Identity Fraud and the Chickens ... by C.L. Beck

This is a paid--albeit, humorous--article sponsored by IdentityHawk.

Photo © Mindaugas Urbonas

Today we're discussing the highly significant subject of identity theft protection. However, before I mention that there's a company named IdentityHawk that protects against identity theft, let me just say something of even greater importance.

This is a sponsored article.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, please don't get excited and start envisioning how my receiving pay makes you friends with a millionaire. You'd have better luck stalking the winners of the recent $640 million lottery jackpot. Despite the fact that I'm being paid to write this, I'm not making millions. Here's why...

Identity theft is a complex issue and by the time I overcame writer's block--by eating three donuts, two chocolate cream pies, and a leg of lamb--I needed a nap.

Oh, all right, I didn't really eat a leg of lamb. I couldn't stand the idea of some little lamb running around on three legs, so I devoured a couple of chicken breasts, instead.

After all that cost, (gas to the corner store for donuts--$250, ingredients for pies--$10, chasing down chickens for their breasts--priceless) and effort (napping) it took at least ten hours to "write" this little saga. The pay per hour amounted to barely enough to cover the cost of my day-old donuts.

So, if you're thinking of paid blogging as a way to get rich, let me issue a warning. All that will happen is you'll lose money, gain weight, and the chickens in your coop will be missing their breasts.

Speaking of chickens ... I decided to discuss the issue of identity theft protection with my flat-chested hens.

"Y'all know about identity fraud, right?" I said, while scuffing the dust in the chicken pen.

"Ba-wahhhhk," the hens replied in unison. All except for one, who cocked her head and eyed a hapless bug that crawled within reach.

"And you know there's this site named IdentityHawk--"

Before I could even finish the sentence, my feathered friends took off in a frenzy, running in circles, flapping their wings and bumping into each other.

"Wait! No! You misunderstood. I didn't say 'chicken hawk'--I said 'IdentityHawk!'" I waved my arms in hopes of calming them, but chickens can be--well, to put it delicately--dumb. In a matter of minutes, the entire flock lay in the dust. Some of them appeared unconscious from bonking heads with one another, and the remaining hens lay exhausted, fearfully watching the sky.

The moral to this stranger-than-fiction story? Oh, all right, the moral to this tall, tall tale?

Don't waste your time discussing identity theft protection with a bunch of bird brains. (Check out IdentityHawk first.)


(Disclosure: This is a paid article sponsored by IdentityHawk. However, my opinions of the sites, events, of companies involved, or the quality of any products mentioned are my own. Furthermore, mention of any site or product does not necessarily entail endorsement of such. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

(Author's Note: If you enjoyed this tall tale based on my life-long minutes as a poultry farmer, check out, "Not the Colonel's Chicken," a true story based on real chickens.)

"Identity Fraud and the Chickens" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: Identity theft protection, Identity Hawk, identity fraud

My Extreme Body Workout ... by C.L. Beck

This is a paid -- albeit, humorous -- article sponsored by Fitness Alliance.

I am a big believer in exercise and fitness.

All right, quit that snickering over there in the corner. In my old age, I may have lost my mind but I haven't lost my hearing.

Seriously, I did do the 5K Run Through the Lavender thingy. Although, had I known better, I wouldn't have even started it because I almost killed myself choking on chewing gum. Standing three feet from the finish line and hacking up a piece of gum gave me an extreme body workout. Just ask all those people who ran like gazelles around me and thereby beat my time. Never once asking if they should call an ambulance.

I'll be the first to admit, though, that despite the fact that I played softball in my youth and that I walk regularly -- oh, all right, so it is from the stove to the kitchen table -- I do not have a beach body.

It's true. After a freak accident several years ago, my doctor told me I would never again be able to wear a bikini.

As he pointed to the stitches on the broken ankle I'd acquire by slipping on the ice -- while walking to the car one winter day to go buy Twinkies and a Big Gulp -- the doctor said, "You might not ever wear a bikini again, but at least you'll be able to walk. "

Either that or he said, "I did a great job and that will be $50, 000, please." In my anesthesia-induced state, I wasn't sure which.

My husband, Russ, thought the doctor's bikini statement pretty funny, but at my 90 day review (otherwise known as a three-month checkup), I thought that for $50,000 the doctor should have done a little liposuction while he was in there and sucked the fat off my ankles so I could wear a bikini.

