WhachooTalkinBoutWedneday: Bigger Things

I know it ain’t Tuesday. I know I didn’t give you anything on Friday either. I know, if you follow my other blog, Falling From Grace, I haven’t dropped anything in a couple weeks. I have a reason: I have bigger things to focus on.

And that’s what we get to talk about today.

One of the most popular series of the posts on this blog was about a couple of jackasses from Tennessee who decided to dog the shit out of my wife…and then defraud a bunch of little girls. You might remember them. You also might remember I said I wouldn’t do another post about them—and I’m not—because they have real charges and they have kids and things were getting serious for them. So I won’t talk about how they are the dumbest criminals ever. I won’t talk about how your girl went on a Disney cruise while under bond, without the bond company’s permission and now it looks like she’s fleeing. I won’t discuss your boy not only being unable to retain an attorney (after 2 continuances), but also being detained (read arrested—again) for non-payment of child support for another child. I won’t talk about how he went into court yesterday bullshittin about his lack of attorney and ended up getting transported from Franklin to Memphis by a fugitive task force.

And while this is funny…

John2

…seriously, you can forward any correspondence to his current address at 201 Poplar, the Shelby County jail in Memphis—it has a sad side too. There are real victims in this: children and single mothers and dancers and agents.

There are bigger things to consider.

Today is my 4th wedding anniversary. I’d love to say the 4 years of marriage and the 5 years that preceded it were magic. Yeah, that would be a damn lie. Have they been easy? Hell no! Have they been worth it? Hell yes! In those 9 years, I’ve moved across country, tried to be a parent to two kids I didn’t create, tried to be a good husband to a woman who’s seen the darker sides of life. I’ve tried to build myself as a man, a professional, and an author. I’ve watched friends come and go, had some family members stand by me and others shit on my relationship. I’ve been embraced by my kids and played to the curb by them on the same day.

What I’ve learned over the last 9 years is it’s the bigger things that matter. Marriages don’t work on their own. Children don’t become positive, contributing members of society by themselves. We don’t realize our potential and become the people we’re meant to be through osmosis. My friends in Tennessee, on all sides of this equation, are working to be where they are. They are working to avoid their responsibilities, working to get over on someone else…or working to make sure a child flourishes in spite of who her father is.

The last 9 years have been work—and today, on our anniversary, we’re working now. Last night, I spent the evening counseling my daughter on how to handle her first note from a boy, talking with my son’s girlfriend about how to approach the teenage pregnancy of a classmate, working with my wife on how to get out of debt and finally buy a house. It’s work.

The bigger things always are.

Things That Are Awesome

This has been the awesome-est week EVER, hasn’t it?

First, we had:

DMFRH 2013: Rise of the Swoaps

I have a thing for villains—that’s like the whole point of this blog. Picking them up, turning them in the light, shaking them until something falls out. That’s my thing. I thought I was focusing on pop culture references, fictional villains from comics and movies and books.

Then my villains became real.

I won’t rehash the thrilling details (one, because I said I wouldn’t; and two, because you can read all about it here) but our story began with shit-talking after my wife resigned and ended with the arrest of my arch-nemeses, Big John and Melanie “Bye Bitch!” Swoap, for theft and fraud and a bunch of other shit.

It was a fitting end to a funky little dispute and it made me smile. Just. Like This.

Then:

Crooked Letterz is TWO!

That’s right, this here blog had its second birthday. Yay! We had a bouncy house and two clowns and I gave it some mugshots as an awesome present. Then things got even better! That EPIC Conclusion post is the 200th post on Crooked Letterz. That little post that could, filled to the brim with Law & Order intros and Puss in Boots Oooh Cats and Fox17 stories, was the highest viewed post in the history of this blog. It pushed me well over the 60,000 view mark (closer to 65,000 as of this writing), which is amazing for someone with a novel and dream. It was like sweeps week and I gave you the end of M*A*S*H. What’s M*A*S*H? Jesus—how about Cheers? No? Lost? Shit, fine—I gave you the end of Wizards of Waverly Place. How bout that? Young asses.

