Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What is a DEADBEAT?

I recently found myself reading an email that charged me with vulgarity.
I was accused of this because I had recently referred to the sender's "lover" as a deadbeat.

Let me step back a few weeks.

On ebay, I had listed a Ren & Stimpy Style Guide that I had rescued from the trash of our dying screen print company several years ago. I thought at the time that it was cool & hip & I would own it for ages. I hoped my daughter would show up on Antiques Road Show some decades hense and find out it was worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

But I'm out of work & fast becoming broke, so I listed it on ebay.

It took off! It hit $187 at the end. I was very happy to get that much, thinking it would hold me for a couple weeks.

Sadly, I wasn't to get that much.

After three days without a reply I was wondering what the deal might be. I sent a reminder invoice. All very standard.

After a week and a couple more invoices I started tagging fees on to the invoice to get the buyer's attention. Nothing.
I even look up the address in Google Maps and see the Street View of his neighborhood, just so I know it's not a hog wallow or a croc nest.

Finally, I made an Unpaid Item complaint to ebay to recoup a load of fees I was charged.
So in one week, I went from $187 in the black to $10 in the red!

The Unpaid Item Dispute is a funny thing. I'm not sure what ebay says to the non-payer, here on referred to as deadbeat, but they usually perk right up, like after a long sleep. I think ebay points out that they'll get a demerit and with enough of those a deadbeat can find himself "no longer a registered user" of the system!
Anyway, suddenly, life!

Here's a little bit of a taste:
eBay - Aug-16-08 at 07:40:56 PDT
An Unpaid Item dispute has been opened for the following item: 1993 Ren & Stimpy Cartoon Art Style Guide 4355 (#130242470888)
Reason given for Unpaid Item: The buyer has not paid for the item.
Buyer actions reported by seller: The buyer has not responded.

deadbeat - Aug-17-08 at 02:59:02 PDT
My apologies, have been away on business, will organise payment in the next couple of days.
Thank you

Imagine that! I'm going to get paid!

Imagine indeed! Two days I wait...

hippieb - Aug-19-08 at 04:56:43 PDT
How's it going? Any idea when we can close this?


deadbeat - Aug-19-08 at 17:09:56 PDT
Actually have had a change of mind, my partner has just lost his job and we really need to watch our finances for a while. Happy to pay your ebay fees or mutually agree so you can be recredited. My apologies but would be very irresponsible to spend $200+ on a collectable when I should be paying the electricity bill!

Okay, fine! Pay back my fees! I can live with that. I mean, what do I care about losing $180 JUST LIKE THAT! What do I care I just spent two weeks nagging some Australian twit to honor his own word and pay me what he owes me. Did I say he was Australian? BUGGAH!

Well, after even MORE "paperwork" I finally got my fees back & left a nice feedback for the deadbeat, because, guess what? I'm not a DICKHEAD! Even though the guy would have left me high & dry without a word! Even though he forced me to be dickish & call out the ebay dogs on him!
Why the fuck am I being dragged into this kind of bullshit where I have to chase down some douche-wank to do what he knows he should? HE KNOWS he's fucking me over HE KNOWS IT and still it "would be very irresponsible when I should be paying the electricity bill"
No shit Sherlock! Why the fuck bid on it like that then? Do you have no concept of the other humans in this world who might be effected by your ultra-dork behavior?


I would have got over it, but something truly extraordinary happened.
I re-list Ren & Stimpy. Exact same listing.
It sells, but this time some lucky winner bids only $29.99!
Some lucky winner,and that's not me, let me tell you!
It's Sal.
Here's what Sal writes:
Hello! I am so excited that I won this - I thought i'd lost the opportunity so many times and had to wish and hope until payday today that it was still available, and no one had outbid me!
Can you let me know the next step, as this is a gift for my fellow-human-lover and would like to confirm that you are a human being on the other end, and not a Dutch Chihuaha with a surname of Hoek! If you are, then... "Oh Reeennnn!"



P.S. It's been a while since I bought on eBay, so if I appear naive,
please be patient with me.

