Archive for December, 2021

Dear People with “Just a Cold,”

Maybe you do have a cold. But also, you might have COVID. Let’s recap the Omicron symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Congestion and runny nose

That’s right: Also symptoms of a cold.

So before you get around anyone, TAKE A COVID TEST. They are available in stores (you can use your FSA/HSA), and there are free testing sites all over the place.

If it’s positive, ISOLATE, FFS.

And let’s be clear: You shouldn’t be around anyone if you have a cold either.

It’s because of one of you that my son and sister in law had a lonely Christmas.

Gideon hung out with some friends. Two days later, he didn’t feel well. Typical cold symptoms. We sent him to his room. Tested him: positive. Then Eddie, Dominic and I tested ourselves: negative. We waited a day. Tested again. Negative. Waited. Tested. Negative.

Only then did we feel like we were safe to be around other people.

Even though we didn’t have any symptoms.

See how that works? Protecting others?

We just tested again to be safe.

Waiting for results
Still negative

But Christmas 2021 is the one Gideon will remember as the one where we made him wear what amounted to a HazMat suit to open his gifts.

Poor Positive Gideon

I haven’t ever gotten Coronavirus [knocks wood], and I don’t plan to get it. I’m not taking chances.

The bottom line: If you think you have a cold, get tested anyway. Don’t be a Typhoid Mary.

Somehow this manages to sum up this Christmas.


* To the tune of this classic.

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Dear Santa,

Hey there! It’s been quite a year, amirite? Here I thought this year would be better. You brought us all vaccines, after all.

But no. Different year, same pandemic, different variants. Same stupid people prolonging the bullshit for everyone.


When I saw you recently, I asked for an end to the pandemic. I’d like one other thing, if you don’t mind:

Better customer service in the greater St. Louis area.

So far, I’ve had trouble with the following entities:

  • Spectrum (It took three visits from three technicians plus six phone calls to get my Internet/cable service installed. And my bill still isn’t right.)
  • All-Appliance Repair (Three visits — one from a COVID-positive tech no less — to get my ice maker working.)
  • The Chimney Sweepers (Brittany was great, but the fact remains that someone was supposed to come last week and didn’t. Brittany was a reschedule.)
  • St. Louis Towing (I waited 3.5 hours for a tow truck when my car stopped running on Olive Street. It was supposed to take 30 minutes.)
  • Suntrup Volkswagen (A return call telling me they received said car would be great.)

Everyone is very nice, but I’m bothered by the inefficiency. And that I have to stay on top of things.

So it would be great if you could give a little Kringle kick in the keister to service-oriented businesses.

Thank you, and I hope you have a merry COVID-free Christmas. Maybe you should just throw the presents down chimneys to minimize contact.


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Dear Brittany the Chimney Sweep,

You are an impressive young woman. I was shocked and tickled when you called me this morning to clarify my address before heading over. No, I don’t live in a condemned house on Coleman Street, so it’s a good thing you double-checked.

I like that you are Type A like I am.

And I like that you are a woman who is a chimney sweep.

That’s rare. And very cool.

Then this conversation blew my mind:

Me: “You probably get this all the time, but you are giving me a Scarlett Johansson vibe.”
You: “I do get that all the time. And I also model.”


A female chimney sweep and part-time model? You are FANTASTIC!

THEN we had a very girly conversation about spa services, and you gave me the name of your aesthetician.

I’m sure it was just another day for you, but it was a GREAT day for me.

And my fireplace is so clean.

Thank you!

Your fan,

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Dear St. Louis Wildlife,

I’m going to have to ask you to stay in your lane.

Spiders, please stay out of my basement.

Squirrels, please stop looking in my bedroom window.

Birds, please don’t come into my house.

I got home last night and opened my front door to get the mail. One of you flew in uninvited. Then had the nerve to fly upstairs.

My dustmop and I followed.

Luckily, your fowl emissary was smart. He (she?) settled on the floor. I gently placed the dustmop on top of him (her?) until I could grab a hand towel. I wrapped the scout in the hand towel, and we both went outside.

My niece said she thinks it’s a House Sparrow (which would be appropriate) or that I’m a Disney princess.

I had to make your rep skedaddle by flapping the towel.

But why? There’s nothing for any of you inside. No supply of worms. No room to fly high. No comfy nest.

Stay outside!

This is not the first time you outside critters have been lured by the great indoors, though. In my first apartment in Savannah, a rat came up from the dumpster outside. (I lived above a famous Southern restaurant. Loads of food waste.)

Luckily, my friend Brenon was on patrol with an ax handle. He went ham. Sorry, Remy.

That was the same night my immediate downstairs neighbor dealt with a bat from the chimney. And the neighbor below her had a random cat in heat show up.

Rat. Bat. Cat.

What’s up with that?

Anyway, you stay in your habitat, and I’ll stay in mine.


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Dear Mike,

In my last post, I noted some, um, issues with my move — issues beyond those caused by the seller, my neighbor. Your moving company caused additional agita.

Let’s start with the fact that you were supposed to send three guys between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

I was there waiting at the storage unit by 10. I left just before noon to go sign the closing papers. My saintly realtor took my place while I was closing.

We had no way of knowing that you meant 10:30-11:30 Hawaii Time.

Your guys showed up just after 3. And there were only two of them. And these two had been on two other jobs previously. So they were tired. Moving SO SLOWLY. Great for you as you charge by the hour.


For THREE HOURS, you promised me that two more guys were coming. When they finally showed up, one left immediately. Again, third job of the day. The other stayed, but complained the whole time, talked to his baby mama on the phone, and barely did anything. And he was wearing slides. SLIDES!

Night fell.

I was DYING.

I couldn’t stand it. I started helping.

Yes, you read that right: I was paying your company to move my stuff, but I put myself to work.

My bruises are proof.

You sent two more sloths workers. Around 8 (8!), the storage unit was finally empty.

Let me remind you that one man, one woman and four teenage boys loaded the same size truck in less time than your “professionals.” And for the price of Zaxby’s.

Then it was time to unload at my house. Angry man left. The others stayed. Actually stepped up the pace. They wanted to be done as much as I wanted them to be done.

Everything was in a bit after midnight. MIDNIGHT, MIKE!

But then I overheard the two original guys talking about how they were going to get home. They don’t have cars. Their buses weren’t running. You — their boss who had scheduled them for three jobs in one day — told them to figure it out themselves. An Uber would be very expensive.


I drove your employees home, Mike.

Josh was going to walk back to just outside the Central West End. He apparently walked to work — a three-hour journey.

I don’t know how Jeff was going to get back to Washington Park, ILLINOIS.

I got back home around 3 a.m.

I think you should have given me a massive discount, but you didn’t.

I think the money I spent should go to your employees, but it won’t.

You thrive because you pay them $14 an hour, no benefits.

I told Josh and Jeff that Target pays $15 an hour with benefits.

I hope they take my advice.

More advice to anyone who will listen: Don’t use your company.

Beth, a former customer

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