Sunday, June 16, 2013

It Comes in a Tube

[Editor's Note: This is mostly a re-post from January of 2010 with some minor changes to the original. This is a tribute to all fathers, and their unique quirks, which make them the special people that they are, on Father's Day 2013. Feel free to leave a comment about your dad's unique characteristics below.]


LG's dad is on the right, circa 1958.
LG's father emigrated to the United States from Greece in the 1950s. His first job was working for his uncle, also a Greek immigrant, who owned a diner/coffee shop on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. LG's dad started out washing dishes but, over time, he learned the diner business inside-out and went on to own at least seven diners of his own (LG may have missed one or two in his count.)

Being a blue collar worker, you'd think LG's dad was pretty handy with tools.

He wasn't. Not in the least.

He was, however, very talented at running diners. He had all the requisite skills. He picked good locations. He knew shrewd strategies for negotiating with suppliers, hiring and retaining help, and hiding cash income from the IRS. In short, he had a special aptitude for the diner business. LG's father could also cook up a storm. But, for all of his blue collar-ness, LG's dad wasn't handy. Whenever he assembled something pursuant to a set of directions, vital parts would, without fail, be left over.

Who really needs handlebars and a second wheel on a bike anyway? It's now a unicycle, enjoy!

LG's father's lack of handyman skills must've been especially vexing to him in light of the fact that his younger brother, LG's Uncle Leo, became a highly-skilled carpenter after arriving in America. Uncle Leo owned a successful contracting business in the United States for about 40 years. He was a perfectionist and everything he built reflected that.

Now, switching gears for just a second, here are some everyday products that come in tubes:

Whenever LG's father came to an impasse during a repair or assembly project around the house, usually caused by his lack of expertise, his fallback remedy was to send LG to the hardware store for some magical, yet-to-be-invented item that, invariably, "Comes in a tube" according to what he'd tell LG.

If you saw the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," you know that Nia Vardalos's dad used Windex as a panacea for all the world's ills. LG wishes it was that simple with his father. Keeping an ample supply of Windex on hand would've been easy. But, no, that's not how it was in LG's house.

Here are some examples of how LG's father would invoke the Miracle of the Magic Tube. The heavy Greek accent is hard to replicate in writing, so you'll have to use your imagination:

"Boy! Boy! [He usually called LG "Boy!" reserving his real name, Lazarus, for times of anger.]

Boy! Gee Gee Christ, this window won't open. Go to de hardware store, they have a new thing to loosen windows, it comes in a tube."

So, off LG would go, in search of the Magic Tube.

Believe it or not, the hardware store never specifically had "Window Loosener" in a tube, but they did have some type of oil. But that was an easy one, LG is just warming up. Moving on to the next level....

"Boy! Boy! The boat won't start. Go to de hardware store, they have boat starter. It comes in a tube."

That's not actually a picture of one of LG's father's boats, but it's not too far off. His last boat was bigger than this, but, of course, that only meant it caused bigger headaches. And, if you're wondering, there is no such thing as "Boat Starter" in a tube. LG could write an entire book on his father and boating, but that will have to wait [If you're interested, you can read a tale about LG's father and boating by clicking HERE]

It was, of course, embarrassing to ask for these tubes of crazy products that LG knew didn't exist, but he had little choice. His father had sent him on a mission. LG eventually developed a method of asking the clerk for these items that furtively included a denial in the question.

"You don't carry a tube of anything that will repair a broken lawn mower engine, do you? No? I didn't think so, I was just checking, thanks..."

LG's father's cure-all Tube Mania seemed to grow stronger as time went on. He was never discouraged by the fact that there was never a product "In a tube" to fix his latest repair problem. He persevered because he always believed in his heart of hearts that there was "A New Thing In A Tube" to handle the latest task at hand. What perplexed LG most, in that pre-internet era, was where his father was reading about these supposedly new miracle products In A Tube. LG was pretty sure that advances in technology weren't discussed in the only periodical that his father regularly read, The Daily Racing Form.

Eventually, LG's father was sending him to pick up Miracle Tubes that could repair home appliances, fix transistor radios, fill driveway potholes, replace leaky plumbing and, even, regenerate limbs.

Add caption
The mechanical arm pictured here, LG believes, came from a tube. Or, rather, it would have if his father had his way. In a perfect world, LG's father would've worked for General Electric. or NASA in the Innovation Department.

Whenever LG would return from the hardware store empty handed -- his father never went himself, as you've probably gathered -- the failure would be attributed to LG's poor search skills. It never occurred to LG's father that this product didn't actually exist. And, of course, the lazy American stock clerk's own incompetence was a contributing factor.

That's the abbreviated story of LG's father and the Magic Tubes. All of this bending over the keyboard has stiffened LG's back quite a bit. He's going out to buy some Ben Gay for his muscles.

LG thinks it comes in a tube.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Helpful Tips for Internet Scammers

Let's face it, we've all been the recipients of the occassional internet email scam.  Not often, certainly, only three or four times a day.

