Bullshit Factory

WCBD TV-2 Reporter Brad Franko Goes Undercover in Droopy Drawer Sting

 

we-want-braaaaa-d1Preface: I recently viewed the WCBD-TV-2 promo for Brad Franko’s new segment, “Reality Check.” Along with the dark music and the Mickey Spillane hard-nosed detective persona, is Brad’s promise that NOBODY is immune from his ace reporting.

Brad should have added a caveat excluding the powerful and influential. WCBD caved in like a boil in a bench vice when supporters of Tea Party Wunderkind, Senator Jim DeMint, waved their angry peckers…demanding that WCBD remove ads by gay rights organization, Alliance for Acceptance. So much for Tea Party reverence for all things constitutional. YOU-MUST-OBEY

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Inside sources tell me that WCBD-TV-2 reporter Brad Franko recently completed an in-depth, yet to be aired, undercover investigation into the gang fad known as “droopy drawer syndrome.” Despite the obvious danger involved in this undertaking, Brad was able to infiltrate a local gang to get a first hand look at these malcontents in baggie pants.Franko-baggies

 

I contacted Brad and was granted a brief phone interview. When asked why he decided to undertake this assignment he stated, “It was an easy decision to go after this group of thugs, known as the Guz Crik Boyz. What are they going to do about it? Hire an attorney and sue the station? These dopes are lucky if they can scrape two nickels together to make a dime. It was a win-win situation for us. I mean, what the heck, who do you think we are going to go after? A crooked new car dealership? Some insurance giant that screws a pathetic old lady when her trailer burns to the ground? No way! Those guys have huge advertising budgets and I have bills to pay!”

Brad continued, “Originally, we approached this as part of a comprehensive investigation into downtown bicycle thefts. I have to admit, however, that we were pursuing a false lead and WCBD management encouraged us to go with the baggy pants angle. I drove the Boyz to the College of Charleston and, even though I pointed out several expensive bikes with flimsy locks, the guys refused to mess with them…hard to steal a bike when your pants get hung up on the chain.”

“Unfortunately,” Brad interjected, “we had to abort the investigation when I realized that my assistant had packed the wrong disguise and the Boyz became suspicious. I was tired and confused due to my heavy workload.”baggy-brad-blows-cover

I asked Brad what was the most difficult part of this assignment: “Walking was a bitch. It took me a while to get the hang of it, especially with my shoe laces untied. On the positive side, however, when you’re bangin’ around the hood with your bros and you gotta run down the alley to pinch off a loaf, you’re halfway there when your draws are dragging. They also come in handy when you need to shoplift a five-pound bag of potatoes.”

Don’t forget to check out upcoming articles featuring intrepid, fearless reporter Brad Franko who is, in my humble opinion, the 21 Century’s answer to H.L. Mencken. First, I will be examining Brad’s hard-hitting video segment on cow-milking.

Click to Enlarge!

Brad Franko milks cow

Next, I hope to get the inside scoop on the alleged altercation that Brad got into off set with Charlie, the Charleston Riverdogs mascot, after the dude in the giant dog suit dumped a load of garbage over Brad’s head during a live news report. The incident was staged but Brad lost his temper when it turned out that Charlie had thrown a banana peel and a used condom into the supposedly clean trash canBrad-gets-trashed-final

Brad Shower hatRumor has it that, during the commercial break, Brad chased Charlie around the studio wildly swinging a Louisville Slugger at the hapless mascot. I am also investigating the charge that Sheriff Al Cannon, who was at the station for a taped interview, joined in the fracas by running around slapping the crap out of anyone who was handy.

It is my understanding that Brad is in the process of conducting an investigation into the hidden dangers of umbrella hats. We should all salute WCBD for its deep concern for the welfare and safety of the consuming public. These folks deserve high praise for their efforts to keep Lowcountry citizens informed on vital issues.

There is cause for concern, however, about persistent rumors which have surfaced about Brad’s early television career in Cleveland where he allegedly hosted a public access show called “Ask Rita the Butt Puppet”. I recently received a grainy, blurred video from an anonymous source who stated that this short lived call-in show was an Ann Landers type of program where listeners were invited to spill the sordid details of their personal life to an obnoxious and abusive butt-puppet.

Supposedly this was Brad’s first attempt as a ventriloquist. Having viewed the video several times, it would appear that (although the host does resemble Brad) there are serious doubts surrounding the actual identity of this person. The individual in question has a rather high-pitched, and quite effeminate lisp that does not appear to be fake. Brad neither squeaks nor lisps. I refuse to take part in disseminating these scurrilous and unfair accusations to a gullible public.


Postscript: Kudos to Brad for his recent report about East Side kids defacing the sidewalks with their hop-scotch doodles! My daughter’s cat, Bella, loved that expose!brad-and-bella
Brad Franko TV-2 ace reporter

Alternate-Reality-Check-titling

Fuzzy-SmudgePostscript: Shortly after I published this piece I got an angry email from WCBD editor Bert (Fuzzy) Smudge. He defended his ace reporter as: “a fine example of a slick, good-looking TV personality. Brad is a real asset to the station and we are proud of his deep-cover operations. He has won the SC TV Journalism Golden Kneepads Award on three occasions in the past eleven years so you can screw yourself you mumbling fudge wit!”

 

An irate Fuzzy Smudge defends ace reporter Brad Franko

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Frozen Turkey Bowling with Dean Stephens

Episode 301 - Turkey Bowling

On the day before Thanksgiving after partaking of the best ham I have ever consumed, along with some really great mashed sweet potatoes, corn, and beans, I found myself flopping on the couch and flipping through the channels on my TV. Flopping and flipping. I like the sound of that, especially on a full stomach.

It was early evening so I figured I would tune into the local news. I punched 4 on the remote to view WCIV-TV. That’s the ABC affiliate station right here in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. The show was about halfway over and they were broadcasting a piece featuring award winning reporter Dean Stephens. The segment wasn’t live. It was filmed in a local grocery store and taken back to the station for editing. In the segment, Mr. Stephens was making pals with the customers in the grocery store and trying to get them to join him in a friendly game of Frozen Turkey Bowling. Dean was shown grabbing some makeshift bowling pins (in the form of Pringles Potato Chip cans) and setting them up in the aisle, then having the participating customers see how many they could knock down.

run-spicy-guacamoleThe editing on the piece also required a close-up shot of Dean in front of the Pringles display announcing that there were several different flavors available and that he was going to use a representative sample of each variety as targets for the frozen turkey. Old Dean killed two birds with one stone. He managed not only to entertain this consumer but to educate me as well. Kudos!

“Must Buy Pringles,” I muttered to myself as I burped, drank some sweet tea, and just lay there… transfixed by the masterpiece of performance and editing that was unfolding before my grateful eyes.

The piece continued with footage of giggling, hooting customers sliding the frozen bird across the floor towards the doomed Pringles Cans. Dean chimes in: “Hey, A Strike!” and “Oops, You Left the Ten Pin!” One participant utters a frustrated “Dang! Great interaction with customers. Precision editing. Provocative imagery. This Turkey Bowling Segment has it all!