Despite that past injury and my current inability to wear a skimpy swimsuit, I still continue to exercise. In fact, just today I walked 1.5 miles.

And please ignore Russ when he says it was negated by the fact that I did it with a chocolate chip cookie in one hand and a bottle of chocolate milk in the other. What does he know? Just because he once ran an 8-minute-mile, and bench-pressed 315 pounds, that does not make him a fitness guru.

(Disclosure: This is a guest post provided by Fitness Alliance. However, my opinions of the sites, events, of companies involved, or the quality of any products mentioned are my own. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

"My Extreme Body Workout" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: Fitness Alliance, extreme body workout, beach body, 90 Day Review

Wordless Wednesday--a Horse or a Pony?

By C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck

Dang, I can't believe that it's been weeks since I posted a Wordless Wednesday photo!

Oh. Wait. I'm supposed to be wordless, which for a writer is soooo hard to do. As a compromise, I'll whisper ...

Dang, I can't believe that it's been weeks since I posted a Wordless Wednesday photo!

Is it a small horse or a large pony?
(I'm not sure which, but he's a cute equine.)


Photo © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: horse, pony, equine, Wordless Wednesday

Too Young for a Medicare Insurance Supplement... by C.L. Beck

Image © hisks

As you might remember, a few days ago I touched upon a recent trip to the emergency room. And you'll never guess what came from it.

Well, yes, a very large bill, but aside from that ... something even more exciting transpired. An offer to do a paid blog for MedicareSupplementalInsurance.com.

I ran in and said to Russ, "Hey, this place really likes the way I write and they think I'm brilliant and they want me to pen an article for them."

The quizzical look on Russ's face stopped me, but only for a moment since I was on a roll. "They like me so much they want me to mention info about Medigap plans! Which I actually know nothing about but they seem like a good idea. And I know even less about Medicare Plan A, B, XYZ, but hey, I'm a quick learner, and—"

Russ put his finger to my lips. Probably because they're soft and sweet. I use a lot of ChapStick.

Or maybe because he wanted to shut me up; I'm not sure which.

He looked me in the eyes. "I hate to burst your bubble, but I'm thinking they wanted you because your last topic had to do with hospitals."

Awww. And here I thought it resulted from my writing brilliance. My capacity to put pen to paper, my ability to turn a phrase. Or turn my nose up at certain smells. Whichever.

Not to give you whiplash, but since I only gave the briefest information about that trip to the hospital in, "Education, Elephants and Hospital Beds"—and you know you really want to hear all the juicy stuff—I'll fill you in a little more.

Saturday around noon, I noticed a small amount of pressure in my chest. I figured it was a gas bubble. Or heartburn. Or I'd swallowed a very large butterfly. I wasn't sure which, but it seemed reasonable to assume it would go away if I ate chocolate, the universal panacea.

I ate a bon-bon or two ... or ten ... took a walk, but the pressure continued. Finally, around 6:00p, I started wondering if I should go to the hospital. However, the only thing that could get me into the emergency room on a Saturday night was a hunky gladiator and a team of wild horses.

Enter Russ, who is neither a gladiator nor a horse. At least as far as I can tell. I casually mentioned the chest pain to him. Bad move, very bad move. Never tell a guy—any guy—that you might be having a stroke, heart attack, or have house maid's knee. He'll freak out.

Russ thought I should go to the hospital immediately. He thought so in a loud, strong voice.

Upon arrival, the fastest team of medical personnel I've ever seen swarmed over me and hooked me up to wires. I looked like the floor behind a computer desk. Following that, the doctor firmly suggested I spend the night.

The next morning, he insisted on an EKG, CAT, and a DMV. (Department of Motor Vehicles? No,that can't be right.) He decided it wasn't a visible heart attack but most likely a heart spasm.

I know. I'm with you. I thought a heart attack was a heart spasm. I guess Google and the Internet don't know everything after all.

The idea that I would have a spastic heart is totally hilarious in a bizarre, Saturday Night Live sort of way. But, I suppose it fits me. And besides that, it gave me fodder for this blog.

To make a long story short, the emergency room doc gave me a bottle of nitroglycerin. The up side? I can now blow up bridges when I'm bored.

