Dear Vendor: Whass-a-Mattah, You?

"Slimed" by the author
"Slimed" by the author

[The text that follows will be re-written to include all entities that irk me; this will only be one article, combining the rest. I don't believe a series is workable.]

"Whass-a-mattah, You?"

How often have we heard or used that phrase, when seeing that something is obviously wrong with someone’s logic, or when what they say is totally unfounded or off-kilter? That phrase can say a lot without having to explain the details, sometimes. It’s quite a clever argument in and of itself, and I’d like to know who originated it (an Italian?).

But I would like to take the torch, and run with it for a new series with this title. There are so many things in this world that needs to have this question asked. For many years, when something has happened that irked me, I usually just let it roll off my back. But the older I get, the crankier I become. I can’t just stay silent much longer over the stupid things people and entities do to me and to the world around me.

I consider this series a way to get back at those who have offended me, irked me, or just plain acted stupid (Stupid, for this series, means anything that isn’t “yeah, yeah,” or “nay, nay.” I don't know what that means, but it will be defined by what I write on this series in the future.) I also consider it a light-hearted roast for entities that have done things quite innocently, but that evoke a humorous response from me. So hopefully, we’ll be having some fun with this.

Also, I "so" have to slam the political correctness that is invading our world. If we let it go unchecked, we'll end up calling "Kentucky Fried Chicken" "Blue-grass-style hot oil-processed digestive-friendly gallinaceous protein." I believe that David Kupelian, managing editor of WND, editor of Whistleblower magazine, and author of the best-selling book, The Marketing of Evil, has the right idea. He said, "The whole idea of political correctness is an assault on the freedom of the human mind."

Yah, David: Let's call Kentucky-Fried Chicken "Half-burnt herb-smeared road-kill!" (Say THAT five times real fast.)

Here are some examples of other things I’ll be making fun of: Photos on food labels that don’t quite match the actual product. Claims or mottos of certain companies that are written just to have a motto, but which are not seen in their actions. How (or why) people talk. For example, you are painting a sign with blue paint, and someone asks, “You’re painting a sign with blue paint?” Or: You just got back from your two-week vacation. Someone walks up to you as you’re getting out of the car, and asks, “Oh! Are you just getting back?”

I also must to do a spoof on certain commercials, especially medicine. For example (Let's make up a product, here): “Buy Aximetelin for your warts (Don’t take it if you have asthma. Consult a doctor if you are pregnant. Aximetelin cannot be taken for longer than six days. If you begin to feel like someone is watching you, Aximetelin is probably not for you. Don’t take other bromide pills with Aximetelin, as it can cause heart burn, dilatitis, nausea, amnesia, pedophilia, and schizophrenia. Don’t take Aximetelin if you began schooling at the age of five, or if you didn’t graduate from high school. Aximetelin cannot be taken with milk, hard water, soda pop, beer, Vodka, liquid sugar, vinegar, any cocktail mix, or anything containing artificial flavors. If diabetes runs in your family . . . . etc., etc., and etc.). And don’t forget to ask your doctor about on your next visit!” Notice the length of the disclaimer, in relation to the length of the plug.

The need to cover our butts and be politically correct turns vendors and people in the public eye into . . . (can we coin a new word here, as this is a new entity we're creating?), say, "Po-Copiers," the acronym for Political Correctness and Paranoia-Impaired monkeys."

The subsequent articles I write will not all be for our "po-copiers" or for the commercial world. They will slam about anybody or anything that deserves to be roasted, just to address the cathartic needs within us to bully someone (the selection of politically-correct words purposefully avoided). "See you on the other side."

Here's a link to the first article:

I bought a carton of Orange Crush, one day, and when I opened the first can, I tasted something so strange, that the only flavor I could think of was "arm pit." Now, I will admit that sometimes, my chemical make-up for the day may have an influence on how my taste buds work. Sometimes when I'm sick, this happens. So it's possible the Orange Crush was in optimum condition. So I tried one can on my wife. She agreed, but she doesn't like Orange Crush. Anyway, I decided to notify the manufacturer, just in case they would want some feedback, or in case they received other similar complaints.

But the satire in me couldn't just do it with a letter; I had to decide I'd help them with an advertisement that adapted to the taste, just in case they didn't feel like improving the flavor. Therefore, I painted the picture you see at the top of this article.

The company is called Dr. Pepper/7up. They responded with an apology, an assurance they are always checking for the highest quality, and they also sent me a coupon for a greatly reduced rate on another pack of soda.

Now, let's see how many people called in to Dr. Pepper and ask for Armpit soda.

T Mobile:

My wife subscribed to a cell-phone account with T-Mobile, and bought two phones, one for me, and one for her. One day, she went for a lengthy shopping extravaganza (what shopping spree for a woman is not an extravaganza?). While she was gone, I got an important call on our land phone, asking for my wife. I reported that I would get a message to her. My wife’s cell phone number was recorded in the cell phone given to me by my wife. So I went to the cell phone to look up the number. The cell phone’s battery was dead. I looked around for the recharger unit, found it, then took a good look at the connection, so I could find the associated plug on the cell phone.