Enthralled by this awesome presentation, I turned off the TV and rushed to my computer. Slow start up…Hurry! Hurry!… I need to know! “Damn Google,” I sputtered angrily! I was really anxious to get the lowdown surrounding my new media hero, Dean Stephens. I gleaned the following biographical notes from WCIV’s website: “Over the years, Dean has demonstrated strong leadership and dedication to the television station and the community. In our pursuit of greater commitments to the Charleston community, Dean Stephens’ devotion rises to the top. He sets an example that everyone will follow. Dean has earned over 20 industry awards: including Best Sportscaster and Best Reporter in the State of South Carolina as well as in the Southeast.”

Murrow-McCarthyTangoWow! That is some resume! I can only speculate that, if Mr. Stephens focuses his career more on frozen turkey pranks and less on investigative reporting, he will soon be propelled into the national spotlight. Indeed, Dean is “an example that everyone will follow.” Who knows what heights he could achieve? Maybe Dancing with the Stars could do a spinoff called Dancing with the Media Stars and invite Dean to do the Cha-Cha, a Mambo, or a Waltz in front of a national audience.

Too bad this kind of television reporting wasn’t around when Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite were at their peak. Who knows what alternate turns history may have taken? Could Sen. Joseph McCarthy have been elected president if Mr. Murrow had been reveling in the limelight, stepping on Hollywood Bimbo toes and way too distracted to worry about whether a bunch of silly Commies had infiltrated not just our government, but Hollywood and the American literary establishment as well?

How would the Cuban Missile Crisis have played out if Kennedy and Khrushchev had been challenged by an eminent reporter to dance cheek-to-cheek instead of rattling the sabers of nuclear destruction? And, if Walter Cronkite had been Tiptoeing Thru the Tulips with Tiny Tim instead of verbally pummeling President Nixon, would the Vietnam War be entering its fiftieth year? Inquiring turkeys…oops, I mean minds, want to know!

Heigh-Ho! Heigh-Ho!

I don’t know about you but if I saw some guys with microphones and cameras wandering around my favorite grocery store and one of them asked me if I wanted to hurl a frozen, plastic-wrapped 13-pound bird down the aisle at a bunch of potato chip cans, I would delightfully agree to do so but would promptly toss the turkey at a nearby wine display or knock down as many glass pickle jars as I could, then state that I was legally blind and clearly not responsible, leaving them shaking their heads and wondering if their budget would allow for the damage. Clean up on aisle two,” hollers the manager through the store PA system then adds, “Bring two buckets.” Either that or I would hurl the wayward turkey two aisles over and hope that it wouldn’t land in the cart of some old guy with an oxygen cylinder who was pushing a cart full of Depends and Metamucil.

I would love to see the out-takes of this segment. I wonder how long the crack news crew from WCIV stayed in the grocery store and if, towards the end of the experience, the turkey might have gotten a bit soft and soggy and, instead of sliding and rolling easily, would land with a sickening plop a few feet short of the hapless Pringle cans, squirting out a barrage of liver, gizzard, and neck-bone onto an unsuspecting reporter. That would get a lot more hits on YouTube than the common Frozen Turkey Bowling bit.

Mr. Stephens deserves high praise in that his pants zipper was not down, his shoes were on the correct feet, and there were no tell-tale gooey objects on the tip of his nose. Add that to the gizzard/liver/neck-bone scenario and you would get some serious hits on YouTube.  Not as many hits as the popular Watch Me Squeeze the Giant Boil On My Neck video, but a respectable view count nonetheless.huge-neck-pimple

I am sure that turkey bowling would get a lot more hits than the infamous Meth-Head Hitchhiker with Ax video. That film is more creepy than funny.

See the Puppies

Truthfully, grocery stores can be pretty weird places at times and you could be taking fate into your hands when you tell some stranger that it’s okay to chuck a frozen turkey. You just never know who you are talking to and what their reaction may be. What if it is some wino who has a T-Bone steak and a bottle of Mogen David wine shoved down his pants? I guess if I was in his position I would go ahead and bowl the turkey so as not to arouse suspicion…and hope that the wine did not loosen its precarious perch next to my crotch and slide down my pants onto the floor. If I were to shoplift a bottle of cheap wine and a steak, I would probably shove the wine down the front of my pants and squeeze the steak down my backside. That’s just me, however, and your own shoplifting techniques may vary.

Totally unrelated Photoshop from another Dean Stephens post on this blog.

Anyway, the point of this whole exercise is not to criticize Dean Stephens or Channel Four. They were just providing a little fluff to a fluff-hungry public and what could be wrong with that? I must point out, however, that the concept of the piece was hardly original and that it had an air of quiet desperation about it. I mean, Mr. Stephens must have felt pretty dumb for at least a moment in the process leading from concept to broadcast. He looked to be a bit on the resigned side and appeared to be perspiring. Flop sweat, perhaps?

I wonder how this process works. I mean, was there a staff meeting where Mr. Stephens boldly presented this idea or was it conceived by another employee?  I can see it now: “Hey, the economy is tanking, the country is mired in unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, revolution in the Middle East, and the potential for a huge conflict in Korea so what are we going to do about it as responsible members of the media?” Silence… then somebody blurts out: “Frozen Turkey Bowling!” and the room erupts in spontaneous cheers, back-pats, thumbs-up, and friendly noogies.

Problem solved. “Let’s roll with the Turkey!” says someone in authority and, like the Keystone Cops, the staff runs about willy-nilly and hither-dither, bumping into walls and doors in a rush to make arrangements to get to the grocery store with a camera, crew, and star.  Good thing there wasn’t a rake on the floor. “Times a’ wastin’!” shouts the station manager, “There are Turkeys to be bowled!” Do news vehicles have emergency lights and sirens? I certainly hope so.WCIV-CLOWN-CAR

I watched an interesting science TV show some months back. I can’t remember for sure which network it was on but the subject matter was parallel dimensions. There was a bevy of eminent physicists and scientists explaining the mathematical concept of multiple  (if not unlimited) worlds existing alongside our own. Each of us may have a twin in countless other universes.

They also discussed the probability that these worlds would be an approximation of our own, not an exact copy. Alike, yet different. An interesting theory.

I wonder if there is a parallel universe with another  WCIV staff and another Dean Stephens sitting in a conference room planning a quirky Christmas segment? Someone suggests that Dean stand on the side of the road and encourage passersby to hurl a ceramic Santa Claus head at a blow-up Nativity Scene. Time to fire up the clown car…

 

“They haunt me in my dreams.”-Mr. Turkey

                           

A Call To Investigate & Prosecute Criminal Activity at Berkeley County Library

In my previous article, I recounted my encounter with Gene Brunson, Sharon Fashion, and Sue Kelley. I agreed to this meeting. I had previously suggested to Mr. Brunson that he, myself, and an attorney for Berkeley County meet. Evidently, Mr. Brunson did not like this idea and I now believe that I understand his reluctance to agree to such a meeting.

