Sirius Radio

My Sirius radio subscription expired on Friday and they charged my credit card $216. I love Sirius radio. Well, actually I love Howard Stern. The rest of the stations I couldn’t really give a shit about. I decided that I can’t afford to listen to the radio for that type of money. I gave Sirius a call to see if I could either get a better price or if not, to cancel the account.

I get on the phone with this gentleman with a very thick accent. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… I decided I was in the mood for a little hardball. I was ready for a solid argument. I get on the phone and tell him I want to cancel the account. Naturally, they want you to rejoin the subscription. There must be some type of incentive for them to sign you up. The man says, “May I ask why you’re cancelling, sir?” I wanted to start off as nicely as possible, I respond, “of course you can ask me why I’m cancelling.” Then I sat there in silence, waiting for him to ask me again, why I was cancelling. The first round of chicken in these sorts of conversations.

Finally, he budges after about 15 seconds of awkward silence. He asks again, “why are you cancelling your account sir?” I said, “to be honest the service isn’t worth $216 for the year. I only listen to one station.” Which to be honest it really isn’t worth it for me. My drive to work is 3 minutes long. I listen to Howard for about 5 minutes before I walk into work, and I don’t want to pay that much money for that. I can sit in silence instead.

He then proceeds to tell me that I paid the same price the year before and asks me, “why was the service worth it last year?” Very good tactic my call center friend. Use logic, if I paid for it once, I’ll pay for it again. Not today sir, not today. Last time, they charged my credit card and I didn’t realize until a month later.  But I wasn’t going to admit that level of stupidity, especially, to this man answering phones to argue with people for a living. Although, I feel like I could be very good at his job. I explained to him, in a way that makes no logical sense, that last year it was worth it. This year it is not.

He didn’t seem to understand so I cut to the chase. No more games. No more “Mr. Nice Guy.” I say, “listen sir, I’m not going to explain to you why I paid what I paid last year. I’ll pay $100 for the year and that’s as much as I will pay.” He pretended to sound very caught off guard and says, “Sir, that, uh, is a very exquisite price.” I inform him, “Well, ‘sir’, I’m a very exquisite guy.” I get my very first laugh out of him. Score: Vinny – 1, Human Answering Machine – 0.

I know that this guy has a price that he can sell the service to me. You have to play the waiting game though, right? He now says, “sir, I’m going to put you on hold. I have to talk to my manager.” He puts me on hold for like 5 minutes which I can only imagine that he got up from his cubicle to go take a shit. This tactic is the idea that if I wait long enough I’ll run out of time to negotiate and will have to accept his price. Little does he know, I set up a specific hour to have this conversation. He returns to the phone and gives me another offer. $118. Not the price we asked for.

I say to the man, “hear me out, I understand you’re selling a product and if you don’t want to give it to me at that price I understand, but I’m not negotiating I’m telling you the highest we’re going today is $100.” Now he wants to be a smart-ass. He says, “do you want me to pay your taxes and fees on it?”

It’s amazing what these jerk-offs will say to you to try to sell it to you. I say, “my friend, I wouldn’t expect you to pay my taxes and fees. Lower the price to $87 and I’ll pay the taxes and fees and it will come out to $100.” He starts explaining how taxes work now and I had to quickly cut him off.  I say thanks, but no thanks and I try to hang up. Then he asks, “what about $36 for 6 months?”

Really man. I had to be on the phone with you for 35 minutes to figure that one out? You wanted to charge me 6 times the price. Granted it was for a year, rather than 6 months. So 3 times the price overall, if we’re counting by month.

But in the long run Sirius is losing money on this deal. He could’ve gave me the year for $100 and they would make $50 every 6 months. Maybe they are relying on the idea that in 6 months, I’ll forget again. But I won’t. I gave him a credit card and only authorized a one-time payment. Now they are only making $36 for 6 months. Capitalism is really something these days.

Nothing is a fixed price though. Always remember that everything is negotiable. Fight for what you want. Even if it is just a talk show host for 5 minutes in the morning. Stay tuned because I’m going to attempt this tactic in the supermarket soon. $2 for an avocado? Sorry, I’ll take the five finger discount.