Miley Cyrus and the VMAs

Speaking of young asses, I saw the VMAs this Sunday. I saw Miley Cyrus twerking her long back on Robin Thicke just like you did. We watched as a family and I had one of those “Oh, THIS is what my parents must have felt like” moments. The Honey Badger was grossed out and confused. The Boy was both aroused and disgusted. My wife and I watched it like this:

That’s for my Breaking Bad fans.

Now you may recall that I wrote a lovely Leave Miley Alone post a bit ago. In it, I said she was just doing the stupid shit all 20-year-olds do, just her stage and opportunity was greatly increased due to her fame and finances. That was before I saw the VMAs.

Since that display of teddy bear-fueled ridicularity, I’ve gotten emails and texts, Facebook messages and inboxes about would I want my daughter to do that. Would I want her to emulate Miley? I’ve read open letters and twitter feeds, blog posts and news articles. And that all come the same conclusion: Miley Cyrus is a drug-addicted, sex-crazed heathen on the slippery slope to an overdose or death who is going to take our daughters with her.

But my opinion hasn’t changed.

I’m a product of the 80s. I grew up watching MTV. I remember when they actually played music on Music Television—kinda weird watching the Video Music Awards on a channel that doesn’t play music videos. But I digress. I remember the same articles and when Madonna performed Like A Virgin in a wedding dress. When Madonna and Britney and Christina Aguilera kissed on stage. When Elton John wore…well, ALL that crazy shit. When Lady Gaga wore a meat dress.

Christina got butt naked on her Stripped album cover. Britney shaved her head. Lindsay became a lesbian for 14 minutes, stole some jewelry and went to rehab. Demi Lovato went to a different kind of rehab. Kimberly from Diff’rent Strokes posed in Playboy and ended up dead. Todd Bridges and Danny Bonaduce became a drug addicts and recovered. Gary Coleman became a sued his parents and became a security guard. Elton John sang for Princess Diana’s funeral. Madonna got a British accent.

This shit with child stars is old. They go through this rebellious period where they lose their fucking minds publicly. Most of the time they survive it, sometimes they don’t. At this point, I can see the act a mile away. Miley is being stupid—some of it is for real, some of it is for show. You’re so caught up in her tongue sticking out, seeing her grind on Robin Thicke in his Foot Locker uniform that you forget the Hannah Montana bullshit. That is the point. Forget the Hannah Montana shit. She’ll do this nonsense for another year or so, release an “Oh, I found myself and my sanity” album, become a judge of the 18th season of American Idol, and get a semi-serious movie role.

And the world will be right until Good Luck Charlie gets a belly piercing.

Oh, and I Got a Posting Schedule

That’s the last thing—and I’ll do it real quick because it’s getting longer. After 2 years and 200 posts, it’s a new day here at Crooked Letterz. What’s new, you ask? Regularity. Knowing what to expect. So here’s the deal: I’m gonna post here 2 times a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays are kind of a free-for-all day: you’ll find DMFRHs, Suburdity, Things That Are Awesome (like this)—whatever comes to mind. Fridays will bring the villains back with the Friday Night Fiend. We’ll get back to all the things you know and love.

That’s my word.

Oh yeah, there’s one more thing that’s awesome: Me.

Catch ya Friday!

When Screwing Your Clients Goes Wrong: The EPIC Conclusion

That’s your intro. Now comes your awesomeness! BAM! Mugshots, y’all:

Swoapcharges

Nothing says glamour like these pics. Work it, girl!

Gather round, boys and girls, even you new kids, I have to tell you a short little story. If you know me, and by now you do, you know that the first rule of Crooked Letterz is, if it’s funny, I’m gonna laugh. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what it is. I know I talk about villains and bad guys and stuff, but look at the other stuff I’ve written: handicapped hockey games (and the cripple fight at the soccer game), overactive bowel movements, DMFRHs. If it’s funny, I’m laughing. That’s the deal.

This is funny.

And you can imagine the giggles and broad smiles that crossed my face when my wife came bumping down the stairs, talking about “Stacy Case just called me!” Stacy who? Then she started talking slow. “Stacy Case. From Fox news. In Tennessee. Just called me.”