If an attorney was involved and, during the course of the meeting, it was revealed that there had been serious criminal activity within the Library he would, as an officer of the court, be required to report such information to the proper authorities. If an investigation took place it would also look into the ensuing cover up by the three individuals mentioned above. The last thing these clowns want to do is to give sworn depositions as to their knowledge and/or involvement in this episode. My guess is that they would be pointing nervous fingers in every direction and would start squawking like wounded buzzards…blaming anybody but themselves for this pitiful example of bureaucratic ineptitude. 

At no point during my August 30 meeting did anyone ever categorically deny that a rip-off took place. In fact, by their own admissions, they confirmed to me forcefully that, YES,  the Library was victimized by bookconsignmentsllc…but…but that was water over the dam…time to move on…ancient history. They are essentially asking the citizens of Berkeley County to suck it up and forget about this massive theft of taxpayer’s money. I am not talking about chump change here. We are talking about a figure in the range from thirty-five to fifty thousand dollars. Those figures are very conservative minimums…the final amount could have been substantially higher.

Forgeddaboutit…

Let me clarify this as simply as possible: There was a massive theft from the Berkeley County Library System. There was a slew of incompetent and shifty folks who were responsible for this debacle.

Note, however, that responsibility for the CONTINUING COVER UP OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY lies exclusively with Gene Brunson, Sharon Fashion, and Sue Kelley!

Amazingly, the lack of rules and oversight over public donations and withdrawals continues to this day. Nothing has changed. Nothing was learned. Incompetence still rules.

If authorities decided to pursue this matter a complaint would have to be filed. Such an inquiry would not be that difficult. A Forensic Audit of Kevin and Ava Jordan’s financials would provide authorities with most of the proof which would be needed to decide upon a course of action. They promised their clients that they would receive 35% of the gross proceeds of their sales, keeping 65% for themselves to cover their legitimate business expenses. Amazon gets approximately 15% of the gross amount. There are other expenses involved as well such as shipping supplies, office equipment, etc. After all is said and done, bookconsignmentsllc would have received around 40-45% of the gross sales amount.

Note that all transactions are done online. There are no under the table sales in the book business. Every customer purchase is accounted for electronically. Amazon pays its professional sellers every two weeks. This amount appears in one’s electronic bank statement.  Also, note that all payouts to their clients for sold consignment product would be via check or electronic transfer. A forensic audit could compare the difference between deposits and payouts to see how close to the guaranteed 35% payout Kevin and Ava promised their clients. There would have to be an adjustment to the Amazon deposits, however, because that is a NET SALES figure after Amazon takes its cut.

Hopefully, someone at Berkeley County Council will have the gumption to tell Mr. Brunson and Ms. Fashion that it is time to update their resumes. 

In this job market, however, I don’t know how much success they would have. Their level of (in)competence may work well for them in a government job setting but, in the private world, I doubt if they have any skills which would offer even a fraction of the compensation and benefits that they currently enjoy in the safe and secure cocoon of public employment.

Government “service” is one darn big and quite addictive Ninny. Mr. Brunson and Ms. Fashion would have to be forcefully dragged away from that Supple Teat kicking and screaming.

I want to do my part to help them transition to the private sector so I did some scouting around this week. Lo and behold, there are lots of job openings out there which they are eminently qualified to fill. I will be adding to these wonderful opportunities as time progresses. Be sure to check back!

The Chinese Deli on Spruill Avenue is looking to fill TWO part-time positions. One as A Gizzard Chef/Salesperson and another as a Liver Chef/Salesperson. This is an excellent opportunity for growth in the poultry parts industry and a chance to keep the team together! The owner also gives employees a 10% discounts on leftovers. This position may require occasional heavy labor filling potholes in the parking lot with gravel.

The Hotel Yes Please is always hiring! It is located on Rivers near the Cosgrove Ave. Intersection. Very convenient to the Plasma Center! They need dedicated individuals who are handy with tweezers (with good eyesight) to remove bedbugs from mattresses.

(Hint: Don’t ask for Jacky. She is Dead. The Owner, Mr. Hocker P. Tooey, Gets very upset when you ask for Jacky)

Antoine’s 24-hour House of Cabbage in Ladson needs shift workers to wear a promotional hot dog suit. A word of warning! Night shift workers often get pelted with beer bottles and rusty pipe wrenches by passing drunk rednecks in pickup trucks who see the weird outfit and mistake Antoine’s for a gay bar. Antoine admits that this costume is often confused for something other than a hot dog but claims that this is the best he can do ’till business picks up. “The gooey yellowish stuff is supposed to be sour kraut!” says upset owner Tony Pazzulli. “Whadrugonnado?…Bunchajerkoffs!”


As a last resort and, if all else fails, Ms. Fashion could always try to get a job as a greeter at the DMV.

Berkeley County Library Swindle: Unraveling The Mess: An Open Letter to Berkeley County Taxpayers

 

Mr. Brunson,

I need to thank you for arranging our “meeting” on August 30th. In retrospect, this was one of the best birthday presents I have ever received. It was a pleasure to finally meet Sharon Fashion, Assistant Library Director, and Sue Kelley, Friends of the Library President. I use the word “meeting” very loosely here because it was obvious from the time I walked into the room that this was more of an Inquisition than an exchange of ideas in search of a solution to the problems facing the Library system as a result of your refusal to connect with reality. In case you have forgotten, sir, here it is:

THE BERKELEY COUNTY LIBRARY WAS RIPPED OFF BY A COUPLE OF LOWLIFE GRIFTERS FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF WITHDRAWN PRODUCT AND PUBLIC DONATIONS. YOU HAVE DELUDED YOURSELF INTO BELIEVING THAT THIS IS WATER OVER THE DAM. DONE. FORGOTTEN. NOBODY NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THIS GIANT SWINDLE! TIME TO MOVE ON!

It most certainly is NOT the time to move on. It would be understandable and forgivable if you had no inkling that this scam was going to happen. Such is not the case, however, as I raised alarm bells long before these two con artists implemented their scheme. I published an article on my blog which definitively proved that these scoundrels were of low moral character and could not be trusted. For several years Library executive staff allowed them to operate unsupervised despite mounting evidence that all was not well in Library Land.

I always think of things I should have said after such situations. On this occasion, however, I got flustered by the Stumble-Bum Swat Team that you assembled to verbally assault me while you sat there so quiet and smug…sitting on the sidelines while your cohorts drooled invective in my general direction. You had very little to say and chose instead to spend much of your time wistfully glancing down at your lap….as if you were waiting for your testicles, at long last, to magically descend.

The reason I did not even bother to go into my suggestions to improve the situation at the Goose Creek Library is that it would have required giving the boot to the Less Than Dynamic Duo that has infected the Goose Creek Library. It became apparent early on in our meeting that this festering scab was going to be continually picked at to ensure its continued existence.

You do realize that Ms. Fashion, Library Assistant Director, blabbered on and on about how my ex-supervisor had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision to allow Book Consignments LLC years of unmonitored access to the virtual mountain of donated and withdrawn books. She emphatically stated that it was the executive library staff along with the brilliant FOL leadership which made this decision. You did not weigh in on that damning admission.

