Thursday, December 09, 2010

Everyday absurdities

The Smart Chicken

Today I purchased a chicken that wore a sticker announcing that it came from an "enriched environment." Indeed, all the chickens that are privileged to be sold at Whole Foods now come from the gifted & talented chicken track. What do you suppose "enriched environment" means in the context of chickens? Do they go to Waldorf school? Have Suzuki violin lessons? Geometry tutors? Does someone recite Shakespeare into a megaphone over the incubators? Is classical music piped into the nesting area? Are there root-word flash cards glued to the bottom of the feed pans?

No Pizza for You

My son Ian ordered a pizza to be delivered to his dorm. A campus public safety officer decided the pizza delivery man was suspicious, pulled him over, searched his car, and then arrested him. Ian, meanwhile is standing at the dorm entrance, observing all this, and just wanting his pizza. Here's the thing: the public safety officer would not allow Ian to have the pizza. The pizzeria had to supply a new pizza, along with a different driver. The original pizza was confiscated for some dark purpose of campus security.

Credit card-less at the holidays

The day before Thanksgiving my credit card was denied when I was buying gas, a disconcerting and somewhat embarrassing event. Of course I immediately went home and called the credit card company while simultaneously logging into my account online so I could look for suspicious purchases. There were none. My balance was nowhere near the credit limit. There was a note saying that I should call customer service immediately and that a new card was already on its way. The customer service representative I spoke to went over all my purchases for the past day or so before the card was canceled. I verified that all were valid. She agreed that there appeared to be no problem with my card and that she would fix the problem immediately so that I could use it. Later, at the grocery store, guess what? Denied again!

It was my only credit card. I used to have a Visa, but I accidentally shredded it in grief-induced confusion when George-the-bunny died last April. At that time, I didn't bother to send for a new Visa, since I could just use my master card. But now I didn't have either and it was time to start Christmas shopping. That was November 24th and the last fifteen days have been such a freaking pain in the ASS. Jon and I use our credit cards for practically everything and then pay the bill in full each month. Now I had to procure these strange green papers and use them to make purchases. Sometimes I used my debit card. This involves keeping track of all purchases in my check book, i.e. it's a pain in the ass. Worst of all, I couldn't buy anything online except with paypal which is just like using a debit card, i.e. a pain in the ass.

My new credit card arrived today--it took fifteen long days. I do have the satisfaction of knowing that all the presents I've bought so far are already paid for, but I never want to live without a credit card again.

I never did figure out why the company canceled my card in the first place. It's true that I had bought a number of things, including an amtrak ticket for Grace and upgrades to all our cell phones, not to mention stocking up on wine for the holidays. Still, if the credit card company is going to issue me a credit limit large enough to buy a new car, for crying out loud, they shouldn't freak out when I spend a little money.


  1. I would die without my credit card. Die. We use ours the same way. I NEVER have cash (I always raid my kids' wallets when I must have cash and leave them little IOU's, most of which stay in there for months and months because I NEVER have cash) and I don't have a debit card. So I feel your pain. Or I can imagine your pain. Or something. I hope you never have to endure that again.

  2. Isn't that the darndest about the cards?
    Phooey on the pizza man--how can a college dorm not have a deliveries policy???
    Enriched environment--could mean SO many different things!