Stacy Case is an anchor at Fox 17 in Nashville. Stacy Case did a heartwarming little story last year—just like mine—highlighting the local awesomeness of the Swoaps and promoting how they could save you money on your next Disney trip. I’d love to show it to you, but that shit is no longer on the Fox 17 website. Know why? Cuz you don’t make a fool out of Stacy Case. That shit no longer exists. But you know what does? This:

Did you catch the blurred out ex-BSJ employee? Care to guess who that might be?

Oh, you know what else exists? This—and these cats were first:

50 Plus Families Duped Out of $50K

I have some new kids at the party today, and yesterday, and the day before. I hope you brought snacks for the rest of us. Now, you might looking at us, thinking, “Are you guys seriously laughing at these people?” In a word, yes. In three words, they started it.

But it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. Somebody got hurt. And that brings us to our Jerry Springer End of the Show moment.

It has been a wild, crazy, expletive-laced ride with the Swoaps, hasn’t it? I had fun, didn’t you? I mean, my wife was called a pill-popping alcoholic and a thief. Publicly. I was a sack of shit and motherfucker. They left us this fantastic voicemail (the Boy didn’t autotune it—I’m taking volunteers):

But, for all the fun it’s been, it’s time to let it go. Awww, I know, I know. But this is the last post on DMFRHs, our favorite two assclowns (you know you love it!). EVER. Like forever. After this, we have to be done. For good. Here’s why:

If you notice from the pic at the top, these cats have a casual relationship with the law. This isn’t the first run in the Swoaps have had with the boys in blue. And if you listen to what both newscasters said, a) these charges carry penalties of at least 8 years with fines up to $250,000; and b) they are also investigating my man for defrauding the state with his unemployment. All kidding aside, this is serious shit.

When it was John and Melanie talking shit to my wife via email, that was one thing. It was heated words and exchanges, loud talking and legal threats that never came to fruition. It was an argument—ultimately victimless. This isn’t. This is serious shit with real victims. This is the stuff that ruins lives.

55 families were defrauded (allegedly—I think I have to put that in). Little girls were almost deprived of their Disney World trip AT Disney World (which is FUCKED UP by the way). There are at least 10 planners whose livelihoods are severely impacted, if not curtailed entirely. And these guys are parents themselves. It is very likely they could lose their kids or their kids could lose one or both parents to prison.

Not so funny anymore.

Now it’s just sad.

And that’s why we have to be done.

Want more Swoap-y goodness? See how it all began!

When Screwing Your Clients Goes Wrong: Now We Get All Investigative Journalist On Ya

So the Wife and I had a Perry White-Lois Lane moment here at the ranch, trying to decide what to publish on this here blog and what to leave alone. Believe it or not, I opted for discretion (cuz THAT’s my MO, right?). She pushed for shaming these bastards the public’s right to know.

What I didn’t know was that my wife wanted to be Woodward & Bernstein as a kid. This woman got sources, screenshots, connections, images and fileboxes, blood samples and bulletin boards–the search for the Zodiac Killer was not this thorough. So you can imagine who won in this little journalistic struggle. The caveat, the Wife gets her own post. So here, for the first time, is a Crooked Letterz exposé:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been pretty quiet until now. I’ve been busy these last 9 months recovering from surgery, getting healthy, enjoying my family and of course, travel sales – Disney and more now. I’ve been very blessed to have my husband as my rock and voice during all of this.

I sat quiet through being called a pill popping alcoholic; I sat by when John called me a thief and a bitch, and while being threatened with slander suits. Until my Facebook, emails and phone started blowing up in June.

First, it was small things – “Have you see that BSJ got shut down?” or “ This is such-and-such from XYZ Company. We’re on the Earmark Committee. I’m just checking on you – we were referred to your husband’s blog by such-and-such or our DM [District Manager–it’s a Disney thing]. We’re hearing all these rumors running around about Disney shutting down Blue Sky Journeys. We’re so sorry to hear what happened to you.”

Then the emails and Facebook messages with links came. “Have you seen they started a new company?” To which I would say, “Well maybe it’s an entirely different company?” Right? I mean why would planners stay where there are issues? You can’t access your reservations; you’re worried about your clients; you’re getting fed bullshit via email about trying to get the company back up and running during a holiday weekend; and prior to a huge free dining special offer coming out. Why would you believe what is being told to you. Right???

