Friday, February 27, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: WRITE ME BACK

This is aggressive. Can I read the email fir-

HAVE YOU AT ANY TIME SENT OR RECEIVED MONEY THROUGH OUR SERVICE?

Depends. What is your service? Are you Johnny Paypa-

HAVE YOU EVER SENT MONEY TO ANY ONE IN AFRICA FOR ANY REASON?

Uh, who hasn’t? Where do you get your futons, America? Pffft.

HAVE YOU AT ANY TIME MADE PAYMENT FOR AN ORDER YOU NEVER RECEIVED?

Yes. College. #bu-dum-ching! #drunk4dayz #dontremembernothin #studentloans #collegelife

We ask these questions because your email was provided as a victim of one of the above circumstance,

Seems legit that my email would know first.

Officials in top places


have failed to deliver your payment which the results of failures encountered have left you with no option but discouragement.


It's a new day and the beginning of your dream come through if only you adhere to the instructions in this mail.

I always felt that my new day of non-discouragement would dawn as the result of me strictly adhering to email instructions from an email that thinks the phrase is “dream come through.”

Every four working hours interval, five thousand united states dollars will be remitted to you till a total of 100,000.00 (one hundred thousand USD) is confirmed transferred in bit to you, then after a total of 1,900,000.00 (one million, nine hundred thousand united states dollars) shall be transferred from your paying information into any account of choice completing a total payment of two million united states dollars as compensation to you from the Ghanaian government and West African Authorities on your failed transactions.

Your deft executive planning of dispersing money more than makes up for your general inability to communicate like anything resembling a human, and this plan specifically more than makes up for the time Amazon charged me shipping on a return, which is what this is all about?

Your first payment information shall be provided in one hour for swift remittance at any of our branch nearest to you once you provide your details as follow, Your Payment receivers Name, Occupation, Contact number, Age and Any form of Identity. Do not worry about anything

Oh OK.

Sincerely,

Richard Martin.
ZONAL HEAD OF OPERATIONS,
WESTERN UNION.

Reassurance from a #ZonalHead is how I wished all emails ended, but alas - we live in an imperfect world.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: SHIPMENT

Amazon, is that you? (checks to see who email is from)

From: webweboffice90@yahoo.pt

Oh, it’s web web office 90, a place I order from regularly on the web web. Everything is cool cool.

Dear owner,

I own, alright. I own the sh*t out of things.

I am Mr. David Ellis, Head Officer-in-Charge, Administrative Service Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agency in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Atlanta, Georgia.

Can they fit all that on your Head Officer-in-Charge (lol) badge, or is it just like:
Mr. David Ellis, HOiC, ASIUUNIA, H-JIAAG

My point is, you are stupid.

During our investigation,

Provide context much? Boom, roasted.

I discovered an abandoned shipment through a Diplomat from United Kingdom which was transferred from JF Kennedy Airport to our facility here in Atlanta, and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in 2 Metal Trunk Boxes 

I don't mean to cut you off but how much do these metal trunk boxes weigh? I need to know how much these metal trunk boxes weigh before proceeding.

weighing approximately 110kg each.

Thank you. I can now make an informed decision. My decision is yes.

The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as personal effect/classified document to either avoid diversion by the Shipping Agent or confiscation by the relevant authorities.

Just so I’m clear, standard operating procedure at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta is that, when two metal trunks containing straight cash homey is not properly declared by a consignee, you email the publications manager at two weekly newspapers near Phoenix, Ariz. to see if maybe he wants it because DOES ANYONE HAVE A BETTER IDEA.

By my assessment, each of the boxes contains about $4M or more.

Maybe you can make a better assessment by actually counting the money? I don’t know.

They are still left in the airport storage facility till today. The Consignments like I said are two metal trunk boxes weighing about 65kg each

Whoa HOLD UP. You said the boxes were 110kg each. What the heck, yo? Even if you messed up earlier and meant combined, that still doesn’t add up. How am I supposed to adequately prepare my consignment butler to lift metal trunk boxes if you’re giving me conflicting kilogram information? You want her to throw her back out or somethin’?

