Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story #156

More Stories about my Grandpa Garber

One of the distinguishing, and disgusting, traits of the Garber family men is the propensity for discussing their bowel movements with anyone willing, or not, to listen. I tell you this because you need to have this understanding firmly embedded into your consciousness in order to appreciate the first of the stories I wish to relate to you. My dad was constantly complaining about this particular habit so readily practiced by my grandfather, not because of what he would say but rather when he would say it. Dad would complain to grandpa, “Dad, why do you have to talk about your bowl movements while I’m eating?” Not to be outdone grandpa would simply answer, “Well Bill, if you weren’t eating all the time, I just wouldn’t have to.” This particular problem disappeared when my grandparents moved from Akron to Miami, Florida. However, in 1955, we followed my grandparents, to live in Miami. For the first few months, we lived with them in their house. Since there was a lake with plenty of bass and bluegill as well as a large are for digging night crawlers and grubs to bait our cane poles, my brothers and I were very happy but I don’t think my parents always shared our joy. I know my mother wasn’t too happy when grandma announced that “The smell of your cooking is making me sick.” I was only eight but I didn’t care much for that either, however, I think my grandfather wanting to discuss with all of his extended family the never-ending story of his bowel problems was the main reason for us leaving. If memory serves me it was about the time that dad slammed his fist on the table and said, in an extremely stern fashion, “Dad for the love of God shut up about your damn bowels, please!” Grandpa’s reply after grandma’s, “William, there’s no reason to shout and curse”. Grandpa didn’t miss a beat and said, “Bill, when I’m in your house you can tell me what or what not to say and I will respect your wishes. However, in case you have forgotten, this is my house.” There were not really any bad feelings as we visited their house many, many times to fish and water-ski, but dad did mention, more than once, that it was wonderful to eat a meal in peace without having to hear about the condition of grandpa’s bowels. It wasn’t too long after we moved into our new house that my father was severely injured in an automobile accident and after coming home had to be in traction for six months, but after he first got home he was actually in a pretty good mood because he said,”…at least I’m home now and not a captive audience of your grandfather’s”. He spoke too soon because as he was eating his first meal at home in bed, who should appear? Well, I can tell you it wasn’t a jolly old elf in a sleigh being drawn by eight tiny reindeer. I had to run out of the house so neither would see me laughing and as I left I heard, “Ah, c’mon dad…for Pete’s sake…”

The second story I want to pass on is a very short story, unless of course I embellish it with a lot of useless descriptive verbiage…but I digress. It seems, when I was too young to remember, that my grandfather was helping my dad move a piano into our home. They almost had it inside when it slipped and dropped on my father’s foot. A stream of obscenity that would have made Barnacle Bill the Sailor proud flowed fourth from my father’s foaming lips (alliteration anyone?) and he viciously kicked the side of the piano. As my dad leaned against the piano breathing heavily from the effort while the excruciating pain was streaking up his leg from the injured foot my grandfather asked, “Well Bill, feel better now?” Dad revealed to me when he told me this story that he could hardly speak without screaming in agony but managed to serenely reply, “Yes, dad…it feels much better now”.

The final story about my grandfather, for now, occurred when we were still living in Ohio. He came over one Saturday complaining of sharp pains in his back. My dad asked, “What did you do? You are no spring chicken you know; you should cut out some of the more strenuous activities you’ve been engaging in.” Okay, you know and I know that is not the way my father talked and serene was never a part of his makeup, but I have grandchildren who read this sh*t, even when no one else will, and I must not subject them to the words that dad was so fond of using. Anyway, grandpa continued, “No Bill, I really didn’t do anything strenuous; I just woke up this morning sore and I can hardly walk.” My dad then became concerned and told grandpa, “Maybe you should go see a doctor…it might be something serious.” Grandpa indicted that he just might do that because the pain was terrible. Dad asked him, “Are you sure you didn’t do something yesterday that was unusual? That you were not used to doing?” Grandpa shook his head and answered, “No, nothing unusual. All I did was to take the Sunday school class roller skating last night.” “Oh Dad, you didn’t roller skate with them did you?” And with a straight face, which my father was unable to reproduce after Grandpa’s response, answered “Oh Bill that couldn’t be the problem. After all I only fell four or five times.” No wonder the old codger had bowel problems.