YES, IT WAS US! WE DID THIS!

TALK ABOUT A PERRY MASON MOMENT…

I didn’t think about it at the time but I should have asked Ms. Fashion if my supervisor forwarded the quite extensive information package I had assembled surrounding bookconsignmentsllc’s penchant for harassing their dissatisfied customers. I gave my supervisor a printout of this information. Did she forward this package to the powers that be for consideration in their discussions regarding the hiring of the book crooks? Did she even mention that such information existed?

If she did forward the information to Library executives then the decision to hire these creeps was stupid and irresponsible.

If she repressed this information, then she was actively colluding to make sure Kevin and Ava got the contract. This would make her a very active player in the decision to hire these crooks…not, as you claim, a non-participant in the process.

Sounds like a conundrum to me. Liars have a way of tripping over their own words.

At the very least, should this issue go into a court room, I have given you enough time to construct an equally invalid scenario that can be torn to shreds.

Ms. Fashion went ballistic when I said the word “DAMN”, stating that this sort of language will not be tolerated in her presence! Good thing I didn’t use the F word or, God forbid, the SOB words. Her tiny brain would probably have exploded. Is this woman even remotely aware that she presides over a library full of books which contain such words? I also wonder why she did not express the same faux indignation towards the book crooks who actively and deliberately harassed an Alzheimer’s patient in a public forum?

How did this person ever ascend to the position of Assistant Library Director? Is the Berkeley Library System so bereft of talent that a person of such low caliber can advance to a high level within the system? She is a textbook example of form over substance…a haughty, pretentious, smirking, preening DOLT.

Sharon Fashion is not intellectually equipped to do this vital job. She should be demoted to Official Library Censor, given a bucket full of black magic markers, and allowed to stumble Willy-Nilly amongst the library stacks…yanking out suspicious books and crossing out all of the dirty words. That would be a far more appropriate position than that which she currently holds. To call this imperious woman obnoxious and condescending is generous. Note that she is also a co-conspirator in the process of sweeping a massive, expensive screw up under the rug and that she is actively ignoring yet another situation which stands to cost the taxpayers of this county even more in lost revenue.

On second thought, Fire Her and Mr. Brunson NOW! That would be one way to send a message to incompetent bureaucrats. Let them know that there are consequences for deliberate illegal behavior. To slap these people on the wrist is to let our public employees know that “Anything Goes…I Am Above The Law” is not acceptable.

She doesn’t have a mustache. I added that to imbue a bit of comic relief into an otherwise serious article.

And then there is Sue Kelly, Friends of the Library President…please…this woman makes Humpty Dumpty look like a Rhodes Scholar. “Forget about History! Forget about History!” she hollered repeatedly during our little get together. “What’s Done Is Done”, she said. Using this profoundly flawed logic should one assume that an unapprehended bank robber should be given a pass after the passage of time

Ms. Kelly can’t comprehend the effects of this approach:

Bad Deeds Ignored Encourages Even More Bad Behavior.

There are still some very questionable activities going on in the Library with a new set of Grifters and, once again, the Three Stooges falls all over themselves to deny what should be apparent to any halfway intelligent observer. I was right the first time around and I am right again. These stooges will do everything they can to deny the obvious while it is happening and, once uncovered, will fall all over themselves to point accusatory fingers in every direction except at the image in the mirror. Such is the nature of bureaucracies. I learned this in Poly Sci. 101 at USC: The first and foremost function of a bureaucracy is to protect itself.

I think Ms. Kelly is a graduate of the Jerry Springer School of Logic. There is one overriding concept you must master in order to get a certificate from JSSL when you enroll in this special curriculum: Whoever hollers the loudest and waves the most arm fat in a menacing manner is the de facto winner of any argument. 

Ms. Kelly has become a master of this intimidating technique. She probably took advantage of the upper-level courses such as Advanced Mouth Breathing Techniques, Stealthy Ball Kicking, Effective Hair Pulling, and When All Else Fails-Flash Your Boobs!

Thank God I didn’t get the Full Monty!

I honestly thought this woman was going to get up and Sumo Wrestle me out the door. Either that or roll over and absorb me like the monster in the classic Steve McQueen movie, The Blob.  Sorry if all this sounds cruel but, after enduring a half-hour or so of this Gorgon’s bird-brained tirade, I feel justified in making fun of her. *(see footnote#1)

I used the French movie poster to give this gag a more Cosmopolitan feel

Ms. Kelley is a prime example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect (google Wikipedia). She sits contentedly on her nest as FOL Chief…never taking the time to glance down and notice that the chicks in her fouled-up nest are desiccated and bug-riddled. Metaphors are probably not high on Ms. Kelly’s list of easily discernable insults so I leave it to more intelligent minds to snigger and point as she stumbles about Library property dragging her Grim, Humorless Visage Along Like A Squawking Albatross. 

She made it a point to assert that, despite her lack of formal education, her 75 years on this planet somehow imbued her with great wisdom. Sorry, but if you are born stupid the chances are pretty good you will die stupid. Ignorance can be cured with education. Stupidity is genetically determined. Nothing can be done to increase that quotient. If you were born a window-licker or a tongue-biter the odds are pretty good that you will die as such.

Rumor has it (and I have to admit that this is just gossip…hearsay so to speak)…I repeat…rumor has it that Ms. Kelly wrote a children’s book in the mid-1990’s. With stars in her eyes and sensing fame just around the corner, she submitted a paste up version to numerous publishers which was quickly and unanimously rejected.

Still determined, she wound up falling for a “Publish Your Own Book” advertisement which she saw in a magazine in the checkout line at a 24-hour Quickie Mart. Spending $1,250 of her own money, she got 100 hardcover copies in the mail. After fourteen unsuccessful weekends promoting her product at the Ladson Flea Market, she gave the entire lot to Goodwill which immediately tossed them into the dumpster which was then set on fire by vandals. A terrible and tragic loss. Not quite as big a disaster as the burning of the Library at Alexandria, Egypt in 48 B.C., but a tremendous loss nonetheless.

This, I hear, is the cause of her embitterment. Prior to “publication”, her estranged cousin, Gladys Putz-Snubbley, is rumored to have argued that she should hire a professional flip-flop model. Stubborn as always, Sue opted, instead, to do all the modeling herself.*(see footnote#2)

BUT I DIGRESS!

Since History is of no import to her, maybe she should be assigned the task of removing all the Library books dealing with the issues of Slavery and the Holocaust. Now that’s some real water over the dam! She probably sees George Orwell’s admonition in Animal Farm as a vindication rather than an indictment. I will leave it to Ms. Kelly to retire to a quiet corner and spend a few hours scratching her head over the image below. Talk about a Delphinian Indictment! *(see footnote #3) 

Seriously, Mr. Brunson. Is this the best you can do for an FOL leader? No wonder the Berkeley County Library System is going to shit in a handbag under your Quixotic direction. Methinks you tilted at one too many windmills when you decided to throw me under the bus.  A bad decision but not surprising given the fact that you were born without a spine.