Honestly, I find your attention to the weight of these boxes—though inconsistent—to be off-putting considering you are seemingly comfortable guesstimating as to the actual amount of money inside them.

As I did say again, the shipper abandoned it and ran away

I did not know he ran away. That is hilarious. Did anyone catch him? Was this on “Cops?”

I am ready to assist you in any way I can for you to get back this packages

Get back?

provided you will also give me something out of it (financial gratification)

That is gross. You are gross.

You can either come in person

Uhhh

or you engage the services of a secure shipping/delivery Company/agent that will provide the necessary security that is required to deliver the package to your doorstep or the destination of your choice.

Can I employ a fictional character to do this? Like Punjab? I am sending Punjab. Deal with it.

I need all the guarantee that I can get from you before I can get involved in this project.

Indeed it is you and not me who should rightfully require reassurance that this is all real. My point is, you are stupid.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Put the phone away … for real this time



I’m not an alarmist when it comes to generational trends. If we were to travel back in time, I would bet the first generation of cavemen lamented that their children just didn’t slay wildebeests with the same skill and youthful passion they themselves had once exhibited. And so on and so forth throughout history, proving that everything we’ve lamented along the way was either insignificant or progression itself.

But I have to admit I’m disconcerted with the increasing influence of phones, and that’s coming from someone who’s written approximately 17 columns about his phone and/or Verizon. Not that I think this is a generational trend as much as a cultural one. For example, my mother-in-law, who until recently was still going about life boasting a flip phone, is now regularly interrupted during conversations by alerts she can’t seem to turn off from a game app called Crossy Road.

Lest this humble opinion give ammunition to those decrying phones is general, please. No. The advent of smart phones is, in so many regards, wonderful and important and crucial to our modern lifestyle. If you’re one of the few not on board, you’re stubbornly missing out. But nothing is black and white, everything is gray, and, despite our phones’ seemingly endless advantages, where I see a great disconnect is the crumbling etiquette of human conversation.

This is not a new or noteworthy opinion. We’ve seen ads, articles and general sentiment urging us all to put our phones down and experience life. It’s a great irony that many of us digest this call to arms via our phones, but our ongoing inability to heed this advice is a damn shame. 

To put it bluntly, if you are on your phone when you should be engaged in a one-on-one or group conversation—at work, at the bar, during dinner, anywhere—you are being a terribly rude person.

Are there exceptions? Of course. There are always exceptions. Chances are, however, what you think is an exception is not—HOLD UP, LEMME JUST POST THIS—and is, instead, evidence of an increasing aversion to awkward pauses, small talk, eye contact, and conversations with people we’d rather not be conversing with. Multi-tasking is not a virtue when at the expense of human connection. Using our phones as a crutch in this regard will erode our ability to communicate, to listen, to be truly available, and will, ultimately, distort our sense of friendship and community.

And that’s only touching on subpar, though actual, conversations. It’s unknown how much bonding has gone unrealized as a result of solitary interfacing, how much has passed us by as we’ve opted to stare at the screen instead of out the window. But one thing at a time. It’s probably a decent start to say, when someone is talking to you, put the freaking phone away. Indefinitely.

And again, our phones are great. At their best, they’ve been a catalyst to communication, not a deterrent. But we must do a better job—myself included, believe me—of denying them the inordinate influence they mercilessly seek. We cannot allow our conversations to devolve into distracted grunts and yeahs.

After all, we’re not cavemen.

Note: This column appears in 2/26 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/27 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spam email of the week (annotated)



Note: You'll have to click on each individual pic (five of them) because I could not for the life of me figure out how to upload an annotated Word doc to Blogger.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mountain climbers dissuade mountain man from climbing mountain



I was recently part of a “guy’s weekend” hiking trip in Sedona. It wasn’t long ago that, in this very space, I made light of the lack of things to do in Sedona. I guess I stand corrected in that you can definitely walk around there in the dirt.