Next week's 09-05-2010 (#157) title: TBD

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Proposed Mosque near Ground Zero - Part I

Those curious why the Muslims, seeking to build a Mosque/Community center close to ground zero, would name their project the “The Córdoba House” should check out the site depicting the mosque at Córdoba,Spain. In case you desire a little more history, you can find it on Wikipedia. Reading about this city’s location provides another clue to the naming of this architectural venture. That is the fact the city is one of a very few cities in the world, in geographical terms, known to be an almost exact antipodal city. The definition is not as important in this case as the derivative of the word which is from the Greek words: anti- "opposed" and pous "foot". To me this is very symbolic and if Islamic Radicals are anything, they are steeped in symbolism; e.g. the Twin Towers were destroyed because they “symbolized” American Capitalism; the Pentagon was attacked because it “symbolized” American Power and I believe that Flight 93 was supposed to attack the White House which of course “symbolized” American leadership. A Mosque erected near ground zero would “symbolize” the Islamic “opposite” (my interpretation of antipode) to the “evilness of the Christian backed Capitalistic system known as America”. Actually more like the Triumph of Islam over Christianity and reclamation of Islamic lands previously lost to King Ferdinand (not the one who sponsored Columbus but he was canonized by the Catholic Church). Besides, dedicating this Islamic tower on the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the twin towers is not what I call an attempt “ smooth relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world”; at least as far as American citizens are concerned.

Now that I’ve established the symbolism behind the placement of the mosque, unlike Nancy Pelosi, I’d like to research:
The organization pushing to erect the Mosque
The Imam behind the “Córdoba Initiative”
The funding of this enterprise.

First the funding because last I heard, at the time of this writing, Rauf’s organization had less than $20,000 in its bank account while it needs about $100,000,000 to erect the structure. Proponents of this project, as well as the Imam himself, maintain that “No Money from Terrorists” will be used in constructing this mosque, however, Feisal Abdul Rauf will not denounce Hamas as a terrorist organization. Therefore, monies collected from that organization would not be considered as a “terrorist” source according to his perspective. Additionally, he is currently on his fourth State Department sponsored (taxpayer funded) tour; two under the Bush administration and once earlier this year, via the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Program. Many in the “Main Stream Media” (news organizations controlled by the Obama Administration) denounce the significance of objections to the Imam’s participation in this program because he agreed to volunteer to participate in this project before plans for building the Mosque were announced. Oh, and don’t forget, he has promised the State Department that he would not attempt any Córdoba House fundraising. Great, so by applying this logic to our Civil War, if this program had been in place back in 1861, I guess Jefferson Davis would have been provided trips to Southern states even after Confederate forces had fired on Fort Sumter on April 12 of that year if only he had volunteered to participate in the program at an earlier date. And if Davis had promised not to attempt to raise money for the Confederacy on these trips, there could be no questioning of his motives or intents either. I almost forgot, the State Department has forbidden any news reporting on this trip by any organizations other than “local” media to prevent any “out of context” news coverage. Good move, ignore our first amendment rights because Aljazeera has such a stellar reputation for reporting facts in an unbiased manner. Considering this administration has displayed such antipathy towards our Constitution, what else could we expect?

The Córdoba Initiative is the organization behind the push for constructing this Mosque/Community Center was established by the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. It seems to me that a Website for an institution copyrighted in 2006 would have more than a "Coming Soon” banner on its Homepage. When I check some of the other pages available, like the “About us” page, it contains a quote by Elie Wiesel, inferring the backing of the Nobel Laureate for this Islamic group, which is extremely doubtful considering Wiesel’s documented views on Jerusalem and Islam. Besides the Imam, others listed on this page that should be investigated are:
John S. Bennett
Courtney Erwin
Josh Martin

John S. Bennett is a former Mayor of Aspen. Colorado and details about his association with the Garrison Institute seem to have been obscured. Interesting that he is listed as a “…founding Executive Director of the Garrison Institute” because a check on the Garrison Institute site only mentions him as a Senor Program Advisor and a member of the Advisory Council in the Summer of 2004 and 2005 newsletters. Checking out other items on this site reveals that this organization is little more than a propaganda machine for the “Green Movement. After all, on the Garrison Institute’s page Supporting Bold Leadership on Climate Change provides reference of creation and a link to the 1Sky organization. Clicking the Allies TAB and then selecting the “Notable People” category produces the following list:
President Bill Clinton (Now we know why Hillary has ignored this issue)
Van Jones, Green For All (Isn't he an avowed Communist?)
 Rev. Sally Bingham, The Regeneration Project
 Professor James Hansen, Columbia University
 Bill McKibben, Middlebury College
 Gus Speth, Yale University
 Dr. Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland Church
 Sheila Watt-Cloutier, International Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference
 Stephen Heinz, President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
 Professor Jon Isham, Middlebury College
 Edward Mazria, Founder and Executive Director, Architecture 2030

