Wednesday, March 09, 2011


The following whatever it turns out to be will a much needed expulsion of pressure from my spleen as I sit  and try to type and drink my way through the violent internal turmoil brought to full steam through my own mishandlings.  I know what I would like to do, but can only sit here frustrated and SCREAM.....silently! 

The following was written last night after a close encounter with almost insane rage and then posted tomorrow, which by the time you read it will be at least today,Wed 3/9/11.  Delaying publication will leave me some time to review what I wrote before I make a fool of myself and post it out there for all to see.

Okay, Okay.  I know.  The fool ship sailed a long time ago.  I'm comfortable enough with my flaws and ingrained clueless demeanor now that posting more of it is just more of Mike's character anyone who knows me already knows.  You might as well know too in case you didn't know it already.  Call it a replay of tendencies I cannot seem to lose.  If I wasn't a bonehead at least once a day, I probably would take my temperature when I got home and crawl into bed.

First a shot glass of Rebel Yell and some Papst Blue Ribbon beer poured carefully into my favorite Pub glass I haven't used in so long there is 1/2 inch of dust in the bottom.  I will rinse out the worst of the dust first though.  

Ah that's better.  Where to start?

It all begins out there in the heavens, the beyond, the not here and now when  Universal Realm Operator 12 connects Darkside Out Post #4 with my Bad Karma HQ, allowing my Shitty Day side to link up from out there in whatever Hell hole they all exist in.  Though their secretive communication was beyond the range of my hearing, my radio and TV reception, and any telepathic inclinations I may have, I know this is how the conversation went down earlier today prior to what happened later today.

 "Out Post # 4?"

"Yes HQ.  OP #4 here."

"Mounting frustrations instigated here at HQ with things mechanical, electronical, and unsatisfactory encounters of the long distance phone kind of your client, one Mike Macrum, have racheted his stress level up better than 40% above normal over the last two weeks.  The target is now primed and ready to be taken to the final level, just shy of Meltdown.  This is a check,,1,2,3,4.....Check?  Are you ready to proceed OP #4?"

"Check HQ.  Everything's a Go here."

"Okay, implement final procedures to bring subject to full boil."

"Roger Wilco HQ.  Final countdown to meltdown on my mark........Mark.......10...9.....8."

This conversation early this morning between HQ and Op #4 set the stage for the moment I was not waiting for around 6:15 PM as I tried to make sense with one more phone voice, this time named Helen who was located somewhere not close.............Pause....Need some music.  And a picture or two if I can remember how the self timer gizmo works.

Backing up some here - Over the last two years, I have done what I considered a much better job of running things down to the Bike Shop.  I actually was beginning to feel I had a grip.  I was watching all the lines, not just the bottom one.  I felt oh so smart and on top of it when I caught over a $grand mistake in my bank account the same day it happened and stopped disaster before it even lifted off, I almost sat back satisfied.

And then I looked at the credit card processing fee on the bank statement................Hmm.   At first that is all I had.......Hmm.  I set the statement down on the counter and poured some more coffee.  In mid pour, I realized what I was Hmming at.  Two charges for processing, not one.  I dropped everything and chased down my processing statements online.  But first, because I had wiped my computer clean when it recently died, I had to re-register to see the account.  An hour and two or three phone calls later I had my recent statement staring back at me.  $76.50.......Hmm.....I look at my bank statement.........Yep, it's there.  But what about this one just under it and just after almost in the same electronic breath on the bank statement, this $110.50?.............Hmm.........I sit on the stool sipping coffee and feel myself winding up as I try to make sense of this.

Back on the phone at 6:30 PM with ,now it's Angela, she informs me that the $110.50 is not going into their account.  Angela continues talking, but I have tuned her out.  I realize in an instant, a flash of recollection, the code words my previous credit card processor had used to deduct my hard earned money and make it theirs.  The codes on the bank statement were the same as I remembered.  I say to Angela,

"Uh Angela?"

"Yes sir."

"When did I sign on with you people?"

"Mr Macrum, let me bring that up on the screen..................You came on board September, 2009."

