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Monday, February 28, 2011

Francis Times Two
or a double shot of Mr. Dunnery to round out the b-day fest

Okay, so as I said in the last blog waaaaaay back last week sometime (Jimminy Christmas, I need to update more often. Cobwebs are starting to form on my keyboard not to mention my wee brain matter.), it's uncanny how often we find ourselves able to indulge in a double dose of our favorite performers on the same trip. Case in point, Geo stumbled on a Francis Dunnery house concert in New Jersey the day after our Rhett show in NYC, essentially on our way home.

Going to a Francis house concert feels like a huge, warm bear hug from your favorite relative who is boisterous, charismatic... and likes to swear. A LOT. F**king A! Francis is big on hugging, and by now you all know how much of a hugger I am. LOVE it! Everyone in his inner circle is so welcoming and genuinely happy to see you, you can't help but feel a part of their family.

Geo, Francis and yours truly
just chilling in the kitchen 

We've been to so many shows now that we've seen all five of his themed concerts a multiple of times each. This, however, was the first time the hosts, Butch and Carole and their guests have ever experienced the personal performance laid before them. It's so wonderful to witness a roomful of newbies fall in love with an artist and his work. They laughed, participated in a few sing-alongs and teared up as Francis sang his closer, Good Life. It was lovely to watch them become enchanted by this amazing musician and his life-affirming message. As my ever-loving, Geo always says, spending an evening with Francis' positive energy never fails to make him feel good about himself in particular and life in general.

It's a great gift, that.

We hung out for a while afterwards, chatted and chowed down a bit until it was time for Francis and Tony to hit the road. We walked them out to the van to give him a present for his new baby girl, Elsie who was born on January 10th, as well as a six-pack of his favorite olive bruschetta. This stuff is like crack to him. Seriously. He cannot get enough. We've become his unofficial dealers. HaHa! Standing in the cold night air, we yakked, were invited to his house and got one last bear hug before they drove off.

The following Saturday, our paths crossed again, this time in our hometown in the familiar game room of our friends, Bill and Beth. As we turned onto Bill's road, a van was pulled over to the side. As we drove alongside of the vehicle, I looked in and lo and behold...Francis and Dorie, a lovely English singer with the voice of an angel, were pouring over a map, looking perplexed. We became their motorcade, leading them to the house.

Like any musician, Francis gets extremely pumped when he's working on new projects. He beckoned Geo and I into his van to treat us to a listen of his new works. So here we are, sitting in a van surrounded by baby items, listening to Francis Dunnery singing live to recorded music from his iPhone of his newest songs... for us.


The show was extra special with the addition of Dorie's magnificent, melodious and full-bodied vocals. She has an amazing range. Her relationship with Francis is so comfortable, it lent an extra layer of playfulness to his performance.

You know, if someone would have told us back in 1994 at the Mercury Lounge that one day we'd not only meet Francis Dunnery, but be part of his circle of friends, I would have scoffed at the thought as sheer madness.

Life is full of surprises when you give up and let it go.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mix Together One Part Rhett With One Part Francis And Add A Sprinkling Of Friends To Taste
or the recipe for the perfect road-trip birthday celebration (part one)

Okay, so I have the best husband. Period.

This year my darlin' Geo took me on a Rhett/Francis weekend trip for my birthday. It is so uncanny how many times both of my musical loves are performing back-to-back in close proximity of each other. It's like the Universe cracks open his favorite fire water, gropes a few babes, gets all "I love, man"-ish and gives us a big bear hug of love in the form of musical musings.

Once again, Rhett was playing a hop, skip and jump away in New York City at the City Winery. We've been here so often over the last year, the kind folks at the Sheraton recognize us. I don't know if that's a cool thing or just, you know ... pathetic.

Anywho, we sat with our lovely Manhattan mavens, sipping on an amazing Malbec whilst being crooned to by the lovely blue-eyed one. Marcy's so sweet. She forced at gunpoint got Rhett to sign a copy of the Old 97's latest, The Grand Theatre (pronounced The-A-ter) with his trademark birthday message.