 

Globs and Hairs

In the past, I have lost a couple of good bets. I’ve fell victim to a few dares. I don’t mean that I lost any money or anything of value. Dignity was on the line. I should probably place a little bit more “value” on my dignity. In this particular instance, somehow I ended up having to eat a piece of hair. I know… terrible. This was no regular strand of hair. It was a thick curly Q.

A few of my friends and I were sitting around a backyard patio table at someone’s house. After the dare or the bet happened, I wanted to get this done as quickly as possible. I wrapped this piece of hair around my finger a few times and rolled it into a ball. I worked it in my mouth for a few seconds to try to push it to the back of my throat. Finally, when I thought I had it, I took a really hard swallow. My friends, and I use that term very loosely, were all staring at me, waiting. I smiled and opened my mouth. I just remember Squirrel’s face, a friend of mine. He covered his mouth and pointed and screamed at me. Unbeknownst to me, the hair was wrapped up in my front tooth. Needless to say, I was unable to swallow this hair.

This brings us to yesterday. A similar feeling but just about 10 times worse. I had just returned home from work and I was exhausted. I was supposed to go to visit my girlfriend at work and I wanted to get some things done prior to leaving. I was going to make a cup of coffee, but with it being about 105 degrees in Vegas yesterday, I didn’t want something warm. What a conundrum! But I looked in the fridge and there was my Cold Brew Coffee. I would have to thank God. Actually, I just patted myself on the back for buying it. What is it they say? God helps those who helps themselves? Seems convenient.

Anyway, I check the date on the box, which was 10/17/17. Perfect. I shake the box up a bit and put some ice in a red solo cup. Real Classy. I pour the contents of the box into the cup. I put the leash on the dog and out we went. I had a nice cold coffee and I was happy as a pig in shit.

This was quite a large cup of coffee. About 10 minutes into the walk, I was done with about two-thirds of the cup. As the dog is taking care of business (taking a shit), I took a big gulp of the coffee and feel something odd. It felt like something weird was on my tooth. I had my phone out so I opened up the camera. I smile and there was a big glob on my tooth. I start wildly spitting. I honestly had no idea what it was. I took a look down in the coffee.

There it was. Pieces of mold floating around in my cup. There was so much of it. I don’t know how I got through as much of the coffee as I did.

I looked at the expiration date. How could this have happened? It made me absolutely sick to my stomach. At this point, there was only one thing that could wash such filth from my mouth. Only one thing that would wash away the stains from my dignity as the old memories of curly Q hairs in my teeth resurfaced in my brain. I jogged home, and as soon as I got there I ran to the fridge. No I don’t keep my toothbrush or my Listerine in the fridge. I keep the fixer of all problems in the fridge. The solvent for all complications. The Ice. Cold. Beer. I popped her open, swished her around my mouth, and swallowed. And just like after I tried to swallow that hair, my mouth curled into a big smile. Nothing like a beer when you need one.

 

365 Days of Working with the Elderly

So, I have been working at the same facility as a Speech Pathologist for a year now. It has been quite a year, as many of you have read from my previous blogs. In honor of closing in on a year, here are some quotes from my patients.

“My great, great, grandparents were slaves in Lithuania”

Now, to understand this one, you really have to understand the context of the conversation… there was none. I swear that this man just told me this piece of information as if he was telling me what he had for breakfast before he showed up. This is what amazes me about my job. People will tell me anything. So naturally, I ask as few questions as possible.

“I wish they had smaller cups in restaurants”

I wrote about this one in an earlier blog. Why the fuck should they shrink the size of the glass for you? This one still amazes me. We’re going to shrink the glasses so that you can take the exact number of sips and not have any leftover water. Its alright lady, the fish will survive. Stay hydrated out there.

“I’m going home to hopefully have a sexual rendezvous with my wife”

To be honest, I don’t remember who said this. I write all these quotes down in my notebooks, but I don’t put names next to the quotes. Figure I owe these people at least that. They are paying my salary. But whatever, kudos to this man still getting it on.

“I’m 70 years old and I’ve never told a lie, I’m a girl scout”

The funny part about this one is I’m pretty positive she’s not lying. She literally is a girl scout. She’s queen of the goody-two shoes. I don’t want to say how old she is, but that’s one hell of a long run of telling the truth.

“How’s your hearing?” “what did you say?”

I’m sitting in the office with my patient and his wife. His wife is complaining that he can’t hear her. This patient starts arguing saying that his hearing is fine. I interrupt him and ask, “how’s your hearing?” He answered, “what did you say?” Classic mix-up.

