Monday, 28 December 2015

Key Chain of Events

1. Knitting Weekend
Amy you can't leave your house keys clipped to your car keys.
You are Asking For Trouble.
This is a Huge Security Risk.
Now that we have that straightened out, let's put away our lobby knitting, take out our free drink coupons and get this party started.

2. Found
Here is a bag of my mother-may-she rest-in-peace's old jewellery. And oh look a keychain that looks kind of sleek.
Totally perfect.
Unclip housekeys and put on old/new keychain.

3. Downtown
Going out for Korean food at swanky downtown location with Professor BFF and can't be late because time is ticking when you are leading a robotics lab and researching computer vision.
Plan to take Metro (Montreal for subway) so pack very small purse.

4. Post Office
First drive daughter to school and stop at Post Office to mail hand-knit hat to my Literary Agent. Decline insurance or tracking on package because What Could Possibly Go Wrong.

5. Home
Stop at home to pee and drop off car.
No house keys.
Empty bag.
Still no house keys.
Call Post Office.
No but have you tried our Lost and Found.
Not at Lost and Found or any other morning errand locations.
Give up and drive downtown.
(Peed at Tim Horton's thank you for caring.)

6. Office
Go to Husband's office to pick up his house keys so I can get back into house.

7. Oh No
Have absolutely no explanation for where keys could have gone except for one very glaring possibility.
When squishing hand knit hat into small purse, keychain with house keys must have gotten caught in hat.
Oh, the humiliation.

8. Humiliation
Dear Agent (that I am trying to impress),
It has come to my attention that perhaps my house keys were entangled in the hat I sent you. So please accept my house as your Christmas gift.
Can you please, please, PLEASE let me know if the keys do indeed show up?
With respect, admiration and gratitude,
I remain,
Yours sincerely,

9. Found
Found house keys in the back of my car. Clipped them back to car keys.

Possible Literary Themes
  1. Every thing comes full circle
  2. All is well that ends well
  3. Computer vision researchers know great lunch places (And dinner too - click here to read what happened last time we went out to eat.)
  4. Don't believe everything you hear on knitting weekend
  5. If you have the right Agent she will rejoice in all your crazy capers along with you and your characters

Monday, 21 December 2015

Gift Exchange Complaints 2015

1. Am I really supposed to read Portrait of Dorian Gray? I'm only 10 years old.

2. Why does my brother/sister/cousin/golden retriever always get the Oreos and I'm stuck with candy cane flavoured Tootsie Roll lollipops?

3. Uh, sure, hand-knitted gifts are, um, fine.

4. Why am I stuck with the Oreos when my brother/sister/cousin/irish setter always gets the cool stuff like candy cane flavoured Tootsie Roll lollipops?

5. Chocolate marshmallow Santas? For Hannukah? Next thing you know we'll be drinking coffee out of red cups.

6. Oh. Sorry. I could've sworn you said under $10.

Monday, 14 December 2015

How About Smoked Meat on a Croissant

Visiting friend in new city - let's call her Jen - and go for lunch with my Husband and kids entourage.

In line to give sandwich order and Jen says Can you get me a BLT on a bagel I will hold our seats.

Wait my turn.

I'll have a tuna on rye, two turkey specials one no mayo, a quinoa and black bean bowl and a BLT on a bagel.

I'm sorry we don't have BLTs on bagels.

Do you have BLTs?


Do you have bagels?


(Pause meaningfully, hoping server will connect the dots herself. No such luck.)

Turn to 14 year old son, G, and ask him to tell Jen that we can not fulfill order because apparently there are no BLTs on bagels at this fine establishment.

Now Jen is coming toward me and G is holding table.

Woman behind counter grins widely at Jen as though she is her long lost second cousin once removed.

Can I get the usual for you today? A BLT on bagel?

Jen looks at me like Why Was This a Problem.

I look at the woman behind counter like You Just Said No to Me.

You just told me you couldn't do a BLT on a bagel. I say to her.

Well, she says looking at Jen. You didn't tell me it was for her.

Unanswered Questions

1. Was she unauthorized to do a bagel BLT on religious grounds? Like a cheeseburger on challah? Or a shrimp stuffed matzo ball?