I feel sick.  Any delusions of grandeur about my business acumen disappear in an instant.  I have just been caught being extremely stupid.  Expensively stupid.  Outrageously stupid.  Mindlessly stupid. 

"Mr Macrum?  Are you still there?"

"Uh Yeah , I'm here.  Angela, I have to go now.  I have a door to kick in.  See Ya......Click."

I punch the off button and toss the phone on the sales counter.  I first stare at the phone, then the bank statement, and finally back at the online e-statement.  My nausea passes and slowly turns into a growing, erupting, boiling over anger.  I turn back the recall roll in my brain and try to remember how this might have happened.  I remember the sales rep who got me to switch told me they would take care of turning off the spigot to the old processer.  I then remember making sure by telling the bank to not deduct any more money to that account.  Yet I sat there realizing that by not following up, I had been screwed.  And screwed out of at the least several thousand dollars over the last year and a half.  Feeling chumpish and rube-ish does not even cover how I felt.

"Okay HQ, subject Mike Macrum is now ready for meltdown.  HQ?  Are you there?"

"Yes OP #4, we are monitoring his stress levels.  The question to your there, I mean after all it is you who is there with boots on the ground.......Will this incident be enough to push him over the edge?  We would like to include your opinion as part our final judgement of when to pull the lever."

"HQ, I would say given his history, we are wasting our time."

"Why is that OP #4?"

"Well, you could give him a few more hours.  But I don't think it will make any difference.  He seems impervious to his own stupidity.  He is more resilent or is it dense than you might think.  Pushing him off the edge might just be wasted energy for not much gain.  Most likely he'll just lay there a lump and take up space.  You will gain no beneficial returns."

"Okay OP #4.  Keep us posted.  HQ out."

Distracted to a state of almost not making it home safely because some idiot pulled out in front of me as I was lost in some dark fantasy about me, the CEO of the criminal processor company and some ropes and stones applied in excruciating ways, I finally got it under control and decided there was no better reason to take a drink than because of what just went down.   That and I hadn't tipped one back in a month or so.

I had previously unloaded my sad sack story to my wife over the phone.  I obviously had exhibited the right amount of pitiful me sorrow for being such a dunce, that she didn't lay into me.  She just said, "So you fix it and move on."  Or maybe she could sense just how tense and clearly ready to implode I really was.  Whatever, she cut me some slack.  I truly appreciate that.

So with my third beer and a second shot of Rebel Yell sourmash warming my belly, I feel comfortable and cozy once again.  The alcohol has dulled the pain the sharp jagged searing edge my self inflicted stupidity cut into my ego.  I remember the why of what it is I carry as I go forth into the madness and wilderness that is always just around every next bend.

Money can always be made again.  Mistakes are but something you try to not repeat.  And always remember the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers - "Pot will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no pot."

Of course with no money nor any pot, it's the thought that counts.  Just remembering Phineas, Frank, Fat Freddy and his Fat Cat conjurs up very pleasant and soothing THC tinged flashbacks.  An almost satisfactory contact high is located, downloaded and allowed to join the alcohol charged memories recent and long dog gone.

Tomorrow, or well, later today, armed with righteous indignation and a hangover I will march into the bank.  Before I leave, this situation will be a memory. .............Hopefully one I won't soon forget.

Later Gator.............................................................

An Afterword - I have now spent wasted my whole morning getting the thief off my back.  We will see if they comply.  If not, I know where Addison Texas is.


The Blog Fodder said...

Ouch. Hope the sour mash helped.

Mauigirl said...

SO annoying. But your wife is right. It is what it is, you fix it and move on.

Reminds me of the time I had one of those really low low interest offers for transferred balances on a credit card, and about 2 years after I had transferred a big balance I suddenly happened to notice a very large monthly charge for the interest. Turns out I had paid the bill one day late about a year earlier and instead of the 2% or whatever it was, rate, I was being charged a usurious 30%!!! I immediately transferred the balance out of that and closed the account. So I can relate!

muddleglum said...

Excellent writing!

But should I hope you do it again?

