Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why Brad isn't Salvatore...or Sheldon!

I got an email from a friend today and it started out, Mel, or Melvin (Do you use Melvin?) Well it started me thinking about how we name our children when there isn't a hint in hell to tell us if the poor child agrees with our choice. Do you know any Ethyls or Berthas or Stanleys that are fond of their names? Wouldn't Olga rather be little Debbie? When I was born, I was lucky and didn't suffer any unusual traumas and looked kind of cute like a baby boy should look and naturally my mother decided that Melvyn would be a perfect choice for a name. WTF was she thinking. And where was my father when her mind went criss-cross from the pain of childbirth with some good sound advice that he was always spouting off at me? So here's a perfectly normal baby boy, learning to walk and talk with a name like Melvyn. The first thing I learned was to fight, in order to protect myself from the teasing of other kids. 

Here is my idea. Why not wait until the child is old enough to have an opinion of his own on his legal name. If that were the way it was, I'm telling you right now there wouldn't be any Melvyns! At some point I decided to change my name to Mike. I was married to wife number 3 and she was in full agreement. From that point on I'd be Mike. It was the new Millennium, the year 2000 and we were invited to a New Year's eve party where there would be 160 people. I decided that it would be my "coming out" party. Whoever we met that night, I'd introduce myself to them as Mike. One couple we kind of hit it off with and exchanged phone numbers to possibly get together with socially. One night about a week after the party the phone rang and the woman caller said, "Hello, Mike"? I politely said, "I'm sorry, but you've dialed a wrong number" and hung up! The lady called back and I didn't know what to say, so I put my wife on the phone.

Getting back to my title. The year is 1973 and we are about to deliver a baby boy, although back then they couldn't tell you the gender until it slid out. I married a woman that had an older sister, Paty. Paty, spelled with just one T and already had 2 boys and they were named Scott and Steven and in keeping with the "S" thing, we named our first son Stuart, a name I never liked and fought against, but lost. We needed to use the letter "S" because my father-in-laws deceased mother's name was Sylvia. So in honor of her, S it had to be. My father-in-law was the worst scoundrel in the history of scoundrels. He lied and cheated and hurt people both physically and every other way possible and I spent many sleepless nights planning a way to eliminate him, but of course never did. He was a thug and we learned after his death that he had done prison time in the Federal penitentiary in Lexington, Kentucky when his daughters were too young to remember. He was convicted of prying open a voting machine to change the totals. He was a low-down in the original Daily Machine of Chicago.

So when I realized that this was the man that we were honoring, I refused to go along with family tradition and we chose Brad's name ourselves. Now that Brad is 39, I seldom miss an opportunity to tell him, that if it weren't for me, he'd be Salvatore!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Damn AT&T...

Here's a short one for you. Last night about 11 PM I got an email from some woman on Plenty of Fish, a dating service. Let's call the lady Joy, because that was her name. Is that supposed to be short for Joyce? My mind immediately went reeling back to the 4th grade where I learned the little poem, "At the Christmas party all the boys were feeling merry (Mary) and when she left, everyone jumped for Joy!"

So Joy wrote to me and told me she'd like to meet me. Although I didn't find Joy too attractive, looks at my age may be secondary to a nice personality. Assuming the looks are not horrid! Joy fell somewhere in between. Buck toothed, good body, but mentions booty calls right in her profile. Never a good topic for a nice girl to mention to the public. Making good choices is important at 55, Joy's age.

After some casual emailing this morning I asked for her telephone number and she supplied it to me. In her profile she says she used to be a nurse, but now she's a massage therapist and has more time for dating. I'm thinking that having a retired nurse around in case of an emergency is wise and who could complain about their girlfriend being a massage therapist? 

The next thing that happened was kind of funny. I push the proper button and tell Siri to call Joy on her mobile phone. Siri replies, "I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE OR JOY" Then she tells me to check on my name under "connections". I give her one more chance before firing the bitch and replacing her with a robot named Stella, when Siri says, "CALLING JOY'S MOBILE PHONE". I was glad to see that Siri came to her senses! Sound like a little employee descention to you? 