Also, under the list of National and International Environmental Organizations there is one member listed that has no clickable link: Environmental Support Center. A check on this organization reveals why they would not want you to easily access this site, especial when you inquire on their Institutional Supporters and find scary, progressive organization such as The Ford Foundation and The Underdog Fund of the Tides Foundation. Did I mention that when you click on the About Us link, you can find a beautiful picture of Van Jones?

The “Programs” page sports a partial quote by the 2003 Noble Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, which would be a more impressive endorsement if not for the fact that this award is considered as an assault on the Middle East policies of the United States. This fact alone seems to ring a false note considering the very first program listed on this page, which is to “...improve the relationship between America and the Islamic world”. It’s a concern to me that all I can find on this page about the “The Shariah Project” is the following quip:
“Shariah (Islamic holy law) requires a nation to care for its citizens’ welfare, provide religious freedom, offer educational opportunities, protect minorities, and allow citizens to participate in their own governance. The Shariah Project will enumerate the societal – as opposed to religious – obligations that Shariah requires of a nation governed according to Islamic principles. The Project will strengthen the capacity of moderate Muslims to employ the vocabulary and principles of Islam to reduce conflict and promote democratic values in Islamic societies.”

…a quip that I do NOT believe because Shariah law is what the Taliban imposes in Afghanistan and we all know how well that is working to ease the life of all Afghani’s, including women and any NON-Muslims that have not been executed to date.

The History contains a quote of the American loving and scandal free administration of the former leader of the Protector of the World organization called The United Nations, Kofi Annan. Funny thing about the history page is that it contains no entries after November 2006.

The Advisors page, which starts with an out of context quote by John C. Danforth implying that religion is problematic, lists such notables as Karen Armstrong, Mrs. Samia Farouki (pictured with her husband Mr. Abul Huda Farouki who like John S. Bennett have ties to Aspen, Colorado), Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield, Julia Armstrong Jitkoff, John Edwin Mroz, Elaine Pagels and Shashi Tharoor.

Finally, the Contact page is adorned with a partial quote or poem from Rumi, a 13th century person I know absolutely nothing about. The most significant item to me on this page is the second address listed for this organization: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Why is this interesting…because Malaysia does not recognize the State of Israel…Funny place to locate an office of an organization that implies to be supported by a Jew, Elie Wiesel.

Lastly, I would like to look into the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, but this blog is getting too long to continue for now, so I’ll cover him in a separate Blog.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story #155

Good news week

Well, I got the call I was waiting for from my Heart Doctors; I have two…ain’t I the lucky one. Both called to inform me that the results from the 48 hour halter I wore (no not for boobs even though I look like I need one; it was to hold a heart monitoring device) indicated that my heart was beating like a normal human being’s heart (just damn lucky it didn’t hold anything to monitor my brain waves) and therefore, I could stop taking the blood thinning pills. I informed my regular doctor, since he complains that none of the specialists ever inform him, and asked him if I could see an orthopedic surgeon about a knee replacement now that I don’t have to worry so much about internal bleeding from falling. He thanked me for keeping him abreast (another sleazy halter brassiere reference) of my medical situation and said it was good that I requested to see a specialist now…you know, before Obamacare has a chance to become fully implemented. When I questioned his reasoning with a few facts about Obamacare: namely it will actually provide seniors, like me , with more options and better care at reduced prices, he responded to my lecture with a question. He asked if I would be interested in acquiring stock in a certain Arizona bridge project being proffered by a New York funded outfit in Brooklyn. I pooh-poohed his attitude and asked him for explicit examples to explain this wayward thinking.

“Well,” he said, “consider your cardioversion. Now I know that Medicare patients can still have this procedure performed and the fact of the matter is that under Obamacare the cost has been radically reduced but, lucky for you, that part of the plan does not kick in for another couple of years.”