Hey, it's a nice sentiment, right?

And she found Steelers gingerbread men.
Zombie Mwelde Moore chases after Ben Asshat
while loco Tequila Toast Man hungrily eyes that loose leg

Okay. She didn't break Mwelde's leg. That was an unfortunate accident occurring in transport on my watch. In hindsight, I should have taken that as an omen for the outcome of the Super Bowl. Blerg!

Newsflash! I LOVE Rhett solo shows. L.O.V.E.!!!

I know. You're surprised, right, but I just had to say that out loud. I enjoy the band a lot, but I think, gun to head, I prefer his solo gigs. They are so much fun, mainly because Rhett is more chatty, playful and witty alone. He's a skillful showman who really connects with and engages his audience to come along for the ride. He sincerely seems to enjoy himself up there entertaining the crowd. His banter is my favorite part. Just the right amount of humor and irreverence to fill the spaces in between his humongous 26-song set list. 

And the energy... my God the energy is through the roof. 

Turns out I wasn't the only person celebrating an anniversary of birthing during his self-proclaimed Chuckie Cheese night at the Winery. Two other Aquarians got a shout out and song dedication of Singular Girl (with the requisite Hydra refrain) and the standard Happy Birthday, Don't Die.

Eventually it was my turn. Now keep in mind this was the Friday before the Super Bowl and he had already been caught on tape saying how much he despised the Steelers and hoped they'd lose in this interview from Dallas.

I'm still a little bruised. I swear, Miller, if you weren't so damned cute and sweet and talented and smart and funny and and and ...

Anywho, so he doles out the b-day wish and dedicates the following song not to me, but to "her Steelers". Listen for the chorus.

Nice. Very funny, Miller. Poopy head.

Mixed amongst the many favorites, Mr. M treated us all to two new songs. The wonderfully Kinks-ish Perfume from The Grand Theater, Volume 2 slated to arrive in stores in July and a fresh-from-his-three-puppy notebook tune titled Only Home Away From Home perhaps? Sure, let's call it that. 

"Three f**king puppies!!"
(oh mi dio! el esta muy bonito.)

Then he brought out the big gun. Nicole Atkins entered the stage with her big gorgeous hair and bigger voice to belt out the best version of the girl part of Firefly that I have ever heard, outside of Rhett's delightful schizo self duo, of course.

He loves him some Nicole duet.

The two of them together were fabulous, finishing off the master set with a memorable version of Four Leaf Clover.

Even with all her long locks, she's no match for Rhett's flying hair head shake. He remains the master of that domain. I cannot speak for the other "domain". (a tee... a hee)

The evening's music ended in bad-ass fashion with Rhett, clearly channeling the rock 'n roller within his soul, up and kicked the shit out of the music stand sending those adorable three fucking puppies and the notes within flying through the air in a brilliant scatter. In the final chaotic chords of Time Bomb, he knocked into the mic stand and watched as the metal rod toppled into the audience, coming to rest on our friend George's head, before dropping his guitar, punk style, and marching off stage to the howls of another satisfied crowd. 

Rock 'n Roll, BABY!! 

The only thing missing was a full-on hooligan Pete Townsend guitar smash up.

Once George recovered from his head wound, he and Maria were front and center to liberate the set list. They were so kind to send it to me. Heaps of thanks goes out to them.

Why who's that noted on the list?
The one disappointment of the evening was his absence at a meet and greet, or as John Wesley Harding likes to put it "grin and bare it", depriving us the opportunity to give him a hefty dose of royal shite about that dedication. All in good fun, of course, because truly I could never be mad at him. 

What a terrific way to start the party bus rolling. Next stop. New Jersey.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What the?!???!?
or what do you do when a reporter start speaking in tongues LIVE

Okay, last night was the CBS broadcast of the Grammy Awards. Afterwards on the local LA news, the anchors set up the normal recap of the show by tossing to their reporter in the field, Serene Branson. This is all standard industry issue. Toss to blond correspondent who tosses to a precut package of highlights...of the awards program, not her hair.

