Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Really sad news about Art Carney. A few years ago my dad made me start watching reruns of "The Honeymooners" on TV Land, and as Norton he really was so talented and funny. Between his death and John Ritter's, the world of television will soon be left with very few good physical comics (I think the best right now is Ricky Gervais of the British show "The Office"), and we'll be stuck watching talentless actors delivering lame one-liners. "Friends" is a perfect example of the downward spiral of sitcoms... the show used to utilize the physical talents of Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and even Jennifer Aniston. Now they force us to sit through jokes about Ross not being able to stand up until his erection dies down. ("Friends" also may be the worst offender at adding unnecessary beats to jokes, as if to explain that what we just heard really was a joke... example from a recent episode, where Ross says "Ask him if it would be faster if we cut the baby's face off the penis so we could put it on the bunny... That is a weird sentence" - do we really need the second line? What's the point? If the audience didn't realize that it's a weird sentence, then it's not a good joke). Sexual jokes are not necessarily as funny as writers think they are, and writers have become way too reliant on them ("The Simpsons" is as guilty of this as any show... stop going for cheap laughs and outrageous situations and get back to social commentary and youthful observations, PLEASE!!!). If you readers think I'm crazy, please watch an episode or two (or all of them, as I'm sure there will be a marathon soon) of "The Honeymooners," and you'll see what I'm talking about.

While I'm in a ranting mood (shocker), let's discuss UPS. UPS sucks. They make every effort to ensure that customers will NOT be at their apartments for delivery. Last Tuesday I got a notice that I missed delivery of a package, and that they'd attempt another delivery tomorrow between 10:30am and 2:30pm. Now I, like a large percentage of normal people, work during the day. And thanks to the laws of physics, I cannot be in two different places at the same time (time travel movies may argue differently, but time travel leads to all sorts of trouble - please refer to Timecop for more details). I call UPS to ask them to set the delivery for the "Before 10:30am" slot. They tell me that they can't change the delivery time. So basically they have me over a barrel. I get a second notice Wednesday, obviously. So even though the box saying "sign to authorize delivery in your absence" isn't checked, I check it myself, sign the back of the notice, and leave it for Mr. UPS Delivery Guy. Get home from work on Thursday to another notice that they couldn't open the door. Of course you couldn't, jackass, I'm not home. That's why I signed the note to leave it. But they didn't leave it. Friday I get another notice saying they attempted a final delivery. I call UPS and they say that the package will be at the pick-up center in the middle of Buttfuck for the next 5 business days and I need to go get it myself. Can I get it tomorrow (Saturday)? Nope, they're closed on weekends. How late are they open on weekdays? 5pm. Thanks, that's very helpful to the working man. I finally convince them to please deliver it to my office on Monday, as there is a mailroom and it can definitely be delivered. The woman, although pleasant, has to take my information 3 times (!), claiming that for some reason the computer keeps deleting it. Hmm, if I had to guess whether the mistakes originated from the computer or from Ms. Minimum-Wage UPS Customer Service Worker, I think you can guess which one I'd choose. So when she finally tells me I'm set for delivery for Monday, I think I'm good to go. I should've known better. Monday rolls around, and no package. I call at the end of the day, and get another Ms. MWUCSW, who tells me she has no record of the redelivery. So I have to give all my information AGAIN, for redelivery now scheduled on Tuesday. Miracle of miracles, I finally do get my package yesterday, although now I have to lug it home from the office myself. Moral of this story? UPS SUCKS!!! Is it really that difficult to have delivery times after work? In the long run, it would probably be beneficial to them, as they wouldn't have to send drivers out multiple times to leave notices. But that would be a wise decision, and UPS's corporate policy doesn't allow wise decisions...

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