Friday, August 28, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (New Clothes)

“Did you ever…?”
by Melech

Did you ever wonder who designs your clothes? I do, and I have come to the conclusion that everything I buy was designed by the criminally insane with a grudge against the human race. Even the label that says; “Inspected by Number…” is no help because as soon as you are close to finding out who it is, they change their number and move to another city. I can’t prove any of this yet, but I think I’m on to something.

The shirt I bought fit just fine except for the collar, which was so tight, my face turned the colour of an over-ripe tomato, my teeth fell asleep and all my eyelashes fell out.

The jeans were no better. When I found a pair that fit it in waistline, they were so big everywhere else, there was enough fabric left over to make a cover for my car. The pair that fit everywhere else was so tight in the waistline I could only do one of two things; either wear the jeans or breathe. I could not do both.

The pullover sweater was probably the worst. After a terrible struggle and the help of two salesmen, I finally got the sweater pulled over my head when I noticed that my neck disappeared and the arms of the sweater dragged on the floor. One of the salesmen borrowed a scissors and cut the sweater off of me.

After trying on thirty-eight pairs of shoes, I settled on a pair of boots that cut off the circulation to my toes and turned them all the same colours of a Japanese fan. My toes bore an uncanny resemblance to an explosion in a paint factory. When I first looked at the boots, I said to the salesman; “Sir, believe me, I don’t have a toe I know of that goes into a point like that.” When I returned home, I discovered that the pair of socks I bought was mismatched. One of them came up over my knee and the other just barely covered my ankle. They were also two different colours. At least, they matched the colours of my toes.

I sat down at the kitchen table and called my sister on the phone. When I told her that I was on a mission to expose the clothing designers and manufacturers who have been plotting against me, she said that with the proper medication and a thousand volts a day, I should be fine in a few months. When I asked her if thought my eyelashes would grow back, she hung up on me
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“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2009 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on September 05, 2009
File #RBCOL11

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (Refund & Exchange Policy)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever wonder if the refund and exchange policy in some stores was designed to drive you to homicide?
The other day, after I finished painting the spare bedroom in my house, I went to a nearby department store to buy new drapes for the windows. When I brought them home and put them up on the curtain rods, there was something about them that didn't look right. I called my sister and asked her if she would look at them. She came over right away, took one look at them and told me that the colour was all wrong for the colour that I had painted the room. I asked her if she thought I could just make them do. She said “yes”, but only if I would finally admit that I suffered from colour dementia.

About an hour later, I was standing at the customer service desk with the drapes. The woman working behind the desk either hated her job or the entire human race or possibly both. I told her I wanted to exchange the drapes.
“No refunds or exchanges without a receipt!” she snapped.
When I handed her the receipt she said, “How do I know these drapes are from this store?”
“Your store’s name is on the receipt.” I replied.
“Well, what’s wrong with the drapes?”
“The colour isn’t right.”
“The colour looks fine to me. It’s a very nice colour.”
“Yes,” I admitted. “It’s a very nice colour and I like it, but…”

“If you like the colour, then why do you want to exchange it?”
I explained to her that although it was a very nice colour, it did not go with the colour I painted the room.
“Why don’t you just re-paint the room?” she asked. “Then you can keep the drapes and save me a lot of time and paperwork.”
“I don’t want to re-paint the room. I just finished painting it two days ago.” I explained.
She became very indignant, fixed me with a piercing look that would have paralyzed the average Bengal tiger, and said; “So now you want to blame me because you painted your room the wrong colour! Besides that, I can’t take those drapes back now because you just chewed a hole right through one of them!”

I returned home with the drapes, hung them up and because I don’t know how to sew, I patched the hole with duct tape. Later that day, my sister came over and asked why I had the same drapes and why there was duct tape on them. I explained that the tape was there to patch up the hole.
“How did they get a hole in them?” she asked.
“Well, it all started when the lady at the service desk hollered at me for painting the room the wrong colour and refusing to re-paint. I didn’t realise that I was chewing on the drapes.”
“Stop!” she said. “Don’t tell me any more. I’m either getting a headache or I’m having a stroke.”
When I asked her if she thought I should have used a hot glue gun or staples instead of duct tape, she walked out without saying “good-bye”.