Eminem only winning two Grammy's wasn't the only shocker when Tom Tucker and Diane pitched it to Serene...

I repeat: What the???!??

Play that again. Go ahead. Try to make out any actual words from that crazy scat. I double dog dare you. You can't make this shit up. I think she's channeling some dementia-riddled demon.

Now before you go getting all upset that I'm laughing at a poor woman on the verge of a stroke, let me assure you she was taken to the hospital and received a clean bill of health. So...go ahead. It's okay to point and poke fun at the "very heavy, heavy blurtation".

Drunk, Ruffied or just a major meltdown. You decide. All's I know is this is why I am NOT on the air. Well, that and my total lack of talent or appeal.

To balance out the zany Grammy Yin of Serene and her inner demon, it seems fitting on Valentine's Day to share a video of pure goofy Grammy Yang, featuring one Cee Lo Green dressed as a dazzling NBC peacock, singing my favorite, crank-it-to-eleven anti-Valentine Day tune, F**K You.

Excuse me, Forget You. Not unlike those shoes. Gwyneth. WTF. Those shoes have got to go, Girlfriend!

I really love his ass right now.

Thanks once again to Jimmy McParkway for finding that first gem.
Happy VD, y'all!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Which The NHL Revisits The Old-Tyme Hockey Antics Of The 70s

Okay, so two points of fact:

1. I love a good hockey fight. Any hockey chick worth her salt loves a drop-the-gloves hockey tussle.
2. There is no love loss between my beloved Pens and either New York teams

Friday night's Pens/Islanders game turned into a reenactment of the 1977 Hockey cult favorite flick, Slap Shot.

The Islanders were out for revenge for the humiliation they suffered the last time the two met. My Pens not only shut out the Isles 3-0, a fair hit by Max Talbot put NY's Blake Comeau on the injured list and Brent Johnson took down Rick DiPietro with one brilliant punch in a rare goalie-on-goalie smackdown.

I think I love Johnson. (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!!)

Double entendre aside, seriously, how could you not love a goalie who's not afraid to scrap.

Anywho, the mayhem started about ten minutes in with Haley beating on Cooke, then Godard pounding Gillies, then Martin took a cheap sucker punch at Talbot and all hell broke loose.

Players were escorted off the ice.

It just got uglier from there. Gillies boarded our Tangradi and kept pounding his motionless body, inciting another major melee in which practically every player on the ice engaged in another free-for-all.

And more players were escorted off the ice.

(above is a handy compilation of the chaos)

The last five minutes of the game was pure bedlam--one smackdown after another--culminating in NY's Haley, apparently not satisfied with the punch-fest happening at the other end of the ice, charging after, guess who... Johnson, who answered by dropping his blocker, gloves and helmet to face him head on.

(P.S.: Our goalie is awesome!!!)

In the end, only nine Islanders and three Penguins were left on the benches and 346 minutes of penalty time had been doled out. Ridiculous. I fully expected the Pens to ask the synchronized skating girls from the night before to lace up and finish the game.

Holy CRAP! I love a good balls-to-the-wall hockey fight, but...WOW. That was insane, old-time hockey madness in pure Slap Shot fashion. The only thing missing from that game was this:

Max Talbot missed his opportunity, for sure.

April 8th is the next and last meeting of these two teams for 2011. I imagine the Refs will keep a mighty tight lid on that game the second the puck is dropped. No matter what, it's bound to be exciting. I wonder how many fans will be wearing their Hansen Brothers glasses.