On a final note, I think that future volunteers and executive staff should be required to submit to a basic IQ test using oranges, apples, triangles, rectangles, rubber balls, painted rocks, and pieces of colorful twine. This would help to cull out the dullard population substantially. 

 

…and certainly not as bad as harassing an Alzheimer’s Victim.
So, Mr. Brunson, you may not have been responsible for the massive theft that occurred but...

YOU, MS. SHARON FASHION, and SUE KELLEY ARE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE COVER UP OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY (and the ongoing inexplicable protection of the culprit who engineered it as well as the new, ongoing rip off scheme).

SERIOUSLY…IT IS TIME FOR THESE THREE STOOGES TO RESIGN AND TURN OVER CONTROL OF OUR TAXPAYER FUNDED LIBRARY SYSTEM TO MORE CAPABLE, HONEST, INTELLIGENT, AND FORWARD-THINKING INDIVIDUALS!

Sincerely and on behalf of a concerned public,

Gregory B. Geddings

 

*(footnote #1) Cruel? You think this is cruel? You want to read cruel? Below is a link to an obituary for William Jennings Bryan. It was written by H.L. Mencken. It makes my critique of Ms. Kelly look like a letter sent to the Pope requesting that she be nominated for Sainthood.

http://www.peeniewallie.com/2005/06/h_l_menckens_ob.html

*(footnote #2)    Dear Sue, I made up this entire weird scenario. It would fall under the heading of what is referred to as Satire. If you take it to a lawyer and he asks you to show him your feet to see if they are as hairy as I depicted in the fake book cover you can be sure that he is not examining the evidence for truth but probably has a foot fetish. 

Also, note that I spent a long sleepless night arguing with myself as to whether I should draw a Hitler/Chaplin mustache on this photoshop but decided that once was enough and that it would only draw attention away from the hairy feet gag. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to promote one of my own books with a similar theme. Note that I use the nom de plume Egbert Dookey. That is the moniker I use for my catalog of Romance Novels published by Alt-Love, Inc.

For a complete catalog of my Romance Novels click on the link below:

https://2big2fall.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/eunuchs-r-us/

*(footnote #3) (related to Oracle at Delphi. Greek History, esp. Peloponnesian Wars). Meaning: Prophetic, ambiguous, enigmatic and un-explainable. I learned about this in a lecture given by eminent historian Dr. Henry Lumpkin who taught at USC during my college days. A truly fascinating and brilliant man and a spellbinding lecturer.

Residents of Dogpatch, USA Weigh In On Confederate Statue Controversy

Click to Enlarge for Beautiful Technicolor Detail!

JUBILATION T. CORNPONE”:  Lil’ Abner: The Musical (1956) (Gene De Paul / Johnny Mercer) Stubby Kaye – 1956

When we fought the Yankees and annihilation was near,

Who was there to lead the charge and disappeared for a year?

Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Old “Toot your own horn-pone.” 

Jubilation T. Cornpone, a man who knew no fear!

 

When we almost had ’em but the issue still was in doubt,

Who suggested the retreat that turned it into a rout?

Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Old “Tattered and torn-pone.”

Jubilation T. Cornpone, he kept us hidin’ out!

 

With our ammunition gone and faced with utter defeat,

Who was it that burned the crops and left us nothing to eat?

Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Old “September Morn-pone.”

Jubilation T. Cornpone, the pants blown off his seat! HURRAY!

 

When it seemed like our brave boys would keep on fighting for months,

Who took pity on them and ca-pit-u-lated at once?

Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Unshaven and shorn-pone.

Jubilation T. Cornpone, he weren’t nobody’s dunce!

 

Who went re-con-noiter-ing to flank the enemy’s rear,

Circled through the piney woods, and disappeared for a year?

Why it was Jubilation T. Cornpone; Old “treat ’em with scorn-pone”

Jubilation T. Cornpone, the missing mountaineer!

Julie Newmar…Ultimate Hollywood Vixen

Berkeley County Library: Photoshop Fun With Gene Brunson

                                                 Weeeeeee. Goin’ to the Library! I will be having a lot of fun with this Wishy-Washy Bureaucrat over the next few days/months/years. Below is the first of many to come. Keep checking back. Gee, I hope he doesn’t get too angry about this. He should be honored because, to be honest, fifty years from now these images will be all he will be remembered for!

I will continue my investigation of the shenanigans at Berkeley County Library but will probably have to come up with a suitable disguise which will allow me to maintain my anonymity. Run! Hide! Here Comes the Library Police!

Crack Investigator Looks Into Dubious Background of Deranged Blogger!No stone is left unturned as Hired Library Thugs look for incriminating evidence!County Council Schedules Emergency Meeting To Discuss Library Boob!

County Council Passes Motion Allocating Funds To Hire Renown Consultant!

Big Gun Attorney for Berkeley County Is Summoned! Depositions Are Scheduled! Trial Date Set!

Ex-Supervisor Gives Damning Testimony!

Obnoxious Blogger Pleads Insanity! Given Jail Time!

 

I heard some scuttlebutt that one of the members of Berkeley County FOL claimed I emailed her a picture of me in my underpants. She was a smart, kind lady and I carried on a friendly telephone relationship with her over a couple of years.
I most certainly did not forward a picture of me in my underwear. What I did send her was a link to one of over a hundred videos I have uploaded to YouTube over the last nine years. I do original music, commentary, and weird comedy. Nothing has gone viral but I have accumulated close to seventy thousand hits.

The video in question had a short segment where I, as a University of South Carolina Alumnus, exercised my right to make fun of our archival Clemson. I am wearing a bright orange long-sleeve Clemson shirt and a diaper while jumping around like a damned fool. Crap in a knapsack! You can see more skin in a Post and Courier ‘Weekend at the Beach’ article.

The way that rumors are disseminated amongst gossiping ladies, the latest version probably describes a photo where I am sporting a pink thong bikini bottom while wearing an iron neck collar with a two-foot chain bolted to the bathroom floor, eating popcorn from a dog food bowl, while a deranged albino midget beats me about the buttocks with a white hot piece of barbed wire.

Here is a still shot of the “offending photo” from that video:

Berkeley County Library Rip Off: Brunson Steers Ship Without A Rudder

NOTE: A version of this article was originally posted on my blog about five years ago. I took it down about a year ago when I heard that Book Consignments LLC was no longer selling books for the Berkeley County Library system. My hope was that the powers that be at the Library had finally recognized that the owners of this company did not deserve the trust that had been bestowed upon them. 

I had also hoped that an apology would be forthcoming and I would be welcomed back into the fold. That does not appear to be the case. I have ventured forth to the Goose Creek Library and found that, although I was not persona non grata, I was not exactly welcomed back with open arms. Okay…so here we are again.

Since the name Book Consignments LLC is quite long, I am going to abbreviate it to BC-LLC. They may have changed their name. At one time they were also known as Keva Books, then came BC-LLC, and now I see that they also operated under the name Lexington Books. They moved their operation from the Charleston, SC area to Jacksonville, Florida. Once you review the data I have accumulated you will get a better idea as to why these snakes periodically shed their skins and assume a new identity.