Joy answers and she's one of those fast talkers. She runs her words together like a teenager full of hormones. I can't understand a word she's saying, plus she has me on speaker phone for more distortion. She says, hold on I'll run you through my speaker system. Oh grand, I would have said, "Oh joy", but was afraid I'd confuse you. I enter into a conversation with her and all the while I'm thinking, "This is not going to work"! I ask her how she wound up being a massage therapist after a career in nursing? She tells me they took her license away from her for borrowing $1200 from a patient to get her car fixed, but that was in Washington. Then Arizona found out about it and they took her nursing license too. So naturally she took up massage therapy. 

Now I'm thinking, when I want to stay on a conversation, the call always drops. Why doesn't it drop when I want it to? Like right now! Suddenly, the coward that I am, I clicked on "end" and ended the call. She called right back and I turned chicken and answered it. I explained how I'm having soooo much trouble with my new iPhone and listened to her ramble on some more. I tried interrupting to ask a question, but she spoke louder and over me. I looked at my phone and kind of said sorry to it and hung up again.... Joy called back 3 more times and left voice mails that I deleted. Then I shot her off a text explaining that I was having "issues" and I'd have to get back to her ..............................NEVER! 

I sent her an email on the dating site that I didn't feel that we were compatible and wished her luck.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another Day Online...

I watched a piece on the news last night. It was about an inmate at a local AZ. prison that got beaten to a pulp by other inmates and there were no guards or cameras around to witness it. This poor guy was literally whipped and kicked so many times that his face caved in and he eventually suffered permanent brain damage. Here's the killer, he was only in for DUI, but a repeat offender.

That's exactly how I feel today. After researching all the facts, this time, I put my Blackberry phone back on eBay and as a prevention, eliminated all of the undesirable buyers that I had listed in a previous post, except fat people, because I couldn't find any fat people that would actually admit it! They all claimed to be average or athletic builds. This time I did not use a "Buy it Now" price and patiently waited for the auction to play out. I got about 45 lookers but no bids until about 28 minutes before the auction was to end. Suddenly there was a guy from Ecuador that bid the opening price of $135. He got my attention, although I didn't understand why he was allowed to bid as he was not a resident of the United States. Out of nowhere, a neighbor came and asked me to help move a bookcase in her house, so forgetting all about my auction, I obliged. When I got back, there were 2 emails from eBay saying my item had sold and for $177.00. I was happy. I actually got excited, if you will? The oddest things excite me lately. 

Getting back to my auction, I look and see how it went and was sorry I had missed the action. The Ecuador buyer had a secret bid in for $145 if he was outbid and then there was a local boy that had a secret bid in for $175. Out of nowhere, this idiot comes along 9 seconds before the auction is over and bids $177. The $177 guy has no buying history and is supposed to be blocked from bidding, as I only allow buyers with good buying records and good feedback, but apparently none of that matters because this punk wins the auction. You may be wondering why I'm referring to him as a punk and other derogatory names. He immediately writes me an email, calling me young man and telling me he's going to get the money to me through Paypal as quickly as possible. I reply that I'll do whatever I have to, to expedite the transaction and to bare with me, it's my first eBay sale. 

The following morning, I sleep late and check my emails at about 11 AM. Nothing from my buddy Jerry Rogers (the crook) through Paypal! I text him, as he had supplied me with his cell number. He replies that he's going to do it right now. About 10 minutes later, he texts me this long story about how it's for his music director and will I please ship it to freaking AFRICA! He'll include an extra $75 for shipping and thanks for being such a good sport and he finishes every sentence with "man". Kind of like the slang that African-Americans use in the hood. I slowly do a meltdown... I'm now seething..... I'm so pissed off that there is no explaining it.... The bastards got me again!!!

