Monthly Archives: September 2011

Negotiations are now underway

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So yesterday, because we have limited intelligence, we loaded the Collective Spawn up for a drive to Scary Acres, a piece of forested property owned by my Aunt Scary.

She’s not really scary.  Well, not that scary.  She called herself that in jest when she gave a birthday card with a shark on it to Elder Spawn.  One of her sons wondered if it wouldn’t be too scary for Delia, who I think was turning just a year old, so she jokingly signed it Aunt Scary.  Delia doesn’t spook easily and the card didn’t phase her, but she will forever be Aunt Scary to us.

At any rate, there was, predictably, an episode in which the two younger spawn chose to strike one another with stuffed animals and poke at one another with their various appendages, screeching all the while.  Entreaties to cease and desist had no effect, and so The Lovely Rhonda raised threat level to Defcon 11 and Pulled The Van Over.  The stuffed toys were confiscated and dire warning was issued.

Thus did negotiations begin with the older of the two.  WELL I CAN’T SETTLE DOWN WITHOUT MY STUFFED NAME BRAND BEAR ™ SO I’M GOING TO SCREAM UNTIL I GET MY WAY.

No, you are mistaken.  If you scream Name Brand Bear ™ will become the property of the acting government of this van and subject to appropriation for war efforts, i.e. stuffed into Rest Stop Garbage Can.

WELL THEN I’M GOING TO CALL YOU A POOPYHEAD UNTIL YOU GIVE MY NAME BRAND BEAR ™ BACK.

No, again you are mistaken.  You may not call your mother a poopyhead. You may be quiet and read or look out the window and NOT poke anyone with anything, and after a time you may receive your property back.

WELL THEN I’M GOING TO (continues to threaten various acts, all of which were shot down)

Finally she was forced to concede and sat in mute fury for a time, during which we generals sat up front and discussed allowable acts of protest:

WELL THEN I’M GOING TO GESTURE AT YOU

Gestures are permitted so long as the tongue remains hidden from view and no middle fingers are utilized.

WELL THEN I’M GOING TO THINK BAD THOUGHTS ABOUT YOU

Thinking bad thoughts is not a violation of the Chrysler Town & Country Convention of 2011, but may lead to disciplinary action in the event that the aforementioned thoughts are voiced loudly enough to be heard by any occupant of the vehicle.

WELL THEN I’M GOING TO THROW THINGS

No item may be thrown within the confines of the vehicle.  Items thrown become the property of the presiding command.

WELL THEN I’M GOING TO BE SO ANGRY THAT I MAKE MYSELF THROW UP

Perpetrators of voluntary emesis will be barred from transportation in the vehicle except for purposes unrelated to voluntary leisure activity.  Allowable activities include school, the dentist, and interminable boring grown-up errands.  In the event of fun leisure activities, such perpetrators will be left at home with the manny while the rest of us have alleged fun at establishments specializing in activities such as, but not limited to, bouncing on germ-riddled inflatable equipment, playing console games at pizza parlors featuring costumed rodentia, and climbing through claustrophobia-inducing tunnels until somebody gets lost.

WELL THEN YOU SUCK AND I HATE YOU

Duly noted.

WELL THEN NOBODY LOVES ME AND I’M GOING TO BE A DRUG-USING SATAN-WORSHIPPING SULLEN TEEN OF LOOSE MORALS

Your room at the nunnery has been reserved since the day of your 20-week ultrasound.

WELL THEN can I have a fruit snack?

Never Again I MEAN IT

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So we paid off my two crappy high interest rate credit cards recently.

It turns out that credit card companies really hate it when you want to pay them off, and they make it difficult to do so.  You have to OVERPAY them and then they issue you a refund.

I sat in the loan officer’s office and called AdventureCard first.  I need a payoff quote, I told the Hired Stooge.  I’m closing my account.  Okay! came the cheerful reply, here’s the amount, and I’m closing the account per your request.  And then the usual folderol about how they could possibly help me in any other capacity, and have a nice day, and whatever.  Seemed easy.

Too easy.

A month later, long after receiving my check, they attempted to assess an interest charge.  I called them.  Well I see no record of a request for payoff.  It looks as though you just made a balance inquiry, says Bitchy Account Representative.   But I didn’t make a balance inquiry, I tell her.  I specifically stated that I wanted a payoff quote.  Well Hired Stooge should have explained the process which is that we estimate the accrued interest for ten days past the date of your call and you pay that and then we refund you the difference, says BAR.  But he didn’t do that, he just told me a number and that was it, I tell her.  Well I wasn’t there and I can’t confirm that, it’s not recorded here, she says. Well then you need to talk to Hired Stooge, then.  Because we based the loan on the amount he quoted me.  Yes ma’am, she says.  But you still owe for the charge.

The next day The Lovely Rhonda calls back, speaks firmly to someone higher up the food chain, and the charge is dropped.   She’s so much better at this than I am.

On to BlasterCard.  The account was overpaid (because their representative actually gave me a payoff quote and not a stupid balance) but two weeks later they attempted to assess an interest charge.  I called them today.

This should be read with a comically exaggerated Heavy Accent, Not Otherwise Specified:

Hello ma’am my name is (something foreign), how may I help you?

(I explain the issue)

Yes ma’am, I do show a balance in your favor of sixty dollars and some change.  I can issue that back to you in the form of a check.

(No, I said that a charge was assessed two weeks after the account was closed, the balance should be twice that much, that’s why I’m calling.)

Yes ma’am, I can send you that amount of sixty dollars and some change.

(SIR YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME.  I SAID A CHARGE. WAS ASSESSED.  TO MY ACCOUNT.  TWO WEEKS.  AFTER.  IT WAS CLOSED.  MY REFUND SHOULD BE A HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS.)

*fumble fumble* Yes ma’am I must place you on the hold while I look into this matter.

(precious minutes of my life pass during which I age exponentially faster than usual; when our friend Some Foreign Guy returns, it is all I can do to hold the phone up in my shriveled, decrepit hand)

Eh, yes ma’am, it will take some days to look into this matter.  You must to call back on the Tuesday.

And so I shall call back on the Tuesday.  To arrange for my own money to be returned to me.