“Did you have nookie?”

My girl scout patient asked me this when I told her my girlfriend was in town. She was literally smiling and giggling like a school girl.

“Yesterday they had free wine at the club house, I went down and drank a whole bottle.”

This guy had wine stains on his shirt while spewing this. So, I’m fairly certain he crushed that bottle of wine.

“Oh look, I’m bleeding”

Several of patients have said this to me. The most recent occurrence, the guy wiped it off his arm and then shook my hand. Like what the fuck is that, guy. At least don’t wipe it on me. How am I supposed to straight face you until you leave? Get the fuck out of here.

“I shook hands with Donald Trump at a house party in the hamptons 40 years ago…Douche”

This guy is my favorite patient. Always ruthless. That’s the thing I have in common with old people. I say literally whatever my brain is thinking.

“Mr. Vincent, what’s that thing on your forehead”

So, two things wrong here. First off, several patients asked me this one day when I had a giant pimple on my forehead. What the fuck do you think it is? Second, why do people call me Mr. Vincent. Does that even make sense? I introduce myself as Vincent. Why would I want to be called Mr. Vincent?

“I go dancing 3 times a week, this one woman, she really likes to dance right on top of me”

This guy is just the happiest guy in the world. It’s unreal that someone can be that happy after being on this earth for that long. That sounds super cynical, but it is interesting when you find someone who isn’t bitter.

“It’s my wife” as he shuts his flip phone shut and doesn’t give a fuck

His phone starts ringing in the middle of the session and he reaches in his pocket to grab it. He opens it up, looks at it, and sees it’s his wife. He looks up at me and says, “it’s my wife” and shuts the flip phone. 50 years of marriage and the guy is still a fuckboy. The flip phone made this so much better.

“My son is a fat fuck”

This lady was explaining why she was late for her session. Savage mom.

“It’s always good to be a tad bad”

She was responding to me when I told her to have a good weekend. She always tells me to not be too good, because I won’t have any fun.

“Pretty good, although its hard being pretty and good”

Every morning I would ask him how he was doing. This would be his response. Everyday he would laugh at this, as if he had just come up with the greatest joke on earth. He left the clinic for about a year and then came back. I asked him how he had been this year. Guess what this guy’s response was.

And here are a couple more that are all very similar, but very mean.

“You must really hate your job,”

No, I don’t but thanks.

“You must get pretty bored doing this,”

Doesn’t everyone get bored at their job? I have to be excited about listening to the same story you told me 20 times already? Sorry, not today.

“Do you even like doing this,”

Well, I’m fucking sitting here talking to you, aren’t I?

And my very favorite, “What are your going to do after you’re a speech teacher?”

After I’m a speech teacher? This is it man. You’re looking at it. There isn’t an after. I didn’t just walk in here and apply like it was a McDonald’s. He thought this was like my summer job. I’m not saying its brain surgery but I did have to show up to class and get a degree.  

So here we are, one year in Vegas this coming Tuesday. I sit and think sometimes about where I’m going to keep finding things to write about. But all I have to do is sit there and wait. Because remember, if you look hard enough, you’ll find an idiot in everyone.

 

People of the Streets

So, recently I visited the city of San Francisco, old Saint Frankie, if you will. It was only an hour flight from Vegas so I figured why not. I landed on a Friday night and I was basically planning on just exploring the city. Well let me tell you about the homeless people in San Francisco. Its a real problem. They’re everywhere. I’m not sure if San Francisco is working to fix this problem but they’re a day late and a dollar short. You can’t walk anywhere without people yelling at you, casually trying to bump into you, or just eerily staring at you like they’d eat you. Where the fuck did all of these people come from anyway. Do they just know that this is where homeless people all come to live? Is there some sort of homeless people online chat where they all tell each other where the best places to live are? Possibly coming soon “homeless tinder.”

I understand that San Francisco is probably a great place for a homeless person to live. The weather seemed mild and the people even milder. No one seems to care about what anyone else is doing, which is great on one hand, because you know social equality and what not. Which just to be clear, I’m not shit talking social equality. I’m shit talking the clear lack of care that the streets you live on are filled with people living in tents. Nobody cares and people are constantly giving them money. There are so many of them, how can people afford to just give away all their money to the homeless? Its unreal.

