Archive for the Big Business Scams Category

The day The Economy failed to forward the Lotus Totus email.

Posted in Big Business Scams, Confusion, Fun with metrics, Life is like Christopher Guest said it was, Miracles, Philosophy?, Popular Culture, The meaning of life with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2009 by Admin
Ken cake

I have no idea why this image is here. None.

UPDATE: In an effort to uncover the author of the Touts I have sent the following appeal: “Dear Geraldo Rivera, Can you please do an expose on the Lotus Totus, like you did with the ‘wrestling’ industry? That was awesome! Thanks, Mo”

What really happened to The Economy?

It just hit me today.

I think someone emailed the “Lotus ‘Touts” chain email to The Economy and it failed to forward it to all of its friends and then this “very unpleasant surprise” happened.

Maybe Bernie Madoff emailed the Lotus Touts to each of his clients and none of them forwarded it. If so, his actions are clearly justified as it was meant to be, per the negative magical power that is the Lotus Touts.

Astrologists the world over are trying to figure out why all horoscopes have suddenly turned dire.

The Lotus Touts must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES. Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise.

It’s plausible. I mean, everyone – regardless of their faith, should believe in the true brilliance of the Lotus Totus/Touts, right? “This is true, even if you are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.”



That sentence confuses me, grammatically. Doesn’t the ‘not’ refer to everything that follows? So this would read, “This is true, even if you are not superstitious, not agnostic, or not otherwise faith impaired.” <–I like this version of that sentence not less, but many a lot more.

I failed to forward my Lotus Touts email and within hours I received a delinquent tax notice and one of my pirated software applications broke. <–True story. Who do I see about that? The sender (who, according to my logic, now owes me a paid, legitimate version of photoshop)? What risks do we take by forwarding this potentially dangerous bit of magic to our friends and family? Like, what if something REALLY awful happened? What if you found out that 10 minutes after receiving this email (and a subsequent investigation showed NO outgoing forwards of the Lotus Touts/Totus magical email on their computer) something really horrible had happened to your mother-in-law/neighbor/co-worker/partner? I think magical chain emails with potentially harmful consequences should be outlawed. Look what it did to The Economy.


According to it was originally called Lotus Totus and apparently someone typoed it along the way.  And now it keeps coming back and around as Lotus Touts.

That’s fucking hilarious! A chain letter with a typo in the very name of it, going around the world with said typo ten times. Brilliant.

For those of you who have not yet been blessed with this magical email I give you THE FULL BRILLIANCE THAT IS THE ORIGINAL LOTUS TOUTS EMAIL: (additional grammaticalities and typos below were included free of charge with the original email. I make more interesting typos, IMHO)

Lotus Touts means Good Luck which is a phrase use by the British!

The Lotus Touts must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES. Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise. This is true, even if you are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.

HOPE IT BRINGS ALL OF YOU GOOD LUCK!!!! (but of course – the author has inserted 4 exclamation points!!!!)

(SNEAK PEEK: After the jump …”TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone Anthony Robbins. The caller Anthony Robbins will hear it in your voice…”) Continue reading

The Stop The Pike Hike organizers are politely asked to cease their “Boston Toll Party”

Posted in Activism?, Adventures and Interludes, Big Business Scams, Fun with metrics, Life is like Christopher Guest said it was, The meaning of life, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2008 by Admin
Tea Party

Tea Party

It takes 2 minutes to sign this petition. please sign it.

So the mayor asked the guys to stop their one-day boycott of the pike boycott because of it’s potential negative impact on certain geo- and demographics. But he does support their protest against the toll doublings.

I am confused as to why people don’t sign petitions more often than they do. Do we actually support the doubling of the tolls on a road that was built on a promise that it would collect tolls no longer than that day on which it would be paid for, and yet was then perpetuated to support the salaries in place?

I bet a lot of us go to Boston once in a while and will then be upset at what it costs to get through the tolls. Of course we can always set aside an extra 45 minutes and take RT 2. Or, we can take Rt 9 all the way in and allow another so many extra minutes for all the traffic and lights. The one day boycott was not random and without consideration for those it would affect – it was about demonstrating exactly what will happen if the increases do go into effect. People will take another route around. And given the current economic situation, it seems a funny time to overburden the commoners. You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.