I was astonished to learn after some easy internet research and a few phone calls that less than 48 hours after being served a SHUT THE HELL DOWN by Disney they START A NEW COMPANY! Even the youngest detective could figure this out.  I start with the Blue Sky Journeys website. While I see that while the front-page of BSJ is under maintenance, their agent page is still accessible. OOPS!  Go ahead go look. I’ll wait. http://www.blueskyjourneys.com/agents#!__agents Oh, and if they happen to take it down after this blog post – I have screen shots.

Now lets take a look at another site that was linked to me in Facebook. This came from one of my concerned associates and was sent to my Facebook messages: http://www.fantasyanddreams.com/#c20z

If you look at the drop down list, you can see some similarities. I am not here to make judgment on the new company nor the agents that are there. I am only here to point one main person.

That person currently is under indictment and has been arrested on theft charges in the State of Tennessee. You can figure out who that person is, right?

So then I take to Facebook and, even though BSJ can’t sell Disney anymore, they are still doing business selling other travel. Here is an example from the same week they had to stop selling Disney:

BSJ Fantasy & Dream Connection

Finally, I searched CLIA (Cruise Line Industry Association) by name. This first screen shot is an Agency Look Up as a CLIA member (which I am). The second is one you can get yourself if you’re looking for an agent in your area by Zip code. Now, I’m not sure WHY when you search it shows Franklin, IN – typo maybe?? Here you can look for yourself by searching Fantasy & Dreams Luxury, LLC in the zip code box: http://cruising.org/vacation/agencyfinder

BSJ CLIA

BSJ MelanieIn my mind I think: Why would Melanie if she is not the owner of the new agency, file for a new CLIA number (needed to sell Disney) under her maiden name? There are even Facebook screen shots showing that she is currently the manager and vacation planner at Fantasy & Dreams Luxury Travel, LLC and the Owner at Blue Sky Journeys.

BSJ Melanie Facebook

Why should a person who is currently out ON BOND and indicted for theft of over $60K  – a Class B felony in Tennessee be allowed to continue to work as any type of Travel Agent? Let alone, sell Disney?

The arrest happened on Friday, August 16, 2013. As I was boarding a plane to Disneyland, I got phone calls and texts, back to back while I was sitting on the runway for takeoff, telling me all about it. I can’t say I didn’t smile and was giddy with justice being served. I was. It was the best Disneyland trip this year.

Then on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 I got an email from the current Manager of the new Travel Agency – Fantasy & Dreams Luxury Travel, LLC. The email, as my husband pointed out yesterday in his blog, requested we remove their name from the blog:

Though some of the BSJ agents have come to work for me, we are a separate company from Blue Sky Journeys.  I am formally requesting that you remove any references to Fantasy & Dreams (negative or positive) from your blog.  We are a new agency, just trying to gain our footing in the travel world and I’m sure you aren’t looking to damage my reputation or the reputations of my company or planners.

So we discussed with our legal representation what we should do. We were advised we could remove the link but leave the name because it’s public record. How is it public record, you ask? We have screen shots of that below. Yesterday, Chris decided to remove it completely because he thought the person who sent the email and helped start that company was an unwitting participant. They had believed everything told to them by the Swoaps. They were swindled just as much a victim as the dance group and parents.

Then yesterday evening, Chris and I discussed what the end game was for us. In the end, it is about protecting the clients who were unaware of what happened and the agents who have drunk the Kool Aid and believe everything they are being told. We wanted the public to see the truth. Apparently, so does Fox 17 in Nashville. And WKRN ABC 2.

As a Disney vacation planner and travel agent this has disappointed me and emotionally upset me for a few reasons. First, because it opened up old wounds from December and the way I was treated when all I wanted to do was resign from Blue Sky Journeys. You can see the posts my husband did on that here. Second, because those of us, who eat, sleep and dream magically have a reputation and standard to uphold. Disney is about making dreams come true. When you enter the gates at either park – California or Orlando – the goal is to feel like there is no outside world. The Imagineers have done such a fantastic job of immersing you into the magical world of everything Disney, that you just want to feel that way forever. For me, it’s the only place that my family can shut off their phones, work or school life and we bond together to make the memories that will last a lifetime. I love getting up daily and making magic for my clients.