Friday, February 11, 2011

So What's The Jail Time For Assaulting A Cardboard Cutout? 
or me and Beets cutting lose at the arena

Okay, so last night me and my cohort in off-color crime, Beets hit the highway donned in our baby blues to partake in an evening of live hockey. Sadly, my darlin' Geo was being held hostage at work and couldn't take advantage of the uber generous offer from his boss of primo first level tickets to watch my beloved Pens battle the Kings. Beets ended up being his proxy.
just a couple of hockey chippies in our blues

She'd never been to the brand, spanking new Consol Energy Arena. In fact, we've never been to a hockey event together. We managed to get there a little earlier to take advantage of the Lexus club passes which were included with the tickets.


When we entered the club, an awesome buffet spread fit for a gluttonous, fat-ass king of yore lay before us. There was grilled-to-the-rarest perfection steak, trout, quayle (not to be confused with the Dan-I-want-to-be-your-VP-but-can't-spell-potato variety), shrimp bisque, a plethora of the finest meats and cheeses, not to mention a dessert table that went on for ... well an entire table.


Now when Geo and I frequented the Lexus club at the Pirates' facility, it was all free. You heard correctly...FREE. So natch I thought the same applied here. Besides there was no one taking reservations at the entrance, the plates were there, the crowd was milling about.

We filled up our plates with a cornucopia of festive treats, then started looking for both an available table and flatware. (Good God, Man! We're not animals. We may be middle class, but we learned how to master the use of utensils. *scratches her armpits, drags her knuckles on the ground*) And that's when we came across the REAL entrance to the lounge, replete with a concierge, waiting list and menu of charges.

To her credit, the hostess only looked horrified for a minute at the site of us two rubes with buck teeth, snot-filled noses and a pile of gruel, but then she couldn't have been any sweeter as she informed us the buffet was, wait for it... are you sitting down?...


We actually contemplated dropping the plates and running as if chased by zombie wolves while she graciously looked for a table to seat us, but decided to be grown ups about it. I know, right? Imagine that. Hell we weren't paying for the tickets, we never get to go out together, parking was cheap... (insert your own personal favorite rationalization here)

So we stuffed ourselves. Literally. To the point we could barely move, because, you know, we're classy like that. Note to self: always find out the scoop on extra perks BEFORE shoving food down your gullet.

Anywho, we had such a great time. The Pens have been plagued with so many injuries of key players that they had to call up a handful of Baby Pens from Scranton.
the new recruits from Scranton
they don't look like much, but boy can they
cross-check your ass into the boards

It could not have been more exciting. The Pens scored first. The Kings tied it up at the end of the first, and that's how it stayed through three. Then the recently returned Jordon Staal stuffed the biscuit in the net with 18.7 seconds left in OT.

Woo fricking HOOOO!! Cue the fireworks. Oh wait...we're inside. Drop that lighter, Jethro!

Beets and I would have had a blast no matter what the outcome. Some highlights:

Not one, but TWO fights during the game.
Engelland got the best of this punk

ok, we lost this take down,
but holy crap I love me a good hockey fight!
Wait. The two-fer gets better. Not one, but TWO Johnsons on the ice. One in Pens Blue:

And one in Kings colors:

I tried to get a shot of him standing next to the goalie named Quick. Would that not have been completely awesome?

At one point our Johnson was upended at their goal and literally became a Johnson in the hole. A tee... A hee. The 12 year old in me was so giddy.

I almost caught the ice chippie-tossed rolled up t-shirt Beets managed to tip. It landed in the empty seat next to me, but the male beast behind us went absolutely mental, scratching and clawing his way through the plastic seat back to get at the worthless thing as if it was wrapped around a gold bar. It's just a t-shirt, Dude.

Our spastic waves were caught on the Jumbo Baloney Tron, much to the abject horror of her teen aged daughter who was present with her male "he's just a friend" companion. Mission accomplished there. Man, you better believe we were totally hoping to be on the Kiss Cam to further her cringe-factor. That would have totally sent her around the bend. Ha Ha!

(Side note: I have no idea why a camera pointing in ones direction inspires one to act like a person inflicted with seizures. Seemingly, no one is immune.)

And then to top it all off, we got groped by Ass Burgh, I mean Ice Burgh
"those aren't PILLOWS!!?!"