So I asked what the problem was and he answered by detailing the new cost cutting procedure; “First of all, any licensed or unlicensed, active or suspended MD or DO; Witch Doctor; Chiropractor; Registered or Non-registered Nurse; Any PhD; Chinese Needle practitioner or Water torturer; Practical Nurse or Practical Joker will be authorized to perform the cardioversion. Fact is,” he added, “no specialist will have to waste their time with this kind of thing leaving more heart specialists and surgeons available to provide coverage for real cardiac patients…like Congressmen, Senators and other government officials.” I then asked other than the qualification of the practitioner what else he found wrong with the new procedure and he replied, “The new procedure,documented by Article 137A; Section 69; Sub-Section 87C; Paragraph 1327; Sub-Paragraph 18c-e; stroke 1392.

The cardioversion will consist of the following items:
• a standard 110 volt wall socket
• one metal bobby pin, fake $1000 bill (if the Treasury Department cannot supply this item from their stash of counterfeit money, the Federal Reserve Bank is authorized to release part of their money supply)
• a chalk board

The procedure will be self-inflicted and implemented by following the steps documented below:
1. Locate any wall socket (closer to the morgue the better) and cover openings with fake $1000 bill (if the Treasury Department cannot supply this item, the Federal Reserve Bank is authorized to release part of their money supply)
2. Make sure any and all reusable parts (such as gold teeth and clothing) are removed from vic…er…patient
3. Situate chalk board behind a protected, walled section
4. Place person witnessing exec…er…procedure next to chalk board to record events as they occur
5. Put metal bobby pin in patient’s hand explaining that if they retrieve the bill within 30 seconds it will be theirs
6. Run out of room like a bat out of hell"

I asked what would be done with the electric paddles that were no longer being used. “According to the manual” he said “they can now be used in emergency procedures for clientele that are actually more deserving to save from cardiovascular problems like Congressmen, Senators and other government officials. I stated how awful that was and he said it could be worse. When I asked how he said, “Cap and Trade” could be implemented before your procedure and they could shut the power off just when it was needed for saving the Congressmen, Senators or other government officials.

“Would you like to hear how they plan on improving the catheter ablation procedure you just went through?” Although I replied in the negative he seemed to enjoy seeing the pain he was inflicting upon me and ignored my response, “The description for this is covered in the same general area of the Obamacare manual and it identifies the following components:
1. Wire scrounged from all discarded Japanese brake control wiring components
2. Any old transistor/automotive/boom box radio
3. Any available pocketknife or, if none is available, a rusty government surplus bayonet

I begged for him to stop screaming that I couldn’t take anymore and he agreed not to proceed any further with the description of the new catheter ablation procedure description except to articulate that the same requirements applied to the medico performing this operation as were described under cardioversion. Thanking him for the referral for my knee replacement, a sh*t-eating grin spread across his face as he asked, “Would you like to hear the details of the new procedure defined under Obamacare for knee replacement surgery?”

I answered by screaming at him, “No…for the love of God no, don’t tell me, my heart has just been restored to normal and you have strained it to the breaking point with changes to the descriptions of procedures I have successfully survived and now you want to put me into cardiac arrest with a sordid description of a procedure I have yet to experience? Hell no…shut up!”

Next week's 08-30-2010 (#156) title: TBD if my heart holds up

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story #154

Watermelons – An Update
Hey John & Judy, remember the awful mixed league volleyball team we had? We were lucky to even score points let alone win games, but all the other volleyball players wanted to attend our after game parties? Those were the days…we couldn’t attract anyone who knew anything about volleyball to join our team but we did seem to have the best after game parties in the league and everyone wanted to attend those. John kept talking about serving “Watermelons” and he finally did around the last party we were going to have. I believe it was the last game of the season, there was snow on the ground, and he finally proceeded to make good on this “Threat”. Now if you do not know what a Watermelon is (the Alcoholic drink that is) I cannot give you the ingredients because I do not know its exact composition; you’ll probably have to pay a hefty price to get it from John C Yeargin (Note to John: bump it up by 10% for my cut). I can say that if you ever heard about or tasted “Long Island Iced Tea” let it be known that Watermelons fall into the same category…extremely strong alcoholic drinks that have no alcoholic taste.