Some lucky winner from Australia!

It's not the same id, but curiously, almost uncannily, the buyer address is almost exactly 10 blocks from deadbeat!
Imagine my surprise and slightly nauseous feeling!

I write back:
Funny, I recently sold an identical guide to a guy not ten blocks from your address and he turned out to be a deadbeat. What a small world.

Anyway,I sent you an invoice.
If you have paypal, follow the prompts, they have it pretty well mapped out. If you don't, then send an international money order for the total in US dollars to my address. I will ship as soon as I get it.
Thanks for the business.

Now, you might wonder where I get off saying a thing like "he turned out to be a deadbeat", but I had a hunch I was being HAD! Let me just ramp up the heat a little and see what crisps.

Almost hilariously I get a note back after a couple days and really, like it took a couple days to get up the unmitigated gall and hubris to write so scathing a reproach of my little slight. PU-LEEZE!

Actually, I hesitated in paying (Australian habit I guess) as the deadbeat you referred to in your 2nd response is in fact the man I am getting this gift for.
believe he wasn't able to afford the item (because he bid too much, ass!), but refunded you the listing price.(after I turned him in!) I do want the item,(sure, it's sooooo cheap compared to before!) but I would prefer you not to refer to customers as deadbeats,(I don't) also considering you have such
a unbiased listing site that allows for returns for any reason.

I have the money, but was really offended by the way you referred to buyers.

His name is Not Deadbeat (the name has been changed by me), and I am getting this for him as he is in an unfortunate financial situation and wanted to cheer him up.(yeah? cheer me up and pay for my shit)
He is no deadbeat, but a friend in need of help, not vulgarity.

Knee slapper!

Well it would be, if I didn't want to kill Sal outright and feed his corpse to the crocs. Crikey!

First of all, mega-super-ultra hilariously, I don't call customers deadbeats, just foot dragging, non-communicating, self serving, over bidding douche-wanks that never rise to the level of customer!
Secondly, "he is in an unfortunate financial situation and wanted to cheer him up" HA! Amazing two ton gonads are needed to make this statement with a straight face. I think Sal has a special carbon fiber wheelbarrow with anti-grav plating just to haul his bitches around!
He uses it to roll back & forth over my head and take my profit and make his friend happy!
I should be glad, not pissed! FUCK ME!
I am so sickened by this rectal diatribe that I write back: (again changing names)
I only wish you could understand what a horrible experience it was for me. I wasn't asking for $187, your deadbeat bid that deliberately and freely. Do you have any idea how foul it was having to pursue him about it? I'm a hippie dammit! He was totally harshing my mellow. It was totally wrong to leave me off & let me think I was doubly screwed. 10 days I waited in good faith, but he made me be a dick and call out the ebay dogs! Then, just when I thought it was behind me, you snag a total bargain and just so happen to be 10 blocks from deadbeat's address. Coincidence? I just LOVE Google Earth, don't you? It turns out not to be a coincidence at all, but I didn't know for a fact you knew deadbeat. That was a giveaway! I knew "deadbeat" would do the trick. Thanks! Do you know that ebay considers what happened here a scam? They don't shine on people who renege on a listing so they can go back for a cheaper shot. Luckily, you sent me an email in the ebay system that pretty much spells it out. I don't think they'll care about my use of the word deadbeat so much as your $150 bargain hunt. What do you think?.....Now see, I got so pissed off at being unfairly chastised that I got all Republican. Read carefully. My experience with deadbeat was pretty much the worse time I've had on ebay EVER. Worse than losing my job in May & having to sell off stuff I'd hoped to keep, like Ren & Stimpy. I still have a mortgage and three kids and going thru all this for a few bucks is just exactly opposite what hippies strive for. The last thing on earth I wanted was a bad time. I just want to sell cool stuff & have a good time & not have to go through hell to stay afloat. So, do me a solid and just pay for the book. I want you to have it because it's cool & I made it possible with my unbiased listing site. I will not pursue any complaint because I know you are young & as you say, naive. I don't believe you deliberately scammed me, and that makes me naive too. Can we just get thru this? PEACE, HB

