My Excuse For The Year, Apparently


So Amazon finally remembered that I ordered a Peanuts page-a-day calendar from them a month ago. And after thinking it over plenty they decided to cancel the order on the grounds that they couldn’t find a copy to send me.

But their e-mail wasn’t a complete pit of Funky Winkerbean-esque hopeless despair. They suggested that it might just be available yet, if I wanted to try ordering it on Amazon. For example, they figure there’s calendars on hand here:

The Peanuts 2018 Day-to-Day Calendar that Amazon couldn't get me because of the lack of availability. It lists 14 new from $7.65, and lists them as In Stock.
Yes, yes, I could get a wall calendar that shows the whole month at a time. But I had a moment of doubt about how they work and now I don’t dare approach them again. I mean, “I don’t remember what day it is. What if someone showed me a list of 31 days it could possibly be? Oh yes, now I’ve got it!” What’s going on there? Also, why isn’t this an app/e-Book you can just download and look at on the computer?

At this point I’m torn between actually trying to order a calendar or just taking 2007 out of storage and working with that again. But, you know, Amazon’s got this list of sellers on Amazon that they figure I can negotiate with that they can’t, what with their just being Amazon or whatever their issue is. I don’t know.

Still no idea what those used calendars were used for.

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Waiting On The Auto Repair Sign


You might remember there’s an auto repair place down the street. I mean my street. I don’t know what’s down yours, and before you get all smug about that when’s the last time you checked yourself, mmm?

Last winter the auto repair place used its sign board to deliver a message of despairing optimism, that “Everything Is Going To Be Alright”. I think the tone came out wrong, but maybe I’m just seeing ambiguity where they didn’t intend it. They change it every couple months. Right after that was congratulations to somebody graduating and there’s no snarking on that. I forget what they went to after that one.

Auto service center sign: 'Everything Is Going To Be Alright [sic]'
I hadn’t even despaired before I saw this.

This winter they had “The Cost Is Zero To Be A Decent Human Being”. And this is a beautifully balanced message. It’s a reminder that the kind, gracious society, the one in which all people receive the dignity and decency that they need to thrive, is always at hand. It requires only that we each take a moment to remember the basic humanity of those around us, and that the cost of respecting that humanity is smaller than we fear. And on the other hand, it’s the perfect thing to yell in the quarrel that finally incinerates the corpse of a deceased friendship. “The cost is zero to be a decent human being, Lisa, and somehow that’s too much for you!”

Yesterday I noticed they had the ladder out, and they took down the reminder about the cost to be a decent human being. They haven’t put a new message up yet. But I’m eager to see what there is.

The Tangle At Meijer’s


I stand at the brink of the Home Decorations aisles at Meijer’s. Amongst the printed posters, ready for hanging in no home I have ever seen, is this holiday imperative: “Don’t Get Your Tinsel In A Tangle”. I stare at it. I try parsing the instruction. I can tolerate a reasonable level of twee; I’ve read some of the later Wizard of Oz books for crying out loud. But I try imagining the person who sees this and figures it’s exactly what he needs to Christmas up his home a little. I get lost, wondering if I can be even the same species as such a person. I start to have that sensation of feeling lost and bewildered and kind of like when I’m in Best Buy with a $5 gift certificate that’s expiring next week and there isn’t a single thing even remotely tempting to buy, even including USB plugs to connect to strange and obscure mini or micro USB devices.

Finally an associate comes over, and gently guides me to the Pet Care section, where I’ll be some other associate’s responsibility, and I can try to work myself back to normality by comparing the English and Spanish instructions on small-animal bedding material.

In Our Defense


The Internet problem was just one of the wires had come loose? What the heck kind of problem is that? Of course we didn’t try unplugging and replugging them ourselves. Unplugging the wires is the thing you do because there’s nothing to be done and you’re just going through the motions out of the existential despair of tech support. Why should we even try the plug before making cranky calls to get our service fixed? Who thinks like that?

On the bright side, another technician came around and got to see that our pet rabbit is quite large, and to admire his large-ness, and so our pet rabbit is going to be all proud of himself all day, even though (don’t tell him) he’s not actually that big for his breed. But I always love the moment the technician stops in his tracks and realizes that is a big bunny rabbit.