Saturday, July 12, 2003

I was going to blow off the second part of my 4th of July story, Revenge of the Cheerleaders. Since I had all the computer problems, I assumed everyone had forgotten about the whole thing. The many comments I received, 2, and the email, 1, re-enforced the idea that absolutely no one is even reading this aside from the 5 people on my AIM Buddy List. I did include my website in an e-mail reply to all those helpful people at Dell Tech Support@Dell.mentallychallenged.com who’d thoughtfully e-mailed me while my computer was out of commission. Alas, they showed no interest in hearing the rest of the story either. However, I got a phone call from my sister-in-law and she wanted to know what happened with the cheerleaders?? She’s not even on my Buddy List, so this one’s for Robin.

Revenge of the Cheerleaders

In 2002, it was not surprising that President Bush did not join us. He was busy protecting the country from terrorists, the national press was busy covering his protecting the country from terrorists, and the Secret Service was busy protecting President Bush and moving Dick Cheney from one undisclosed location to another.

Because we needed a break from watching the Terror Alert Color Code swing from puce to fuchsia everytime someone had pancakes at Shoney's, we were locked and loaded as the parade began. Our yard population had doubled because now it seemed that even rank strangers wanted to provide moral support and voluble cheering in solidarity with the water war. We’d soaked my youngest son’s T-Ball team, after we put him on the float, of course, several gymnasts, and six new trucks from the car dealership, when the first group of cheerleaders turned onto the parade route. They began inching down the street waving triumphantly holding Super-Soakers again. We‘d assumed they‘d leave them at home since we didn‘t spray unless sprayed upon, but they were chillingly defiant in the water-gun waving department. We’d forgotten one very crucial bit of strategic planning and that is attractive girls wearing short skirts can talk men into just about anything if they wave their pom-poms the right way. We were momentarily puzzled when they fired the first volley, but merrily sprayed away with our pressure sprayers.

To our abject horror, the firemen on the fire truck, cheerleaders always ride on the fire trucks, began unrolling their hoses and unleashed the full fire-fighting capabilities of our fair hamlet on the astonished and soon sopping wet crowd in our front yard. We were like the Taliban attempting to battle U. S. Special Forces in Afghanistan and the firemen didn‘t wait until after Ramadan to attack us either. An unimaginable force had been pitted against us and the rank strangers quickly melted into other sidewalks and yards down the block like rats abandoning ship.

We were also caught on the horns of a terrible dilemma. With 9/11 still fresh in our minds, we loved our firefighters when they weren’t soaking us to the skin and wrestled with our obligations. We wanted to stand in the yard and clap ourselves silly for their service to our community, yet having a fire hose unleashed upon your person is rather daunting. I am not ashamed to say that most of us ran into or behind the house and cowered like the cowardly dogs we were. However, aside from the interior of the house, there was literally no place to hide because who can escape the dreaded reach of an unleashed fire hose and a determined, lust-crazed fireman?

In June 2003, we were contemplating the purchase of mini-skirts and pom-poms in an attempt to roll up the fire hoses, blissfully unaware that a sinister force was at work in our fair community. A group of individuals, collectively know as Jabbering Attorney-wielding Camera Kooks Against Super Soakers, or JACKASS, were working behind the scenes to ruin the parade for every one.

Part III: Bummer! will be published here if someone who is NOT on my AIM Buddy List requests it. Otherwise, I'll finish it on AIM.

Update: The last time I hung out with Aunt ML, she used the term "rank strangers" and I realized I had missed it so much it needed to be included here. The family motto is, as always, use it three times and it's yours. If any rank strangers are reading this, I've just used it for the 4th time to make sure it's still mine.

My kids absolutely, positively rock!

My three oldest kids gave me a fantastic birthday present early this year because I am going to be out of town on my birthday. I am now the proud owner of two tickets to a Toby Keith concert! This is the 3rd time I’ve been given concert tickets in the last few years, so I’m beginning to wonder if my family thinks I need to lighten up? Whatever the case, I’m thrilled.

I really like Toby Keith’s music and the fact that he writes a good deal of his own material is impressive. I was tapping my toe to his songs long before his “Angry American” fame. When I’ve seen him interviewed, he always says something to crack me up and he seems like the kind of guy who’d be happy to sit on my lawn on the 4th and watch the kids hose cheerleaders. “How Do You Like Me Now?”

However, the really special part about this is that my kids know me well enough to know what I’d really like and didn’t mind spending a ridiculous amount of money to give it to me. Wow. It made me feel overwhelmingly loved and appreciated. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Update: It could get better than this: Strict punishment for parole violations, and of course, world peace.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Dude, We're Gettin' A Dell!

The brand new computer crashed on July 5th and for the last week I have been on the phone with Tech Support, waiting for Tech Support to call, waiting for a technician to call, waiting for a technician to arrive, and finally, back on the phone with Tech Support. What made me really bang my head repeatedly against the wall was the helpful tip I kept receiving, to wit, I could log on to Dell.makemewannarunscreaminginthestreets.com to receive further tech support!! ARRRGGGGHHH!!! If I could have turned the computer on at all, that really would have been useful information.

One Customer Service person kindly informed me that if I wanted to request a new CPU I could log on to Dell.wherewe'veallhadalobotomy.com, register my complaint, and I would receive a reply, which I would then be unable to read, in only 2 days!

The crack team at Dell decided by late Tuesday evening that they had exhausted all their options and were reduced to formatting my hard drive. The helpful technician wanted to know if I would like to save anything before we started? Dang, I said, that would be just wonderful!!! Can ya tell me how to boot up Windows and do that??

Oops! After the format and attempted re-installation, it turned out that there was nothing wrong with my hard drive, it was a hardware problem. By Thursday, my oldest son, Viagra, was wandering through the house saying "Dude, We're Gettin' Screwed!".

I called Thursday afternoon and asked politely to the speak to the person who talks down customers who are moments from getting into their car, driving to Austin, and heaving their computer through the plate glass windows of the Dell sales floor.

Amazingly enough, I had a new mother board, memory board, and processor chip by noon today. When I finally got everything up and running, I checked my email and behold! I had 4 email messages from Dell Tech Support, sent over the last week, asking me to email them if I had any further questions and kindly included was a link to the Tech Support website at Dell.thewheelisspinningbutthemouseisdead.com.

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