I kid, of course, although I’ve always been intrigued by how “hiking” came to be. Hiking is just walking, no, but on slightly different terrain? Like, if you’re walking on this, it’s walking, but if you’re walking on THIS, it’s hiking, and you’re going to need some super ugly shoes, a giant stick, and a safari hat. I suppose I’ve never felt that such a distinction was justified.

Also, the more treacherous hiking becomes, the more closely it resembles mountain climbing, which is definitely the activity we were doing. We climbed three mountains in Sedona, and it was no doubt an invaluable bonding experience, spiritually enlightening, and all that jazz. But that’s not what you want to hear about. Because I think we might have saved the life of a local yokel and his family.

We decided to watch the sunset from Doe Mountain because that’s the type of manly men we are. We began our trek down before the sun officially set, however, because it sets fast, and that’s when the dark and cold set in. Not surprisingly, we were the last people on the mountain that day, and it was nearly dark as we approached the base.

It was there, however, we ran into an interesting gentleman who was, with his 4-year-old daughter, making his way up the mountain.

The man had the type of look that, even removed from the context of what was happening at this very moment, made you think, This man does not make good decisions. As for this very moment, he was wearing a T-shirt and his daughter was wearing a dress (!). The temperature was fast approaching freezing. I should reiterate that they were going up the mountain.

Well, we couldn’t not say something, a fact made more indisputable by my father-in-law’s presence. We were basically like, “Yo, uhh … what the heck are you doing?”

He was completely oblivious, and was going up to the top, he said, because his daughter wanted to. This seemed, to us, like a decision that shouldn’t be dictated by a 4-year-old.

We said, “My man, it takes about an hour to get up that mountain without a child in tow, and it’s almost completely dark and below freezing now, and you are both dressed for a spring picnic, and there are spots on the side of that mountain where you are three feet from death, and just … no. No. Don’t. Please turn around.”

To our relief, he actually listened. I suppose someone who can be convinced to do something death-defying by a 4-year-old is generally receptive to being told to do the opposite by rational adults. We felt as though we saved their lives, and that was before, while conversing with him on our brief walk back to the parking lot, he asked us if it was Friday.

“Saturday,” we said. “Today is Saturday.”

We also discovered that he lived in the area. It amazed me that five guys, all of whom were from Jersey or Brooklyn, were schooling a guy on when not to climb the mountains he is surrounded by every single day.

When we reached the parking lot, his two other kids were waiting for him. So, this guy’s plan was to embark on an hours-long hike up and down a mountain with his dress-wearing 4-year-old in cold and total darkness while his other two adolescent children waited in the parking lot, in the middle of nowhere. While we felt even more relieved than before, something told us that more bad decisions were right around the corner. Like, I pictured him dejectedly getting in the car and saying, “Welp, might as well take you kids to the gun range. Not much else to do on a Tuesday.”

Anyway, I guess you can add “potentially saving the lives of its oblivious locals” to the list of things to do in Sedona. I stand corrected.

BUT WHEN YOU GET TO THE TOP THERE'S BE A SLIDE ON THE OTHER SIDE FOR THE WAY DOWN, RIGHT?

Note: This column appears in the 2/19 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/20 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: UN COMPENSATION FUND OFFER FOR YOU

It’s unclear whether the United Nations is offering me compensation—which would be completely understandable considering the finances I have fronted from my throne of diplomacy—or whether someone is un-compensating me for something—equally understandable considering my former, rarely spoken of Robinhood-esque background.

DEAR BENEFICIARY
 
This letter is written to you in order to change your life from today.

Cool.

I am Rev Mike Donald Duck the Director,

I can’t. I’m out. (packs suitcase, leaves)










(three months later)

I ran out of funds in the wilderness so I guess I have to listen to what the good Reverend Mike Donald Duck has to say.

International Remittance Department of this Bank, my Boss, Mr. Jacobs M. Ajekigbe, the Managing Director/CEO of this bank is now on compulsory leave and all power have been vested on me to make all international payments.