What more can one ask for at my age?

Well, maybe for a bottle of nitro and for a Medicare insurance supplement. But, apparently they don't make a Medigap policy for someone who's just barely over 29.

(Oh, all right. Barely over 29 ... and then add 30 .)

(Disclosure: This is a paid blog article for MedicareSupplementalInsurance.com. However, my opinions of the sites, events, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

"Too Young for a Medicare Insurance Supplement" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: Medicare insurance supplement, Medigap, hospital, nitro

Winner of Kroger Gift Card Giveaway ... by C.L. Beck

It's time to announce the winner of the $25 Kroger Gift Card Giveaway. According to the random generator at Random.org, the winner is ...


Congrats, Agatewood1, and enjoy your $25 Kroger Gift Card!

((Thanks for entering! Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have all been provided by the Kroger Family of Stores and General Mills/Nestle/Proctor & Gamble/Pepsi/Kraft through MyBlogSpark. However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own.

Education, Elephants, and Hospital Beds ... by C.L. Beck

Image © Cindy Beck

I'm pretty sure I'm as smart as a fourth grader. Impressive, huh?

Oh, all right, I'll admit that I can't do fractions in my head. And as far as I'm concerned, addition and subtraction are best done on my fingers.

All the same, my elementary school education has still served me well. Why? Because I have a vast store of elephant jokes. And someone who can remember elephant jokes fifty years later should get some points for memorization!

Q. Why do ducks have flat feet?
A. From stamping out forest fires.

Q. Why do elephants have flat feet?
A. From stomping out burning ducks.

Yeah, I know. Dumb. But all the fourth graders loved it.)

And then there's a joke that comes to mind whenever I drink juice.

Joe is sitting in his hospital bed, looking at his breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, and apple juice. As he opens the apple juice, he accidentally knocks the plastic cup for it off the tray.

"Dang," he says, with a grimace. "I'm hooked up to all these monitors and there's no way I can reach that."

Sitting next to the breakfast tray is the small plastic container for the urine sample that's needed that morning. Joe thinks for a minute and says, "Well, the specimen cup is clean, so it won't matter if I pour the juice into it."

A few minutes later, the head nurse walks in, picks up the cup, eyes it critically, sets it back on the tray, and says, "Hmmm, we're looking a little cloudy today."

Joe picks up the cup, puts it to his lips and says, "Well, we'll just run it through again!"

Quite coincidentally, I visited my local hospital over the weekend. No, I'm not a weirdo who thinks visiting the emergency room is almost as good as watching House on TV.

I had a small medical issue that I thought would be a simple in and out trip but, unfortunately, not.

Twelve hours later, I lay in a bed that dipped in the center, causing my knees to touch my forehead. It was one of those hospital beds where, if you pushed the wrong button, it folded up with you in the middle. Just as I figured the buttons out and managed to narrowly escape a soft, but untimely death, the nurse brought in food.

Under other circumstances, the meal on the tray might have looked less appealing but going without food for twenty-four hours has a way of making even roadkill look appetizing. The pale, wan pork chop and serving of broccoli stems were a feast to my eyes.

But, wait. Over there on the corner of the tray. A glass of ... what was that? Some kind of juice?

Aaaahh, apricot juice. "Well," I said to my husband, Russ, "it looks a little cloudy, so let's just run it through again."

Then I smiled slyly, handed it to him, and said, "Here. You do it."

(Now that I've totally killed your longing for a glass of juice - but hopefully have put a smile on your face - I will bid you adieu. If you get a sec, drop off a comment about your worst hospital experience or your best joke. Whichever your inner, fourth grade child prefers.)

"Education, Elephants, and Hospital Beds" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: education, elephants, hospital beds, apple juice

Sex, Politics, Religion, and Halloween ... by C.L. Beck

Photo used with permission from Blogsvertise.com and HalloweenMart.com.

According to my astute and very precise calculations, we have exactly 238 days until Halloween.

Oh, all right, so I didn't calculate it myself because that would've involved math in one of its stupefying forms. Such as addition, or maybe subtraction. It's hard to say which.

Instead of taxing what little is left of my brain, I searched online to find it. No, not my brain; to find the number of days until Halloween. And since this blog is actually hosted by Google, we'll say that Google was my search engine.