~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is my story:

I was a regular volunteer at the Berkeley County, South Carolina Friends of the Library for around three years. As an Amazon book dealer, I needed to make contacts in the community to acquire a few decent books to supplement my meager Social Security income. This was also an opportunity to meet people. Berkeley County operates six libraries but I only went to two which were closest to my home.

This work usually entailed about five hours per week spread over two days. I would help clean, sort, price, and shelve the piles of product which were continually being donated by the public. I was upfront from the beginning that I was a book dealer and needed to offset my time, gas, and labor by finding a few items to sell online. Nobody had a problem with this and the ladies seemed to appreciate that a strong man was consistently available to lift heavy boxes and carry out the trash. Many days I just walked back and forth from the library to the dumpster with seemingly endless boxes of junk books and worthless encyclopedia sets that needed to be discarded to make space for new donations.

This arrangement wasn’t that profitable but I did manage to make a little extra income to justify the effort. Along with my other finds at thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales, I managed to eke out a very humble living by doing something I really enjoyed.

I also donated a lot of books to the library and, on one occasion, I arranged an estate donation that was so large I paid a $100 rental fee for a U-Haul truck to pick it up. I did not seek compensation for this expense. The library profited handsomely from this effort.

During this time I became aware of an effort by a local husband-wife team (Kevin and Eva Jordan) to get an exclusive deal with the various local county libraries to sell their discards and donations online on a consignment basis. I never cared much for either of them and we had a few run-ins at a local thrift store. They struck me as a greedy pair who really didn’t give a hoot about anybody but themselves. Like the rest of the book dealers in town, they floundered around looking for product to sell online. On one occasion, Kevin walked up to me and yanked a box of books right out of my hands. I would have smacked the fat bastard except for the fact that this particular venue was exceeding profitable and I did not want to jeopardize my status there.

Eventually, they opened a little coffee shop that also purchased and sold used books. My FOL supervisor frequented their shop and gave the couple high praises. This venture turned out to be a bust but they were simultaneously working on the library consignment deal. Thus the birth of BC-LLC.

For a short time, they were associated with the Charleston County Library system but that quickly fizzled. I knew they were going to approach Berkeley County Library so I prepared for this by researching their selling history on Amazon. Over the course of a few hours, I assembled what I regarded as an incriminating array of evidence to counter any effort to dislodge me from my position.

The key was to be found in their feedback. Although it was decent (in the ninety-five, ninety-six percentile) there was a rather disturbing trend that I uncovered. Amazon has changed considerably since those days. Currently, you cannot leave buyer feedback after a transaction. At the time of this episode, however, you could view a buyer’s feedback and leave comments. Buyer feedback has ceased to exist.

Some sellers used this function to thank the buyer for his or her purchase. Other sellers used it to leave bad feedback if the buyer was unreasonable or dishonest and left the seller an undeserved bad rating. They did this to warn other sellers that this individual was problematic.

To this day, there are dishonest buyers who will order books from dealers with very high ratings, then intentionally issue a false negative feedback. A deal will be worked out. The crooked buyer gets a full refund and a free book. The bad feedback will be removed. Technically, you aren’t supposed to do this. It is called “feedback manipulation.”

These buyers are essentially buzzards who prey on honest dealers. If you sell on Amazon for long enough you will have more than your share of confrontations with these creeps.

There were sellers, however, who used feedback to assail buyers who left reasonable and fair negative feedback. I had seen some really disturbed sellers who left page after page of threats and curses directed at honest buyers who received shoddy, improperly described merchandise… or never received anything at all. These sellers were eventually barred from listing and their accounts were closed.

One thing that remains to this day is the ability of sellers to leave feedback on their own account in response to a buyer comment. If someone gives you a neutral or a negative you could make a notation right under that with either an explanation, an apology, or an insult. This comment will not appear on the buyer’s page. Amazon is very buyer-centric. Think twice before you verbally assail buyers.

As I said previously, BC-LLC’s overall feedback was decent. I noticed, however, that they seemed to go off the deep end when anyone dared to leave them a less than stellar feedback. They had a bad habit of leaving bizarre, inexplicable, and juvenile comments in response to legitimate criticism. I researched their account and printed out numerous examples of strange and/or mean-spirited behavior.

Good thing I made hard copies as this information is no longer accessible on the Amazon site. The feedback comments I include below are cropped from full pages that I printed out. (In the event of litigation claiming that I constructed these comments on my own please note that I saved all of these full pages). I apologize for the poor quality of the comments. This was before I learned how to do a screen shot.

Below is one of the most bizarre Amazon feedback feuds that I have ever seen. On 10/23/2008 a buyer gave BC-LLC a 2 out of 5. I have partially obscured the buyer’s name to give himself and his family the privacy that the seller refused to extend:

For someone with Alzheimer’s disease, this guy was very specific about why he was giving the seller a 2 out of 5. I was very skeptical about BC-LLC’s claim of “family contact” especially considering their next action which occurred on the same day. BC-LLC went over to the buyer’s page and entered the following:

Note that BC-LLC lowered the bar and, instead of giving him a 2 out of 5 as he had done to them, they gave him a 1 out of 5. That will teach the confused old fart to mess with this book dealer! I seriously doubt that the gentleman’s family had any contact whatsoever with either Kevin or Eva.

That incident alone should have been enough to cause consternation among the folks at the Berkeley FOL but there is more.

Assailing an Alzheimer patient was not the only crooked arrow that BC-LLC had in its bottomless quiver of revenge. I noticed that they had a habit of copying bad feedback given to them then going to the buyer’s account and pasting it onto their feedback section. This made it appear as if the buyer had committed some irresponsible act in his or her dealings on Amazon. Kevin and Eva seemed to revel in falsely accusing others of misdeeds which they themselves were guilty.

Here is one where they received a 2 out of 5 then copied and pasted that feedback onto the buyer’s account but, once again, lowering the bar and issuing a 1 out of 5.

The next step is to rush over to the customer’s page and paste his comment onto the buyer’s account but, once again, lowering the bar and issuing a 1 out of 5. 

Note that they also lie in their initial response by claiming that Amazon sold the item twice. This is patently false. BC-LLC, like almost all big dealers, uses a multi-site listing service such as Art of Books or Fillz. The advantage of this business model is that when you list your inventory there, the service relists it at numerous book sites (not just Amazon). The disadvantage is that sometimes the same book is sold on two sites nearly simultaneously and the listing service doesn’t have time to adjust their customer’s inventory to delete that item. The result is that you have one happy customer and one unhappy customer. BC-LLC’s solution…don’t accept responsibility…blame Amazon…

Here is yet another example:

That same day BC-LLC pastes this onto uvenkat’s account:

Here is another example. Note that BC-LLC used this same seller response directed at buyer realmail2…blame Amazon for selling the book twice. That is a bald-faced lie:

Time’s a wasting. Time to teach that nasty old hrickhite a lesson!