I bet your uncle Scrooge McDuck is hella pissed.

Be informed that the Federal Government have approved the release of part-payment of$7.5M(Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) out of your total funds, which has been in this bank for many years unclaimed because my boss Mr. Jacobs Ajekigbe, elaboration with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have refused to tell you the truth on how to claim your fund this is because he has been using the interest accumulated from your fund every year to enrich himself without your knowledge,

I want to get this straight because I am having a really hard time with this. So you’re a reverend, the director of a Nigerian bank, AND America’s most famous duck? I am having considerably more difficulty grasping this than the revelation that my arch-nemesis is a villain named "Jacobs (plural) [random assortment of letters]."

I want to help you pull out this fund to your bank account using the easiest and the quickest method,

The quickest method, technically, involves me and an ATM card. But something tells me that Rev. Mike Donald Duck has a different plan.

By this method, you will open a domiciliary account with this bank (First Bank of Nigeria), your fund would be lodged into this domiciliary account and your fund will be paid in directly to any bank of your choice.

I enjoy the idea of my money being lodged into something, and I am assuming a domiciliary account consists of a gigantic, artificial clown head, my $7.5 million carelessly stuffed into its mouth. If so, that is my bank of choice.

As a good Christian,

It’s not surprising Donald Duck is Christian because a) he’s a reverend, obvs, and b) he proudly appeared in the Christian film, “Mickey’s Christmas Carol.”

I have nothing to gain by keeping your fund,

Except my fund. But whatevs.

I want to assist you receive your fund before my boss resumes office.

In conclusion, I have just spent a good hour of my precious time on earth analyzing an email in which Donald Duck urges me to contact him about $7.5 million before his boss, Jacobs, gets back in the office. Goodbye, everyone—I’m off to figure out at what point on the road of life I made a wrong turn.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: urgent reply

Like I don’t have enough stress in my life.

I hereby send to you the information submitted by Mr.JOHNSON MARK U.S.A of Florida group Ltd, with an application to receive your payment on your behalf.

The only thing I trust less than someone named Mr.JOHNSON MARK is Florida.

Please as a matter of urgency, you are required to verify the following information and inform us if you are aware or know anything about this. on MONDAY

I’m sorry, what day was it?

on MONDAY

Come again?

on MONDAY

OK.

Mr. JOHNSON MARK came to the office claiming that you  have instructed him to come and receive the payment on your behalf with some representatives.

I did no such thing, and suffice it to say I am livid at Mr. JOHNSON MARK. Did the “representatives” with him happen to be middle-aged men wearing St. Joseph’s High School varsity bowling jackets and claiming I “owed them?” Doesn’t matter. Please tell me you told them to come back later and, if so, on what day?

I have ask them to come back MONDAY

Tuesday?

I have ask them to come back MONDAY

Oh, OK. The force with which you mention days of the week is enough to divert from the fact we are talking about days of the week in lieu of actual dates and I have no context for anything.

as they did not provide any power of an attorney from you which will proof that you truly send them.

Your grasp of my attention is equal to your grasp of nouns and verbs and past and present tense. Speaking of tense, I am tense. ABOUT THIS.

This was to enable me contact you to verify how genuine this people are to you.

1. Did you instruct one Mr. JOHNSON MARK of USA Florida group Ltd. whose information is below, to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?

(Raising left hand, right hand on copy of The Berenstain Bears and the Truth, not wearing pants) I did NOT.

2. Did you sign any 'Deed of agreement' in his favor thereby making him the current beneficiary

OK that I DID do. Is that going to be a problem?