There were key phrases used by Sal that really chapped my ass. One of them was, "
you have such a unbiased listing site that allows for returns for any reason".
Yeah, what is that? I have a liberal return policy so I won't mind being fleeced.
You unmitigated dick juggler! Get REAL!
And my fave!
"He is no deadbeat, but a friend in need of help, not vulgarity."
I need help, fuckface! I need help to understand what kind of a mind thinks deadbeat is vulgar when doing an end-around to cheat me out of $150 isn't. You need a morality lesson. FUCK ALL!

I have not heard ONE MORE WORD from this wierdo and have opened an Unpaid Item complaint on him as well.

The kicker is I have another different guide, which sold, and the buyer would not respond for days and days. I added $2.00 late fee and said I would keep adding more until he paid his fucking bill.

He didn't.

I saw the top of his house too, on Google Maps. Somehow that gives me a feeling of power over these slithering little deabeats. It's like, "I know where you live, bitch!"
Anyway, I should have known, first because his feedback was (private), so I couldn't see if he was a prick or not.
Second, and more to the point, his chosen ebay id is this:


REALLY. The whole thing on one line!
Is that not a cry for cheddar?
The mind reels! Nob cheddar? WHY! TELL ME WHY YOU FREAK!
Imagine actually making that up to identify yourself in a public forum.
I should have known he was going to fuck me over!
I should have known...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Not Invited, but Not Overstayed

This is actually an non-event, because really it only took ten minutes and had no lasting effect (that I know of). Although, to read the NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - Rabies Policies and Procedures, you would think our lives are in great peril, or at the very least our health.

Last night, I was watching the Sci-Fi Violent Movie of the Week when I heard a little fussing about in the chimney. First of all, I was under the impression that the flue has been better than closed for a good 30 years. It has had a plywood cover up against it all those years along with the iron damper being totally shut. Last year a creature got in to the chimney and fussed like that for a couple days, but nothing came of it.

This time, it was different.

The fussing went on for a few minutes.
Last year I had knocked up against the plywood cover with the poker to warn off whatever was in there and it worked. I thought I might be doing that again, but just sat listening.

It was different somehow. The last captive had been a bird, with a lot of scraping around and flapping noises. This time is was subtle and less frantic. Like whatever it was had a plan. Little did I know, the plan was to GET IN THE HOUSE!

Sure enough, after some concerted effort the creature dropped into the fireplace and fussed around some more against the chain mail curtain that encloses it. A moment later, a black shape flew up across my view and started circling the living room at about six feet in absolute silence.

It was a bat, of all things. A rather largish bat actually. It seemed to have an eight inch wingspan and was black except for some lighter colors around the feet and face.

It flitted around the living room, bobbing and swooping in a great oval, just missing the lamps, just touching the ceiling.

I got up & quickly scrambled for the door in a crouched position so it wouldn't nest in my hair.
They do that. Nest in your hair.
But I stayed low & quickly had the door wide open and hoped that would be inviting somehow. I stood in the end of the hall to block the bat so it would swoop on by and go right out.

Well, the bat wanted to see the house, so it flew over my head, missing me by an inch or two surely. It went ahead into the bedroom and did a couple loops, got bored and left again. I closed the bedroom door and the bathroom & other bedroom and watched as the bat went back to the big oval circuit of the living room.

It repeatedly came into the hall and passed right across the open door to the great outdoors as if it wasn't interested. I turned on the light, hoping to get it to see the big black rectangle of the open door against the lit grey walls of the hallway, but it didn't seem to respond to my careful choice of illumination. It wanted to see the kitchen, which was but a brief segue on the soon to be greater tour.

I scrambled around and found a cardboard sheet about two feet square and tried to direct the animal and indeed it changed course a few times by running directly into the thing with a light thump.

Around and around it flew, without a sound.
A bird would have been ham-winging it and flapping wildly against the curtains, but the bat seemed almost acrobatic in flight and with so little room to breathe its little mind must have been racing.