Here's the deal. Every time this happens, I not only feel like a fool, but I also have to go through the bullshit system of eBay to get the money, eBay's commission, back in my account and all that eBay has as buyers are fucking crooks! This is 3 times now and that amounts to over $30. I do it through their system and have to wait 2 weeks in between listings and then I wind up having to call fucking Timbuktu India to talk to someone with an accent that doesn't really give a shit! Then the freaking survey comes and they want to know if I loved my experience on e-fucking-Bay? Excuse my language, but I'm fucking PISSED!

                                             PART 2

After 2 months of misery and constant calls to AT&T, they finally agreed to give me a $250 credit, so I could use that money to purchase a booster system for my Internet and it will also make my phone work. I talk to a few people about this and I learn this is a VOIP system which will only give me phone service and only at home. I have a cell phone because I want phone service home and away from home. Make sense? If I wanted service only at home, there are landlines available with a lot less grief. 

I call AT&T and tell them I don't want a VOIP system and they can take back the $250. The man says it's not for a VIOP system exclusively, it's for my grief. He was really very nice. By the way, I was chatting with the department called "cancellations". I wanted to cancel my contract with AT&T and switch to Verizon. He told me that unfortunately there was a penalty for early cancellation, BUT with my new credit of $250, I can apply that towards it. That leaves me a balance of only $55 due to them. 

I nicely and casually explained that I had lived up to our agreement, I paid my bill every month, it was AT&T that couldn't live up to their part of out contract and yet I'm going to be penalized. I asked if that seemed right to him? He said something that actually made sense to me. He said, "If it were me, I'd be happy to get rid of AT&T and move on for only $55"? I laughed and immediately thought of my first divorce! I paid through the nose and was just thrilled to do it! He also told me that the money was not for lost future service, but it was for the iPhone 4S, that I will be keeping.

Almost immediately I called Verizon and waited on hold for about 5 minutes. I needed to ask a question, I talked to Priscilla, the associate that answered my call. I explained that I was currently with AT&T but wanted to switch to Verizon. I have a brand new iPhone, so I'd only like service, no need to purchase a phone. She said to me that AT&T's phone will not work on their system, that I'll need to purchase one of theirs. I asked what I could do with my brand new iPhone that is less than a month old. You want to know what Priscilla told me? She told me I could sell it online!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ah Juanita...

The year was 1979 and I had just gotten divorced for the first time. Wait, why lie now? I was at the end of a 12 year marriage to the impossible Barbara and I went to Tucson to spend an evening with an old buddy from Chicago, ironically the same guy that introduced me to my wife, many years ago, Fred. Fred and his lovely wife Lois had relocated to Tucson, from Chicago a few years ago and opened a bar on Speedway named, of all things, "The Chicago Bar". Fred and I had been friends for many years and we decided to go out and have a few drinks. Fred knew the territory and I was just along for the ride and the drinks. We went to some hotel and there she sat, all along just listening to the band and enjoying a drink that had an umbrella in it. Heavy drinkers don't drink umbrella drinks, usually beer or something that tastes like booze. I didn't want a drunk! I approached the lovely lady and asked if I could sit with her? She nodded yes. I sat down and began entering into a conversation with her. The first thing I asked was her name and she said it was Juanita. A little shocked, she was not of Hispanic origin and when I asked why she had a Hispanic name, she very matter of factly answered, that her mother just liked it. In addition, as beautiful as Juanita was and she was pretty with her blond hair and blue eyes, she had a speech impediment that caused her to sound like a child, like a baby, if you will? I found it hard to have an intelligent conversation with this child as attractive as she was. Juanita was a registered nurse at the local Tucson hospital and we kind of hit it off. Frankly I don't remember the outcome of the first night we met but I did have her phone number and she became my Tucson girlfriend.

From that point on, whenever I went to Tucson to see my old buddy Fred, I stayed at Juanita's apartment. One night we were leaving the Chicago Bar and heading for Juanita's apartment. I felt we had both had enough to drink and just wanted to rest. As I was driving past a Circle K, suddenly Juanita yelled, "Quick, turn into that Circle K"! Ignoring her, I casually asked what she needed at the store that we couldn't due without until morning? She looked at me with those eyes, you girls know the ones I'm talking about, the innocent eyes and said, whipped cream! The ones that suggest a lot more than just a sweet topping for pies and cakes. I quickly made a u-turn and pulled into Circle K with tires screeching! We went to her place.

