Sometimes people think I’m a hooker.

I was crossing the street toward the Quick-e-mart last night, when a guy in an SUV called out to me. I thought I recognized the voice, and I turned to head toward the car. As I got closer, I realized the guy in the driver’s seat was not who I thought it was. While trying to get a better look at the other two guys in the car to see if I recognized anyone, the driver yells out “Hey baby, where you goin?”

Put off by the “meet me in the alley” tone in his voice, I stopped, backed up a bit and replied that I was just on my way home. In response, he just stammered “Oh . . uh . . . right”, then quickly rolled up his window and drove off.

I feel like I should dress a little more conservatively now.

Some people are asking for derision.

And some people beg for it.

Can someone please explain to me what compels forty-something women in tracksuits to descend en masse upon coffee shops at around 10 AM? It’s a phenomena I’ve noticed just recently. I don’t suppose it’s anything like an organized effort to arrive all at once. I imagine it to be more of an instinctual thing – like zombies that sense where the last living souls in a town are hiding. They are pulled by a force they are dimly aware of, yet can never fully grasp. Only instead of killing people, they just stand around impatiently waiting for lattes and perfecting the disdainful lip pursing that sour, crabby bitches are prone to display.

I feel like wearing a track suit is meant to imply that you lead such a busy, hectic life that you simply cannot be constrianed by regular clothes. I guess the other alternative is that you’re on your way to the gym in full makeup and enormous earrings – but probably not clad head to toe in velour. Somehow I find it hard to believe that any of them have anything terribly important to do in a given day. I think they mostly just take their coffees home, watch The View and talk to their friends about how much fun it would be to start an online business selling custom made clothes for toy breed dogs.

Speaking of, while at Barnes & Noble, I saw a book of clothing patterns you can knit for your dog. On the front of it was a poodle wearing goddamn hand-knit leg warmers. I think this might be why I’m a little short tempered with humanity in general today.

Remember what I said about all the people?

I went to the LCD Soundsystem/Arcade Fire concert last Friday – LCD Soundsystem was amazing, which was good since that was my primary interest in going. I honestly didn’t give much thought to the fact that Arcade Fire was there too, even though that was technically the concert for which I purchased a ticket. They are really fun to see live though, and they do make appearances in my music rotation. There are ten people in the band and among the instruments I counted onstage were an accordian, a tuba, a french horn, a cello and some sort of instrument which required cranking.

I would like to take this opportunity to assert that there is no place to avoid paying a convenience fee when purchasing concert tickets. You pay it online, you pay it at ticketmaster sites, you pay it at the gate. Well, I lied – I went to see Rush last month with my brother Jack and I bought my ticket from a dude in the parking lot. He did not charge me a fee of any sort.

In other news, the folks at Lifestyle Family Fitness are a bunch of fucks. I cancelled my membership with Lifestyle several months ago after I joined Lifetime fitness center. Since there is no possible way any subscription/membership service can cancel a membership over the phone, I went into one of the clubs to cancel in person. When I went in and made an inquiry about cancelling, I had to deal with the employees trying to discourage me from giving up on my health until I just told them, “Sorry, I just joined a nicer gym. No hard feelings, ok?”

After I cancelled, I noticed charges were still coming through on my credit card. I called Lifestyle, bitched about it & was told my membership was still active. I said I want it cancelled. They said I’d have to come in to cancel. I said no, I’ve already done that. She reiterated that I showed as active and I could cancel by either coming to the club or writing a letter to their corporate office. So – I hung up and requested that my credit card company remove the charges from my card, which they did. So that goes on for about four months – Lifestyle charges, Discover reverses. I finally just requested a new account number, which happily resulted in no more gym charges.

Last week, I get a call from these shit weasels saying that they have been unable to charge my credit card for my membership fees, and would I like to update my account information with a valid card number. No, as it turns out, I would not since I cancelled my membership six months ago and have been trying to extract myself from any sort of association with you people ever since. She informs me that if I’d like to cancel my membership, I’ll need to write a letter to corporate or go into the club to cancel in person. Also, my account has gone to collections for the last two months of membership dues.

She mentioned that if I still had my printout from my cancellation attempt I could bring that in, so now I’m digging through various stacks of paper trying to find it. Though for anyone that knows me and my organizational habits the notion that I’ll be able to find a sheet of paper that I acquired six months ago is laughable.

Parents: Please stop letting your kids shit on the floor.

Or at least on public floors. How you conduct your affairs within the walls of your own home is not really my concern.

Yesterday at the gym, I was heading into the shower and I noticed someone’s nude little offspring bolting from shower to shower. I stepped into the first open stall and noticed that the water was already running. Assuming that this was the one she had just been in and not wanting to get involved with her “turn the water on in all the showers” game, I started to head to another. Then I looked down and noticed the little pile of dookie on the floor.

I want to point out that this was a child who was clearly old enough to be out of diapers, so I can only assume this was crapping for entertainment rather than an accident.

I also want to point out that I’d like to be done running across stuff like this. I could happily live my life without running across another used condom on my lawn or pile of human feces on the floor of a public facility.

I could do without all the people.

Which people, you ask? All of them. Him. Her. You.

I’m well aware that people are prone to the occasional contretemps or miscalculation – I am generally a very forgiving person. But recent efforts put forth by multiple institutions to complicate my life have been, I assure you, nothing short of epic. I mean, I don’t want to come out and say conspiracy just yet, but it certainly bears a striking resemblance to a collaborative exercise.