Finally, you are hereby advised to indicate to this honorable office with immediate effect, if you are the person that instructed Mr. Johnson Mark to come for the claim of your fund

This is like the 17th time during the course of this email that you’ve asked me to do just that, yet here you’re requesting it as if it’s a new, final step in the process. It’s that minor detail and ONLY that minor detail that has caused me to feel just a smidgeon of skepticism about this email.

worth of $5,000,000.00

Now that I think about it, I was wondering where that $5 million I didn’t know I had went. DANG YOU, MR. JOHNSON MARK! (shakes fist to sky)

Yours Faithfully,
MR. ALLEN JONES
For the Governor
Bank of England

I may live in Arizona and be from New Jersey, but all my enemies are in Florida, which is obviously why I bank in England. And yo - Mr. Allen Jones? You can BANK on seeing me ... (dramatic pause) ... (puts on sunglasses) ... (camera pans to close-up of my face) ... (TOO close, back up camera, dang) ... MONDAY.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Family initiates equipment protection program



When my brother-in-law visits Arizona, he oftentimes arrives with gifts, like a late-January Santa.

Although he himself would never phrase it this way, he’s kind of a big deal at his job back East. This status has earned him discounts on various apparel, which he uses to his advantage when buying gifts, since, admittedly, none of us are worth paying retail for.

A couple of years ago he arrived with a “ratchet belt” for me, a gift he had bestowed on every guy in our family over the holidays and which was enjoyed immensely. The ratchet belt is an easily adjustable belt that comes in handy when you’ve eaten too much and need to adjust your waistline because of gluttony. That holiday season witnessed all the men on my wife’s side of the family eating exorbitant amounts of food without remorse and then collectively yelling, “RATCHET UP!” at the dinner table while adjusting their pants in front of everyone. I was sad to have missed this.

I enjoyed the ratchet belt for a brief period, but I think it had too many moving parts, and I did not find the need to adjust myself that often throughout the course of a given day. I also broke it. I broke the ratchet belt. I was trying to ratchet down and well … I am sorry.

This year, Anthony came bearing gifts once again and, once again, it was very guy-centric and only for me. It was the type of gift that goes a long way toward further establishing the healthy brother-in-law bond we so enjoy. It was underwear. He got me underwear.

But not just any kind of underwear. This underwear is called 2UNDR. The symbol for 2UNDR is a kangaroo that advertises the underwear’s “Joey pouch.” You’re likely overwhelmed by all the subtlety here, but let’s talk biology for a minute. Every guy has two of something, and they’re kind of like, underneath, and the pouch is great because … actually, ya’ know what? Let’s allow 2UNDR to explain:

2UNDR™ uses a breathable *Joey pouch™ construction that supports your equipment in comfort and style.
*patent pending

I know—I am as surprised as you the patent for the Joey pouch has yet to clear. But the point is that 2UNDR supports your equipment in a way no underwear before it could ever claim. When Anthony gave me my wonderful gift, it was right after we had all eaten dinner, and so there we all sat at the dinner table as my father-in-law vouched for the gift by describing in detail how well the Joey pouch supports his own equipment. Dessert was then offered, but we declined.

All I can say is, he was RIGHT. If the ratchet belt had too many moving parts, this was a gift that actually solved that very problem. Besides a level of support I never before enjoyed in my entire life, 2UNDR is also unbelievably soft and comfortable, like wearing perfectly fitted satin sheets around your unmentionables all day long. Better yet, every pair of 2UNDR retails for—justifiably I might add—about $25, so I’ve been able to check “wear $25 underwear” off the ol’ bucket list.

Of course, Anthony got it at a discount, which is great because I’d have a difficult time buying a five-pack of Jockey at Kohl’s for $25, and I am unsure if I can ever go back to regular underwear anyway. Although I currently boast only the two pair I was given, my father-in-law seemed to suggest that 2UNDR is so good and so well-made that you could, “probably,” go more than a day wearing the same pair. As he said this, I slowly backed away from him.

I do not intend on taking his hypothetical advice, and instead look forward to receiving pairs of this very special, patent-pending underwear as gifts for the rest of my life. For example, Valentine’s Day is Saturday. (If you’re that cheap, talk to Anthony.)

Note: This column appears in the 2/12 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/13 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: I have a question about your service

Looks like someone has a question about my service.

Hello,

My name is Karl Butler.

Hello, Karl.

I'm writing you about your company, Wazee's World Laser Zone.