Unfortunately, I had a lot of different questions answered that I didn’t really even need to know the answer to. First off, homeless people do not have to abide by the same laws as everyone else. They can yell slurs and deal drugs right out in the open and everyone ignores it like its two pigeons squawking over a piece of bread. I asked someone what they do living here with all these homeless people, and he said, “Well everyone just ignores it, its not really a problem.” JUST BECAUSE YOU IGNORE IT, DOESN’T MEAN ITS NOT A PROBLEM GUY. Its a real problem.

Second, the social activists who are also running rampant throughout San Francisco are just as bad as the homeless people, if not worse. The homeless people will ask for money. That’s fine I get that. I can keep walking and basically ignore anyone. The social activists are clean normal looking people and when one of them asked to talked to me, I obliged. She told me all about how I can help and be a part of their cause to which I answered  “Hell yeah, what can I do to help?” To which she responded, “give me some money.” Everyone up there wants money. This girl didn’t make it easy for me to walk away. She made me feel bad that I have all this money hoarded away that I’m keeping from the refugees. Little does she know, I’m a college graduate with just a bit of debt piled up. She wants me to donate 2 dollars a day. 2 dollars a day?! I gave up coffee because I couldn’t afford 2 dollars a day. You want my help planning something, I’m in. But I’m no fucking philanthropist. I asked her how much money she was donating and that was when she realized she wasn’t getting any money from me. So just like the homeless people, she grumbled and trudged away.

Third and finally, I learned that everyone has to wipe after they go to the bathroom. Even the homeless people. Even if that means wiping right in front of a public garbage pail. The first guy I saw, pants around his ankles, awkwardly squatting with his knees bending outwards, wiping back-to-front with a newspaper, I swear I tried to look away. I tried not to look back but it was just too bizarre not to. I literally felt like I was in bizarro world. A twilight zone where the rules for bathrooms aren’t around anymore. Anyway, this guy and I made eye contact on about his third wipe and he became EXTREMELY angry. First, he kind of had that look in his eye, the one your dog has when he catches you watching him take a shit. But then rage filled his eyes. He literally started chasing after me while trying to pull his pants up. It was the scariest couple seconds of my life. He was calling me some terrible shit. Like you n***** and f*****. Not the ‘f’ word that I use either. I was just so flabbergasted. He was like, “GET OUT OF HEREE!” as if I just walked into the bathroom on him. Take it easy guy, this is a public fucking street you’re shitting on. Its not like I had to open a door to see this. I don’t care how homeless you are, you have to know that’s not my fault for seeing you wipe your own feces onto a newspaper. The worst part was, this was a busy-ish street, and not one person said anything to me. Not one person was concerned. So, I thought that was weird San Francisco. Like these fucks, will share their food, money, and drugs with the homeless people, but if ones chasing after a bald man, they all pretend like their blind to the world. So fuck that.

So,  San Francisco was overall “fun” as you can see. I would go back, not specifically for any of the aforementioned reasons, but you know sight seeing and good food. Oh yeah, my last night there, I saw another person, this time a woman, wiping her ass back-to-front. Big mistake lady. Get with the program.

Quitting the Gym

So, have you ever had to quit a gym? It’s worse than breaking up with your girlfriend. The manager or owner always tries to make you feel terrible about the situation. Like, you come to the gym to see them, not because its conveniently 1 mile from your house and exercising can be somewhat important to your health.

Friday, I had to quit my gym because I’m moving to the other side of town. Honestly, I thought this woman was going to cry. She is always so happy to see me. Every time I come in, she tells me about her day and when I leave she always says, “Alright Vince, see you tomorrow.” Which, I may add, is quite the subliminal message to keep me coming back to the gym. Its almost like because she says that, I keep showing up the next day.

So, I explain that I’m moving to the other side of town and ask whether or not there is another location closer to my area. The manager/owner or whatever she is, immediately starts questioning me about why. I explain to her my reasoning and this is when the fun part happens. This is when they start coming up with completely irrational and inconvenient ways for you to keep coming. Keep in mind, where I moved is about 13 miles from the gym and where I work is about 15 miles. So, first she says, “why don’t you get a mountain bike and ride it here? That will save you gas and you’ll get exercise.” I literally laughed at her and said, “I’m only 1 mile away right now and I still drive here. Once I’m here I ride the bike for a total of 20 minutes, and maybe ride 5 miles?” AND even that’s a lot.