The Boston Tea Party opposed being under taxation by King George III to exert greater control over the colonies and pay for his government’s costly French and Indian wars. The current toll increases are an attempt to pay for the costly Big Dig.

The one day boycott could be called The Boston Toll Party and the tollbooths could be dumped in the Charles River.

The Big Dig costs spiraled out of control as greedy people fudged their books and collected giant salaries for those at the top. Sounds like… Continue reading

A Day without Gays

Posted in Activism?, Adventures and Interludes, Big Business Scams, Life is like Christopher Guest said it was, Pest Control, Philosophy?, Special People, The meaning of life with tags , , , , on December 11, 2008 by Admin




Yesterday was a Gay Sickout Day – DAY WITHOUT A GAY – as in all gay people were to call in sick to work to protest Proposition H8te. If I were still a manager in a company I’d be proud of any gay employees who called in sick. I am proud of all people who stand up for what they believe in, for doing so requires a level of bravery sufficient to stick your neck out (of the window of a moving vehicle perhaps, as metaphor for danger) and facing the inevitable detractors and ridicule that accompanies such a stand.

I did a search using Gay on a stock photography site and this is what it gave me.

I did a search using Gay on a stock photography site and this is what it gave me.

Why is that? Why do some people feel such loathing for those who stand up and say, “This is not ok; this treatment or whatever?” I had the two brave guys who are opposing the proposed mass pike toll hike on my radio show yesterday via call-in. I am proud of them.

But under the story in MassLive there is of course a snide comment or two. One person even wrote, “oh… poor wine seller…” (for one of the men is in sales of wine) and, “they use more so they should pay more…” which makes no sense because everyone pays the same toll when they use that same turnpike.

This almost makes more sense.

This almost makes more sense.

Anyway–here’s to brave souls, gay or otherwsie, who want life to be fair. 79% of the pike tolls go to salaries and a lot of them, at the top, are in the six-figure range. The Turnpike Authority is a quasi state agency as Governor Jane Swift was informed by a judge years ago when she tried to fire Christy Mihos for voting against a pike hike, thus not giving her the right to fire him for not following her orders (and since when can you order people to vote a certain way?). Wasn’t it this same SwiftGovernor who got frontpaged in the news for using a helicopter on taxpayer money to get through dense traffic and reach her home way back then?

So while the 21% remaining does go to the state, and an increased toll would add a bit to the state’s budget, how much can you squeeze the common folk who ride the pike and don’t have access to helicopters for riding to work and back home again? 

Squeezing from the bottom only works with toothpaste. Economically squeezing from the bottom might just elicit protests and I kinda wish there’d be more.You can sign their petition here. And the MassLive article is here. The history of the Mass Pike is here, in part.

Anyway, anyway, I thought A Day without Gays was a brilliant tagline and so perfectly reminiscent of Anita Bryant’s orange juice commercials way back then, which caused so much backlash that she lost that paying gig for the Florida Orange Juice group.

And then I made a few of my own:

Take Your Gay to Work Day

Have it Your Gay

Make Gay While the Sun Shines

A Gay a Day Keeps the Inequality Away

Take My Gay, Please

Too Gay to Work Today


Are “rebates” a scam?

Posted in Activism?, Big Business Scams, Confusion, Life Performance Art, Pest Control, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2008 by Admin


Picture taken by my "free" and mysteriously unrebated Verizon phone at The Big E.

Picture taken by my 'free' and unrebated Verizon phone at The Big E. Rebate Man is evilly gleeful with his XXX and his satchel of cash.

So Verizon, my cellular phone carrier, offered me a “free” phone meaning I had to pay for it and then get a rebate. So I mailed the barcode thingie and filled out the time-consuming paperwork and sent it in. I had it weighed at the counter at the post office to be sure I had adequate postage. Because I had heard about disappearing barcodes and rebates never actually collected, I had a friend witness the putting of the barcode into the envelope and the sealing of said envelope and the bringing of it to the post office. Sure enough, I got a postcard saying I could not get my rebate because of missing information – the barcode. So I called the phone number on the postcard. Dana informed me that machines open the envelopes and if they don’t find the rebates, the postcards about missing information go out.

Scary Clown with a mouth full of garbage. taken by my cheapo Verizon camera phone at The Big E.