AND assaulted the cardboard visage of he of the soft, ruby red lips, Sidney Crosby.
Lick, Lick Slurp, Slurp
All that and we weren't even drunk. Perhaps there's something seriously wrong with our matrix.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

And Unto This Day Is Born... A Nerdfighter
or sharing the good nerd word with our nephew

Okay, so a couple of weeks ago I finally was a good influence on our nephew, Alex. I know. Surprising, right? Don't get too excited. My influence was indirect and took the form of sharing Geo's and my favorite award winning Young Adult author, John Green with our soon-to-be 14 year old relative.

Wait...what?!? Fourteen???!? Time is flying by like an F-16.

Anywho, four years ago John and his brother Hank launched a year-long project named Brotherhood 2.0, wherein they would communicate solely via video blogs posted on YouTube. As the year progressed, their popularity grew steadily as word of mouth promoted the brothers' hilarious vignettes. Together they coined the term Nerdfighter, encouraged kids to embrace who they are and challenged them to decrease world suck by volunteering, being charitable and generally doing good works. Through the power of social media, an amazing global community was formed, showing kids (and adults) that it's okay to be smart, nerdy and thoughtful, in fact it's downright cool. Their collective credo is DFTBA, Don't Forget To Be Awesome.

This nurturing community is dubbed Nerdfighteria. And it is HUGE! Each year John & Hank designate one day as the Project4Awesome in which Nerdfighters vlog about their favorite charity in order to raise awareness and funds for good causes. This year P4A raised over $120,000.

It's amazing how these two unassuming brothers have inspired so many young people to do so much. You can read a past post here. It includes several videos for your enjoyment.

Two years ago, the Brothers Green embarked on a hugely successful, 2000 mile Tour De Nerd stopping in Pittsburgh. We were able to book them on our local dog and pony show, Pittsburgh Today Live. We all loved them. They were terrific! So when I read John would be a guest lecturer at the library's Black, White and Read series, I contacted him to be our guest once again. He readily accepted.
the author on the set of Pittsburgh Today Live

You can watch the interview here

I'm always hesitant to meet someone I truly love and admire. The fear is he or she will be disingenuous, surly or just plain dicky. Geo and I have been really lucky in this respect. Both of our musical loves, Francis Dunnery and the divine Rhett Miller, are incredibly kind, warm and accessible. John is no different.

Hanging in the Green Room with John Green 

Talking with him is effortless. He's so sweet and such a good sport. He didn't hesitate for one second when I asked if he would call my friend, K-Schnikes who was unable to attend the festivities due to the recent birth of their third child. 

How cool is that? Seriously.

That small, three minute gesture made Schnikey's entire day, not to mention sealing my cred as the most awesome friend he has at the Special K. Thanks much, John. Just another of the many reasons I love him.

Due to work obligations, Geo gave his ticket for the lecture to our nephew, Alex. We had given John's second book, An Abundance of Katherines (our personal favorite) to Alex for Christmas. He started reading it the week prior and could not put it down. Even though he was unaware of the culture of Nerdfighteria, he was stoked to attend the lecture. The auditorium was packed to capacity with 580 giddy enthusiasts and a handful of bewildered parents--the largest crowd to which John's ever spoke.

He took the stage to an ear-splitting roar befitting a rock star.

Community, Connection and Gary Busey Family Portrait

Through just the right mixture of humor and staidness, he made the point that we are all connected whether we realize it or not. Through reading we can expand ourselves to think outside of our own little box. We have the power to choose how we think, how we act, how we impact those around us. Through our choices we can turn imagination into reality. 

The kids ate it up.

After about 45 minutes, the floor was opened up for questions from the audience. There were lots of great queries. Alex was picked to ask the penultimate one. (Sorry for the pretension there, but I love that word "penultimate") When asked what he did prior to the lecture, John gave a little shout out to his PTL appearance and me, his only "TV Nerdfighter". I guess we have legitimate claim to him as our resident author. HaHa! 

