Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Speakeasy, acid

I forgot to mention this, but Speakeasy tried to screw me out of $200 while I was on vacation, and of course I found out about it when my phone and internet were destroyed last weekend. See, a little while ago, they offered to switch me from a straight-up connection to a linesharing connection, and the two things that made me hesitant were the startup costs, and the fact that if something ever happened to my phone, I would also lose my internet connection. They got me to pay $200 in startup equipment costs at a time when I was saving every penny for vacation and eating easy mac for lunch and dinner because I really needed the money, by promising me a refund on all of the equipment costs. I got screwed on that. And the second point, well within a month or so, I did lose both phone and internet in one swoop, probably because the geniuses at Verizon got a disconnect order on the old straight-up line and he accidentally disconnected both because as he was leaning over the frame rack, he was smoking crack, bumped his arm and it disconnected both lines. That’s my theory anyway.

The rebate signup page reminded me a lot of the old Juno DSL rebate page, which I think got customer complaints at a ratio of maybe 1 to 1. I filled everything out, and I think they said they would pay me back in 8 to 263 weeks. That really pissed me off, as I thought maybe I could get a check before xmas and spend it on presents, or at least buy myself like four or five of the new Criterion DVDs that are out. So I get back from vacation last week and find a postcard in my mailbox that says “the address submitted on your rebate form did not match your DSL service address.” So if my rebate address is so wrong, why the hell did they send me a card there? Of course, it’s addressed to John Kenroth and they omitted the hyphen and changed the Street to ST and the apartment # to apt# or some other shit that is obviously going to break a diff script or whatever.

In all fairness, I shouldn’t blame Speakeasy. I have had accounts there since 1996, and although they’ve had some fuckups over time, they have also been fairly cool, both at the larger corporate level and at the tech support level. Also, from my experience at Juno, I know that they probably don’t personally handle these rebates. They probably hired some fulfillment center with an office in Delaware or whatever who they subcontracts all of the postcard sorting and data entry and complaint hotline answering. Back when I was at Juno, they mostly farmed this stuff out to high-security prisons, mostly because of a lack of organized child labor in this country. Who knows what they do now.

I managed to call someone a couple of days ago, and he managed to get my shit straight, and said I’d get a check to me in two weeks. I’ll hopefully have that money in my hands before I go to Vegas in January, so I can rent a fast car, some automatic weapons, and lots of ammunition. End of story.

I bought another quart of sulfuric acid and dumped it down my tub drain yesterday. That shit works wonders – I know how I’m getting rid of any bodies The Cleaner-style if it ever comes to that (and I don’t have any quicklime.) A quick aside, speaking of John Wayne Gacy – does anyone remember how the Blimpie’s in Bloomington had that weird, animated clown statue in the front window that looked exactly like JWG? I remember driving by there at night, and this animatronic killer clown was sitting in the shadows, and it always used to be really freaky. That’s my only Blimpie’s story, although everyone in my office has a better one: back when we used to be temporarily located in a bunch of apartments near Penn Station, a bunch of people from the office went to lunch at Blimpie’s, and everyone got totally, completely, shitting-blood-and-praying-to-die food poisoned there. So Blimpie’s isn’t a good word around the company. Anyway, the acid – a while ago, I went to this local hardware store and asked if they had any Drano or Liquid Plumber in like a gallon size, or something cheaper than the grocery store, where it’s like ten bucks a pint and you need to buy like 13 of them to clean even a slow drain. So the dude looks around, pulls down a shade over the front window, and asks, “Are you a cop?” and I say, “no dude, I just want some liquid plumber!” And he knocks me on the floor, and starts checking my jacket, and yelling, “ARE YOU A FUCKING COP? ARE YOU WEARING A WIRE, YOU MOTHERFUCKER?” And I’m screaming, “No! Get the fuck off of me!” So he goes back behind the counter, and says “Okay, check this shit out…” and pulls out a bottle with more warnings and disclaimers on it than a nuclear warhead in California. “You ever see this shit before?” he asks. “No, what is it?” And he’s like “Forget it man, maybe you should go to the Key Foods and buy more foaming Drano.” And I’m like “No dude, let me have it! Nothing else works.” And he’s like, “Okay here’s what you do. You don’t have a weak heart or anything, do you? Anyway, put on some goggles and gloves and a rubber suit. Then open this shit with a knife, and then throw away the knife, but not in your own trash can, or it will eat through it – put it in your neighbor’s can at like three in the morning. Then pour it all in the drain, and run like a motherfucker to the subway and get on a train and don’t come back to your house for like three days. AND DON’T TELL ANYONE YOU BOUGHT IT HERE!”

So anyway, I got some of that acid, and my drain is still slow.

And yes, I am going to Las Vegas in January for my birthday. I think it will be me, Bill Perry, Lon Tierney, maybe Todd Duffin unless he pusses out again, and maybe some other Aventail people I don’t know. So once again, if you are also interested in dropping in, let me know…