The great wooden front door, covers the opening to the stairs up to the attic when it's open. The stairwell was dark and just the smallest opening the bat had available to it, but that is where it flew now. Up the stairs to a landing with a right or left ninety degree turn into either the green room or the blue room. The blue room has a large sliding glass window, which to the eye might have seemed an exit, but to sonar, a solid wall. It was in & out in just a few seconds.

In the tight space of the landing, with a full sided railing, desk set and steeply sloped ceiling, I thought I'd soon be pulling the frantic and exhausted bat from my face, but it dove and reeled up and over a chair and down the stairs again.
Soon it was back to touring the living room.

I tried turning off interior lights and turning on the porch light, in an effort to make the landscape the inverse of what it had been. I had no idea whether changes in light would matter to it, but I also continued to try maneuvering it toward the door with the cardboard. That, at least, would be on its radar.

Many more circuits were made and more than once the poor creature tried to alight on a curtain as far from me as possible. It was getting tired.
Maybe it would come to rest or maybe it would go on flying around until it collapsed. Then I'd have to rush around looking for a way to get it off the curtain or out from under a couch, better still.

In any case, all this came to nothing, as I said, because on one more round of the living room it ventured into the hall & chose inexplicably, the front door. I watched it shoot off into the darkness & went back to the show I was watching.
Nothing to it...

Friday, August 1, 2008

History Rich Bullshit

It's all so very tedious.
China says it's much better than it used to be and yet the "President" Hu Jintao has a news conference with vetted reporters & vetted questions and so the inevitable result is little more than a photo-op with a press release. No reporter there is going to risk asking a "real" question because she'll wake up somewhere in the South China Sea strapped to a purple dragon shaped pool float. (MADE IN CHINA)

This pre-screening is so transparent, I can't imagine a grownup head of state resorting to such sophomoric shenanigans in this day & age, unless they just don't give a shit about truth or legitimacy. This kind of blatant indifference to democracy is just what you would expect from a third world thug government pretending reform, or the Bush administration.

So, my point is, any government, by the people or by the dictator or by the military, nets the same results to the people of that country because it is foremost a self aggrandizing institution. It has to control you first, then add a pinch of freedoms in to improve the taste of it. Most are just prettied up with words like democracy or republic to give the false impression of flourishing individual freedoms on its citizens or to disguise the country itself being little more than a glorified gulag with occasional fireworks.

Certainly, I have to admit that Americans & Chinese have "rights", but in both states, the right to a comprehensive education is, in the case of China, "your fucking problem" and in the case of the US, slowly being re-evangelized, de-funded and dumbed down to the point where you can sell a US high school graduate any lie because they won't know how to figure out what's wrong with it. Praise Jesus!

For instance, in the discussion of Cheney's "secret" meeting to explore ways of starting a war with Iran they actually considered building fake Iranian gunboats and manning them with disguised Navy Seals so they could attack a US warship and create an incident. REALLY!
See this:
Complete Bastard
Their only "problem" with this was Americans might kill Americans, but the underlying premise was great stuff!
HOLY SHEEP SHIT, do they ever think our citizens are dumb fucks!

What a bunch of fuckwads! This is Iran we're talking about. They supposedly have a giant Axis of Evil network of terrorists embedded in every "democratic" nation on earth, just waiting to blow our Walmarts into piles of rubble and cheap Chinese crap!
Cheney wants to provoke a "terrorist nation" to violence and retribution against his own countrymen.
No wonder he has his DC neighborhood blurred out on Google Earth!
"grumble grumble Can't touch ME! grumble grumble"

Never mind the overt atrocity of starting a war.

Never mind the notion that you're "right" enough to do a thing like that.

Never mind that maybe one of those injured Seals might be captured and exposed.

It's just the boundless arrogance of government power and Cheneyhood that would hatch a plan like this and think NOTHING of the people they are sworn to GOD to represent. We'll be killed in droves and taxed out the ass until our shit ain't even worth shit! And THEY...
THEY will get some SWEET oil contracts and consolidate their power in the world ABSOLUTELY. Until China comes a calling...