2. In the world of lunches and bagels are you obliged to give the end user's identification when placing an order? And how much information is too much? This bagel BLT is for Jen. See her? Sitting over there, holding our seats? Yeah, she's on a break from work. Told them we were some big client. Got to be back in like an hour though because she's on a super big trial. I'm really not supposed to say anything, but you look like you can be trusted. Here's what happened...

3. You know McDonald's secret menu? Is there another, further secret menu shared only among people named Jen? And if that's true, is Jen my friend's real name? Or did I disguise her identity for the purpose of this blog?

Monday, 7 December 2015

Just A Number

Live in very cold climate and have never invested in super warm coat.

Discussing this very fact with Husband over almond milk lattes and Saturday paper.

Flyer for local manufacturer's half price coat sale falls out of paper as though invited to breakfast.

Husband and I plan to go to sale that very afternoon and finally get me the super warm coat of my dreams.

Store and coat as advertised.

Sale is not.

Sale doesn't start until Tuesday.

(Fine print.)

Can we put coat away and come back Tuesday?


Can we buy coat today and return with receipt on Tuesday?


Can we speak to a manager?

C'est moi le gérant.

Oh. So you're saying there's nothing we can do to get this coat for half price?

Well. There is one thing you can do. Sale is online as well. Starts Tuesday at midnight.

And this very coat, in this size, will part of the sale?

Yes. I mean, Oui.

How many of these coats will be part of the sale?

8 or 9 of these.

We decide to leave and take our chances. After all, I was successful in getting rezzies at what was at the time the #1 restaurant in the world by waking up at 3am and clicking the right boxes. Although at that point I had the support of friends in several different cities who were trying along with me. I doubt I can generate the same excitement about a coat.

Go on web site in advance and create user ID and shipping address so that at midnight clicking for coat will be a breeze.

Practice clicking on coat to make sure I know where in website it's hiding. Every second counts.

Set alarm for 11:45pm (I'm old), put coat in basket and wait for pricing to change.

Pricing changes. Half-price coat available, go to check out, Visa refused.

Try again.

Same story.

Realize it's not my Visa but the credit card processing because too many people are clicking at the same time. Maybe thinking they are getting restaurant reservations in addition to a new coat.

Try PayPal.


It is now 12:15am.

This is not going to happen to me.

I am going to get this coat. And I am going to pay half price.

Start clicking back and forth through windows of web site hoping that something will work.

Oh finally there it is.

I am the proud owner of a half-price, super warm, locally made, no animal by-product coat.

12:45am and back to sleep.

Next morning have e-mail confirmation from PayPal.

Also have e-mail confirmation directly from Visa.

Hmmm that's strange.

Guess have extra security due to holiday season.

Husband is getting gas on his way to the office.

Visa refused.

Luckily he already has a super warm coat. And another credit card in his pocket.

Calls Visa.

Apparently someone was clicking too many times on an online shopping site and it looked really suspicious.

Oops. Sorry about that. But at least I have my coat. Thanks, Honey.

Couple of days later, Husband gets Visa bill.

How many winter coats did you buy?

Oh. Oops again.  Looks like I may have possibly been a better online shopper than I realized and let's just say I am now the proud owner of more than one (details irrelevant) super warm, locally made coat.

Now have to call coat place and tell them to only ship one coat and to please refund all additional (who cares how many) coats.

Bonjour. I think I got carried away with your coat sale. I got so excited that I may have possibly ordered more than one coat.

Un moment s'il vous plait. I will connect you to the manager directly so you can explain this most unusual circumstance. What is your first name please?


Transferred to manager.

He answers the phone: Is this Amy Fish?  I thought I already provided you with a refund for your - wait a second, Madame, how many coats did you buy?

Complaint Tie-Ins

1. Sale flyers that arrive days before the actual sale only serve to confuse people.

2. Online sales that are not prepared for the associated web traffic also make things unnecessarily difficult for  shoppers.

3. If sales are going to start at midnight, maybe retailers can consider holding them on the weekend.

4. Original Canadian settlers may have been on to something with all that fur trapping and coat trading. Probably would have been simpler than this transaction.

5. No complaints about warm winter coat, gracious Husband and exceedingly mild temperatures which are not pointing at all to use of said coat.