How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb

man sitting on an anti-aircraft gun

That picture is from my cellphone, which explains why it is so shitty. I’m glad that I finally figured out how to get pictures off of my cellphone, because there were some pretty neat ones on there. Including that one. In case you can’t see what’s going on, Cap’n Boysenberry is sitting on the barrel of an anti-aircraft gun.

That was the same day we discovered the mystery sunken ship, but more about that later.

Astute readers may remember my battle with Comcast. I waited a few days for a call back, received two more bills ($49.68 and $50.17), and talked to three more customer service agents. I finally browbeat a woman into putting a credit on the account, bringing the total to $23.75.

Two days later, a bill for $60.83 arrived, and I called Comcast yet again for a merry round of he said she said. There must be a note on my account or something, because the gentleman I finally talked to spouted off about credits and so forth, finally admitting that whatever the bill said, I only owed them $23.75. Which I paid by phone, because the online payment server “wasn’t working.”

At last, I thought. Another month will go by before I have to do battle with Comcast again. I can relax, drink Mai Tais in the sun, and think about nothing in particular.

Today we went on an Indian food adventure. It was hoped that the heat of the Indian food would make us less sick. We were wrong, in fact, but it was a nice adventure. I strolled home through the gathering darkness humming Moxy Fruvous to myself under my breath, and stopped to grab the mail.

Two exciting things for me:

A giftcard from CompUSA, which apparently inteprets “rebate check from the store I never want to enter again” as “giftcard only good in the store you never want to enter again which must be used by January 15th.” Anyone need some toner? Or…something?

And…A bill from Comcast! It was big and scary, with “PAST DUE” on the outside of the envelope, and the inside to boot. How much was PAST DUE? $63.75!

Ah, Comcast.

I picked up the phone to do battle yet again, and ended up with a nice lady named Tiffany, who is probably beating something up in the break room right now. I was simply trying to comprehend how I had $63.75 past due when I thought it had been established that the total bill for November was $23.75, and I had paid it.

“Oh,” she said, “well that’s for November and December.”

“Wait,” I replied. “That’s preposterous. After fighting with you idiots for two weeks, I was told that I owed $23.75 for November 15th-December 15th, and that it was due by the 7th. I paid it. I was not aware that I was being billed in advance for December, and no one made me aware of this at any point. I think that you are full of it, Tiffany. Why are you sending me a bill for $63.75?”

“Well ma’am, what you don’t seem to be understanding is that this bill is for November and December.”

“Well ma’am, what you don’t seem to be understanding is that YOU ARE AN IDIOT. I should be getting a totally separate bill for December 15th-January 15th, which I will be content to pay at the last possible minute like I always do, because I will spend two weeks battling with you assholes to get it right—”

“Well ma’am—”

“Don’t you well ma’am me, I’m NOT DONE. I want to know who in your billing department is apparently sending out random bills, how much money you think I owe you, and when you think I am supposed to pay it. I already paid the bill for November-December, I can see it on my credit card statement, so don’t you get fresh with me, damnit!

“Er, well, uh, I see here that you made a payment of $23.75 on the 5th of December…”

“Yes, for my November-December bill.”

“And then here’s an adjustment here, and then, yes, $23.75 for December!”

I really tried to keep myself as calm as possible here. I’m sick, I’m grumpy, and I thought I wouldn’t have to tussle with Comcast again until after Christmas. So I kept my voice very level, and very calm.

“If this is a bill for December, it is wrong. It is also not past due, because December isn’t over yet. In fact, the billing period hasn’t even been entered yet. How can I possibly owe money for a billing period which hasn’t started?”

“Oh, well ma’am, the bill is due on the 28th.”

“Ah. Then explain for me please, Tiffany, why it is that the bill says “PAST DUE” on it.”

“Oh, well that’s for November.”

Most people who know me would have recognized the dangerous softness my voice took at this point in the discussion.

“You mean the bill I already paid?”

“Yes, that’s right!”

“Tiffany, let me ask you something. Are you seriously saying that your employers think I am so stupid that I am going to pay twice for monthly services? I mean, if I paid every bill you had sent me in the last month, you’d be looking at over $300 in revenue. Is this plan, here? Was I supposed to be scared by the PAST DUE and render payment immediately? Because let me tell you something, Tiffany. The plan? It’s not working.”


“Tiffany? Hello? Tiffany? Oh, you motherfuckers.”

I did the only logical thing: I fed the bill to Loki and put a reminder in my calendar to call Comcast on the 24th, assuming I don’t get any more bills before then.