Bomb bursts of the bizarre

Various Caesars might disagree, but I am becoming persuaded that February is so short simply because we couldn’t take a whole lot more of it.

Tomorrow, for instance, I had an appointment with a shrink, and a new shrink at that. Someone associated with the office called me up and advised that the doctor would be out of town, and perhaps I might want to reschedule. I made a point of rescheduling it in March.

Yesterday, I pulled into the same Shell station I’ve been going to for the last four years, and only noticed once I’d gotten out of the car that it’s no longer a Shell station. Have the prices changed since my last visit? Yes: each grade is now one cent higher. And whatever changes were necessary to the accounting system, they made the little receipt a lot less easy to read.

A few minutes later, I pulled into Walmart and picked up the week’s groceries. The last couple of times I’d ordered a particular pie from them, they were out of it and substituted a similar pie at the same price. This time, I ordered the substitute pie. Nothing was said at the pickup point, so I assumed I’d won this round. Then I unloaded the trunk, and found no pie at all — but a whole lot of donuts at the same price ($3.98).

Finally, I got a letter from American Express apologizing for an “internal error” which may have resulted in a late fee or other charges, and announcing a credit of two dollars and change. Having not had any late fees or other charges recently, I stared for a moment, and then read the account number. It’s not the number of my current Amex, or the one before that; it’s the number of the Amex before that, which hasn’t been active since 2010.



  1. fillyjonk »

    5 February 2017 · 2:22 pm

    Of course February is going to be a weird month. It’s when I was born.

  2. Holly H »

    6 February 2017 · 2:53 pm

    The Amex story is scary. I have a recent credit card story: Discover (which in many ways is better than other cards, in spite of this ugly tale):
    1. They sent a paper check to me last April (2016), for 59.00.
    2. I am paperless and assume that anything from them is an ad. (you see where we are going)
    3. I noticed a few months later that they somehow credited themselves for my balance of 59.00.
    4. I called them and they apologized and said they’d send another check.
    5. Got busy, forgot to look for it. So…..apparently I missed that one too.
    6. In November, I found the first check in a pile of junk mail.
    7. Not to be anybody’s fool, I called Discover and asked their clerk if I should dare to attempt to cash this old thing. After all, it didn’t say “Void after so many days”.
    8. Their clerk seemed almost amused at my silly question, and said “Sure you can.”
    9. My credit union did not agree, and returned the check and charged me 15 bucks.
    10. Called Discover about this, and the manager said she would have to take the time to review the phone conversations, before she could do anything.
    11. No point getting mad. I said fine.
    12. Several weeks went by, and I called them back.
    13. “Oh, that check went out earlier this week.”
    14. I asked, “Did you send me an email or any communication to flag my attention, so I wouldn’t miss it this time”? Nope.
    15. But, she did credit me 20 bucks (a 5.00 tip!)
    16. Hardest 5.00 I ever made.

  3. CGHill »

    6 February 2017 · 5:24 pm

    I’ve run into this more than I should admit. Many years ago I had a secured MasterCard from a major brand, and I had laboriously built up the amount on deposit, and therefore my credit line, to just over $900. Shortly thereafter, they sent me an unsecured card with a bigger line. I wrote and asked them if they’d cancel the secured card and send me back my deposit. They already had; assuming I was getting junk mail, I’d torn it in half and tossed it in the rubbish bin. I figured this out about half an hour before taking out the trash.

    More recently, the bank that holds the note on the house sent me a check for $55 or so because I’d run that much of an overage in my escrow account. This was in a February. I think I found the check, stuck to the form in which they’d wrapped the return coupons, about Halloween. They would not cover the check (no good after six months), but they re-credited my account just before the end of the year.

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