BTW, my wife always checks my backside for shoe prints before applying her own. Something about not wanting to waste her energy...

susan said...

In the time before could internet connect to our bank accounts we got our first debit card which we used for most of our purchases. About a week after our last shopping trip we stopped for ATM cash, noticed the balance was wrong and went home to check the telephone bank system. While I listened to the last 10 transactions money continued to pour out of the account. We then called customer service and learned that in that week someone had been very busy spending our money. It took a lot of time and paperwork but thankfully the bank reimbursed us. It's worse when it's the bank that's stealing your money.

Hope your links are fixed soon.

squatlo said...

I'm not sure I understand what was happening to your money, but dude I damn sure understand what was happening in your head! I have semi-apoplectic meltdowns about once a week because of trolls on my blogsite, or absolute knuckle-dragging mouth-breathing inbred mutant carnival workers in my "friends" group on Facebook posting the most hypocritical, inflammatory right wingnuttery imaginable.

My lovely (and dangerous) wife now steps into the office at the sound of certain gutteral snarls just to let me know my head's all red again and wouldn't I rather have a nice shot of Crown than type so hard my desk creaks with every letter?
Love your wife's attitude about the screw-up! Bless her heart for not digging yours out with a spoon.
(nice pix with the story, too... sent me to my freezer for a shot)

Chef Cthulhu said...

Dude, I've been there. There's a saying in poker - "It doesn't matter how much you've already put into the pot. If you don't have a winning hand, fold." A more sophisticated way of saying don't throw good money after bad. So you've stopped throwing away good money. Not the best case, but the best that can be done with the situation.

And thanks for the video. Their best song ever, if not one of the best rock songs of all time. It's visceral.

John Myste said...

That was a thoroughly entertaining piece, sir. Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy and that anguish and joy walked hand in hand, one entertaining your readers, and the other smiting you. Wouldn't you say it’s really a wash overall?

Randal Graves said...

This was visceral and thus, excellent (minus the 'where the fuck's the loot' part, ugh). When things get back to fiduciary joy land, you should pretend to be on the edge so you can churn out more stuff like this.

Beach Bum said...

Credit cards companies are far more dangerous and a threat to the Republic than Osama could ever dream to be.

MRMacrum said...

Blog Fodder - It helped remeind me why I don't drink so much anymore. Even the hint of a hangover the next day will turn me back to sobriety for months. Once for 15 years.

Mauigirl - The women, they are always right. My mother tried to tell me that. But well, I still fight it.

muddleglum - Thanks and you can count on more at soem point. Quality not gauranteed however.

susan - You were lucky. Now days, you'd probably kiss your money goodbye.

squatlo - I just try to avoid the semi-apolegetic meltdowns. The ones I have to grovel over later. This one I make no apologies.

Chef Cthulhu - Strong words there parner - "Best rock song ever". It definitely makes the top of the list for me though.

John Myste - Well I felt cleaner when it was all over.

Randal - churning out more by pretending is the story of my life.

Beach - Must be nice to squeeze money in both directions. Bastards.

BBC said...

Interesting times, and I'm getting interested in blowing shit up.

John Myste said...

Hey, Montreal Canadiens Guy,

I believe perhaps your comment was removed, which is what I hope happened. I am subscribed to the blog, so I got the email, though. If I were in the market for tickets, I would not buy them from you: not because you hijacked someone else's site for a commercial without permission and not because I resent the atrociousness of the grammar of the advertisement, but because it’s your fault I have to type in things like this to post on many sites:


Ol'Buzzard said...

You are definitely a kindred spirit. Perhaps some day we can tote together or share a bourbon and beer.
Money deficits can drive you cracy. I'm on a fixed income, but at my age I refuse to dwell on it.
I just received a one thousand dollar income tax rebate and that evening a tooth broke off ($1400.) Fuck it.
I had an old buddy that use to tell creditors that each month he would place all his bills in a hat and on pay day he would draw names to pay until the money was gone - and if they fucked with him he'd take their name out of the hat.

Owing money sux, but it's better than death. As you get older realities adjust themselves.

take care
the Ol'Buzzard