The Mangler managed to tear through plastic and almost every page of my second issue of Tap Root Magazine. That's like ripping through a Katy phone book. Remember those? Phone books. Those things never disintegrated, the pages never faded, ink never smeared, and they were the hardest things to get rid of. They come with plastic raps these days, yet somehow manage to survive being flung onto a front porch, porch steps, and even front yards.
A visit to the USPS web site and seventeen minutes of fruitless searches yielded no paths to consumer recourse. There are faux links that promise answers to how to handle damaged packages. Turns out the package has to have been insured. Since no one insures a $12 magazine, I was up a perforator without protection. So I did the next best thing. I sent an e-mail to the good people at Tap Root. This is their response:
So sorry that your magazine was damaged in the mail, we'll get a replacement sent right out to you!
Now that's customer service, although I don't feel it's their fault. Still and all I am impressed and do appreciate the graciousness of sincere business owners. If I told you why I subscribed to the magazine you'd try to sell me a bridge in Valhalla or Olympus, but can you honestly say you've never bought something you didn't need just to help a sister out, or to . . . Okay. It's like buying Girl Scout cookies.
You We buy them just to help the troops, right? You We don't need short bread or thin mint cookies. Ahem. Truth is, I subscribed because I wanted to help counter the ugly backlash against the editor's comments during and after the recent election. She and I are as alike and as different as black eyed peas and chickpeas. But she's a mother, a woman, human all the way, and she has the courage to say how she felt then, while most of us were/are the exact opposite. Aha! Wait. We have one more thing in common! There's one other reason I decided to subscribe. I forgot, temporarily. *hugging myself* See? I recognize good people too. *grin*
My e-mail sig is: "Be kind to everybody, make art, and fight the power." _ Colson Whitehead, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. I try to live up to it. Some days it's hard. More often than not it's one of the easiest things I do.
There's this. I've had a string of unhappy USPS events to deal with lately. I'm still scratching my head over this one. The box is stuffed with strong brown paper. Three items were inside, yet one managed to be crushed.
A twenty dollar practice pad. Why? How? Does it matter? Should it?
First there was this. I lovely box for brushes. I eyed it for pencils--all my lovely pencils. It's worse than it appears here.
A request for an unblemished box netted this. The interior is as expected. Why someone deliberately scratched the top is beyond my ken. Why? Perhaps they figure I should replace the first top with this top and that way I'd be made whole? I used to believe in John Neal Bookseller and their products. Their employees represent them, right? An employee committed the dastardly deed, so what does that say about John Neal Bookseller?
Well, from out of the blue . . .
"Dear Valued Customer,
We here at John Neal Books are truly appreciative that you have chosen us for your calligraphy book and supply needs. We thank you for your business, and as a small token of our appreciation a copy of Bound & Lettered was recently mailed to you. Please accept it with our thanks.
If you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact us. . . ."
I can't explain it and I won't try. I just figure they're trying to sell me something. What do you think?
Why me? How did they find me? They used my Colorado name--a hyphenated big deal back then. I've lived in several states since then. What could the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles want with me? I am not good church material.
They should know that I am too old for their demographics. Why would someone like me need them?
This reminds me of baby steps. Heck, I'll be teetering my way to childhood if I'm not careful, and who wants reminding of that possibility? Are they really so desperate? Poor things.
But wait! Hold your horses and my Polydent. Who wouldn't want to be audited by this dreamboat? Be still my liver. My stomach. My knees. I'ma pin him to the wall next to my bed. Oh, swoon.
Not fair! They brought out the big guns at the end. They brought me to my knees with a single photograph. Elron,
Oh hell no! all hail!
Needing to get away from mail nightmares, I escaped to the patio. It's so pretty outside; it is prettier after all the rain. The birds missed me. A favorite asked if I'd sit for a portrait. Flattered, I acquiesced. Here is the final piece de resistance. Looks just like me, huh? So why do I feel like a flock of crows just stoned me? *sigh*
Determined not to be outdone, I cleaned up my postage box. I compartmentalized my postage, then put it all together, because I like sifting through my stamps. I like the way they feel. And knowing I have so many choices.
Wouldn't you know this would be my first choice? No! Sorry. It's my second choice, but the first of the new newbies. I do like ranunculus. Ranunculi.
I neatened up my wax/seal/match bin. Polished my favorite letter writing ring. Made myself smile.
A better view. It hides the tarnish better.
Now I get to watch Bill Maher try to whitewash . . . He's actually trying to blame his use of the "n" word on being a comedian. He keeps trying to get a pass. For that, in my heart, he fails. His pain is visible, but he could just be drunk or hungover. This is a watershed moment that can transcend . . What? Who am I fooling? He wimped his way out. He's been forgiven, re-invited into the fold, allowed to keep his, See, I Like Colored People card, and keep his show.
I have not watched the "n" word episode. I won't. Bill's and my affair soured last year, the year before, and has been on shaky ground since I asked myself why he gets to make nasty out loud about others because he thinks it's funny, when it's mostly hurtful. Comedy should be funny. Black comedy? Why? Black is forever viewed in a negative way. Black came first. In the beginning there was a black void--the world was totally devoid of light. Without black there could be no light.
Maher said use of the "n" word is a part of the culture. What culture? My culture? The hell you say! Too many would have you think that's true. It's not. Ask me how I know.
Truth: I am mildly depressed this night. Ask me why. The numbers on my emotional barometer have dropped below sad. Ask me why. There's a way up. There always is. I just have to find it.
. . . And ain't I a woman?
that little man in black there say
a woman can't have as much rights as a man
cause Christ wasn't a woman
Where did your Christ come from?
From God and a woman!
Man had nothing to do with him!
If the first woman God ever made
was strong enough to turn the world
upside down, all alone
together women ought to be able to turn it
rightside up again.
P.S. Ice Cube just made me cry. I promised I wouldn't. Maybe crying is good.