It's not a lie ... it's pretend. Sorta like what the politicians are doing in this election year. Pretending to be real earthlings when, in actuality, most of them are from planet Tell-A-Whopper.

But, I didn't come here today to discuss politics. I'm a firm believer that there are three things you never discuss with friends:

1. Sex - because that would be downright embarrassing, especially if my folks were to read this article.
2. Politics - because people kill each other over it.
3. Religion - because people kill each other over it. Hey, that's the same as #2! Why don't we just make politics a religion and shorten the list?

After crossing off those three, apparently all that's left is talking about Halloween. Yes, I know it's a little early for Halloween, but I have a point here. If I can remember it.

Nope, I've lost it in my post-lunch stupor. Really, I did not intend to eat a cinnamon roll and a slice of poppy seed bread for lunch. It was just that they called out to me, and I did eat.

Now, where was I? Oh yes. My post-lunch sugar high reminded me mightily of Halloween. Plus, while searching for an image in my computer recently I ran across several pictures of myself in Halloween attire, thereby causing me to ponder the fall/winter holidays.

Add to that the fact I was offered an assignment paying moolah, pesos, pennies ... wait a minute, the money is getting smaller by the minute here ... to post links to HalloweenMart.com, a site that carries fun Halloween costumes. Yup, they have pages and pages of both "Kids Halloween Costumes," and "Adult Halloween Costumes."

It was all just too much for a mere mortal such as myself. (She says with a sigh, while placing back of hand to forehead.)

And if hearing there are only 238 days left to make that momentous decision about Halloween costumes isn't nerve-wracking enough, here are a few more frazzling thoughts.

Only 260 days until Thanksgiving.

Only 293 days until Christmas.

All of which reminds me that it's time to start saving my money in advance for the holidays. Or to go take a Prozac and lie down with a cool cloth on my head. I'm not sure which.

(Disclosure: This is a paid blog article for Blogsvertise and HalloweenMart.com. However, my opinions of the sites, events, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

"Sex, Politics, Religion, and Halloween" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: Halloween, costumes, Halloween costumes, holidays

Life of a Writer ... by C.L. Beck

An Author's Tale of Woe

Photo © asafesh

Like a typical writer, I'm sitting here at 11:06 in the morning in my jammies. The old, baggy ones that consist of a worn-out pair of olive-green knit pants and a faded, yellow tee-shirt.

Not that anyone cares what I'm wearing, but I'm following J.R.R. Tolkien's example as a writer and am being descriptive. Maybe not as descriptive as Tolkien, though, because according to my totally biased opinion, at least 70% of each of his chapters are long-winded sentences about the scenery.

Really, does anyone care what color the dirt is in Middle Earth? (And now that I've alienated all of the Hobbit fans out there, I shall continue ....)

It's not my fault I'm still in my jammies. Really. It's just that since the moment I bailed out of bed, it's been busy. That's the life of a writer. Ideas flow and the next thing you know, you've been sitting at the computer, writing for 4 hours. With sticky-uppy-outy hair.

Truthfully, my hair looks like I just pulled it out of the blender. Attached or unattached to my head; it doesn't matter. All I've eaten for breakfast is a piece of old gum found under the dust bunnies at the back of the desk. Oh, and a left-over section of an orange that was too sour to eat yesterday and isn't any better today.

Tell me again why I like being a writer?

Ahhh, yes; now I remember. It's the money. Which - for those who remember from, "Help Me Up My Clod Score" - averages out to approximately $1/day. But, that's off the subject.

So, it's when I'm in this condition - wearing ratty ol' pajamas, hair sticking up - that someone always knocks at the door. Invariably. Inevitably. Indubitably. Embarrassingly. (Hmm, let's see. Are there anymore "ly" words I can stick in here?)

Still, I believe in being prepared - even if it is not at an early hour - which is why I'm wrapping up this little article and heading off to get dressed, before ...

Wait. What's that noise? Footsteps on the front porch? The doorbell ringing? Go away! No one's here! (I wonder if I can use the ploy of climbing under the desk and pretending not to be home?)

"Life of a Writer" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: writer, writing, author, Tolkein

Easter Gift Baskets ... by C.L. Beck

A few of you might be surprised to see me writing again so soon. After all, my main occupations - snacking and napping - require most of my time. However, there is a reason for my being here.