Just so there's no doubt, I have to say, Cheney is the supreme fuckwad and is only separated by means from actually being the reincarnation of Hitler.

Now, imagine every descendant in your family line being erased forever in a giant war with China over the oil under Iraq & Iran that Cheney & the Neo-Cons lay claim to.

You see, China is getting geared up for their big World Domination Tour because pretty soon they're going to want to be Americans and have an SUV, 2 kids, dog, pool, stainless steel kitchen, vacation home and digital entertainment center just like us.

Somebody is going to have to be their China. Somebody is going to have to make the cheap consumer goods that they will be buying from Walmart (who has betrayed us completely)

And just who do you think is hurting for work right now?
Who's loosing their status, both morally (with war & torture issue) and economically (failing dollar, huge foreign debt) as a First World Power?
Get used to the idea of 60 hour work weeks, no benefits and, if you're lucky, 75 cents an hour with a 5 cent night shift differential.

If you think China won't hesitate to kick our asses all over the planet as soon as possible, consider this;
If you're 1 in a million, there are 1300 people just like you in China.

That means 1300 Dick Cheneys too!

::::::END VOMIT:::::::

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dumb & Dumber

I sold me a fancy plate the other day.

It was definitely NOT true fine china, but a production of some dank Viennese cellar sweatshop where children fed only on dark chocolate bon-bons are forced to paint beautiful designs on display china. It even says Hand Painted Vienna China in fine orange lettering so you can see it from 100 yards and you know it's real.




Or so I thought.
I did say in my listing that it had some minor wear, but was in excellent condition none the less and I suppose that's true, as far as vintage Viennese china goes. I just had a little hiccup @ the point of boxing it up.
I stood there in the bright florescent light of my basement eBay facility which includes a photo booth, shipping table, inventory shelving and monster paper cutter I rescued from an old dumpster.
The bright light played me false. I looked at the plate & it had the distinct appearance of having been flailed with a cat-o-nine-tails laced with tacks & coated with abrasive carborundum chips.

How do I know that look?
Let's call it a vivid imagination. Let's just say, the line between reality and any given nightmare I create is mighty thin. So, I've convulsed to death from a sever head blow, drowned, burned, tasted Zyklon-B gas, been crushed to death under a leaky port-a-potty, and sadly, seen this lovely plate thrashed with such an aforementioned device as the China Distressing Cat-O-Nine!

What would I think if I got this gnarley piece of landfill and paid 12 bucks for the privilege?
I'd think, "Fuck this guy! I got ripped off! I never ordered a fucking plate!"
So, I think that this guy is gonna be pissed.
Unless he understood that minor wear was an expectation of condition when the words "vintage" and "handed down" are used. I mean, you can see the picture of it. Can't you see the yawning white spaces of china showing through the gold?

That's not enough. I didn't get 1000 positive feedbacks by splitting hairs and frankly I don't deserve the 12 bucks. So I compose a letter to the customer.

"I was putting the plate in the box & looked at it one last time and realized I was perhaps too enthusiastic about the "minor wear" in the gold leaf. This has happened before. I think everything is fine, but when I give it the last check, it looks far worse than I first thought. Sometimes it's as simple as "the right light".
I'm hoping you don't agree, that I'm overreacting and it's just a rare form of Fine China Dysmorphic Disorder on my part.
However, I'd much rather err on the side of caution and not leave you feeling ripped off, because I hate that! I claim to be trustworthy & I'm serious. If you have any problem with the plate, let me know. If not, enjoy and I'm glad it was just dysfunctional anxiety. Thanks. Peace, HB�"

I can see this guy now rubbing his hands together in a Mr Burns, sort of "I've got him now" fashion and looking for any way he can take advantage of my disorder and get a free plate. He probably doesn't even open the box before emailing his utter disgust at my flagrant mail fraud in attempting to foist off this piece of dross on such a fine American as himself. This is tantamount to retail terrorism! An outrage!
He marks me down as the worst seller on record, somehow managing to give me two negative feedbacks and a letter of censure from eBay.
He demands his money back and treble damages for my gross misconduct!
I'm out $60!