OK, yes, that is definitely my company. I am Wazee.

I was looking over your website, (http://www.wazeesworld.com),

That is my website, guilty as charged. Thank you for putting my website in parentheses in case I had forgotten it, which I did. Hope you like the name. As I am fond of saying to my staff here, “It’s my—Wazee’s—world, y’all are just living in it. Now let’s make some (expletive) lasers.”

and your company would be a great fit for what my company does.

My mind races with the possibilities of what it could be your company does that greatly assists in the oversaturated world of laser zones.

We can double your
current sales volume over the next 30 days.

One thing I can say about you, Karl—you don’t mess around. Now, let's cut the jib-jab. I understand you have a question about my service?

Let's schedule some time to talk about it.

Good question. Let’s.

Me: Hi Karl—it’s me, Wazee.

Karl: Hello. Glad we’ve scheduled some time to talk about your business … (shuffling papers) … Big Hank’s Stool Sample Delivery Service.

Me: Actually, my business is Wazee’s World Laser Zone.

Karl: I can double your sales volume over the next 30 days.

Me: Please do that. Thank you. This has been a nice talk. What is your LinkedIn prof-

Karl: I just need a few thousand dollars to get started and then we can agree on commission splits.

Me: LOL. I feel like I just—as we say around here—got hit in the nuts with a laser beam.

Karl: Do you want to increase business or do you to remain one of the millions of dying (long pause) … laser zones (long pause) … in this country? Up to you, no hair off my ass.

Me: You spit a good game, Karl Butler. So listen, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna tell you that I am not Wazee. I am Mike, and I am publications manager at two weekly newspapers. Oftentimes people mistake our newspapers for a laser zone, and on this particular occasion I went along with it for the goof. Sorry/not sorry.

Karl: I can double your sales volume over the next 30 days.

Me: I feel like maybe you didn’t hear wh-

Karl: I can double your sales volume over the next 30 days … no hair off my ass … let’s schedule some time to ta- to ta- to ta- (explosion)

RIP Karl Butler.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: Katie Anderson | Custom  Tote Bags

I wonder what this is about.

Custom Tote Bags

Prolly custom tote bags?

My name is Katie Anderson and I hope your day is going as stress free as possible

My only stress is a glaring lack of custom tote bags.

and
I would like to show our new custom imprinted tote bags to the person who handles the marketing.

That would be me. I handle all the marketing for custom tote bags at this newspaper.

If you would like to see samples please fill out our Sample Bag Request Form

CAN’T TALK NOW BOSS, FILLING OUT A THREE-PAGE FORM TO RECEIVE FREE SAMPLE TOTE BAGS. BY THE WAY WHAT IS YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?

I’m excited about these custom tote bags because I’ve always heard that a big tote means fewer trips. Eh, probably just an urban legend.




That is the biggest tote I have ever seen.

Features a 23” long handle straps cross stitched for reinforcement, an 10” W gusset
and a supportive hard fabric wrapped plastic bottom insert for extra reinforcement.

Honestly, this is all pretty standard, but what separates this tote from most is the size of its W gusset.

Perfect protection for our environment.

This humongous tote bag is going to stop global warming. (But only if you order at least 250 of them.)

Please check which products you would like more information on
(    )Promotional Pens catalog
(    )Promotional Sticky Note Pads
(    )Promotional Coffee Mugs catalog
(    )Promotional Coolers catalog
(    )Low Cost-Minimum Order Promotional Products
(    )Business Gifts (Padfolios, Portfolios, Computer Bags, etc.)
(    )Trade Show Giveaway Items
(    )Healthcare Promotional Products
(    )Water bottles
(    ) Are you interested in becoming a reseller

Also protecting our environment is an entire catalog for promotional coolers (?) and all the other kinds of garbage you receive at things like trade shows. DID YOU KNOW: If you are at a trade show and someone hands you something called a padfolio, you are legally allowed to hit that person over the head with the padfolio until the police arrive and the trade show is shut down.

