Your RDA of Irony

Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness

It is Jesse Helms’ first day in Hell. I hope that he was forced to watch Venus and Serena Williams compete at Wimbleton. Better yet, I hope that Helms’s head was transmuted into the tennis ball.

Yesterday, one television network honored our Independence Day by broadcasting a “Law and Order” marathon. Well, the series did premiere in 1776. The first season’s cast had David Garrick, Sarah Siddons, Colley Cibber and–of course–Steven Hill.

I just survived another encounter with corporate reality. Despite my refusal to run up any debts to enrich its usurious soul, my bank has extended my Visa card for another few years. However, in order to activate my new card, I first had to call “customer service.” The voice answering my call identified himself as “Hubert.” R…E…A…L…L…Y! He certainly didn’t sound like a Hubert; of course, he could have been named for someone his great-great-grandfather killed in the Sepoy Rebellion. Unlike him, I had some credibility in my identity and was able to prove that I was Eugene.

Yet, before my card could be activated, Hubert first had to tell me about all sorts of wonderful programs and benefits that the bank wanted me to have. Furthermore, none of these proffered gifts would cost me a cent….except for a minor details that were equally unintelligible in English and Hindi. But Hubert was going to sign me up unless I repeatedly said, “No.” Which I did, insistently–because he did not choose to believe me the first few times. Whether surprised or offended by my refusal, Hubert ventured, “May I ask why?”

Of course, I did not have to give him my reason–but when have I ever been reticent? I told him, “The bank is not a philanthropy. It is simply looking for any opportunity to charge me fees and interest. Well, I am not a philanthropy either, and I will not give away my money for bank services that I don’t want.”

I think that Hubert finally accepted my answer. But I will carefully check my next bank statement.

  1. Rey Hinckley says:

    Definitely check your statement. I once worked for a telemarketing firm and I had to use my legal name instead of my nick name which was what everyone called me since I was a child. Norbert wasn’t even a real name for me (like Hubert). Both my grand father and my fathers’ first names were Norbert.
    The telemarketing firm demanded that I use the name Norbert and also required that I continue upselling a offer until the party said “NO” three times.

  2. MARY ANN JUNG says:

    Thought you were going to say Hubert’s persistence caused you to create your own fireworks to become independent of his pestering, but you’re apparently calmer than I would have been. You’re more a Ben Franklin than a John Adams. Well done!

  3. Bob Kincaid says:

    Lotsa help down at the Hell’s Corner Walgreen’s lunch counter these days, what with Jesse Helms scraping dishes, George Wallace busing tables, Richard Nixon on the broiler (literally), Ronald Reagan taking orders at the counter, Gerald Ford whining at the cash register and Lester Maddox waiting tables (Satan tells me he looks “FABULOUS!” in the skirt and heels). I’ve heard Lester gets REALLY mad every time someone pinches his tushy, which is constantly, the job being eternal and all.

  4. Peggles says:

    I understand that there is a special booth reserved for the future arrival of GHWB and W.

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