MY GOOD CREDIT. It was just by chance, two weeks ago, that I found out that my credit card had been hijacked.
At least, I didn’t have any memories of making purchases in Corpus Christi, Texas. But there they were on my statement — one for $100 and one for $76-and-some-change.
The card company got the card shut down before any more damage could be done, and they said they’d review the purchases to see if they should be removed from my bill. I’ve had a credit card from this particular bank since 1972, and if they don’t fix my credit there are plenty of other credit card companies out there that seem really, really eager to send me their own card.
But the real pain in the backside has been doing without my card for more than a week. Of course, my credit card crisis WOULD happen at this time of year. Not only did it put a halt to the perfect purchase I was going to make online for the perfect granddaughter, but also a lot of my annual subscriptions come due at this time of year.
I subscribe to a national newspaper online, and a statewide newspaper online, a shaving razor company, tv satellite and a music service — all by credit card. There may be others, I’m sure they’ll be notifying me real soon that I need to give them a ‘good’ credit card number to replace the old one because the one they have on file is kaput.
At least I’m done with Mrs. Claus for another year and it won’t be the end of the world if I grow a beard.
The farther I get past the expiration date the more dire some of the companies’ threats get. One even sent me a picture of a person making a slash across his throat. I get the message.
I usually make all my gasoline purchases by credit card, and since Tuesday afternoon my buggy has been warning me about the low fuel level. If you see me moping around on the side of the road you can guess that I’ve run out of gas. And remember, I’ve cleverly saved money by eliminating roadside assistance.
I can’t remember the last time I paid for groceries by cash or check. Whups! Did I say check? I’m sure I have a book of checks somewhere. I’m not sure if I can remember how to write one.
I’ve been living out of my old Diamond Bank coin purse. You’d be surprise how much money it holds. I’ve saved quarters so that I can buy an Arkansas Scholarship Lottery card each day. I am fairly sure that my ‘lucky’ lottery numbers will come through on the first day I don’t renew the card, and stores won’t let you put a lottery card purchase on your credit card. Some college student may have to drop out.
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THE INCREDIBLE and Mostly Unbelievable Adventures of my distant kin, Uncle Parry Normal: All good jokes have a basis in truth. Like jokes about Santa getting stuck in someone’s chimney. That really happened to Uncle Parry but instead of trying to bring gifts he was trying to find a way to sneak OUT of a Halfway House. He was skinny enough to wriggle up the chimney a ways, but his ankle monitor had been magnetized and it stuck to the iron flue.
His parole officer then played a cruel joke. He pretended he couldn’t hear Uncle Parry yelling for help and the officer acted as if he was going to light a fire in the fireplace.
“Ho ho ho,” he said.
It’s just Uncle Parry’s bad luck to get a parole officer with a weird sense of humor.
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HEARD FROM. Our town’s Dennis Ritchie, like me, has been puzzled about where our Mississippi Kites go after summer.
Unlike me, Dennis actually went to the trouble of a little research, and he graciously shares the knowledge he gained: The predatory birds migrate in large flocks to southern South America. They return mostly to Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, in addition to our population here in Paradise. This, according to the Audubon Society. Would some Audubon smarty please tell me how come they’re named Mississippi Kites?
Dennis looked further, and was unable to find anything about what triggers the birds’ urge to migrate. I’m guessing they don’t like cold weather any more than I do.
Among the places he looked for information was Cornell University which is supposedly famous for its ornithological (bird) studies. Cornell is now ridiculed for getting excited too soon over that ‘extinct’ Ivory Billed Woodpecker that someone thought they heard over in the swamps of eastern Arkansas. Turns out that the Ivory Bill may be extinct after all, and some Eastern Arkies were merely having a good laff at some New Yawkers expense.
A lot of normally sane persons got excited about the ‘discovery’ of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, and for a time, at least, you could buy a specialty vehicle license tag featuring the bird.
Ahem. There aren’t any of those license plates available at our Revenue Office at this time.
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WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: Merry and Bright. It’s their favorite time of the year.
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HE SAID: “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States of America
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SHE SAID: “Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.” Lucinda Franks, American journalist
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SWEET DREAMS, Baby