The Disney travel agent community is a small one: this stuff gets around quickly. Negative things get around even quicker once they are out. Things like what happened with BSJ and the current indictment make us all look HORRIBLE. They are not the first agency to rip off someone–you can Google many rip off reports of small agencies that prey on work at home moms, bring them in as agents with no training, no idea about the industry, give them a login and then, once they begin booking clients, never pay them or shut down and file bankruptcy. NOT ALL AGENCIES OR AGENTS ARE LIKE THIS.

There are many things you can do to ensure you get a great reputable agent / agency to book your travel with:

  1. Make sure to check they are registered with the BBB.
  1. Ask if they are certified or have travel accreditations. For example, are they with a Disney Earmarked agency, do they have their cruise ACC from CLIA and Certification from Travel Institute. Those that are have the certificates and credentials when you search for them.
  1. Ask if they have Errors & Omissions Insurance this protects the agent and client incase of errors on the reservations.
  2. Check with the State to ensure they are a registered business.
  1. Ask how payments are taken. Do they pay the vacation supplier directly or take the money in house. While many agencies are set up to take payments in house, they must be regulated by the State they are in for how to hold clients funds in escrow before paying the vacation supplier.
  1. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid payments by cash or check. Purchase your vacation on a credit card so that if something goes wrong, you can get it back through the Card Company and dispute.
  1. Ask for references: Check their Facebook fan page for recommendations or ask for previous client testimonials.
  1. Always as for confirmation the same a day you are booked or credit card charged.

In the end, my entire goal for this post today is so the public is informed. I don’t have anything against the other Manager of the new agency that emailed me, or the planners who chose to go there. I think they are victims of the situation. I’m sorry that they have to be affected by these stories and posts. This post is no different than any other news story that comes out about this horrendous situation and stealing money from families who just wanted to dance and enjoy Disney. I pray that the agents that have current clients still traveling will get paid what is owed to them. As for the families and children involved, in all sincerity I pray that they are all taken care of and can get repayment. I hope they don’t view the reset of us great agents and agencies out there in the same light as their experience with BSJ.

I appreciate you all reading and supporting my husband’s blog. But for me, this is the end. I’ve told my story to those who have asked. I’ve said my peace and am moving on back to my magical place and vacation planning. Thanks for listening and coming to your own conclusions. If you need a new agent that is certified and reputable, I’m sure I can find you a good one.

– Amanda

Now, the EPIC conclusion!

When Screwing Your Clients Goes Wrong: The Red & Blue Light Edition

So many things happened today that I honestly cannot keep up.

As you may know, I have a Day Job. I actually get up everyday and go to work, interact with clients, produce deliverables, and collect a paycheck. Everyday. This day, before I’d finished my first cup of coffee, I got a polite Cease & Desist request via email. It wasn’t even 24 hours—I think that’s a new record.

Apparently not everyone appreciated the darling kitty video I posted last night. Who doesn’t like cat videos? Cat videos power the internets.

Here’s the deal: I was asked to remove a reference to another travel company in last night’s post. You might recall, I said something about Fantasy and Dreams Luxury Travel—they asked me to pull the name and link and I complied. See, if you look at the original post, there is no reference to the Fantasy and Dreams Luxury Travel website or their Facebook page because they are a separate company from Blue Sky Journeys and don’t have any affiliation to the owners of Blue Sky Journeys.

Oh, wait…what’s this?

BSJ Melanie Facebook

Thought so.

But then it got better: I got gifts! And, even though I didn’t go the kindergarten, I know how to share. So I’m giving them back to you…the people. (You have to say this is Bane’s voice).