The next morning when I awoke, I was alone and that didn't surprise me. I knew that Juanita had to go in early and I knew my way around her place alone. I recall laughing when I realized I was covered with dried whip cream and quickly showered and got dressed to drive home. I remember I had a 75 white Corvette during those days. As I got into the car and closed the door, I think I drove around a mile when I realized a bee had gotten into the car with me and he was not happy. I tried opening the window while driving down the freeway, but her would not take the hint. He buzzed and drove me crazy for miles. I finally pulled over and opened the windows and doors, still he insisted on staying in the back of the car, somewhere. As soon as I started driving, he started buzzing again and letting me know how mad he was.

At about the 20 mile point I noticed a dairy farm and could actually smell the soured milk that I found kind of nauseating. As I drove farther away, the smell got stronger if anything. How is it that I could smell the sour milk from a dairy farm, from this far away? And what did they do with this sour milk to make it smell so bad? I think I was at Pichacho Peak when I realized the horrible smell of sour milk was not from the dairy farm, but from the dried whipped cream inside my nose! 

I arrived at my office and I knew I had two things to do immediately. First I had to get that mad bee out of my car, so I addressed that first. As he flew out to a strange environment, I realized he was in big trouble with his own family and friends at the hive, not to mention he wouldn't know a soul here in Phoenix. The next thing I needed to do was figure out a way to get that sour smell out of my nose. I never saw Juanita again, however the divorce was forthcoming!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I Miss the Good Ol' days!

This is difficult to explain, but there doesn't seem to be any end to the dishonesty and perversion going on in the cyber-world. I spoke with eBay yesterday and another nice lady in India assisted me in fine tuning my eBay account. Now I thought it would at least be discriminatory to eliminate certain countries or groups of people from bidding on my items, but it was told to me that it is the only way to successfully sell an item without dishonest intervention. Here is a short list of the people I've eliminated from my buying audience:
1. All countries other than the United States.
2. All buyers with poor feedback history.
3. Buyers with poor paying records.
4. All Republicans
5. Fat people.
6. Anyone that has been to prison more than 5 times for assaulting sellers.

If you can think of anyone else, please advise me in the comments area. This does not apply to you NMS.

Yesterday, other than a few emergencies like the milk turning sour. By the way, how do the people at the store know which exact day the milk is going to turn? I bought a gallon of milk on 7/31 that had a 8/10 expiration date and I figured I'd be able to drink a gallon in 10 days, right? Last night around midnight, I was feeling the pangs of hunger and opened the milk carton for a sniff and sure enough it smelled kind of sour. I tried changing the expiration date, but still no help. How does it know when to turn bad?

So around 10 PM last night, my iPhone starts barking, indicating a text message coming in. I looked at it and it was another crook from somewhere in South Africa with a 832 area code (somewhere in Texas). In order to confuse the recipient, the bad guys are allowed to request area codes anywhere in the world. Others are calling from stolen phones that they are able to activate. Here's how I know this. The first thing I do when I get a caller from another area code is Google the number and it tells me right there that the phone has been reported stolen, where and when.

Here's what I'll do for you. I'll copy the exact conversation that we had beginning last night at about 10 PM, so you can see how flimsy the story is that they all use. No originality whatsoever. Now what you see written here, try to picture in little bubbles, as they would appear on my phone,

Crook: Hi,Iwould like to know if you still have this ad for sale? Please let me know as soon as possible.

Me: yes.

Crook 2 hours later: Thanks for your mail. What is the conditions of it? I am buying the item for my cousin who work in oversea. i will add $20 for taking down the ad and $100 for shipping, I would have done it local transacation but I am out of town can get back to me with your Paypal email account so I can pay now and if you don't have one you can log on to to create an account with them and get back to me with your Paypal email.

Me: I don't understand...

