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Letter to family written Dec 9, 2005 Hopefully, tomorrow will be the last day I am without heat in the house. It never seemed to bother me much in August, and never crossed my mind in July, but lately it is something I think of often, between sneezes. I have “made do” by building roaring fires in the living room, but it has led to a nasty nasal condition as I have no chimney for the smoke to escape, much less an approved fireplace. My nasal condition was not much improved by my strategy of changing fuel, from old socks that I could no longer use as they needed washing, to the cleaner burning fuel of golf balls and empty beer bottles. The Fire Dept weenies were not amused by my home-made fireplace of tinker toys, and I will soon be shopping for a new sofa. Come to think of it, I could use a new living room, as my old one has started looking a lot like the front yard with a smoldering sofa in it that was not there last summer. Anyone have a spare living room they aren’t using? And maybe a bit of roofing? The root of my problem, besides a large cranial defect, was the fact that the city of Jackson has gone into conspiracy collusion with the gas company to increase profits and ulcers in the community. It all started with the rapid departure of my wife Grimpella, and unexpected emptiness of my bank account, in combination with a large pile of unpaid bills. As it was spring-time in MS, I let the gas bill wait till last to be paid… the furnace is the only thing gas-fed except for the fart detector. By the time I paid the bill, I had been disconnected for bumosity… silly me thought that once the bill was paid, they would hook me back up. But NO! So, I called the gas company to ask them since they had neglected to re-connect me when I didn’t need it, could they now do so ? I told them that my knees were becoming bruised from constant crashing of left upon right version of that bone assembly, things that I had previously been fond of using for things like walking. They suggested rubber pants and a slow boat to China. I suggested they attempt baby-making without benefit of another human being involved. It got rather nasty after that, and I will spare you the gory details. I came to the conclusion that collusion was involved when the gas company vampire outlined my only course of action if I should ever hope to achieve warmness again, besides sleeping in the car. Sleeping in the car doesn’t work for me, because I have a Volvo. Volvo can’t make an air-conditioner for crap, and think rolling down the windows should suffice. The windows always work, but the AC never does, in either of the two Volvos I have owned. I would have 2 Volvos, if my wife didn’t leave one running in the war zone at 3AM (with her purse on the seat), as she went in to a gas station to peruse the selection of Cheese Doodles. They might be incapable of A/C, but they make a heater that will have your nose hairs aflame before you clear the mailbox, even on low setting. So sleep is out of the question unless you don’t mind awakening to roasted chestnuts. My latest Volvo even has heated seats, which I was unaware of until I accidentally turned them on one August day and couldn’t figure out why I had suddenly developed a terminal case of diaper rash. ANYWAYS, here is what the gas company goon told me when asked why they had not come to re-connect my service with nearly the speed they had cut it off, money being the common denominator. “Oh, you didn’t ask us to re-connect, so we didn’t”. My reply? “Well I didn’t ASK you cut my shit off, either, and you had no problem doing THAT by yourself!” I told them that it was common practice in companies inhabited by human beings, to turn things back on once the bill has been paid. They had no concept of this principle of humanity. Here is the gas company concept of humanity and principles: Once service has been off for 6 months, the unfortunate and unloved customer is required to hire a licensed plumber and professional dollar-extractor to come inspect the pipes that worked fine for the last 50 years. Step 2 is to get a permit from the city… this involves waiting for the next ice age while the city dispatches an inspector, to come inspect the same pipes that a plumber just looked at. The city won’t tell you which century this inspector will arrive, but I MUST be there when he does arrive. This doesn’t work so well for those with jobs. Once this is accomplished you are half-way home but still cold. Now you must call the licensed plumber to again come out to your house and empty your bank account and remove his test equipment. Then you must call the gas company to come hook you back up, again with no clue when they might come, but I MUST be there. Now I can’t pay my gas bill because I have been fired for never coming to work because I’m trying to get the gas turned on. I did not like this plan as it was outlined to me, so I told the gas company to make some more self-created babies. I spent that winter in defiance of the gas company, and felt quite the warrior as I went to Wal-Mart and purchased a bunch of space heaters of various dubious design. They promptly fried all the wiring in my house. At the advent of another season of bruised knees, I knuckled under to the gas company demands. This was in early November. Christmas approaches like the Titanic ice-berg, and I am still several steps away from enjoying being raped by gas rates. All the plumbers have full dance-cards, busily inspecting gas pipes from dummies who saw no need to pay their gas bill in June. Anyone have any spare knees?
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