Now the players in this story are three Animals and their wives (if you want to know what the Animal names are and why we were tagged with the moniker of “Animal”; you will have to purchase and read my first Monday Attitude Adjustment Story (MAAS) book [Warning: Shameless Self-Promotion Incident], but the wives names I will divulge here: John’s wife (Judy) was “Jugs”; Larry’s wife (Debbie) was “Buns” and my wife (Sylvia) was “Bones”. To clarify the logic behind these naming assignments I must divulge that Debbie was responsible for the wives’ names and personally I think that the only wife aptly named was “Jugs” but I digress. If you really want to know the Animal names given and how John and I earned them, you will have to read my new book, MAAS II [Warning: Another Shameless Self-Promotion Incident]. Now where was I Oh yeah, I was aware of the potency of this beverage, along with Jugs, Larry, and Buns, but we were the only ones that did know (and I wasn’t so sure of Buns). John was so sophisticated and cool; he would walk up to a reveler and ask, “Care for some Watermelon?” while showing them the gallon jug of the crap he was toting. If the response was in the affirmative, he would fill up a large ice tea glass and provide it to the hapless soul. I say hapless because he would float around the room like a giant, bumblebee “…just topping that off for you” as Jugs or Larry would supply him with fresh gallon containers of the stuff (I think Buns was too busy enjoying the pink juice to be of any help in its supply). I don’t know the actual count but I think he did make up about a gazillion gallons give or take a few.

Of course, having prior knowledge of the potency of the quaff, I presented the small glass that had held my Jack Daniels when John asked me if I wanted some Watermelon. I don’t like to drink anything sweet but I was a little curious…I now know what is meant by “Kick-a-Pooh Joy Juice”. Of course, Sylvia saw me and figured it wasn’t poison so she got a large tumbler full as well as the other person I am going to write about in this story; Marianne (I will not provide her last name to protect the innocent) who was known as everybody’s little sister. No one drinking that stuff realized how bombed they were getting but later in the night, I went to the fridge to get a beer and saw Marianne sitting at the kitchen table. She was sitting there because that’s all she could do…but when she saw me she perked up and with eyes crossed she belched and then laughingly inquired, “Why is my husband such an asshole?” Now I can’t be sure this is actually what she said because she was slurring quite heavily at the time, but I replied anyway, “I don’t know Marianne…some people are just born that way” and she responded by crying profusely. Then she spoke and started laughing; then she cried and she kept alternating between the two emotions as she continued talking. I swear that was the first time in my life that I have ever seen someone laughing and crying at the same time while carrying on a semi-logical conversation (at least as far as I could tell in between the slurs, laughs and heart-rending sobs). But not to worry, she did get a ride home because John did not want anyone to get hurt, so he had arranged that every loaded person would have a designated driver.

Bones had me to drive her and she is the other person I want to rat out. Now I know this will break a long standing practical joke (about 26 years) but for literary’s sake (and the fact that I couldn’t think of anything else to write about this week) I am sure that my friends will forgive me. You see my wife is almost a professional dancer who loves fast dancing; never tiring of gyrating her hips in sensuous motions. Debbie asserted that Sylvia would dance at the ring of a bell…and since Debbie happened to have a small, ceramic bell, she rang it…all night long. At first, whenever Debbie rang that damn thing, Sylvia would start grinding out of good humor…later, after a few pints of Watermelons… grinding was supplanted with flopping. Anyway she finally passed out and I had to carry her out to the car (her shoes were off and like I said before, snow was on the ground) and put her to bed when we got home. I undressed her and tucked her in for the night. The next morning when she asked my why she was naked, I pretended to be in a foul mood and hissed, “…Why don’t you call Judy and ask her yourself, ‘Barbarella’?” then I stormed out of the room and totally ignored her. When she finally did call Judy, John answered and said “Ring-a-ling -a–ding there hot mama. I gotta table you can dance on…” then Judy acted mad and pretended she had pushed him away from the phone. Then, when Sylvia asked what happened last night, Judy replied by chiding my poor wife saying; “You announced that you were tired of hearing about Paul’s past days running around with go-go girls, so how’s this?” Then you removed your shoes and hopped onto Debbie’s coffee table…Stripping down to your birthday suit, you danced announcing, “Is this how they did it?” Everyone was in on the joke, so no matter who she called she heard the same story and then, as if to prove it all, I showed her the bell that Debbie had given me to take home so that quote: “No other husband would be subjected to such lewd behavior”. In fact, every time she talked to Debbie or Judy or John (even after we moved to California) they would usually bring up that night and that damned little bell. Well my dear, I’m telling you it was all a lie. You can rest easy now secure in the fact that you did not reveal yourself to anyone…at THAT party…heh…heh…I’m a little stinker ain’t I?

