Jesterly Challenge Month – November 18th

For today’s post, i challenged myself to write a terrible haiku.  I claim victory on this one.  No matter what you say in the comments, I know I have successfully met this challenge:

This haiku is fluff
I didn’t give you long enough
To send me prompt stuff

Plus it’s terrible
Rhymes can’t save unbearable
With nothing seasonal

I’mma stop right here
This has gone too far I fear
Bye-bye blogosphere

guidance

I got back in the truck, my cheeks burning from embarrassment, and turned to my roommate, “I don’t see any damage.”

He angled his head so he could look into the rear-view mirror and see the car parked directly behind us.  He frowned and then a moment later his features set into the resolved expression I had grown to know so well over the previous five years.

“You should leave a note, anyway.”

I sighed.  I rolled my eyes.  I pretended to protest, but I knew he was right and I would leave my contact information under their windshield wipers.  I motioned for him to open the glove box and then reached over and pulled out a pad of paper and pen that I stored there.  I scrawled my details out, as legibly as I could, considering the rush of adrenaline that was still coursing through me from having backed into the vehicle.

I still couldn’t believe I had done something so stupid.

With another sigh, I got back out of the truck and walked across to car.  I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help but steal another glance at the bumper to confirm that I still saw no evidence of damage from the slight impact.

My vision narrowed so all I saw was what was necessary for my current task.  I reached the front of the car, propped up the drive side wiper enough to slip my note under and then let the blade fall back into place.  I was so focused on my anger, at myself for having hit the car in the first place, at the unknowns of what would come of giving them my information, at the universe for fating me into that moment, that I almost missed the slight movement of a head ducking down in the back of the car.

There was someone in there!  A child, perhaps, left in the back seat while one of their parents was shopping inside?

Shaking my head, bewildered by the whole situation, I retraced my steps to the truck, stepped in, and turned the ignition.

“Happy now?” I sarcastically quipped.

“Not really.”

“Me either.”

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This tale is a twist on a true story, and was written for this week’s Tale Weaver’s Prompt:

Remember an event that really happened to you, then take a fictional character and insert him in the story. Rewrite the event to include both you and the character, change the outcome of the situation, for better, for worse, however you desire.

Some ideas and guidelines:

– The fictional character can be anything, like: a superhero, a protagonist of a book, a part of your personality imagined and shocked alive as a character and a person that in reality does not exist, archetypes, a character from a dream you once had,  and so on.

– You can rewrite the event and create a real story branching off into a fictional one, or you can write a speculative story, as in “What do I think would happen that day, if instead of person N, Snoopy was with me?”

Word limit: 500

…..

In the true version of this story, I was in the truck by myself, and didn’t have the guiding voice of a friend to help me do the right thing: I didn’t walk back over to leave a note.  Therefore, I missed that there was someone in the car.  They wrote down my license plate and when their mom finished shopping they called the cops: hit and run.

Whoops.

Live and learn.

A letter to my cable company

Dear Time Warner Cable,

When you sent me that happy little email at the beginning of the year saying you were going to give me Showtime for free for three months, you weren’t fooling anyone.  I knew the rate hike was coming.  It was inevitable.  But, I held on to a bit of hope that you were offering the premium channel (of which the kingdom has only watched two movies in these six weeks) as a peace offering for all the rate increases you imposed last year.

So, perhaps I am a fool after all.  I should have known you would never do anything “nice” like that.

Then, it happened.  You lost service during the game.  The big game.  The big show.  The one event all year that pretty much every American household has on for one reason or another.  One minute I was enjoying the commercials (and the game, even though it wasn’t a great game, because, hey, I like sport), and the next minute I had a black screen.  No more game.  No more commercials.  No halftime show.  No nothing.

I tried to call you, but you were being bombarded by so many irate customers that you all I could get was a busy line.  I tried to look up your email so I could send you a note asking when service might be expected to return, but so many people were doing the same thing that your website crashed.  It was a customer service fail of monumental proportions.

I finally did get an email off to you, the next day, asking how you were going to make this right.  I paid for a service, and you did not provide that service.  You needed to do something to balance the situation.

And you did.  You offered everyone who lost parts of the game a free movie from your decent selection of On Demand titles.  Not bad.  Not great, but there are some who might argue you didn’t have to do anything at all.  Obviously, I’m not one of those, but I can temper my expectations of restitution.  (Apparently, I can also use some big words.)

Anyway, I’ll take it.  I like movies.  I like free movies even better.  And since the arrival of the Little Prince I don’t have the opportunity to watch new movies as frequently as I used to.  So, having them available from the convenience and comfort of my home, well, that’s just fine with me.  And, it was another peace offering.  Another effort on your part to show your existing customers that you do care about them.

I won’t lie.  My level of hope raised a bit then.  I thought, perhaps, given the circumstances, you wouldn’t raise rates again.  You would eat all those additional costs that you are constantly complaining about…  At least for awhile.

But then the new bill came.  In the same month where you lost coverage of that one football game.  It came with a lovely letter explaining how much you value my loyalty and apologizing for having to transfer the new costs you are incurring onto me.  It was well worded.  It showed me how much you truly care… about your new customers.

I understand business.  I get it.  You have to have the attractive, shiny, products to get new customers.  That makes sense.  But, it doesn’t make sense to continually charge your existing customers more and more, especially when there are so many other service providers at our disposal now.  Because you will start to lose your existing customers, and then you will have to lower prices further for your new clients to replace those numbers, and raise prices more for your existing clients to offset the costs, and you will create a vicious cycle you will not recover from.

You may not miss me when I’m gone.  And I will be gone soon, right after I watch my free movie.  But, if there are other people out there like me, and they are as fed up with you as I am, the mass exodus could eventually destroy you.

I hope it does.

Enjoy my money for one more month.  I’m going to get as much value out of it as I can.  Showtime here I come.  On Demand freebies here I come.  Preview weekends here I come.

But then I’m cancelling.

I won’t miss you.

Matticus

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What about you, faithful kingdomites?  Have you cancelled any of your services because of poor customer service or rising prices before?  Should I pay for Hulu?  Should I rejoin Netflix?  Are you a dish household?

Comment Contest (also known as Jester Fail)

Yesterday’s Scavenger Hunt Contest winner = Evil Squirrel!

Is there any other kind?  Aren’t all squirrels evil?  This might require further research…Anyway, I wanted to give everyone who played yesterday the win.  They were all great.  Arden gave us cats.  Exile on Pain Street gave us Donald Trump as The Jester.  Polysyllabic Profundities gave us the very best silly.  The Cutter gave us Kingdom Come (one of the greatest comics ever written and drawn).  If I had five books to give away, I would have.But, I only had one to give away, and it went to ES because:

little prince

You see?  It was the choice that had to be made.

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signed fauxpocalypse contestOne last book.  One last game.  One last winner.  Maybe it will be you.

This is kind of a fail, but I couldn’t come up with a game for today.  I’ve been thinking about it for a couple days now.  I even enlisted the help of The Queen and Zoe and a bunch of other bloggers, but, for the most part, I think they thought I was joking that I needed help.  (Zoe and The Queen did give me good ideas, to be fair.)

So, for today’s contest, we are going to reprise Monday’s contest.  So, if you want the final signed copy of Fauxpocalypse, leave a comment, leave 50 comments, and tomorrow morning I will use a random number generator to pick the winning comment. 

So, what’s on your mind?  Have you agreed with my winners the last four days?  Who would you have picked instead?  Why should you definitely get the last book?