“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2009 by Melech. All rights reserved.
The next column will be posted on August 28, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (The Horoscope)

“Did you ever…?”
by Melech

Did you ever wonder about the Horoscope, and how some people let it completely control their lives? Even though he says he just does it for fun, my neighbour, Mark, will not make any major or minor decisions without first consulting a multitude of charts. When Susan, Mark’s wife, asked him to move some boxes from the cellar out to the garage, Mark said that he had consulted his Horoscope and that Sagittarius was in direct conflict with Scorpio, which clearly indicated that he should not do any physical labour. Susan informed him that if the boxes were not moved straightaway, her skillet was about to come in direct conflict with his head.

I should have been suspicious of the validity of Astrology in general, when my neighbour, Bing (no relation to Crosby), asked me to read his Horoscope to him. He said he couldn’t do it himself because just the other day, his Horoscope had warned him not to do any reading for at least two weeks. I asked him what “sign” he was. “Leo”, he replied. After I finished reading, Bing said: “See? I told you! That is really me. That stuff is all real”. “Is it?” I said; “I just read Aquarius.”
As he was walking out of my house, he said that if I ever did anything like that again, he would braid my lips.

The Horoscope only held my interest for a very short time. The Astrological signs before and after mine always said great things like: “Today is your day! You will find success, fortune and romance.” My Horoscope always read like a prophecy of doom. For example, yesterday, I was finally going to clean out the refrigerator and throw away all the leftovers. Then I remembered that my Horoscope had warned me to avoid the colours blue and green. I slammed the refrigerator door shut and decided to make a phone call instead. Only then did I remember that the other warning was to avoid conversations with someone who might betray me. I didn’t know who that could be, so I didn’t speak to anyone the entire day. No point in taking chances

Today, my Horoscope looked a little more promising, as it advised me that if I engaged in outdoor activities, I would feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and that the day would hold many surprises for me.

It was a beautiful, calm, sunny day when I went outside to cut the lawn. After about 30 or 40 attempts, the lawnmower started right up, and so did the rain. Actually, it was more like a minor monsoon. As I was putting the lawnmower away, a man ran by and assured me that this sort of thing never happened in his hometown. I wanted to shoot him for that helpful bit of information.
The storm continued with such force, I was seriously considering building an Arc and lining up animals in pairs, when just as suddenly, it stopped and the sun came out again. The front and back yards were flooded, but even if they weren’t, the lawnmower will probably not dry out until next summer. So much for outdoor activities.

When my sister informed me that Jack the Ripper, Norman Bates, and thirty-eight inmates on death row all share my Zodiac sign, I asked her how I could ever be expected to get excited over the Horoscope again. I also told her that I had arrived at the conclusion that the real problem is, that by the time I was born, all the good Astrological signs had been given away. I just know that if my mother could have held out a little longer (maybe two or three months), I might have gotten a better sign. I told her that I don’t have any real proof of this yet, but that I strongly suspect that whilst I am sleeping, all my planets and stars get together, hold a big meeting, and plot against me. My sister told me that I sounded like a “case history” on paranoia, and she hung up on me.

“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©2008 by Melech. All rights reserved.
The next column will be posted on August 21, 2009
File #RBCOL08

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (The Doctor's Office)

"Did you ever...?"
by Melech

Did you ever have the satisfaction of knowing that all the spring cleaning and fix-up jobs you wanted to do were finished? Two years ago I made a list of all the jobs and projects that had to be done. I didn't start any of them right away because after reading the list, I needed those two years to recuperate. My sister still doesn't believe that after reading the list of things to do, I went into a coma.
Last week I finally finished everything. My house looked great inside and out. At last I could take down the sign I put on my front door that read: "Disaster Area; Enter at your own risk."

Along with the satisfaction of finishing all the projects on the list, came the knowledge that I am no longer young enough to do all that work myself. I do not have a bone or a muscle I know of that isn't hurting and threatening to go on strike. I decided to make an appointment with the doctor for a physical examination. I should have just taken a nap instead.

The receptionist at the doctor's office was a very pleasant young woman and didn't mind filling out the paperwork for me. I was just too tired to hold the pen. When she asked me why I had come to see the doctor, I told her that I just felt exhausted and didn't seem to have any energy.

A young medical assistant brought me to an examining room, told me the doctor would be with me shortly, left and closed the door. It was unbelievably cold in that room and I don't care what anyone says, I still insist that I could see my breath and that there were icicles forming on the sides of the metal examining table. I was looking for a blanket to wrap myself in when the same medical assistant reentered the room with my chart. I asked her if this was really an examining room, or if she had mistakenly brought me to the morgue. She looked around the room and said: "I'm not sure, I'm new here. I'll check with the nurse."

