Monthly Archives: August 2009

An Open Letter to AT&T

Dear Sirs:

Last week you sent some college-aged kids door-to-door around our neighborhood hawking U-verse. I told them that was great, my husband had hoped you’d come to our neighborhood, they should come back after I’d had a chance to discuss it with him.

They returned during the dinner hour. My husband left his meal and went to the door to spend at least 20 minutes signing up for U-verse. Eventually we signed up for a package that was slightly more than what we pay now for internet and TV service, but offered a couple of bells and whistles we don’t currently have.

Two days later, we received a call from AT&T informing us that U-verse was unavailable in our area – even though your door-to-door representatives HAD A LIST OF NAMES of residents they were SUPPOSED TO CONTACT in order to inform us U-verse was available.

The next day, my husband checked your website; upon entering our address, it said that U-verse was, indeed, available. He called your representatives, and after several long minutes on the telephone, she informed him that yes, it was available.

And that it would cost more than the door-to-door representative said it would.

AT&T, you can go kick rocks. You wasted at least an hour of our time (some of which was during the dinner hour) and effort in order to misquote prices and give us the general run-around.

We’ll be sticking with Charter and Dish Network, whose prices are substantially less than yours for the same service.

And by the way, it was your piss-poor service five years ago that led us to abandon you and go with Vonage for our telephone service. We saved substantial amounts of money and aggravation because your knuckle-dragging, chuckleheaded idiot customer service representatives and techs couldn’t find our house on the computer and couldn’t read a map well enough to physically get your asses out here.



First Day of (pre)School.

Yesterday, actually, was Ethan’s first day back in preschool after summer vacation. According to his teachers, he had a great day.

Ethan first day back at preschool

Today is Laurel’s first day back in school. This is her first day as a 5th grader, which also means she’s one of the Big Cheeses at the school. Even if she weren’t, the airbrushed tattoo on her bicep would probably scare the bullies away:

Laurel's first day as a fifth grader

Here’s hoping we have a stellar year.

Last Hurrahs.

Ethan returns to school tomorrow, so we took as many opportunities as we could this weekend to spend time together as a family.

Saturday evening we went south to the old fire tower a few miles south of us. I am not a big fan of heights these days – especially when the thing I’m climbing is rickety and creaky – and would have stopped a couple of flights below the top if it weren’t for the good-natured heckling of a group of folks below. So I made it, albeit while clinging to the railings for dear life. At the top, the kids were so frightened they refused to stand. It took me much less time to get back down than it took to get up there.

Jeff County Fire Towerclimbing the tower Just before I got the nerve to climb the rest of the way up

After that, we journeyed a short distance to the Sandy Creek Covered Bridge, where the kids ran back and forth along the span, Ethan refusing to pose long enough for a photo.

Sandy Creek Covered Bridge

Today we decided to take a big trip to the zoo. We did about everything we could do and saw about everything we could see. The kids were super-good the entire time.

petting stingrays chasing turkeysclimbing wall at children's zooTHE most interesting part of the children's zooSleeping in With the hippoNeeds no captionLaurel with an oreo goatFirst he tried to brush its button the train The beetlesporting a lemur tailethan on the carouselwe ride a lot of carousels

After spending hours at the zoo, there was only one thing to do —


We got it packed to go, so the kids had fun with the dry ice…

fun with dry icemore fun with dry ice

..and then finished off their concretes.

Ted Drewes

A perfect end to a perfect summer vacation.         

The War Between the Geriatrics.

This evening, owing to our schedule, our family decided to dine at a local restaurant.

Ethan wasn’t behaving near the end of the dinner, so he and I went out front to wait while Greg paid the bill.

While we were waiting, a shiny white car driven by an elderly fellow we’ll call Ed pulled up in front of the restaurant. While some of Ed’s senior passengers were disembarking, an even more elderly gentleman we’ll call Morris began backing out of his disabled parking space and even though Ed’ and his passengers in the white car were honking and yelling at Morris, I thought for sure Morris was going to back right into them.

But he didn’t.

Instead, Morris pulled back into his space.

“Whew,” I thought, as Greg and Laurel came out of the restaurant. "Crisis averted.”


Morris backed again, and backed right into Ed’s car.

A woman with a walker jumped out of Ed’s car. “GODDAMMIT! YOU IDIOT,” she screeched. “WE JUST CAME FROM THE DEALER WITH THIS CAR!!!”

My eyes widened. A woman. With a walker. Jumping out and yelling like that. Wow.

Poor, disoriented Morris responded by hitting the gas and really giving Ed’s car the what-for, then pulled back into his spot, whereupon Ed jumped out, ran up…


KICKED Morris’s car, leaving a big dent.

My jaw dropped. “Holy hell,” I thought. “God bless South County.”

Ed started berating Morris, and poor Morris was so confused he didn’t even know what he’d done. Morris’s daughter, thankfully, was near – having driven a different vehicle – and intervened. Things were heated, but then Ed apologized for being mean…

…but he planted himself up against the dent he’d kicked in Morris’s car so nobody could see it.

“Dammit,” I muttered to Greg, “he’s trying to hide the fact that he kicked that old man’s car and left a big damned dent.”

I sought out Morris’s daughter.

“That guy left a big dent in your father’s car,” I told her.

“Thanks,” she said. “I saw him kick it, but I didn’t know he dented it.”

“Yeah,” I said, “he did, and he’s standing in front of it – I think on purpose. So I wanted to be sure you knew what happened.”

Then I went to our pickup, wrote our name and number down, and gave it to both parties. Just in case. We had an appointment to make, so we couldn’t wait on the police, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let someone get screwed because that guy was hiding the dent.

The thing is, I know Ed and his passengers were pissed. I can understand completely. Here they had a car they’d just gotten from the dealer because apparently it’d had body work, and wouldn’t you know – the first thing that happened was some guy backs right into it. I mean, I’ve HAD that happen before. I laughed about it at the time.

But to kick his car in response, when you’re clearly north of 65? That’s unconscionable. What a lesson for my kids, who were delighted by the entire spectacle.

“Wow,” Laurel observed later. “It was kind of funny, really, watching those old people yell at each other.”

“Yeah, it was,” I told her, “but it was a terrible example for them to set for you.”

And this is why I respect my elders only when they are deserving.