You can read more about the evening from a teenager's perspective in her detailed blog about the evening here. As an adult, some of her "whatevers" will make you laugh out loud.

One of the things I admire most about John is he never, ever talks down to the kids. He respects them and their intelligence by speaking to them as peers. And they adore him for it. And now so does our nephew. Waiting in the book-signing line, he reported back to his friends, unable to contain his enthusiasm.
Alex and John. New best buds.

For me the most rewarding aspect of the entire evening was when we first sat down. Alex looked around the jammed auditorium and stated even though he was in a roomful of complete strangers, for the first time in his young life he felt right at home.

And for that alone, I thank you John Green.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Pittsburgh Native and Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy
getting a well-deserved Gatorade dump.
Bravo, Mike!


No Trophy For You. One Year.

F**cking Football Nazi.

Okay, so the Steelers shot themselves in the foot with turnovers, penalties and a flat defensive performance leaving the door wide open for Green Bay to hoist the Lombardi metal. It was a real nailbiter in the second half. We came close, but no cigar.

Kudos to the Pack for wanting it more and outperforming the Black and Gold. A big congratulations goes out to the folks of Wisconsin. You've waited a very long time for this victory. Enjoy your time in the sun. Take it from us, it is AWESOME!

We here in the Burgh, although bruised a bit can still take pride in the accomplishment of one of our own. GB coach, Mike McCarthy hails from the charming little hamlet of Greenfield located within the city limits. Story has it, the night before the game he did something rather unorthodox to inspire his team to give it their all. He fitted each player for his Super Bowl bling. And what an inspiration it was.

So in the spirit of good sportsmanship, congratulations Green Bay. Well done. Well done indeed.

Yes it stings, but we'll get over it.

Aaaaaaaaand over it now. Let's go Pens!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go!!
or Holy Crap the Stillers made it to the Super Bowl?!?

Okay, so as many of you know by now my sports-luvin heart belongs to my beloved Boys of Winter, Sid the Kid and the rest of our fabulous Penguins. That said, it's hard not to get caught up in the fervor of Steelers mania when they've managed to overcome key-player injuries, huge fines and a major pre-season controversy involving a quarterback being an utter asshole jerkface jagoff, to somehow win a Super Bowl berth. 

Have you heard?

We're in the SUPER BOWL, BABY!!!

And almost everyone is consumed by the spectacle. Believe it or not, the Burgh has more women donning team sports shirts (football or hockey) per capita than any other city. We lovely ladies are loyal franchise supporters... or maybe we're just a town of beer-swilling tomboys. Whatever the case, virtually every office is awash in a sea of Black and Gold wearing employees on Fridays. Hospitals, banks, doctor's offices, department stores, television anchor desks...
They got the fevah...except for Gomer there

Pittsburgh is weird, but in a good way. 

The tremendously tressed Troy Polamalu and company are in search of their seventh trophy, while the Packers of Green Bay are hellbent on returning the Lombardi to its roots. As I write this, things don't look so good for the home team. We're down by 11. 


The thing is this. The Mother of all Sporting Championships is being played in Dallas, Texas. 




There is a long, storied history of hatred between Cowboys and Steelers fans. We CANNOT lose here. We just can't. Losing in Dallas would be akin to the searing pain of falling to the self-proclaimed "America's effing Team" back in 1995. It's a matter of principle.

The Steelers hoisting their seventh Lombardi trophy in Dallas would be a poetic end to this troubled season. 

And then there's this.
Et tu, Rhette? 

As much as I adore Rhett Miller, and you all know how ridiculously deep that is, he can't get his wish. He just can't. 

This game is already way too freaking tense. I doubt I'll have any nails left when this is over. There's no way I'm getting any sleep tonight. Tomorrow will definitely be a espresso-IV-drip kind of morning. Until the outcome is determined, let me leave you (and me) with the most ADORABLE photo of my friend Lori's Terrible Towel-waving bambino to calm our collective nerves.