Crook: I will be paying extra $100 for shipping and 20for taking down the ad from Craig's list...I want it shipped to my cousin oversea and am paying through Paypal. So text me your Paypal address for the payment.

Me: (I'm trying to drive him crazy) You are confusing me. The phone is only $200???

Crook: (feeling the strain of it all) yes i know but if you want to help me then I will only pay 70$ for the shipping via usps express mail so let me know

Me: You want me to send you 70 dollars, why?

Crook: No you asked how much it will be for the shipping and I said 70$.

Me: It's the middle of the night here. Too late to talk. Try again tomorrow.

Me: Goodnight sir.

Crook: Okay, just text me your Paypal email address tomorrow morning so that I can make the payment immediately

Me: (Trying to drive him over the edge) You want to be my Penpal?

Me: You don't want my phone?

Crook: No i want your Paypal email address, for the payment.

Okay, it's finally about 1:30 AM and I'm so wired and laughing, that I have to take an Ambien to even sleep. The following morning, I think of a few additional things for my overseas buddy on how to complete the deal. Now keep in mind that he has no intention of sending me any money ever, his only goal is to steal my fine Blackberry using his old worn out con game. 

Me: My wife thinks you are trying to get our phone for free. I believe you are an honest man though. I spent many years in prison and learned to trust people. I am very old now, but opened a Playpen account like you said. What address should I send the Blackberry to?

Me: Hurry, I want to get this over with before my wife gets home from shopping.

Crook: Oh,I understand how she feels, so text me the Paypal address so I can make the payment immediately.

Me: Ok, here it is: NelsonMandela@Africancounsulate.screw-u

Crook: whats the meaning of this

Me: I just love when crooks get irate, don't you? FYI, you are the 12th crook to use the same tired old story. Get real dude!

Me: What about your poor mother? Her son is a con artist crook and not even good at it. Poor woman!

I just got a note from a new buyer on eBay, asking me to cancel the auction and well you read it.

Dear mel5679-2012,
Okay. do you have an active paypal account? am presently in the UK, and i can only send you money via Paypal, am ready to buy it now and am offering you 230usd + shipping and handling fees, am offering that much due to the urgency, i want you to end the auction now and reply with your paypal email address,so i can send the money straightaway, i hope this item is really as described on ebay. i need the item urgently for my granddaughter in college, i will leave you your feedback after a complete transaction, regards

Do you suppose this is for real? I don't!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I've had a rather unusual day today. It really started off with Brad stopping by and dumping 32 old Blackberry phone at  my doorstep. I may be in the used Blackberry business? I was telling him of all the fun I'd been having playing with the crooks on eBay and Craig's List. As I've written about here on my blog, I tried using eBay, only to find out that it is completely over run by scam artists and criminals. I got fed up and switched over to Craig's List, only to discover they subscribe to it too! I placed an ad in the North Phoenix edition of Craig's List and I start getting texts at 4 AM, from all around the world. I wrote right in my ad local buyers only, will not ship and that doesn't stop them. At some point I decide to jerk them right back and learn their gimmicks. At the very end, I tell them to look into their mirror and ask them if they see the dishonest crook that everyone else sees and then I go on about their poor mothers. Some get so mad at me for busting them that they lose control and blurt out, "I'll send mobs to your house and blaster your haed"! I think that means something bad in Arabic. Now that I find that all of the activity was negative activity, what am I going to do with an extra 32 used Blackberry's?

