3-26-2004 I'm back

Bummer, dudes and all non-dudes. I'm back.

I have been a bit distracted for the past few days. It all started with a complete physical I underwent courtesy of the doc. He reduced me to being a lab rat and just when I thought the process was completed, he sent me to Mercy for some Muckity-Muck tests of some sort. Jab, poke, prod, what the hell? Violate me any which way your flabby heart desires. And then he delivered the completely unexpected bad news. Despite all of the exercise I get and despite the fact that I will not eat anything that ever excreted anything solid, my rapidly advancing age has apparently delivered a crushing blow. Despite the fact that I still feel seventeen, the fact that I still think like a seventeen year-old, and the fact that I still look seventeen from the neck down, according to him, I'll probably never dunk a basketball again.

I could embrace a sudden depression and start eating something expensive, imported, and immensely fattening. I could hang myself from the closest unpruned tree. This is Wilkes-Barre, of course. Drinking a couple of pints of Mad Dog and holding my family hostage for a few hours might help until the cops bust in a swingin' and a cursin'. Maybe there's a way I could blame this on Mcg. Doc says I need to accept the limitations that aging a bit has placed upon me, but I say he can roll that advice and smoke it after lighting a tiny sulphur preparation provided to him, free of charge, by the less than friendly clerk at Turkey Hill. Slow down? Give up? Not a freakin' chance. Try even more miles on the Stomper and the weights getting a thorough dusting off. I'd rather go Super Nova than fade away very gracefully. My immaturity is showing.

I have never been comfortable with allowing anyone access to my checking account. It's never caused me any sort of malfunction, but I always knew that day would surely come. It had to. Corporate America and the U.S. government see us as nothing more than occasionally annoying revenue sources, so I knew the day would come when the electronic draining of my account would cause me grief. When I got out of bed on Tuesday morning and turned on this expensive bubble machine, grief grabbed me by my (What's the latest from Ethel?) grotesquely undersized and malformed jock strap inhabitants. The message from AOL was: Would you like to reactivate your account, or somewhere thereabouts. The Columbo in me suddenly rose to the surface. 'Scuse me mamm...

Here's the scoop. The company that provides me with a service that I just about never utilize, charged their yearly stipend against my checking account with nary a warning. Being on the tail end of a lay-off, my checking account was just about threadbare as it was. Despite being an AOL customer longer than I care to remember, at the very first hint of an electronic non-payment, AOL wanted nothing further to do with a deadbeat like me. Okay, fine. Whatever. What I find interesting is that AOL, the largest internet provider in this hopelessly adrift country, could, or would not send me an e-mail heads up before turning the high-tech screws on me. The very split-second that I was no longer a viable revenue source to the corporate headquarters, I was terminated. And despite being a loyal, paying customer for some five years now, today I was reduced to applying for a new AOL account.

I have warned those mo'muckers at the auto club for two consecutive years that I wanted to be notified before they tagged me for $89.95. What a silly, silly revenue source I am. I gave them my card number. Despite being their customer, they need not respond to any of my annoying requests. They have my card number. Apparently, I will do as I am told until the rights to my private information are sold. Silly, silly, and completely annoying revenue source.

Well, guess what. Both Allstate and AOL are about to lose yet another customer. AOL has already lost 2 million subscribers since September 2003, and I'm happy to help accelerate their rapid and steady decline to insolvency. I have no idea where Allstate stands in the industry that most closely resembles legalized organized crime, but I know they're out $90 for this fiscal year. The boycott list unexpectedly grew by two this week. Customer service? Nope. Customers in service to the share holders.

And don't bother to yank my wank about my recent checking account balance. While I normally net about $1,500 every two weeks while drilling the hell out of homes near you, I net $844 every two weeks while laid-off. Could I have planned ahead? I did. Did I ask Allstate for a friendly, yearly reminder before they went to hacking? Yup. Did they honor that request? Not on your life! They have my card number. Why listen to any of my bullsh*t? That is to say, they had my card number. They had my business. And AOL's life expectancy on this 'puter gizmo is extremely short. It seems to me that these conglomerates need to realize that us folks out here are not merely account numbers to be accessed. Us folks out here are supposed to be more than account numbers. Yeah! Listen to me.

Lar, look me up. We either figure out how to once and for all get this technically-challenged and pricy Verizon software working correctly already, or I am abandoning this internet experience forever and I will never look back. AOL sucks deformed dongs.

Does anyone recall what happened to my brother's Grand Prix? He paid a neighbor $350 to replace a fuel pump in July, 2003 and never laid eyes on that car again. He huffed and puffed at the neighbor's wife for months on end, but she played stupid. A week before Christmas, my brother turned to me for help. I told him to call his local police department, in this case, the Kingston Township cops. All that we knew was that the car was in Wilkes-Barre, supposedly on Fulton street. The Kingston Township boys said to contact the Wilkes-Barre boys. That we did. The car could not be located by either the Wilkes-Barre boys, or myself as I did a property by property search of that idiot magnet of an alley. Both the Wilkes-Barre boys and the Kingston Township boys told us this was a civil matter and that we'd have to approach a magistrate.

That didn't make much sense to us. You pay a guy to fix the car, he takes the car away, and then you never, ever see it again. Is there a law, or laws that need to be tweaked just a tiny bit? Whatever. Mucked again. We really didn't expect to see the car again. Sure, my bro' could take the thief to the magistrate, but the car was probably buried next to Jimmy Hoffa at this point. Right? Or chopped for parts? Or ferrying elementary school students in Alaska? Fu*k it! It's a civil matter. Who cares?

Guess what? A mutual friend noticed a green Grand Prix parked behind ABC Auto in Hunlocks Creek yesterday. He also noticed all of the lottery tickets scattered across the floor of that car. And then he called my brother. And then my brother charged on down to Hunlock's Creek. And he recognized his own car. And then the owner of ABC Auto played stupid. And then the State Police from Berwick responded to the scene. And ABC Auto had no title for said vehicle, but claimed that the guy, Frank Zimmerman, who had it towed there promised to produce one. And Frank also promised to split the profits if the fly-by-night junk yard profiteers would simply fix the car and then resell it. And then the staties decided this was not a civil matter afterall, they impounded the car, and claimed it was going to be dusted for prints.

The only reason that this was a civil matter was because I talked my brother out of stalking and crushing the very last breath out of the flim-flam trailer parker, Bob Briggs, that took his money, promised him services in return, and then went AWOL for seven months.

If a guy promises to fix your car, takes your car, and you later find it at some redneck chop shop with 10,000 more miles on the odometer, should it not also be a civil matter if we follow the perpetrators one night and bust every one of their ribs? I'll tell ya' what. If the staties don't do us justice, we're going halves on a $200 pick-up truck and we're headed for the nearby Ozarks for some after hours justice. And there's gonna be more than moonshine flowin'.

I know we're all supposed to hit the streets running with brooms in hand tomorrow, but I'll have to sit this one out. For starters, I have to work in the morning. And after noon, we've got Taylor Kate's 1st birthday party at the top of the agenda.

Wifey has enough food on hand to feed 72 virgins and the beer and wine coolers are being chilled as I babble. All three of my children will be in attendance, as will my three grandchildren and some old friends as well. You know the music is gonna get pumped up sooner or later, so don't be shocked when foundations start crumbling nearby.

To those of you that know me, feel free to join in after 7 pm, but it'll be a BYOB event at that point.

I gotta go. I may be back, but there's way too much going on here to post anything of note while I'm being pelted with toys and whatnot.