One part of yesterday evening was kind of fun; I went through my "Pants of Historical Sizes" box in my closet, seeking stored away clothing that would fit me again. I found four pair of trousers! A number of shirts which I had stored away are now comfortable again, as well. And I am once again wearing a belt I couldn't previously fit into. I also retired some clothing and threw some out. I think if I plotted my waistline size vs. time I'd see a sine wave with a steadily increasing mean value...
Last night I watched the Top Gear India Special, which was originally broadcast around Christmas. It was quite good, as is always the case with this series. Reportedly, The Indian High Commission, based in London, complained about the episode saying it was "offensive" and full of "toilet humour." (Article here.) But I wonder if some of this isn't merely generated by the BBC for publicity purposes. Last year the Top Gear guys got into trouble over some comments Richard Hammond made about a Mexican car ("Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat"), but, once again, I suspect they are doing this mainly for publicity.
For some reason I've been keeping up with the amusing story about the Maryland Haitian woman who claims to have been the Mega-Millions lottery winner, but hasn't yet presented the winning ticket worth about 100 million dollars after taxes. Story here. She obtained the services of a lawyer, who called a press conference to tell the Media, "Go away." Nice try. She claims that the winning ticket is somewhere in the McDonald's where she works. Her co-workers are annoyed with her because they claim they all went in on a common ticket, and that's the one she's trying to claim is hers alone.
It kind of reminds me of a 1967 episode of the revived "Honeymooners," starring Jackie Gleason and Art Carney. The plot, as described on a website: Ralph treats himself, Alice, and the Nortons to the movies for Ed's birthday. Ed's ticket wins the door prize--a color TV. Ralph declares war on Ed because he paid for the tickets and wants the TV.
I remember this episode well. A highlight was the sequence when Carney holds the winning ticket in his hand, describing how swell Jackie was for buying the ticket and giving it to him. (All the while you can see Gleason about to burst.) This part is played out masterfully, the audience waiting for the inevitable explosion. Finally Gleason explodes, I bought the ticket - the TV is MINE! Dad and I used to recite this line to each other every now and then in much the same way my son and I recite lines from Little Rascal comedies to each other.
I always liked Jackie Gleason; he reminded me of my father in many ways. Both were from Brooklyn and wore it rather obviously, and both were fat. My Dad used to recite Gleason lines, "And away we go!" and "Ummmmm WOW" when taking a sip of something.
You might recall last month I sent some old gold dental crowns I had (this stuff is called "dental scrap") to a company in Massachusetts - cashfordentalscrap.com - for a check, to see how much I'd get. I got $4.84 cents. Displeased, I sent the check back and requested a return of my gold crowns. I got one of them back - and a rude and accusatory reply when I phoned the company. What happened after that is recorded in a short letter I sent to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, here. This action was suggested to me by a friend who is an attorney.
This is the Internet Age; displeased customers can now broadcast their experiences far and wide, and these write-ups easily searchable by indexing software like Google, and can be posted on consumer websites like yelp.com. (I note that there is no entry for cashfordentalscrap.com on yelp - there soon will be.) Why would a business risk that by being rude?
There's a old saying which I think I may have heard in a film noir: You don't pick fights with people who buy ink by the gallon (newspapers). It can be updated for the Internet Age: You don't pick fights with people who like to write. I shall keep you posted on further developments, Dear Reader.
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