Next, I get an email, actually a love letter, from a woman on, that had no reason to be contacting me. She was supposedly 42, blond haired, cute and totally in love with me. Her email went on and on and she gave me her private email address. I contacted her and before I knew it, she was professing her love for me and suddenly referred to herself as a Widower and mentioned at another point that "he" was looking for a certain type of women (huh). Well that confused me, until she shared with me that she was currently out of the country and would be back next week, when we could meet and make beautiful love together. (I was smelling rats). This email went on and on. I shared it with a few friends to enjoy. Below is my reply:

Ya know, I've been dealing with crooks all day and it appears not to have stopped, as of 3 PM Arizona time. I tried to sell my old Blackberry on Craigs List and have had scammers from Nigeria texting me all day and now you. Somehow Shelley Cool eyes, when I read your flowery email, I cannot help but picture a fat, really fat guy named Ralph with a cigar hanging out of his mouth, trying to romance me. Oh, he's also got this big pot belly protruding and a hairy one at that. On 2 occasions in your email, you referred to yourself in the male gender and looking for the perfect woman. (error). I looked up your email address and of course you know what it says. I also tried your name at AOL. Gmail and Yahoo to discover the same thing. cancelled you and hid your profile and basically it's time to move on and search for a new "Mark"! Now I'll tell you the same thing I told all of the Nigerian crooks. PISS OFF!


Next on my list was a woman that I'd been trying to communicate with, however her picture reminded me of something from the past and I'm thinking it was the hairstyle that was a dinosaur. I hadn't seen that hairstyle since high school. That alone made me think the pictures were very old. I knew I couldn't mention her hairstyle, so I told her she looked way too young to be 58. In her reply, she kind of giggled and thanked me and assured me that her pictures were very recent (oh shit). In addition, she wouldn't answer any questions that I'd ask. I told her where I lived and she replied that she used to live in Scottsdale and will be moving back soon, as soon as she sells her house. She signed her email that were one or two lines long with her screen name, Ami4u. So after about 4 email, I still don't even know her first name. I stop answering her and she writes, "Did I say something to scare you off". I tell her in my next diplomatic email that she never seems to answer anything I ask her and she's not even told me her name! She writes me back that it's Bev. My next email say: "I have an idea, why don't you just send me your phone number?" She relied, why don't you give me yours and I'll call you. 

I wrote to her:

I lived on Beverly Lane for 20 years. Hi Bev. I only have one question, why? I don't accept calls from blocked or private numbers though. If you recall, I gave you my name and email address so you could Google me and feel comfortable with my history, so why? 


After that she told me she didn't think we were a very good match and good luck and God bless. 

My final email
Honestly Bev.............. I just couldn't get past that 1970's hair style. That's why I asked if your pictures were old. Then things went downhill with your attitude problem. 
Good luck, maybe you'll find someone with a ducktail haircut!

Dutch Ovens

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

No Last Laugh Here...

I think I'm done with eBay. That was my second purchaser that turned out to be a thief. Honestly, this punk had me fooled or I just wanted to believe that good had won out over evil, but it turns out to be the other way around. Mr Francis Aaron of the United Kingdom actually resided in New England, South Africa and was a damned good scammer. Here is how he played it. He was very polite and took the time to learn our language and most importantly, our spelling. He thanked me repeatedly and gave me his private email address at Yahoo to keep him apprised of anything I needed. The very following morning, I received a notice from Paypal that $270 was deposited to my account and it was time to ship my phone. He supplied an item number and a transaction number and to most people they would have been satisfied. As a precaution however, I checked on the balance of my Paypal account and it was still at zero. A friend told me to wait patiently, that sometimes it takes a few hours for the electronic payment to arrive. I waited a full day and this morning when I checked, it was still at zero. Last night I emailed Frances Aaron and told him his payment has still not been credited to my account and he was going to investigate and get back to me. As of today, I'd still heard nothing. I studied the website and after a great deal of time, I finally found a way to contact eBay and investigate myself. Doing that had a time limit of my call, I had to supply them with a security number that they texted to me and then when I was about ready to give up, a human came on the line and said hello! Glory be!!! I explained my situation to the best of my ability and tried to keep it simple. The lady checked and replied that the amount had NOT been paid, but it had been marked paid by the customer. It is a scam that they try, in order to convince new sellers that the payment is in transit. It said right on my paid invoice from Paypal that payment will not appear until proof of shipping is supplied by seller. WHAT? Evidently the buyer/scammer had a counterfeit invoice, that they send out to convince the seller to ship. I think that when he used the same story as the last guy, that the phone is for his son and not to insure it and do NOT mention the value of it in any writing on the shipping end, that alerted me. That and the South African address! Here is a copy of the email that I sent to my buddy and scammer, hoping that he will change his ways, if not for me and himself, for his poor mother!