When the doctor finally came in, my teeth were chattering and my hands looked blue. I couldn't feel my feet, but they probably had also turned blue just so they could match my hands. Just as I was wondering if my toes had fallen off and were laying loose in my socks, the doctor put the stethoscope on my chest. He had it there for a very long time. Finally I told him that if he couldn't detect a heartbeat, not to worry about it because I felt sure that my heart had probably joined in the strike with my bones and muscles. When he couldn't get a blood pressure reading, I suggested that perhaps my arteries had shut down and would reopen when the warmer weather came. He looked at me and said: "If I didn't know better, I would think you were dead." "What gave me away?" I asked. "Well," he replied, "you're talking." He tried to draw blood, but my arteries wouldn't cooperate. He asked me if I had been to a cold climate recently and I said, "Yes. This room."

A half hour later, he was finished with the examination and told me that there was nothing really wrong with me. He said that maybe I didn't get enough exercise and he recommended that I get involved with clean-up and fix-up projects around the house. I wrapped his stethoscope around his neck, tied it in a knot, and left his office.
As I was walking to my car, I suddenly noticed that the warm spring air was working it's magic. I felt my heart start up again and I was beginning to get feeling back in my hands and feet. I hurried home and called my sister on the phone, and shouted happily: "Guess what? I'm not dead!" She told me not to call her again unless it was an extreme emergency, and then she hung up on me.

Several days later I received the doctor's bill in the mail along with a document from the County Coroner who said that I wasn't dead enough to require his services. No one will ever convince me that another half hour in that examining room wouldn't have changed that.

”Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2008 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on August 14, 2009

File #RBCOL17

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Did you ever...?" (Customer Service)

Did you ever…?
by Melech

Did you ever have a conversation with someone in a customer service department and wonder if the person you were speaking to had the IQ of a turnip? I am certain that the person I spoke with had to pass an incompetency test to get her job.
It all started when my sister gave me a home-shopping catalog. She knows how I hate to go into stores and shop. She said this would be so much easier. You just fill out the order form, mail it in, and within a couple of weeks you have your order. It all sounded so simple.
Two months passed and I still hadn’t received my order. My letters were ignored, so I decided to try my luck with a long-distance phone call to the customer service department. The person who answered my call sounded as though she was going to burst into tears at any moment. My guess is that she either just broke-up with her boyfriend or she had just been sentenced to death row.
“Customer service, Arabella speaking. Did you want to place an order?”
I knew she made up that name, but I didn’t mention it.
“No,” I replied. “I wanted to check….”
“Then why are you calling?” she snapped.
“I wanted to check on an order I placed over two months ago.”
“So, what’s the problem? Weren’t you satisfied with the merchandise?”
I took a deep breath and said as calmly as I could, “Arabella, I am calling to find out when….”
“Who?” she asked.
“Arabella.” I replied.
“Who’s that?”
“You said that was your name.” When she didn’t respond, I continued; “I would just like to know if my order has been shipped or if it is going to be shipped any time during this decade.”
“When did you place the order?”
“Over two months ago.” I repeated.

“Then it was probably shipped.”
I should have given up all hope at that point, but I tried again.
“Isn’t there some way you could find out?”
“I could try. Where are you?”
“Somewhere between frustration and death.”
“No. I mean what is your postal code?”
After I gave her my postal code she said it wasn’t her area and she would have to transfer my call to another representative. I asked to speak to her supervisor. After a ten-minute wait, a lot of static, and several severe electric shocks, I heard;
“This is Delfina speaking. Would you like to place an order?”
“You sound remarkably like Arabella.” I said.
“Who is Arabella?” she asked.
“Never mind. I do not want to place an order. I want to check on an order I placed over two months ago.”
“That’s not my area of responsibility.” She said. “I’ll have to transfer you back to Arabella.”
During the process of transferring the call, I was disconnected. I slumped to the floor, utterly defeated, and was almost finished chewing through the leg of the kitchen table when my sister called to inform me that she had just received another catalog in the mail and would I like to see it. I told her I didn’t have time right now because I was chewing on the leg of the kitchen table. She suggested that I take a pill and a nap, and then she hung up on me.

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“Did you ever…?” is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©Copyright 2008 by Melech. All rights reserved
The next column will be posted on August 07, 2009