Next week's 08-23-2010 (#155) title: TBD

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Moday Attitude Adjustment Story #153

My week so far
Well, the week sure started out okay…Found out Monday that the catheter ablation seems to have permanently corrected my irregular heart beat. When they listen to it now it sounds like a normal, boring “lub-dub lub-dub lub-dub lub-dub” and not like a medley rendition of The Syncopated Clock, Summertime, The William Tell Overture and Song of the Volga Boatmen. For those not old enough to know what I am talking about just follow the links to the YouTube renditions. On Tuesday I am supposed to find out from my Doctor if I can stop taking the massive doses of blood thinner that had been required to ensure no blood clots would form in my vacillating ventricle. I’ll have to continue my story when I find out and Oh yeah, the best part of my check-up was the question as to what affect sexual activity would have on me and the Nurse stared Sylvia right in the eye and said “…anyway; any place and any time just do it”. I thought I was in a Nike commercial except that Tiger Woods didn’t poke his head in on us. I got down on my knees and kissed the woman’s feet blubbering “Thank you; Oh dear Lord, thank you!’ Actually I am exaggerating a little here, but I know that I was the only man in the world who asked for sexual relations with his wife and was told, “No. Not tonight YOU have a headache”. I won’t say how long we have waited “Due to my condition” but if I don’t have to waste time scraping her off the ceiling, I may report on that too…if I can stop skipping and singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning that is.

I am now continuing this Blog on Tuesday morning and the first thing I want to do is to ask the Buckeye members of my reading audience if they read about the UFO sighting (or perhaps personally witnessed it ) that was reported throughout the entire state of Ohio Monday night? Well, I’m sorry to report that was NOT Sylvia skipping the light fantastic among the cumulus. No, she did not tell me that I had a headache nor did she refuse me at all. Our problems were myriad and unfortunately we spent more time laughing at each other than re-consummating our marriage. First we tried the woman on top position and found that although it was working for me, we discovered that to continue that way, Sylvia would require a back brace, knee pads, massive doses of painkillers and a special saddle to stay on (she kept slipping off to her left). We finally gave up on that option and I announced (much to her relief) that I was going to get on top…which was our only other choice. Hey, we weren’t attempting to follow the Kama Sutra here you know. Anyway I did manage to get on top but can you picture Jabba the Hut mounting Princess Leia? (I know that’s disgusting and when I first saw Star Wars III, I just could not do so myself) But, back to our story…by the time I finally got into position I discovered that we were actually too far apart to make any kind of physical contact with the required bodily parts for sex. Of course Sylvia laughing her butt off kind of put me out of the mood anyway and since I need to lose weight, I suppose I should have been the one to accomplish that particular feat. But take heart all you MAAS readers, my dear wife, when she could catch her breath long enough to breathe again, assured me we would try again, so I will continue to keep you posted on our weekly progress.

Okay it is now Thursday morning and still no attempt to “Re-connect” so to speak. I can’t blame my poor, squashed wife for wanting to wait until her body snaps back into shape. Hey, how would you feel being crushed under 360 lbs of dead weight? This morning Sylvia was stirring and looking like she was trying to get off my hospital bed in the raised position (top & bottom) by sliding down to the foot of the bed. Since I didn’t want her to injure herself any further, I lowered the bed and got off so she could easily slide of the side. After she returned from the facilities and I had taken my turn, she sat up, looked at me and stated “I think I’ll go sleep on the coach”. I asked her why and she replied. “Because the side bars on this bed are digging into my back.” It was early enough that I just decided to get up and told her to move into the middle of the bed. I told her that I had to fix the mattress so that the side bars would not dig into her back. She then asked me “…am I the problem? Am I scrunching you too much?” The reason I tell you all of this is because after she got up for the day, I asked if she felt better now that she got some sleep and she asked me, “Why, was I restless last night?” She remembered NONE of our early morning conversation; point being she was making excuses for not “Sleeping” with me even in her SLEEP! Of course I am not entirely innocent in this matter…I could just remove the side-bars but then how would I keep her trapped in bed? Hope tonight brings better results…keep your fingers crossed.