There was no discernable opening that resembled the plug I was holding in my hand. So I looked for some type of access door. There was one little panel that was outlined by a rectangular division in the casing, and it was about the size of the recharger plug. But it had no handle, nor any other feature that might hint at how it could be opened.

I played with the panel for a few minutes before I finally decided that this old fogie didn’t have the modern technological prowess to open the panel. So I looked up the number for T-Mobile. After I dialed the number, the woman on the other end asked for the account number. But after I gave it, she said, “Are you [the account-holder, which in this case was my wife; we’ll call her Priscilla]?”

I answered, “No, this is Sam R- . . .” “I’m sorry, sir, but I am not authorized to discuss this account with anybody else but Priscilla Richardson.”

I answered, “Well, I’m her husband.”

“That doesn’t matter, Sir. I am only authorized to talk to your wife.”

“I don’t want to discuss the account, I just want to- . . .”

“Sir, is your wife available? Put her on the phone, and we can get her to authorize this conversation.”

“She’s not here, but I only need to know how to- . . .”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I am not authorized to discuss this account with anybody else but Priscilla Richardson.”

“It’s just a technical question.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I am not authorized to discuss this account with anybody else but Priscilla Richardson.”

“I just need to know how to recharge this- . . .”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I am not authorized to discuss this account with anybody else but Priscilla Richardson.”

“Are you at all flexible?”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I am not authorized to discuss this account- . . .”

“. . . with Priscilla Richardson. Yes; I’ve already memorized that part. But I have an emergency situation here, and I need to know how to . . .”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I am not authorized to discuss this account with anybody else but . . .”

“Are you a machine, or do you have a human element in your mission statement?”

“Sir, I am only doing my job.”

“When I say ‘you,’ I’m referring to the company. This is nothing personal against you.”

“Sir, I shouldn’t be talking to you, but to your wife, Priscilla Richardson.”

For this next one, I thought I better just hurry and say it, to see if I could show I didn’t want to discuss the account, but only a how-to question:

“How do I open the recharger plug?”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I am not authorized to discuss this account with anybody else but Priscilla Richardson.”

“Well, be bold, creative, and human; just help me out in this emergency.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I am not authorized to discuss this account with . . .”

I think I know what she said, but I didn’t stick around to find out: I hung up the phone.

You know, funny thing: the clowns at T-Mob don’t want anything to do with such filth as me, but when I write them a check for the monthly bill, I don't get any rejection, nor any "go away, scumbag" message. It's like . . . magic!

So now, T-Mob qualifies for a help from me on how to advertise without lying: Their original mission statement says, in part, "The value of our plans, the breadth of our coverage, the reliability of our network, and the quality of our service are meant to do one thing: help you stick together with the people who make your life come alive. That’s why we’re here."

I'm now altering it for them, for free, no charge: "The value of our plans, the breadth of our coverage, the reliability of our network, and the quality of our service to only those account-holders on record are meant to do two things: help you stick together with the scumbags you and we tolerate, and to make them sorry they didn't get their own phone. That’s why we’re here."

Zion's First National Bank:
After the divorce from my first wife, I, of course, was awarded the bills. While I was married, my wife had paid the bills; she was the financial whiz. But now it was my turn to handle them. Among those bills was the debt with Zions First National Bank. I learned from my wife, the arm-chair accountant, that you don’t pay credit card bills late, if you don’t want a sudden debilitating blow to your fast foods allowance. So I first concentrated on the Zions credit card account. I looked for the latest bill, so I could know if it was paid or not. It was no where around; the move to bachelorhood was quite a whirlwind, so the bill was “gone with the wind.” I’m not easily defeated, so I looked up the number to Zions Bank and called them, ready to recite my account number. I was also ready to give them my new address. I was secretly showing my ex-wife that I had a good helping of financial whiz after all. After a connection was made and they were on the right page with me, I asked, “When is my next bill due?” After some “uhh’s” and “let’s see’s,” she came back with “June 15th.”

I asked, “Are you sure? This is May 10th, and June 15th is more than a month away.”

“No, the May bill has already been paid.”

“Hmmm! Well my ex must have really been a snap for paying the bills, then.”

“Yes. No need to send money, now. You have ‘til June 15th.”

“Thank you! You have a nice day!”

“You too.” Just before the click disconnected us, I thought I heard an evil laugh, but that could have been my imagination.

On or around May 30th, I received a statement from Zion’s First National Bank. It had my name and my new address, so I knew this was my statement. As I looked at the statement, I noticed . . . what else, but a late fee. Those days, it was about 40 or 50 dollars.

After recovering from the shock, I smiled, and said to myself that this was obviously an error, because of a lack of communication.

