Friday, December 16, 2011


Y'know what? Take your "Merry Christmas" and shove it up your -

No...That's not me. It's not in my nature to be that rude during the holidays. In fact, the holiday spirit tends to strike me more throughout the year, and doesn't require a specific date for me to be giving. When the opportunity arises, I try to do good deeds. Just the other day, while Becky and I were shopping for no-bake cookie supplies, I told a cute child to go find her parents and stay with them, as I'm still trying to be the protector of the young and innocent.

But I'm a bit annoyed with the hypocrisy of the season, especially when it comes to those who declare that people should keep the "Christ" in "Christmas." Even I, the nice Jewish boy from NY, knows that Christ, in an historical context at the very least, preached kindness, forgiving, and charity to those less fortunate. Yet those who point out the whole "war on Christmas" thing tend to give only on specific occasions. Kindness, forgiveness, and even tolerance go out the window as these "righteous" human beings demand that others say "Merry Christmas" openly and freely...

...and to Hell with all other cultures and religions!

I can't tell you how many cashiers I've made squirm with one simple line. As they wish me a merry X-mas, I simply say, "I'm Jewish." Suddenly, in this world where entirely too many people strive to be politically correct, these poor cashiers find themselves wondering if "Happy Holidays" wouldn't have been the better thing to say. If I were truly malicious, I could then file a complaint, saying that I was personally offended by the fact that my beliefs weren't being respected., that wouldn't be very nice, would it? Those poor cashiers already look confused at the idea of someone NOT wanting to have a merry Christmas.

The reality is that I DO want to have a Merry Christmas. Or, to be more generic and cover the multitude of those who celebrate this time of year, I want to have a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON. (There's absolutely nothing wrong with being generic.)

I hope my readers - all two or three of you - can forgive my grumpiness, but this hasn't been a good day. Both my right knee and ankle have been aching. I think it's a weather-related event, as it seems to be getting much colder. I've not only taken the appropriate pills, but have Lidoderm patches on both areas.

And then there was the brilliance of Dell customer service, straight out of India, and their undying desire to see my surprise gift to Becky not be a surprise at all.

You see, Becky has had a laptop hiding under the bed for some time now because the power cord essentially snapped at a point where it can't be repaired. For months, she's been saying how she needs to buy a new cord so she can not only get some old files off the computer, but to also have a computer that she can use to bring to school and work on various projects between classes. Well, with us putting our gathering of money for the wedding fund on hold for this month, I thought I'd splurge and buy her the cord in secret.

I called Dell, the manufacturer of her laptop, last week and ordered up the proper item. It wasn't the most expensive thing I could buy, but it wasn't cheap, either. While talking to the customer service rep, I specified that this was meant to be a surprise gift. So he took my e-mail address and phone number, put them on what is actually Becky's account, and then...Well, he said that the address I gave him wouldn't come up as a legitimate address on their system. It was the apartment number that was screwing everything up. To get past this, I simply told him to ship it to the address on the account, which is 'Nita's address. (Becky's mom.) After this was all set up, I called 'Nita to tell her the gift was coming to her, and eventually also asked that she wrap it so it would remain a surprise.

Skip to today, when my phone rang with a mysterious 800 number showing up on the little screen. When I answered, it was another guy from Dell, looking for Becky to find out if she'd received the power cord. According to their records, it was delivered on the 13th. "You're looking to talk to my fiancee, whom I bought this thing for as a surprise gift," I said vaguely, as Becky was sitting near me. "Well, I'll have to make a call to see if it arrived. I'll call back if there's any problems." Mr. Customer Service Guy said he understood, and apologized for almost ruining the surprise. We hung up and, as far as I knew, that was the end of it.

I then went into the kitchen, gathered up the trash, and walked outside to put it in the trash bins.

When I came back in, Becky was finishing up a phone call. My immediate thought was that she'd called her mother to at least ask if my surprise gift had arrived. I was fine with that, so long as she wasn't trying to find out what it was.

But...No, that wasn't the case. Instead of her having made a call, I found out that it was THE SAME GUY I'D JUST SPOKEN TO, calling the other phone number on the account, trying to get a definitive answer as to whether the power cord had arrived. After being told he understood it was a surprise...after saying he understood that I'd call if there was a problem...after apologizing for almost ruining the surprise...he went and made another phone call anyway, essentially ENSURING that the surprise was ruined.

Here, in a few brief lines, is how I imagine a job interview at Dell goes...

Manager: Can you push buttons?
Applicant: Yes.
Manager: Do you speak in an accent few Americans can understand?
Applicant: Yes.
Manager: Do you, yourself, understand English?
Applicant: Not really, no.
Manager: YOU'RE HIRED!

I'm so glad such people weren't in on the engagement scenario I pulled off over a year ago. I can just see it now, as Becky gets a phone call two weeks before I asked her to marry me, with the customer service rep asking, "We just wanted to know if you received the engagement ring your boyfriend ordered from us in secret and if you're happy with it?"

True genius, I tell you.

With that bit of venting, I'm off to relax and perhaps read some holiday gifts I recently received from an old friend. Be well, and DFTBA.

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