Hello Frances or whatever your real name is:

I just finished a conversation with eBay and they informed me that you are a liar and a thief. You NEVER paid for the item in question, you only marked it paid in an attempt to have me ship it to your bogus son in South Africa. Does your mother know what kind of person you've turned out to be? I'll bet she's both ashamed and embarrassed to have you as a son or daughter. Just so you know, the RED Flag went up the moment you wrote South Africa (the home of the dishonest parasites) You know, you sound intelligent in your email, as brief as it was, why not try honest employment, your mother would love it?

Another Smart American

Oddly enough, as I was finishing up this posting, I receive a text message. I was done with eBay and it's dishonest users and had already posted my Blackberry on Craig's List. I just got a text and I ran to the phone and sure enough it was a buyer for my cell phone. He/she asked me if it was in the perfect condition that I mentioned in my ad and I replied, "absolutely"! A few minutes passed and the buyer asked if I could ship it to South Africa if they sent me an extra $100 through Paypal? They couldn't hear me but I just laughed and replied in text, a resounding NO!

The Herty Chopper Co.

The Herty Chopper

I spoke with my son last night. He called on his way home from work at about 7 PM. Among the topics of our talk, was the fact that he had won some sort of a contest at work and was going to receive a motor scooter as a prize for his achievement. He wasn't sure of much, but was rather adamant about getting it out of his house, knowing that he had a rather inquisitive 8 year old living with him, my grandson Max. Brad didn't even know what brand it was, but it's being delivered on Friday this week and wanted to know if I could research it and possibly market it, because of my vast experience in this sort of thing. I actually sold a Vespa for a friend and got her some cash for the thing. It was no easy feat and I met some really weird people. Try to picture who you might find sitting upon a motor scooter in traffic, not a motorcycle, a motor scooter. I talked to lonely older women and college students, as you would imagine. The women just wanted to talk and the college kids didn't have any money. Tough sale. 

Below is the email I sent to Brad this morning, after determining by blowing up the picture, that the scooter is a Herty brand. Sadly, they sell retail for $599 brand new. It appears that no fortune is coming his way, by way of selling it.

Well, it turns out that the Herty Chopper Company has quite a history. 

It was started by a man by the name of Albert Herty in 1892 with a bicycle that was devised for downhill racing and as the years went by, other family member joined the effort to get them where they are today. I believe it was in the 1930's that the Original Hells Angels used Herty bikes for their club bike of choice, but they later learned that due to the bore and stroke of the engine, the Herty bikes were a tad out of balance and required smaller wheels in the back of the scooter to keep it on track, so to speak. They later switched to training wheels, due to the savings they could enjoy in their manufacturing costs. (Clearly a poor decision) It was the Arizona Outlaws that first rumbled with the Hells Angels over their less than aggressive image that they were creating for the motorcycle gang culture. The Outlaws won and teased the Angels taunting them with hissing and the screaming of "Sissies". That was when the Hells Angels switched to the Harley Davidson hogs and in doing so abandoned the Herty Choppers with their training wheels. Since then, their stock has plummeted and most of their employees were coming to work in disguises. Most chose to wear the costumes of Firemen, Policemen and Cowboys n Indians and later formed the Village People, but I'll save that for another story! As they say in Yiddish, "A Vespa it's not"!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Might Still Get Last Laugh...

