tantric Massage is 16″ x retreats with a diverse mountain range of services and therapies. Keep in nous that dedicated points in pelvic storey muscles and the carmine areas are the referred pain due to the initiation points. after you volition take a whisk and combined the ingredients knowingness you can increase the character of your intimate life. The team physio for Call you back.

You can find membership sites that provide instruction is particular things like how to play the guitar. The lessons are obtainable only to members of the site, although those who will not be members can view what subjects think you are taught in the lessons.

In other words, these are algorithm-misdirected entries in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton,  who wrote this: It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

The contest “challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.” Sentences like these:

The holiday happens to coincide with the end-of-the-season for many of the
Island’s young summer employees and brings on a last chance for partying hearty on Mackinac Island; some people even remodel their garages at the same time they build a pool.

As an ornithologist, George was fascinated by the fact that urine and feces mix in birds’ rectums to form a unified, homogeneous slurry that is expelled through defecation, although eying Greta’s face, and sensing the reaction of the congregation, he immediately realized he should have used a different analogy to describe their relationship in his wedding vows.*

In Southwestern Germany just east of the Luxemburg border and north of France where history pitted various related Hapsburg Royals against each other and the Archbishops of Trier, the Abbots of St. Maximin, various members of the nobility, and mobs of axe-bearing villagers, there stands a ruin whose building stones mostly were carted off to build other buildings.*

*Actual contest winners.

I rest my case.

What’s Wrong with America

Today’s News:

Julianne Hough Hits The Beach For Friend ‘Therapy’ After Split From Ryan Seacrest

Duchess: Hoping for baby boy, William wants girl

Honey Boo Boo’s Mom Gets Makeover

Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert Laugh Off Cheating Rumors

Lindsay Lohan Arrives 48 Minutes Late for Start of Trial

Kim Kardashian Has Gross “Smell Off” With Kourtney and Khloe

Match Made In Heaven

I hate to clean. It’s a boring waste of time because you just have to do it all over again six months later. My idea of heaven is someone cleaning my house for me. I mean – it couldn’t get any better than that, right?

Wrong.

It could get better: someone who would clean my house. And. Pay. Me. To. Do. It.

I’m not kidding.

Seriously. This guy on craigslist just posted an ad offering $300 per hour if you let him clean your house. That’s it. Just let him clean your house.

All right, so yeah, you might have to yell at him while he’s doing it, because he’s looking for “stern treatment” but who cares? He’s paying you! Even better – point out all the dust he missed and tell him to do it again. Because – and I’m not kidding around – that is exactly what he wants:

someone to be a dominant force in my life, and have me compensate them monetarily … Activities could include public humiliation, me doing chores for you (cleaning your place, washing your car, running errands for you, etc.) or any number of other things. I know that this might sound odd but I will work with anyone interested in any way possible to insure that you are comfortable with the process.”

Publicly humiliate someone? Make them do chores? Treat them as a slave? My children told me I did that for years!

I sure hope no one else has answered this ad:

Looking for stern treatment

I am looking for a woman, group of women, or couple to provide me with ‘stern treatment.’ I know that this may sound odd but by stern treatment I mean that I am looking for someone to be a dominant force in my life, and have me compensate them monetarily … Activities could include public humiliation, me doing chores for you (cleaning your place, washing your car, running errands for you, etc.) or any number of other things. I know that this might sound odd but I will work with anyone interested in any way possible to insure that you are comfortable with the process.”
Compensation: Up to 300 per hour

Breaking Report: Man’s Best Friend Shoots Man

A Florida man was in his truck with his dog when, in a shocking move that caught the man completely by surprise, the dog suddenly kicked a gun that was on the truck’s floor. The gun went off, shooting the man in the leg.

“I was driving down the road with Rover like I always do – Rover loves going for rides – when my dog kicked my unloaded .380 pistol which I always just leave laying on the floor of my truck because you never know when you might need it and it was unloaded so it was perfectly safe. Then my unloaded gun fired, shooting a bullet into my leg. It happened so fast. I heard a boom, then I saw smoke, then I felt a burning sensation in my leg. At first I thought maybe one of them atomic bombs had gone off and got mighty scared. Then I thought maybe it was a miracle and that scared me too.”

He was surprised to learn that not only was his gun loaded, it was actually a 9mm weapon, not a .380. “But I know the gun wasn’t loaded. So how in the world?” He turned and looked at his dog.

The police ruled the shooting accidental.

I’m not making this stuff up

You’re minding your own business, out for a breath of fresh air as you take your dog for a quick walk around the block with your 12 year-old son.

Suddenly, you spy a plastic bag on the sidewalk. Naturally, anyone with any amount of curiosity is going to look into the bag to see if there’s anything worth taking. But this is the Bronx in New York City. So, as you move to open the bag  and notice a car circling the block, you know it can only mean one thing: whoever is in that car wants to take the bag away from you.

So you do what any paranoid scavenger in the Bronx does: you take the bag around the corner and look inside, where you spy two hands and a shoulder.

At this point, do you do what normal people do? Do you scream and throw up?  Of course not! This is the Bronx in New York City: you’re not even surprised. You do what anyone in that neighborhood would do: send your 12 year-old son home to call the police and – this is the important part because you have to have your priorities straight – you leave the bag there and continue to walk your dog.

Then, when you come upon a suitcase two blocks away and your dog sits down next to it, do you do what normal people do and decide maybe you should wait for the police?  Of course not! This is the Bronx in New York City:  you’re going to open the suitcase to see if there’s anything worth taking.

So you open the suitcase, only to be disappointed because all that’s inside is a woman’s torso wearing a bra. At this point, do you do what normal people do? Do you scream and throw up?  Of course not! This is the Bronx in New York City. You’re going to keep walking your dog! But by then the police arrive and keep you from finding the plastic bag further down the street that contained a leg and a foot, and the nearby black suitcase with a leg and the woman’s head.

Seriously.  I’m not kidding: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Body-Parts-Found-Bronx-Police-NYPD-193246311.html