Friday morning…No, nothing new to report dammit so quit bugging me about it…In fact, I don’t even know if I want to report on anything more for the rest of this week or not, so all you sadists will just have to suffer if I don’t. Humpft!

Late Friday/early Saturday: Wonderful even to report…no, we did not make love, but my son Paul and my granddaughter Tyler just arrived from the West Coast. A blessed event; how can I thank you God? Just imagine two more pair s of super sensitive ears to cramp my style. I already have to put up with my grandson Stephen saying things like “Grandpa you are such a pervert; leave grandma alone” and “What are you doing in there? I can hear your bones splintering”. And just think of the joy that hearing my adoring wife whispering sweetly into my ear, “Stop it. Are you crazy? The kids might hear!” I’m going back to bed now; the future is looking dim.

Shut up Phantom and Jugs it’s Saturday now and it’s definitely NOT funny. Oh yeah? Well you can kiss my rosy red…

Sunday ^?$!/+%`&*<&%~*>Q!(#

Next week's 08-16-2010 (#154) title: TBD

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story #152

AT&T U-verse for Mom
One thing I had to help my Mother handle was her AT&T U-verse bill. She had purchased a bundled package of Internet, Digital Phone & TV, but my brother Grant, who is suffering severely from advanced MS, could not get used to the new television remote and screen navigation so Mom called to cancel the U-verse TV package and have Direct TV re-installed. However, when she received her first U-verse bill, it was dated for services starting three days after she had cancelled the service and included charges for the TV package. She had thought that since the TV part had been cancelled, she should not be charged for it at all. Additionally, she wanted to know why the $180.044 bill was so much more than the $108.00 she had been quoted.

I knew part of the problem was the fact that billing is charged in advance of using the service, so even though this bill included charges for the Television package, she should receive a credit for it in the next bill. However that $108.00 quote had included the TV and it was to be a “Free” installation. The bill also included a $32 Pro-rated charge and a $29 “One Time Charge” so I called the billing inquiry phone number. I recognized the voice at the other end as having the same accent as all the other New Delhi help agents I have ever spoken to…I hoped communications would be easier to establish with this individual…Sad to report that my hopes were soon dashed.

The first thing I tried to get fixed was my mother’s name on the bill. You see she always went by the English translation of her Armenian name, Helen. However, after 9/11, she had to be identified by her birth certificate name, Areknas (AH´-rec-naz) and that is what she had provided to AT&T. I think I told you the story before, but it is worth repeating here again. My Grandmother did not speak very good or clear English when she had her first child, my Uncle Van, so his name on the birth certificate was Vahan (Va´-han) which means Van. She was still not too sure of her English when my mother was born and wanted to name her Helen, so that is why she got the name Areknas. When she had her third and last child, my Aunt Alice, she thought she would give her an American name...thus Alice. When my mother would complain about being named Areknas my aunt would just tell her “At least you have a real name that means something on your birth certificate; mine reads Hal´-liz”, but I digress. On the AT&T bill they had spelled Areknas as Arenkas. So I said “I’m calling for my mother Areknas Garber and my name is Paul Garber. After he asked what he could do for me I said “Well first her name is spelled wrong on the bill and you can fix it.” There was a long, pregnant pause on the other end of the line so I said it should be (spelling it out) A-R-E-K-N-A-S. He asked “what?” so I spelled it again; A as in Apple; R as in Rat (that got him thinking about lunch because I could hear his lips smacking) ; E as in Ever; K as in Knife…no I jest. Anyway we finally got the name fixed and I felt like I had just completed the 50 mile hike that JFK wanted everyone to perform.

After the name was spelled correctly (I hope; must wait until the next bill to find out for sure), he asked me how that was pronounced and I replied, “AH´-rec-naz” and he echoed “ah-Reck´-naz”. I said (hold on kiddies because here we go again) “no it’s AH´---rec---naz” and he dutifully repeated “ah-Reck´-naz”. I won’t give you all the gruesome details that followed just suffice it to say that I finally gave up and did not try to correct him anymore. This way I thought we get continue with the real concerns I had about my mother’s bill, but (and now I am really shielding your delicate sensibilities here; thank you) sighing, he questioned me with the satisfaction of a sexually gratified partner (I think he trapped the rat that was loose in his “office”) “Okay now what can I do for you Mr. ah-Reck´-naz?”

Next week's 08-09-2010 (#153) title: TBD