Or not.

Maybe he's a regular guy and I need to get over myself.
He can plainly see the gaps in the photo I used.
What the fuck is his problem anyway?
It's only a fucking plate...

Two days later, he's got his plate. I'm waiting for the inevitable "there's a problem" email. Instead, I get this feedback:
Lovely item. Smooth, easy transaction. Prompt service and shipping. THANKS.

Kick me in the ass & call me shorty!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Put me on the No Fly List, Please

Just how many jokers start a blog with, "I'm starting a fucking blog, man. Don't know why."

Well. count me among the jokers. I'm just hoping to be inspired by something and write a few lines of drivel now and again. I imagine all sorts of pithy comments drifting into my head.

They will probably center around my extreme anger and disillusion with BushCo Inc. and the dirty dealings of a dry drunk fascist misanthrope who holds hands with Osama's Uncle Akmed when vacationing in The Land of Saud. Vacationing...

I often wonder why anyone bothers to illiterate the myriad facts against Bush that show plainly his banal perfidy, callous betrayal, depraved indifference, abysmal ignorance, sniveling cowardice and reckless belligerence. No one with enough power cares or they're making too much money off his regime to do anything about it and only a very few are even remotely real about it.
(You GO Kucinich!!)

I don't much care for that Parliament of Whores in the Capitol Building either. They have SO betrayed us as to be criminal!
My wife loves that scene from Mars Attacks where the whole body is charred into green & red skellingtons! I used to be more temperate about it, but now I see the virtue in clearing the boards aggressively. The status quo is killing us!

Unfortunately, I actually believe Daniel Quinn in Beyond Civilization who said, and I paraphrase poorly, voting is crap, because you just replace one useless sack of money grubbing excrement with another younger useless sack of money grubbing excrement.
You won't change this "democracy" by adhering to the institution that protects it. "It" being its deformed parasitic twin and not democracy at all.

New energy source! By shoving a rod up Jefferson's dried out old rectum and attaching it to a generator, power can be produced by his pretty much constant rolling over in his grave. Other forefathers, also tapped, could feasibly power Cleveland.

To be fair, I'd have to say some of the forefathers were losers too, because they wrote the Constitution just to shut "the people" up who, after fighting the revolution at their behest, had to pay outlandish taxes to the landed pricks who's only claim to the land rested with THE FUCKING KING!
What had the Americans just fought and died to determine?
That the power of the king is no such power!
Who's King George and how dare he?

So, we're entering into our two hundred and thirty second year since The Declaration of Independence and we are no more free of tyranny than on that day.
Somewhere along the line we forgot that capitalism is not a form of government and that efficiency of law is unethical and that ethics and cooperation is how we got civilized and corporations do not deserve human rights.

It's all such an overwhelming heap of stinking dung now, I think most people just turn away. They take a "Not My Problem" pill & hope they don't lose the house. In fact, the idea of coming out against tyranny makes you a target, so stay indoors away from the windows and maybe there'll be another Passover for Pussies.

There won't be.

Back to Quinn, I paraphrase again.
Get OUT!
You can't reform the war pigs.
You can't stop the corporations.
You can't trust the politicians.
Every effort you make is wasted time better spent on getting out of the loop, getting off the grid and choosing a new way to live. I know I'm not making it very sexy, but look at how you live now. Look at what you're up against. Imagine the Congress turning around tomorrow and doubling the minimum wage, ending the war and impeaching BushCo Inc.

NOT going to happen!

And it's not that I adhere to the words of Daniel Quinn. I'm far too jaded & lazy to go rushing off to war. I just think his ideas are a better place to go than the endless nightmare we have built for ourselves here and I want everyone else to start living like that too. I don't believe in living by example. I believe in bitching until everyone is so tired of my bitching that they do what I want.

I also cherish the words of Groucho Marx and don't trust any club that would have someone like me as a member. So I leave it to you.

Ishmael Society