Her next unreasonable explanation was to join the gym on the other side of town, which is 19 miles past my job and house. She warranted that it was okay because, “It’s a beautiful drive.” I ask, “how many times you think it takes me driving it for it not to be beautiful anymore?”

So, finally, she asks that last question where you know she’s all out of reasons, “so, there’s nothing I can do to get you to stay?” I answer her question with a pretty generic response, although, somewhat passionate, “Its not you, its me.” She does not find it as amusing as I thought she might, and just stares at me for a second. Finally she turns away and starts explaining the quitting process to me. I should have told her, “You know what?! The jerk store called and they’re running out of you!” But just like George, I’m always just a little bit too late.

Ultimately, she unshackles me from the gym membership and I feel like a newly single man. I get to go try a bunch of new gyms and not feel bad about hurting my old gym’s feelings. The saddest part about quitting was when I left the owner didn’t say she’d see me tomorrow. My membership doesn’t end until Friday. So, unfortunately, I will see her a few more times. She did remind me Friday, that I could keep my key card, just in case I ever want to come back. And that, ladies and gentleman was about the most pathetic thing that anyone has ever said to me.

Bitmoji

So, most people have heard of bitmoji by now, I’m sure, but if you haven’t, let me give you a little synopsis. Its basically just a little cartoon character that you create of yourself and you can send it in your iMessage. In general, you try to make this cartoon look as similar to you as you can by changing the shape of the head, the color of the eyes, skin tone, etc. Some people make theirs spot on, others, not so much.

Well, I created one and I was like damn, that looks exactly like me. Its like a cartoon of me. It looked perfect. But recently, I saw someone’s and I wondered, “what the fuck does this guy think he looks like.” It’s not as if he made himself like taller or better looking or something, because you obviously can’t do that with a cartoon; unless you’re into like cartoon porn or something, in which case, you have bigger problems than never having looked in a mirror. This character just looked nothing like him. The character looked like Justin Bieber mean while, this guy looks like fuckin Pete Davidson in real life. Maybe it was just a joke and I’m really overreacting.

So, looking at this stupid, little, cartoon head, I thought to myself, “maybe he really does think he looks like this.” It then dawned on me, what if I perceive myself just as oddly as this guy perceives himself. I couldn’t be that stupid, could I? No I definitely couldn’t be. Also, I pretty much look like every bald guy, I mean, people even tell me I look like a younger Jamie Foxx. So, maybe we all just perceive ourselves differently. Some people say ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover.’ I say, “well then, why the fuck is there a cover.”

 

The Psychic

So, today I had someone tell me about her daughter’s visit to a psychic. She told me all about how the psychic basically laid out the next 5 years for this poor son of a bitch. I just really can’t fathom that people believe what these psychics say. I truly feel like people go to these psychics because they’re a little bit lost in life. I can understand that. But the psychic can literally say whatever they want and you just believe it. Otherwise, why would you be going? Like I said, these people can say whatever the fuck they want. They could be having a bad day and be like fuck it, let me tell this girl she needs to break up with her boyfriend before something bad happens or let me tell this dude his job is going to fire him. I’m not trying to sit here and shit on anyone’s beliefs or anything but this just sounds completely outrageous.

If we had people among us that could read minds or the future, don’t you think they might have a better job than working in some little psychic shack? If people were talking to the dead on a daily basis, tell me what the fuck happened to Amelia Earhart or what Lee Harvey Oswald was thinking when he killed JFK. Would they not work for the government? Maybe they do, what do I know? I’ve heard tons of stories about how there were huge coincidences after people went to a psychic, and all I can say is that there are definitely lots of coincidences in the world. I mean fuck, yesterday I parked my car next to someone at my job who had a Cortland Dance Team sticker on her car. I don’t believe that this was some kind of sign of some sort, I just thought wow, some other asshole, also went to Cortland and then moved her dumbass out west too.

So, I’m not saying don’t ever go to a psychic because I’m sure that no matter how stupid it is, its probably fun. But if you’re handing these people money, we should at least know that its just for entertainment, sort of like a hand job, you can pretend the person helped you out, but really you could’ve done exactly what they did all by yourself.