Scary Clown with a mouth full of garbage. taken by my new "free" and as yet unrebated Verizon camera phone at The Big E. A picture speaks millions and millions of words. The road to hell is paved with unbought stuffed racehorses and pocketed noncollectable rebates. No good can come from ill-gotten gains and stolen inheritances. So many mangled adages, I'll quit while I am behind.

Hmmm. How did the machine miss the piece of cardboard with the magnetized bar code on it? Somehow it found my other information and knew how to contact me. Seems SORTA fishy. It’d make more sense if the whole envelope went missing. This happens a lot, from what I hear. Often people don’t make copies of the barcodes before mailing them. Who all has a copy machine? I don’t. But I did scan mine so I can print copies of it all day, every day. I is upsetting when companies scam. From what I hear such rebate scamming is rampant. Dana informed me that they get MILLIONS and MILLIONS of these envelopes with barcodes for rebates and tons of them are “missing” the barcodes. All those people forget to put the barcodes in?  If they save 50$ for every rebate they don’t have to send out, imagine the potential savings. I am going to file a class action suit. As soon as I figure out how. And someone needs to investigate this possible fraud/scam/whatever.

Another picture taken with my "free" Verizon phone which remains unrebated, at The Big E.

Another picture taken by my 'free' and unrebated Verizon camera phone at The Big E. Love this. Words speak a thousand millions and millions of words.

Dana informed me that when you send in your information AGAIN it is now opened by humans. Hmmm. For these humans to have to do this letter opening there have to be lots of them needing opening. Sounds inefficient. Do rebate houses get to keep the money they don’t have to pay out? I am on it. I am going to investigate. Inquiring Mos want to know. How many little old ladies (like me) get taken in this manner?

Addendum– remember the time I took the Verizon store hostage for over an hour to get a defective phone replaced and the tech people (why do they particularly care) refused to follow the orders of a manager at Executive Headquarters and the store Manager (again outranked by the the Executive HQ) refused to eve  get on the phone with the rep fro Exec HQ?  That old story from my old newsletter is here. And then I wrote about it again with links to other mad peoples’ stories here.

Another Addendum- A friend of mine bought a special something or other phone with that special EOD or whatever eye system thing which offered a $700 rebate. He didn’t read the small type about making a copy of the rebate and sent off the original barcode only to get the same postcard saying, “Oh, we didn’t get it. You’ll have to send another.” He is a highly intelligent guy who is all organized and such (although often bad about keeping in touch) but he missed that. I think they count on that. If 10% of the millions of rebate thingies they get are rejected imagine the savings? 700 times hald a million is….? In the case of Verizon even 1% of millions and millions of 50$ checks not having to be written is… ?

That camera company farmed out their rebates to a rebate house. I would love to know how that compensation structure works. I begged him to send me his rebate rejection postcard and let me do it. I begged him to file a claim in small claims court against the camera company and see if they sent a representative to his small town to answer the charges or if they just paid it. He didn’t let me. I might have gotten a judge to award what they call treble damages. That means times 3. I could likely file a claim in small claims court here in Whoville charging them with Unlawful, Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices. You can do that when you get taken. Why not? We need a Geraldo Rivera to make a surprise visit to the rebate houses with camera crew in tow and see what’s going on, or if he gets punched in the nose. Are there any Geraldos left?

Speaking of farming, I read a book in college called, “Three Farms”, by Mark William Kramer, in which the author researched 3 Farms; a small family-run farm, a medium family-run but with hired hands farm, and a large corporate farm in which he finally found the “farmer” in an office in some high rise glass building somewhere. The large corporate farm grew tomatos and sold them into the ketchup factory. By law they were able to sell x% of rotten tomatos per ton. So, they did all these time trials/experiments and regularly calibrated their conveyer belts as they went past the Quality Assurance pickers. They slowed down the machines so that not more than the allowed percentage of rotten tomatos got past. And they sped up the machines so the full amount of allowable rotten tomatos would get past. At the ketchup factory the rotten tomatos were treated with chemicals so they would not kill people. How do you like them possibly-metaphorical tomatoes?

Final Addendum- I called Verizon Customer Service this morning and got another Dana, just like the one at the outsourced rebate hour in El Paso. This Dana also seemed tired and annoyed but she agreed to credit my account, wearily, for the $50. Likely because I said I was going to go to the V-store to turn in my phone and cancel my contract. So if this happens to you, call Customer Service and don’t back down.

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