The Blogging Workshop

I recently went to a blogging workshop which was terrific - and really warm. Not the ideas, but the room temperature. I tell you, a woman can only unzip a fleece sweater so far before risking lock-up.

Fleece. Now I know why those woolly sheep never get cold in the winter.

But, not to get distracted here ... one of the brilliant items taught there was how to earn money blogging.

Seriously. Yes, apparently blogging can do more than just give us all a place to spout off about life's irritations. Who'd a thunk it?

Today, I checked out the site the presenter told us about. The one-that-really-should-give-me-millions-for-my-brilliant-blogs, and I signed up. Lo and behold, within 24 hours I received an assignment to go out to Gourmet Gift Baskets and write about their Easter Gift Baskets. To be more specific, to discuss what I thought about their site.

Easter Gift Baskets

Who could pass by an opportunity to peruse Easter gift baskets and then give an opinion? Thoughts of bunnies, and eggs, and chocolates - oh, my - ran through my brain. And I was not disappointed when I looked at Gourmet Gift Baskets pages.

The site was nicely set up, pages were clean and professional. The numerous product links that I tried worked well, too. But, alas, I will admit I didn't try all of them because that would qualify me as a web designer and I am not making web designer pay.

Most importantly, though, Easter bunnies abounded! (Abounded. No pun intended.) I'll admit that some of the hippity-hoppity bunnies were stuffed, and not real, but the advantage to a stuffed bunny is you don't have to do pooper-scooper detail.

After looking at Gourmet Gift Baskets luscious pictures of candy, candy, and more candy, I thought I might need a paper towel.

Yes, to clean the drool off my keyboard.

At any rate, I'm thinking that when my "blogging for pay" riches finally come in, I might have to head out there again. Because you know, I could only figure out so much about how the Easter Gift Baskets might taste by looking at them.

And licking my computer screen didn't help, either.


(Disclosure: This article is brought to you by your friends at GourmetGiftBaskets.com. For more disclosure information, please read the disclosure page.)

"Easter Gift Baskets" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: Gourmet Gift Baskets, Easter Gift Baskets, candy, bunnies

Kroger Gift Card Giveaway, March 2012 ... by C.L. Beck

Speaking of the US post office ... oh, yes, we were ... earlier today, in my tale of woe entitled, Postal Disconnect. It is seriously funny.

I'm sure either "seriously funny" is an oxymoron, or I'm the moron for using it. Not sure which.

So, today a loud knock resounded at the door, causing me to jump up from a sound sleep moment of prayer/meditation on the couch, and to stagger to the door. Thinking I would see our postal worker with a package, I flung it open.

No one there.

Not unless you count that flat, padded envelope lying on the porch. But, a white FedEx vehicle sped away, making me think the US Postal Service should take a cue from them. Not by speeding down the street, but by having big white vans instead of those weird-shaped Jeepy things that make the postal worker look like he's on safari.

There is a point here. I'm just approaching it with caution in my post-nap meditative haziness.

Now, what was that point? Ahhhh, yes, I think I have it. It's what was in the package at the door.

Taa, taa, taa, daaa! (Tiny trumpets herald in the distance.) In the envelope at my feet was a Kroger gift card. And that means it's time for another ...

Kroger Gift Card Giveaway!

What Kroger Says

Shop the Kroger Co. Family of Stores biggest-ever promotion and find the hottest prices around on more than 35 brands, across more than 60 categories from General Mills, P & G, Pepsi, Nestle, Kraft and Kroger Banner Brands. During the Cart Buster Savings Event, you’ll find great savings in almost every department at the Kroger Family of Stores which includes Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith´s, Fry´s, QFC, Baker´s, Owen´s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott´s Food & Pharmacy.

Check your local store to confirm the exact dates for your Cart Buster Savings Event. Here are just a handful of the great brands participating in the event: Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Hamburger Helper, Yoplait, Progresso, Totino’s, Green Giant, Pampers, Tide, Old Spice and much more.

Looking for even more ways to save time and money? Visit CartBuster.com beginning 2/26/12 to find money-savings digital coupons, shopping lists and more. And starting 2/29/12 you can participate in the “Deal of the Day”!