Point is, Katie Anderson and her big totes are going to SAVE US ALL. Let us thank her by ordering an absurd amount of totes so we can buy more vegetables we will never eat.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Scenes from Donutsville



My wife, on the road for work, had a cancellation and so decided to ask her parents, in town for a few weeks, if they wanted to meet for coffee. The location at which she asked them to meet was Donutsville.

My in-laws were happy to oblige. My father-in-law was just about to make the suggestion that he and his wife go out for lunch, so this was perfect. However, due to my father-in-law’s uncanny selective hearing, he interpreted his daughter’s request to meet for a coffee as “meet for lunch” and, rather hilariously, was under the impression they were meeting at a place called “Lunchville.”

It must be noted that earlier that morning, my in-laws had enjoyed coffee and a donut at the local Dunkin’ Donuts and, because he works hard to keep a slim figure, my father-in-law had been feeling guilty about the morning donut. It’s difficult to imagine a delicacy he was more averse to at that very moment than donuts.

My wife waited for them in the parking lot; however, probably out of excitement for lunch, they didn’t notice her as they sped into the parking lot, parked, and briskly walked inside. They also did not notice the big sign under which they had walked that read DONUTSVILLE. My wife followed them inside. This happened.

Wife: Hi guys, and wow—thanks for waiting. (laughs, hugs her mom)

Father-in-law: (standing in middle of store, arms open wide in disappointment as if to say ‘What’s with all these donuts?’) What’s with all these donuts? I wanted lunch, not donuts. There’s nothing but donuts here.

Wife: I’m doing fine, Dad, thanks for asking. Also, this is Donutsville, the place you guys agreed to meet for coffee … ?

Father-in-law: Coffee? What coffee? Mom and I already had coffee and a donut this morning at Dunkin Donuts. What am I gonna do, have TWO donuts today. Pffft. I need to eat lunch. Where am I gonna get lunch here? There’s nothing but donuts.

Wife: (ignoring her father, orders) I’ll have a large coffee.

Father-in-law: Look at all these donuts.

Mother-in-law: (ignoring her husband, decides on a sandwich) I think I’ll have this ham sandwich.

Father-in-law: Anna, ham? What ham? (turns attention to worker) What’s the deal with this ham sandwich? When was it made?

Worker: Uh, I think the sandwiches were made yesterday.

Father-in-law: YESTERDAY? No, no, no … yesterday? Anna, the ham was made yesterday.

Mother-in-law: (ignoring her husband) I’ll have the ham sandwich.

Father-in-law: This is not to be believed. I just … (looking behind counter) I don’t want a bagel. What about the bagels? Do you have bagels? I already had a donut this morning.

Worker: We have bagels.

Father-in-law: I really don’t want a bagel. Do you have an everything bagel?

Worker: Yes.

Father-in-law: With a slice of cheese?

Worker: Uhh, we have cream cheese.

Father-in-law: Cream cheese? It’s almost noon and you’re offering me cream cheese? (turns around to wife and daughter, yells) This guy is offering me cream cheese! (turns back around) I wanted lunch. Cream cheese? You don’t have a slice of cheese?

Worker: No, sir, I’m sorry.

Father-in-law: I’ll have the cream cheese. This is not to be believed. (turns to wife and daughter) I’m getting a bagel and cream cheese like some freakin’ breakfast guy (does Italian sign for disappointment/confusion, which is both hands in the air making the sign for money) I mean, it wouldn’t be so bad if this place at least at some espresso.

Wife: Dad, you’re standing under the espresso sign.

Father-in-law: (looks up, sees espresso sign listing all the espressos, turns to worker) You have espresso?

Worker: Yes. They’re all there, on the sign.

Father-in-law: But you have espresso?

Worker: Yes.

Father-in-law: Espresso?

Worker: (looks around to see if he is on “Candid Camera”) Yes.

Father-in-law: I’ll have a cappuccino. (turns back to daughter) So, uhh, are you paying for this or what? This was your idea.

Note: This column appears in the 2/5 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/6 issue of the Peoria Times.