Well, I must say that my first experience on eBay was a poor one. First, I didn't do my homework properly and didn't research my item that I was selling. Like I said last time, I didn't want to make a career out of it, I just wanted to sell it for more than the $44 offered to me by the used phone guy. I saw that the lowest that a Blackberry like mine sold for was $132.50, so I priced mine for "Sell it Now" at $135. It sold about 10 minutes after the sale began and the guy tied me up for a week or more and still no payment arrived. I then contested the sale and eBay charged my account for the transaction about $8.25. I was informed by eBay that I could cancel the sale today, due to non-payment and they would eventually refund the $8.25. Then they asked me if I wanted to re-list it and I did. Only this time I opened the bidding at $135 and gave it a $200. "Buy it Now" price. All day nothing happened. No bids. Then at 8 PM our time, Arizona time, I got a notice that it sold for the "Buy it Now" price of $200! Whoop dee Doo! That's a full $65 more than the first time, that the guy walked away from. I LOVE stories with happy endings, don't you? My Blackberry is going to England too, almost in time for the Olympics. I've already been in touch with the new buyer and he's sending payment tomorrow. As soon as I receive it, I'll rush it to the post office for priority mail and he should have it within a few days. The only thing that bothers me is how will my old Blackberry learn the accent in time???

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall....

I was chatting with my son tonight and we were discussing my grandson's confidence with meeting new challenges. Brad told me about some advice that my nephew Scott gave to Max once when Max was only 5 years old. He told him how to handle bullies. He said to walk right up to them and take the first chance to throw the first punch and aim for their nose! Well, last year Max did just that. There was a kid that was a couple of years older than Max and a full head taller, on his school bus and this kid just wouldn't let up with teasing Max about some silly thing. Well, Max had had enough and walked up to the kid and popped him one right in the nose and the kid started crying and holding his bloody nose. Max got reprimanded and Max and Brad had to go to the kid's house and make a formal apology to the bully and his parents. After, Brad received a nasty email from the mother and naturally she turned everything around making Max the 8 year old, skinny bully. That was pretty much the end of it for everyone concerned.

Now I told you all of that, so I could tell you all of this. I was born on the West side of Chicago in a less than affluent area and until age 9, I went to a school called Marshal Grammar School and it was attached to the notorious Marshal High School, that was renowned for many years due their basketball team. It went to Nationals for many years. One of the reasons that they were so successful in basketball was due to most of the players were African-American and extremely tall........... and Tough! So being raised in that environment until age 9, I was pretty used to brawling when necessary. I remember one time walking across the school yard and a kid came up behind me and shot me in the back of the head with a bobby pin, shot with a slingshot from a distance of about 2 inches. I knew if I showed any emotion whatsoever or even let a tear drip down my cheek, the whole group would jump me. So I sucked it up and continued walking like I didn't feel a thing. When I got out of danger, I let the tears flow, man that hurt!

When my family moved to the suburb of Skokie, a primarily Jewish town on the North side of the city, I enrolled in school and everyone was nice and clean and polite. No gangs of ruffians or home made slingshots. Somehow, because of my background, I became one of the toughest kids in my class. All I had to do was beat up Dickie Youngstrom and Tommy Anderson to take that position as head Honcho! Everyone wanted to fight the new kid to create the pecking order.

Along came Neal Nettler..............the bully! Neal lived in my neighborhood and was not too good at sports. Although he was a big kid and about 2 years older than me, he was always picked last when we chose up for teams. How you would "Choose up" was to flip a coin and then take turns for each team captain to pick sides, or team members. Poor Neal was always last. Suddenly it was the first day of school for 5th grade and my first day at the new school I was to attend. All the kids were strangers to each other, as this School went from 5th grade to eighth. We had all come from different schools that went up to 4th. I knew a few kids from my neighborhood that were older than me and was playing with them before school starting that first morning. One of them was the bully, Neal Nettler. Neal was about a head taller than me and his mom made him get his hair cut in a crew cut. He also had one of those noses like Miss Piggie, kind of spread out across his face. Neal came over and feeling less than secure about himself, decided to start picking on me and pretty soon he was pushing me. I don't remember how it happened and it certainly wasn't premeditated, but somehow I got in a lucky punch and caught the fat slob right smack in the middle of that big nose!

Let the blood flow! Just then the school bell rang and we all rushed into the school, looking for where we were all supposed to be. Except Neal Nettler, he was rushed to the school nurse with a bloody nose! You know, he never bothered me again.