How does the Deal of the Day work? During seven days of the Cart Buster Savings Event, 2/29/12 - 3/6/12, there will be a super hot, exclusive offer good on one participating Cart Buster item. Each offer will be exclusive and available for one-day only – but the offer will be good for the duration of the entire event.

You’ll see savings of up to and over 50% with the Deal of the Day offers – maybe even some freebies - and that’s on top of the already-low, low prices that Cart Buster has to offer!

Look for seven days of “Deal of the Day offers” beginning 2/29/12. The Last Deal of the Day offer will be up on 3/6/12. But don’t fret - the Cart Buster event will continue even after the Deal of the Day ends. Check your local store for the exact end date for the Cart Buster Savings Event.

(Note from Cindy: Check out the new sidebar widget for the hot "Deal of the Day!")

Kroger Links
Cart Buster Website
Kroger Facebook Page
Kroger Twitter Page

Giveaway Rules for Kroger $25 Gift Card
Runs from Mar 1 to midnight, MT, Mar 12, 2012.

For one entry: Leave a comment on this blog article. If you can't think of anything to say, share which brands you might buy if you win, or tell me which Kroger store you like to shop at.

For one additional entry (making a total of 2): Go out and "Like" Kroger's Facebook Page. It's not necessary to leave a comment there, but you do need to click a "Like" button, and it is necessary to return here and leave a comment to let me know that you've done it.

If I don't already have your address, please leave your email or Twitter address so I can contact you. The winner will be announced the week of March 12.

(Thanks for entering! Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have all been provided by the Kroger Family of Stores and General Mills/Nestle/Proctor & Gamble/Pepsi/Kraft through MyBlogSpark.However, my opinions of the event, of the companies involved, or the quality of the products mentioned are my own. If for some reason there is no winner, or I can not get in contact with the winner, I will redraw or give the prize to charity, at MyBlogSpark's and my discretion.)
"Kroger Gift Card Giveaway, March 2012" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: Kroger, giveaway, gift card, post office

Postal Disconnect ... by C.L. Beck

A Tale of Woe about the US Post Office

Photo © Fugue

I called the post office recently and instead of hearing the sweet voice of Paula, the Postal Lady, I heard a recording. "We're sorry. You've reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you've reached this number in error, please check the number and try again."


I dialed it again, and the same voice answered. I'd say it was an unfamiliar voice, but since it was the Official Telephone Lady that I'd heard a plethora of times before--when I dialed other disconnected numbers--it wasn't entirely foreign to me.

Although, she does have this foreign sound when she tries to say words that robots can't pronounce. I once asked her to repeat, "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers," so that I could laugh at someone without feeling unkind, and she gave an angry beep in my ear, instead.

But ... back to the recording. It was a shock, because I didn't expect to hear Official Telephone Lady pick up the phone at the US Post Office.

A day or two later--I'd tell you exactly how much later but word problems are not my strong point, and I'd need my calculator to figure out what 2 days x 60 minutes/hour equals if one train leaves from Boston, the other leaves from San Francisco, and they meet in Kansas City.

So ... an indeterminate amount of time later when I needed to mail a letter, I intentionally walked the 30 extra steps to go into the post office rather than stuff my letter into the box outside.

I'm certain my face reflected concern, anxiety, and a fear of flying monkeys as I asked at the desk, "Is your number disconnected?"

"Yes," said Paula, the Postal Lady, nodding. "If you want to call the post office for information, you'll need to dial the 800 number."

I wrinkled my nose in disappointment. "So ... I can't call you and talk with someone in this USPS office?"

"No, I'm sorry. We can call out, but you can't call in."

I thought about it all the way home. What has the world come to, when I can't dial my local post office for information on how to go postal?

If I called the 800 number it would, no doubt, connect to a thatched hut in Uganda that had a wooden sign on the front reading, "US Postal Service Call Center." Inside would sit a little wrinkled bushman, his loins girded about with the hide of a leopard, who speaks broken English. (The bushman, not the dead leopard.) And if I were to ask what time the mail goes out, he would explain how to lick the back of the self-adhesive stamp.

Well, it's certainly disconcerting, that's all I can say. And to loosely quote a line I once heard on the Fraser show--

"You can put kittens in the oven ...

... but that sure don't make 'em biscuits!"


"Postal Disconnect" © C.L. (Cindy Lynn) Beck
Tags: post office, postal service, US Post Office, USPS