But we're all honourable (spelled the British way, of course) people and the overseas scammers know that.  It's easy to find most of our names and contact info in the International Directory of Honourable People Who You Could Trust With Large Sums of Money

But what internet scammers don't know is much about the English language. 

Or common sense.

So LG is here to critique some of the recent scam attempts he's received in the hopes of helping scammers step up their game a bit. 

Consider this just another U.S. foreign aid package to the less fortunate (and, believe it or not, all scams below are actual emails copied word-for-word from the original). 

There's no fun, or challenge, to a scam when someone tells you that you are "a honorable personage with greate reputashun in my countree." 

Oh please international scammer community, you can do better than that.  

So scammers, pull up an upside down Home Depot bucket (or whatever else you use for a chair in your scam laboratory) (scamatory?) and take note of these constructive criticisms:

Scam #1:

Attn Package Beneficiary:

Please send the diplomat who is stranded at Atlanta Georgia International
with your Consignment Box. your
address that will help him for smooth delivery. The
bellow is his contact. Don't let him know the content because it contains 7.5 million U.S.
A Dollars.

Your full name_________
Your Address____________
Your phone numbers_________

cell +229-9831-0676

The Critique:  Ok, this person must be a crayon eater.  He misses the mark in so many ways. 

First, what legitmate delivery service ever addresses their customers as "Package Beneficiary?" Maybe Johnny Holmes called his girlfriends that. 
And even the least-traveled among us know that one of America's busiest airports is not called "Atlanta Georgia International Airport."  Although, next time I'm there, I'll certainly get myself a "Consignment box," since those things are all over every major American airport.  Not. 

And why are we being told not to tell this "diplomat" what's in our precious consignment box?  Is he untrustworthy? LG will have to check to see if he's listed in the International Directory of Honourable People.

Curiously, the note says that "The bellow is his contact."  Does that mean that all LG has to do is bellow for the guy and he'll contact me?

Also, we all call our money "USA Dollars." Sure we do.  
But who couldn't trust a package delivery executive who is both a "reverend" and a "doctor."  Bravo!  This scam gets an "F" for content but an "A" for ambition.  However, LG is going to consign it to the junk bin for today.  No USA dollars for this guy.    
Scam #2:
From: Mrs.Rebecca Lemonde

Greetings to you and sorry if this message came to you as a surprise. My name is Mrs.Rebecca Lemonde widow, I found your email address through my husband internet dater late Mr.Lemonde

I am presently admitted at the hospital suffering from a blood cancer and Parkinson diseases. I have some funds at bank inherited from my late husband account the amount of $5,500.000. I wish to know if I can trust you to use the funds for charity project and %10 will go to you as compensation. Kindle get back to me so that I will give you more details.

Yours in Christ,

Mrs.Rebecca Lemonde

The Critique: Phew, LG had to catch his breath for a moment there, this email came as a surprise.  Mrs. Lemonde should warn people before sending an email like that.

As an initial consideration, you have to trust a widow, and, on top of that, poor Mrs. Rebecca Lemonde is suffering from the double whammy of "blood cancer" and "Parkinson diseases"  (who know there was more than one?)  
Of course, why should she mourn the cad since he was an "internet dater."  He was probably all over while poor Mrs. Lemonde was in the hospital dealing with her maladies.
She's offering LG %10 of the $5.5 million USA dollars that her husband left her.  LG is not sure if that means ten percent or .10% or something else.  Only if she were a reverend doctor, then she'd have a stronger command of the English language and, no doubt, would be more trustworthy. 
However, Mrs. Lemonde seems to be a sophisticated lady since she says "Kindle get back to me."  LG assumes she's figured out a way to email through the use of her Kindle. 

And, of course, she's ours "in Christ" so she must be an honest woman.  Had she said "yours in Satan" LG would've suspected a scam.  LG is going to give her the full contents of his consignment box at Atlanta Georgia International Airport.

Scam #3:

The next rocket scientist sent this one: 



Fed Ex
Dear Client,
Your parcel has arrived at May 25. Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you.
To receive your parcel, print this label and go to the nearest office.
FedEx Customer Service Team.
FedEx 1995-2013

The Critique: This is an interesting one. 

First, you'd have to have rocks in your head to think that Federal Express sends emails from a domain designated as ""  Yeah, sure. 
Second, this email arrived only 12 days after the date that the package had supposedly arrived.  Everyone knows that Fedex waits 12 days to notify you of a package delivery.  Not. 
LG is not sure what the scam is however, since going to a Fedex office with a phony "shipment label" gets you nothing but laughed at. 

Maybe by clicking on the link, your bank account gets emptied through the use of spyware (that's an actual scam going around on Facebook.)  LG wouldn't know, however, since he didn't click.  Plus, all of his money is in a Consignment Box at Atlanta Georgia International Airport.
That's all for today folks.  May you all have a happy and healthy day and swim in the arrival of USA dollars.  Go in peace!

- The Honourable Reverend Doctor President General LG