You know in Law & Order, how Lenny and Benjamin Bratt do all the legwork? Here’s what that looks like for real:

BSJ Police Incident Report

The report essentially says that the dance school contacted Blue Sky Journeys to plan their Disney World trip. Parents paid for themselves and their daughters, made PayPal payments, and wrote checks, to the tune of approximately $60,000. But when they showed up at Disney, there weren’t any reservations, no dance classes, not even the fucking van to take them from the airport to the resort! And DMFRH was onsite knowing good and goddamn well he ain’t paid for shit. Disney tried to be classy and not ruin the kids’ trip and one of the parents, the wife of a famous country singer (it is Tennessee, after all) footed the rest of the bill but on the condition that the police were involved. And here we are.

You know what comes next?

Once the police get their person, they go to the Grand Jury and one of the pretty ADAs who work for Jack McCoy–Serena, Connie Rubirosa (with her fine tail) or Crossing Jordan or whoever makes the case and they get an indictment. Like this:

BSJ Indictment

For those of you uninterested in reading, that is an indictment for theft. These cats got indicted and arrested for taking $60K from a dance school for kids for their Disney World trip. Dude, that’s like robbing Make-A-Wish.

And look at the witness list at the bottom on the last page: people from Disney Legal and Paypal–MF-ing Paypal, y’all? It’s about to get deep. I’m gonna be all over Orbitz to find me a ticket. Do courtrooms in Tennessee allow you to bring popcorn?

Next: Investigative Journalism!

When Screwing Your Clients Goes Wrong: BSJ Strikes Back

You know, you all are a fickle bunch.

I write some amazing stuff about villains and movies and comic book stuff and you guys are like “Meh.” I’ve broken Disney World, introduced you to DMFRHs, even wrote a post defending Miley Cyrus of all people. And what’d I get? Crickets. But let me write a little something about a couple of assclowns dogging my wife when she quit her job—yes, the same ones who dropped that super-fantastic voicemail (when are one of you guys gonna auto-tune it?)—and you all give me the single best day on my blog in 2 years! I’m talking about thousands of views. Getting UpVoted on Reddit. And then you asked for more.

Hey, I’m just giving the people what they want.

Now, for the 4 of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, last year my wife joined a fledgling travel agency called Blue Sky Journeys as a Disney Vacation Planner. I even wrote a sappy lil post about it. Then she got hit with a Cease & Desist from another agency and my girl decided to move on. That didn’t go over so well. Not at all.  I wrote a couple of VERY popular blog posts (check them out here, here, aaaannnnd here, and, oh yeah, here), John and Melanie Swoap (the owners of Blue Sky Journeys) left us an AWESOME voicemail, I became a “sack of shit,” and we received several expletive-laced invitations to Tennessee, bosom of America.

But that was last December. And not a week has gone by where I haven’t gotten a “when are you gonna write another post?” inquiry. I didn’t really have much more to say: my wife had moved on, John and I had said all there was to say, and keeping it going was like poking fun at the kids on the short bus. Even I’m not that mean.

But then I started hearing stuff.

First it was little shit like my wife saying, “This agent or that Disney blogger LOVED your blog.” I’d smile and my head would swell and then I’d go back about my day.

Then it was, “Hey, the Earmark Committee knows all about your blog.” Earmark Committee? What’s the Earmark Committee? “Oh,” my wife would say, “they’re the people who decide whether a travel agency becomes an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. It’s kind of a big deal.” And they know about my blog? “Yeah! They think it’s hilarious! Things aren’t gonna look so hot for Blue Sky Journeys come renewal time.”

Hmm.

But then things took a different turn when my wife got a call that said, “Hi, this is Such-and-So from Disney’s Legal Department. We read your husband’s blog. We’d like to ask you some questions.”

Wait, what?

Yep, Disney Legal is following my blog. And they like it. And no, things didn’t go too well for our friends in the Great State of Tennessee. Like Puffy on Making the Band, Disney came in this past July and shut the studio down. BOOM. No more Disney for you! If you go to blueskyjourneys.com, you just get clip art and pixie dust, right? Right. That’s what business closure looks like.

So the wife and I giggled and guffawed, poured out some liquor and played Boys II Men’s It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday. Ding Dong! The Witch is dead, right? Not exactly. Apparently, you can have your business shut down by Disney and turn around and make a new one THE VERY NEXT DAY…as long as you put it under someone else’s name. Well, a couple of their planners didn’t like the idea and left—of course saying a couple left is like saying Moses took a few people into the desert with him. But whatever—end of the story, right?