Look at that beautiful cherub! How can you possibly disappoint the cutest toddler on the face of this crazy blue planet? Do you hear me, Steelers? Good God! Win this thing already, you know, for the kids. 

Where the hell's my valium? 

Go Steelers!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Which I'm Caught In A Customer Service Loop Of Lunacy

Okay, so remember last year when I was convinced the bug world had put a hit out on me because the creepy crawly sons of bitches kept ambushing me? Well now I believe automated customer service phone systems are conspiring to Gaslight me.

(Gaslight is a classic 1940s thriller in which Charles Boyer marries Ingrid Bergman and sets about to convince her she's going mad so he can have her committed enabling him to freely search the house for Ingrid's Aunt's (whom he's murdered, by the way) missing jewels. Great Gent, that Chuck. "Gaslighting" someone is pop cultural slang for intentionally tricking someone into thinking he/she is bonkers.)

Last year I grappled with a grizzly gas pump that gave me the third degree, sucking up what was left of my youth by asking me 20 zillion questions before it would entertain the notion of releasing its crude. I had to threaten to throw down before it would allow me the "pleasure" of pumping my own frelling gasoline.


Fast forward to this morning.

Point of fact: I'm susceptible to the allure of the infomercial. It's a job hazard working in television on weekends when filler programming consists of 90% video hucksters and 10% locally produced, mind-melting BS.

Case in point, I got sucked into a Cindy Crawford fronted face care cult regiment. Hey, I'm a gal of "a certain age" whose skin used to be as lush and moist as a welcomed Oasis, but is now more akin to the surrounding arid and dusty Mohave dessert. In my defense, the moisturizers are terrific. Really. They're great, but it's one of those deals where you pay a certain amount every month for a shipment of product which continues in perpetuity, until one day you find yourself unwittingly surrounded by teetering towers of boxes filled with enough of this shit to make the faces of an entire village populace in the Andes feel baby butt smooth.

Like mushrooms they grow.

Well said, Yoda.

Anywho, today I hopped on the horn to suspend my shipments until which time I find myself in need of product replenishment, say, oh...early 2020. Since most businesses refuse to actually speak with customers because, you know, people are icky, they have adopted more of a "just shut up and pay the bill, Round Eye" kind of philosophy by instituting an automated customer service menu. 

Yeah. Yeah. It's supposed to speed up the process by vetting questions in order to efficiently direct your query to the corresponding robotic operator, but I believe it's a conspiracy to send you round and round until you're so confused and frustrated you want to strangle yourself with the phone cord to bring on the sweet relief of death. 

It started off like any other service call.

Evil Automated Chippie: Welcome to Blah Blah Blah. In order to assist you better, please state what it is you need today. For example, say "fill an order" or "check payment schedule". Okay. Go ahead.

Me: Suspend my account.

EAC: Okay. So that was "place an order" right?

Me: Um...No.

EAC: Okay. Let's try a different way. State what we can do for you today. Say "Check on my order status." Okay. Go ahead (idiot).

Me: Suspend my accou... Wait. What did you call me?

EAC: So that was "File a new credit card" right? (asshat)

Me: What the..?! NO! Did you just call me an as--

EAC: Alright clam down, loser. Let's try this one more time because clearly you are a slow learner. I'll speak s-l-o-w-l-y... S-t-a-t-e  w-h-a-t  y-o-u  w-a-n-t  u-s  t-o  d-o. (rolls mechanical eyes)

Me: Hey, what's with the attitude, jerk? And don't think I didn't hear your eyes rolling out of your robotic eye sockets. I'm done with you. I want to talk to an operator.

EAC: Sphincter says what?

Me: What? Oh nice! You're a douche. (pushes "0" a thousand times)

EAC: Ahahahahahaha! I can't believe you fell for that. What a tool. *snort* Hold your knickers, Grandma. I grow tired of you now. Transferring.

Me: (pounds head with receiver repeatedly)

What fresh Hell is this?

Just another trip around the customer service loop of lunacy.