I decided to call right away, to clear this up. I dialed the number with an understanding grin on my face. After the connection was made and my account was brought up in front of the lady who was helping me, I said, “The last person I talked to said I didn’t need to pay until June 15th. So I didn’t . . .”

“Who did you talk to?”

“Well, I didn’t write down her name . . .”

“We have no record of that, Sir.”

“Uhh, well, don’t you have a record of a phone conversation on or around May 10th?”

“No we don’t, Sir.”

“Well, I talked with someone. The name Jill comes to mind; something like that.”

“Well, it remains, Sir, that you have a late fee incurred on your account, for not paying on time.”

“But I didn’t have my latest bill, to know whether or not the money was sent. You see, I’m just recently divorced, and . . .”

“The contract that you signed says that you are responsible for a timely payment, even if the circumstances don’t allow it.”

It was time for my trump card: “I’ve been your customer for about twenty years, now, faithful and never a late payment. Can’t you show you are grateful for all my business, and my referrals, and word-of-mouth advertising for you? That ought to account for something.”

“The rules are the rules, Sir.”

“What? I thought ‘the customers is always right.’ But you people do have a human element, don’t you?” Next, I decided to talk bank talk, to see if they would be impressed enough to lighten up: “I’m hard-pressed, for the moment, as I now have about one-third liquidity that I had before, and this late fee will . . .”

(She wasn’t impressed) “I can’t change your late fee, Sir. The computer is set up to incur it, and it’s already done it.”

“You can’t? Or you won’t? Are you controlled by computers? I thought we controlled them. This is scary!”

“Is there anything else I can do for you Sir?”

“Uhh, Sure! Please amend the late fee.” I was going again for intimidating jargon.

“If there is nothing else, Sir, I must hang up.”

“Have you ever been a divorced man?”

To my readers: My ear has mostly recovered, and my trauma returns only about once a year in the form of mild nightmares if I eat late at night.

Later, I watched an advertisement from Zions First National Bank. They ended it with “We never forgot who keeps us in business.”

My jaw dropped. I wanted to laugh out a sardonic guffaw that would have shook the apartment building. But that was replaced by a desire to change their mission statement to a more “truthful” one: “We really don’t give a damn about those who keep us in business.”

Mazda Cars

This is another Hub on the series that makes fun of people and manufacturers. I'd like to roast Mazda cars, and stick deodorant.

Before you buy your next car, I suggest you walk about 30 feet to its front and take a good, long look. While you're taking in the view, make a mental note of where you'll be taking this car, and who will be seeing it. Consider the picture at the right: Cover up the windshield part, squint your eyes and what do you see? Anything that looks like a David Letterman postcard?

If you buy this car, I hope you never take it to a funeral, especially if the deceased has left you a fortune.

They say that a car tends to reflect its owner's personality. Well, there must be continually happy people in Salt Lake City, because I'm seeing this car quite often in my neighborhood.

Anatomy of a deodorant stick

Deodorant Sticks

When you buy a deodorant stick like the one pictured at the right, you might think you're getting enough armpit medicine for the next two years. But after reading this article, you might start to wonder if you're getting ripped off.

I took apart a deodorant dispenser - the kind that is shown here. I found that the actual amount of deodorant gel is less than half the size of the container. After you take off the cap, there's this cute device that sits on top of that deodorant material. This, I guess, is supposed to ensure that the gel remains sealed so as not to harden. But it takes up the space inside the cap - the part above the area labeled "A."

Later, I'll tell you what "A" is for; but for now, I'm moving on to "B:"

The deodorant gel is found in the greenish area labeled "B." Inside of that gel is a threaded shaft (indicated by the white arrow) that helps the riser plunger (I don't know its real name, so I'm making it up for this article) ("C") to push up the gel (with the aid of the knurled wheel at the bottom) as the gel is used up. I don't know why the plunger ("C") is so thick, unless it's an engineering must in order to work properly. But if I didn't know better, I'd think its thickness is due to greed (It helps to reduce the amount of gel that's put in there).

The supposition above is based only my suspicious nature, and not on any known or logical facts. But if I don't air out my suspicions, then they'll probably grow until it turns into persecuted syndrome or worse.

Now, the icing on the cake: I had one brand of deodorant stick with the following (paraphrased) warning on the label: "When you see the hole appear in the center of the deodorant gel, this is a sign that the deodorant is nearing its end, and it's time to buy a new stick."

Can you believe that? Now THAT goes beyond mere suspicion, and is looking at greed right in the face! This means that the amount of deodorant used - before "having to buy a new stick" is indicated by the area labeled "A." That, my friends, is one-tenth the height of the dispenser! How dumb do deodorant purchasers look? I suggest we put on a more discerning face when we buy deodorant, and maybe the manufacturers won't think they can continue to insult our intelligence.

This article is not meant to change the world, because I'll probably just keep on buying deodorant sticks.

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