Nope.

Now I have to be cautious about what I say because I don’t want to go to jail for slander for discussing a case in litigation—and we all know I’m too pretty for jail—but it is the summer movie season. So let me present it like a trailer:

FADE IN:

Imagine one of those helicopter shots flashing over Disney World toward Epcot.

DEEP-VOICE NARRATOR:

In world where girls just want to dance…and go to Disney World…

CUT TO:

Hotel lobby. A group of dance moms and their dancers stand huddled by the desk. They have tear-stained faces and frazzled hair. The hotel clerk is also disheveled and tired. Things are clearly not going well.

DANCE MOM 1:

What do you mean we don’t have rooms?! We booked with Blue Sky Journeys months ago!

CLERK

I don’t know what to tell you, ma’am. We don’t have a reservation for you–not for any of you.

CUT TO:

Same hotel lobby, a young, exhausted travel agent clutches her cellphone to her ear.

TRAVEL AGENT

John, the police want to talk to you! They’re down here now!

CUT TO:

Dimly lit police station. Two detectives are huddled over open files. Stacks of papers and receipts, boxes of folders and evidence bags litter the room. They are pointing at a bulletin board with photos, Disney paraphernalia, colored yarn strung tight between thumbtacks. Looking for connections.

DETECTIVE 1:

Well, how much are they in for?

DETECTIVE 2:

Looks like at least $60,000.

DETECTIVE 1 (grabbing cuffs):

$60,000? Poor little kids. Come on, Ron, let’s go get them.

CUT TO:

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 5.08.44 PMScreen Shot 2013-08-19 at 5.09.06 PM

And those are arrest records, folks. For realz. Look at the date–that shit happened on FRIDAY. I saw them and was all like:

You know that can’t be all, right? I got police records, incident reports and a note: if I just got bailed out of jail, the first thing I’d do is go in vacation. Wouldn’t you?

And now there’s more...

When Quitting Your Job Goes Wrong – Greatest Hits Edition

This has gotten entirely too easy. But seriously, one of us has to be the adult. It’s a sad day when it’s me.

As much as I’ve enjoyed the witty repartee between John and me, there comes a point when it has to end. When there’s really not much more to say. I thought we’d reached that point already. I actually thought it was a yesterday when I was graced with a super-fantastic voicemail. Apparently not. Ridiculousness apparently knows no bounds. And it doesn’t sleep. This morning I woke up to this:

John Dec 30

Somewhere in the posturing is an appeal to end the nonsense. There really is. Can you see it? It’s at the end. The problem is it’s at the end. After the 2500 word threat. After the intent to haul me to Tennessee (which you know is on the dark side of the moon) TWICE. And take the unemployment I’m not on. And take the disability I don’t receive. Thing is, you can’t garnish disability or unemployment…but whatever. He did say I’m funny though and that warms my heart. That said, don’t be surprised if you see a PayPal donation widget for my legal fund.

I actually spent all day ruminating on this—and watching the Vikings make the playoffs (though AP was 9 YARDS AWAY from the rushing record) and doing laundry and clipping toenails. Then I wrote this:

My Response Dec 30

Look at that. All I want, all my wife wants, is a simple apology. Say you’re fucking sorry. That’s it. That’s all. Man up, put your big-girl-panties on and apologize. Till then, guess what’s on heavy rotation?

BSJ’s Greatest Hits

Remember when one of Amanda’s emails said someone got called retarded? Here’s what that actually looks like:

Yvonne-1

Yvonne-2

Yvonne-3

Yvonne-4

Remember when they fired a planner on Facebook? Here’s how you make them feel extra special:

Judy Minton Photo

What you are looking at is a pattern of behavior, a way of engaging in the public discourse. Problem is it’s inappropriate. Some people have to learn the hard way. In the end, the lesson here is, when someone asks you to shut up, you should shut up.

Somebody told me, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink…but you can salt their oats!” That was pretty good. I also like this: “I’m a man of my word.” – The Joker, The Dark Knight

And then…they came back!