Offense the first: Some weeks ago, I ordered pizza from a place called Hounddog’s in the campus area. The total came to $18 and change, including tip. A few days later, I went online to pay some bills from my bank, and I noticed that my account was nearly $1000 overdrawn. I didn’t panic immediately – figuring there was simply a charge that had been charged in error to my account. Indeed, it was so. Hounddog’s charged me $1,678 for a pizza. To be fair, it was a large pizza, but the charge still seemed off somehow.

I called my bank immediately – happily there were no overdraft charges appearing on my account just yet. I assured them the charge was a mistake and that I would call the merchant directly after hanging up with them. I called the restaurant – they said they caught the mistake seconds after it went through and they had already reversed it. Excellent. Back to dealing with the bank – told them the story and asked if I would be subject to fees since the charge had already been reversed and no fees had appeared yet. Unfortunately charges to the account go through immediately while credits take several days to clear, meaning that I would, in fact, be charged fees for each day my account was overdrawn.

“Sorry, there’s nothing we can do about that.” Goddammit.

In addition, I had made several other charges on the card, unaware that I actually had no money at the time. I got fees for each of those charges too. And since it was the restaurant’s fault, the bank wants me to get reimbursed for the nearly $300 in fees from Hounddog’s before even talking to me about what they can do to fix it. This all happened around June 25, and I’m still trying to get them to pay up.

Offense the second: My electric company grossly underestimated my bill over the last couple of months. So when they did an actual reading, I got hit with a $500 electric bill to cover the difference. That wouldn’t suck quite so hard if my checking account wasn’t $300 short . . .

Offense the third: After I switched my cell phone over to a company paid plan, I got a prorated bill from Verizon for the portion of the month during which the phone was still my responsibility. I attempt to login to my account on Verizon’s site to pay. However, as the account is not technically mine anymore, I no longer have access to the online utilities. Fine. So, I call them to make a payment over the phone. The woman asks for my phone number and looks up the associated account. She informs me that I’m not showing any balance on that account – it has apparently been taken care of. This sounds like good news to me, so I leave it at that.

A month later, I get another bill. I make another phone call. I get more assurance that I owe nothing on that account.

Today, I got a notice from Verizon that they are about to turn my account over to a collection agency. I try once again to pay the bill over the phone. I give the woman my phone number, my social security number and a number present on the nasty “you owe us money” letter. She finds the account – and says “Oh, you let this get very overdue – we’re about to write this off for collections.” I say, yes, I know. May I please pay it over the phone? This issue looks to be at rest now – I’m told I’ll get a receipt in the mail in a few days confirming it as a dead issue. Plus I have her name and a confirmation number, just in case I need to attach a name to a fuck up this time. You may yet hear from me again, Tammy.

People are classy.

So, yeah – someone left a condom on my front lawn.

I went out to check the mail a bit ago and noticed something laying in the grass – something which looked sort of like a small wad of plastic wrap. I approach it to pick it up and toss it in the trash and as I lean down, I see what it actually is.

To the people that were apparently having sex on my lawn:

1.) If you’re looking for your misplaced semen, you can check the large green garbage cans in my driveway. That might be a distasteful suggestion, but I’m working on the assumption that your standards have some wiggle room.
2.) Please stop having sex on my lawn.

So now I need to look around for some rubber gloves to hazmat up and remove some dude’s genetic material from my property.

Mrs. Bun Doesn’t Want Any Spam

This is an issue that I have griped about to people before, but I’m upgrading the status to an official complaint. To anyone who has my e-mail address: stop sending me spam. There are a few things you need to know as absolute truths before you blast the next personality quiz to everyone in your address book:

1. You will not topple the oil industry by organizing people via e-mail to boycott gas stations on a particular day.
2. You will not solicit donations equal to the number of times an e-mail is forwarded for a sweet little girl dying of cancer. There is no reliable way to track this.
3. Angels will not grant you wishes if you forward an e-mail to 10 people in an hour. Nobody tried this and swears it worked for them.

Now, I’m not gonna be a complete nazi about the issue. If you run across something that you honest to god find extremely interesting and need to share it, fine. And if you have something that you know will appeal to me, (I’m pretty much always game for finding out which Star Wars character I most resemble) you can send that too. Once in a while. But DO NOT simply act as a conduit for the endless river of crap that flows through your inbox. If you do this, I’m going to start assuming that you just *might* be interested in the low interest rate home equity loan offers that I get in the physical mail, and I’ll send those along to you.

And if all I ever see from a person are e-mails titled “fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd:OMG sooo funny scroll all the way down!!!”, I’m going to conclude that a spambot has assumed control of his or her e-mail account. Based on this assumption, all mail from that accout will be filtered directly to junk mail. This might be a harsh rule to implement, but I think of it this way: if this person actually is just sending all this junk, but never actually sends anything of substance, I’m probably not going to miss anything anyway.

If the content of every e-mail you send is composed of nothing but the words of others, you most likely don’t have a lot going on and will probably never have anything interesting to say. Climb your nearest clock tower with some kind of high powered weapon and express yourself. This is the only way you will ever hold anyone’s attention.

I’m sorry, that was socially irresponsible considering the wide audience that I’m sure I reach. Just swallow a handful of pills.