In researching this less than dynamic duo’s feedback I found some other areas where their penchant for pettiness and outright BS seemed to shine. Here is one that is a bit confusing:

The buyer gives them a 1 out of 5 rating with “n/a” in the comments section. I am assuming that n/a means the book is “not available” as it was already sold. What is unusual about this feedback is BC-LLC’s comment that the buyer’s credit card was declined. That is impossible because if the card was declined there would be no transaction and, if there is no transaction, you absolutely could not leave feedback. On Amazon, all payments go through their system. When you sell an item, you get what dealers refer to as an SSN email (Sold, Ship Now). Once you get that email the transaction is confirmed and the money has been collected. After that, the dealer is responsible for sending the item.

This next feedback is similar to the previous one with the seller claiming the order was canceled. The only way that could be true is if the seller canceled it because they didn’t have it in stock. Otherwise, the buyer could not have left the feedback:

The feedback above has a funny twist because, in their rush to teach this buyer a lesson, they quickly scurried over to her page and retaliated by calling her an “idiort.” Then they lamented the waste of her parent’s money on a college education. I need not point out the irony of the comment due to the misspelling of the word idiot.

This last exchange is the cherry on the poo. A buyer called booksandcookies  left a 1 out of 5 because BC-LLC sold them a fake CD. He uses a lot of abbreviations so one has to read slowly to understand the gist of his complaint: 

BC-LLC was wired and ready for this guy. Off to the races! Their first step is to respond on their own page by accusing the buyer of engaging in a repeated pattern of fraud. Yikes! Fraud my butt! Booksandcookies feedback page clearly shows that no such pattern exists. Booksandcookies had a 100% rating. Also, note that BC-LLC once again pastes the buyer’s feedback from their account onto his page. This nasty BS did not count against booksandcookies feedback rating because it was bogus. This exchange proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that BC-LLC views lying and defamation as an integral part of their business model.

 

At the time I was perusing page after page of  BC-LLC feedback I didn’t see a single instance where they accepted responsibility for anything that went wrong in the selling process. I don’t pretend to be a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but I know enough about those disciplines to understand that people who view themselves as blameless in all circumstances and react with anger and vengeance towards those who question their behavior are generally categorized as either narcissistic or sociopathic.

I figured that the pages full of damning information that I gave to my Friends of the Library supervisor at the Goose Creek Library would be enough to cast doubt on the character of these book selling grifters and that, given my service and dedication to our local libraries, their consignment offer would be politely declined and things would continue as before.

Whether she delivered this crucial information to the head honchos of the Berkeley County Library system, I have no way of knowing. I will say this: my supervisor did not seem the least bit concerned when I tried to emphasize BC-LLC’s disgraceful behavior towards the gentleman with Alzheimer’s. She dismissed my legitimate concerns with a wave of her hand.

I would have had more success if I gave a gorilla a jar of pickled eggs on the condition that he recites the Gettysburg Address in Mandarin Chinese.

Quite frankly, she was a royal pain in the butt to work around. This silly old woman ran around like a decapitated chicken and engaged in often incoherent, non-stop 78-RPM blathering even when no one was around. I will never forget her unhinged excitement when the author of the children’s book “Marley and Me” (John Grogan) was scheduled to give a presentation to the library. In her mind, this was the literary event of the century. The way she kept going on and on about this one would think that F. Scott Fitzgerald was going to come back from the dead to talk erotica about Zelda. Each to his own I suppose. Even Bozos have a right to be entertained. Speaking of entertainment, I would rather dress in a dog suit and run up and down the beach whizzing on unsuspecting sunbathers than have to listen to yet another word jumble sputtering from the pie hole of my ex-sup.

BC-LLC started a whispering campaign based on a totally fabricated lie about my service on behalf of Berkeley County Library: “He’s stealing you blind and making a fortune off of you!

The relationship that was being nurtured was akin to that which Carnival hustlers cultivate with unsuspecting rubes. This bit of psychological manipulation was enough to get the ball rolling and the rumor mill circulating full-force. I heard about this and mentioned it to my supervisor who stated that she didn’t believe their assertion was true but it didn’t matter because they were going to go with BC-LLC and I could stay on but I could no longer buy any books. WTF?

I probably should have contacted the head of the Berkeley County Library system and requested that I be allowed a hearing to confront my accusers face to face. I seriously doubt that the scurrilous lies that BC-LLC squirted out of their underdeveloped consciences would be repeated in front of such a gathering, especially if an attorney was present.

So, with the assistance, support, and encouragement of my former supervisor, the bad guys won the day. She told me that the decision was not hers. She was just implementing what was decided by higher ups. I don’t believe that for a minute. I believe this was her baby from the get-go. What did she have to gain by her slavering devotion to these reprehensible slobs?

Berkeley County Library was supposed to get 35%*(see footnote) of the sale price of whatever BC-LLC sold their product for. This was their business model. These book crooks especially liked targeting public institutions which would rather sweep scandals under the rug than to bring charges and face bad publicity.

My question is this: If someone is of such low moral fiber that they feel the need to construct a pack of despicable lies to get their way, what other dishonest acts are they capable of committing? I have a gut feeling that harassing an Alzheimer’s sufferer and playing “nana-nana-boo-boo” with the feedback system was only the tip of the iceberg.

Assuming that they are still plying their trade, if I were a client of Kevin and Ava Jordan, I would be very concerned about these revelations and would reevaluate any arrangement I had with them.

At the various Berkeley County libraries, they were allowed to go through countless box-loads of donated and withdrawn inventory with their bar-code scanners and pick out all of the good stuff. They were not required to sit down with a library employee and make a list of what they were loading into their vehicle before it left the library premises.

In essence, Berkeley County Library allowed these charlatans to operate under an honor system. How dumb is that?

The powers that be in our local Library system had to know that these two individuals were of questionable character. They read a version of this article years ago. They knew about the bizarre feedback. Why didn’t somebody ring an alarm bell? What are the chances that people who would maliciously screw around with an Alzheimer’s patient would be totally honest in their dealings with any institution?

UPDATE June 2017:

When I returned to the library three months ago I spoke with my former volunteer supervisor who assured me that everything was just hunky-dory. Nothing to see here. Time to move on. BC-LLC did a great job and the FOL really profited from this arrangement. Everyone was sad to see them go. She said that their accounts were squared away and money owed had been paid. She also told me that I should just move on and forget about it. Leave it be.

Over the ensuing months, I did some sleuthing and spoke with several people who were not just suspicious of Kevin and Ava but were disgusted by their overbearing, rude behavior as well. One person told me that they were always late in making their payments and that they left owing money. Who is telling the truth here?

I can only imagine my ex- supervisor’s response had it been her own ox that was gored. What if she had been viewed as an obstacle to BC-LLC’s crooked scheme and they spread false rumors questioning her honesty and integrity? In this case, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words:

Turns out that this BC-LLC left a trail of ripped-off “customers” here in the Carolina Lowcountry. I know of two others: 1) Berkeley County Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store and, 2) Pet Helpers Thrift Store. That could go a long way towards explaining why these two con-artists moved to Jacksonville, Florida. I tracked them down there and saw that they purchased a home and, for a while, were renting a building to ply their nefarious trade. I recently checked on them again and discovered that the business was closed down. I have no idea what they are up to these days and I don’t really care anymore.

*(footnote) My supervisor told me that the actual payment went down to about 28%. Given the character of Kevin and Ava Jordan, I seriously doubt if this figure is close to accurate. She also told me that BC-LLC earned the library around $3,000 per year. That is a ridiculously low figure for a system that has six locations. The gross MONTHLY sales for the library from donations and withdrawals should have been (at the very minimum) in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. If BC-LLC gave the library $3,000 per year for their sales that would mean that they were claiming that their gross yearly sales for Berkeley County was only around $10,000. Nonsense. This is what happens when you have zero accountability.

I am a small book dealer without anything close to the product flow of the Berkeley County Library system. I constantly scrounge around thrift stores, yard sales, and bookstores in hit-or-miss efforts to find marketable product. Even then, in 2016 I had gross book sales of $12,941.53…far more that the amount BC-LLC claimed from the Berkeley County Library Goldmine.

Thank goodness somebody in the Berkeley County Library finally figured out that something wasn’t right with these two book crooks. From what I have heard everything surrounding this debacle was very hush-hush.

Update August 2017:

I tried to initiate a conversation with the current head of the Berkeley County Library, Gene Brunson, to see if we could come to some sort of agreement to avoid publication of this article. At first, he was very receptive but ultimately he decided not to meet with me despite my offer to do so in the presence of a county attorney. I informed him that there were still some very serious issues at the Goose Creek library that needed to be addressed but he did not seem interested and tried to deflect my concerns with a load of bureaucratic bull shit. Add to that the fact that my former supervisor has latched onto another weirdo who I can only describe as a cross between Frankenstein and the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

Mr. Brunson may not have been in charge of the Library when BC-LLC was active but he was a bigwig in the system during that time and he had to know what was going on. Maybe it’s time for him to trade in his new Mercedes for a Chrysler.

I believe that it is time for Berkeley County Council to review its decision to hand the reins of the Library over to this man. 

 

Mine, All Mine! I Tell You! It’s Mine! BRAAAAHAAAA!

Frank Carlier, Part Two

Wrote this tune back in the 1980’s. Have to give kudos to Frank Carlier who, with Art Benton, produced the 16 track analog recording. The vocal was performed by a guy named Jeff who wandered into the store. I was looking for someone who could do an old bluesman voice and Jeff auditioned. Awesome and perfect. Don’t know his last name. He was playing in a traveling Rock band. Super nice guy. Flaming red hair.

Frank played a scorching hot slide guitar on the break. He also played the rhythm guitar parts and I think he might have played the bass. In essence, once I wrote the tune Frank took over. He was good at that. The dude may be crazy as a shithouse rat but he was and still is a very versatile musical talent. Juke Joint Johnny did the harmonica work. Can’t remember the other players but will be glad to give them credit if they contact me.

AARP’s Consumer Cellular Scams Seniors

 

Okay, so my sister really likes AARP because of their discounts at restaurants. I suppose there are others who enjoy discounts at retail outlets and hotel/motel chains as well. A word of warning, however. Their Consumer Cellular Program Is Terrible. I subscribed to this service for several years and everything was okay…until I had a technical issue with my phone. At that point, I discovered that their service was pitiful and unprofessional.

About six months ago, after living for years with a cheap phone, I decided to upgrade. For $125.00, I purchased a new Samsung Galaxy J-3 through their website. I also signed up for the Square Trade guarantee so that, if the phone was damaged, I could get a replacement. Around two weeks after receiving the phone I dropped it on concrete. The screen shattered and the phone was rendered inoperable.

I panicked and immediately sent the phone back to Consumer Cellular along with a note explaining what had happened. I waited a few days and contacted them via email to see if they had received the parcel. I received a communication stating that it had not been received. I checked the USPS website and it confirmed that the package had been delivered. After some time they contacted me and said that they found it but would have to send it back to me because I needed to send it to Square Trade. My Bad.

Got the phone back and contacted Square Trade. They sent me a replacement unit and said that I needed to send the broken phone back in X number of days or I would be charged for it. No problem there. I sent it back immediately.

At first, the replacement phone seemed to work okay but I noticed that I was having difficulty dialing out from my house. I would call my daughter and could clearly hear her saying “Hello.” I would say “Hi, Cori. This is your Pappy,” Her response was: “Hello…Hello.” I would repeat my greeting and, once again, she could not hear me and hung up. I repeated the process with the same results. She finally recognized my new phone number and called me back. I answered and we could both hear each other.

Turns out that people could call and would hear me but, if I dialed out from my home, no one could hear me at all. I thought maybe this was a temporary issue with the cell tower connectivity. I went up the street to the fire station and dialed out. Most of the time this worked. I figured the signal might be stronger there. Every day I would trudge up to the fire station to conduct my business. By now I was actively involved in an email correspondence with Consumer Cellular to try and figure out a solution.

Weeks passed and still no resolution. Finally, one Consumer Cellular rep told me that I should go to Sears and speak with one of their employees. “Ask to borrow their phone so we can help you troubleshoot your phone”, she said. Are they even aware that Sears is on the skids? I went there and saw they had one sales lady trying to sell stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves, TV sets, washers and dryers, and…oh, yes…Consumer Cellular phones. Waited around for a short while but finally gave up when I saw how beleaguered she was. Sears has since closed down this location.

She also suggested I try Target. Not much better than Sears.

By now, I had been without any sort of reliable phone service for several weeks. I didn’t have a land line. I am 67 years old and living alone. If I had a medical emergency I had no idea if I could dial 911. Add to that, the isolation of my residence which was definitely off the beaten path. (That’s me next to the tractor on family acreage).

I contacted my oldest daughter who is in the Coast Guard stationed in Florida. She is a technical whiz. She told me that I could get onto her T-Mobile family plan for $20 per month. That was less than half of the $45 per month that Consumer Cellular was charging me. She said that service and connectivity were first class as well. Melissa sent me a Sim card and I drove to the T-Mobile HQ which was about ten minutes from my home. I had not installed the Sim card yet.

Hoping that I might be able to use my Consumer Cellular phone in order to save money, I showed it to a T-Mobile employee. She tried to dial out and the party could not hear her. She was stymied and suggested that I go to a phone repair shop across the street. Went there and the technician experienced the same issue. He dialed my number on his personal phone from behind the counter and it worked perfectly. I told him to try and dial my daughter across town and the problem repeated. No response on the other end. He said that the internal microphone may have some issues but that the phone was not worth the cost of repair. He suggested another repair service nearby and they came to the same conclusion.

The replacement phone they sent me was defective.

Having been without a properly working phone for weeks and disgusted with Consumer Cellular, I went back to the T-Mobile office and purchased an identical phone. The young lady I had spoken with earlier spent over half an hour helping me set up my new phone. Now that’s real customer service! Below is a picture of the two phone boxes proving that I had to purchase a replacement out of my own pocket. I took the picture with my T-Mobile phone. The phone in the picture is the defective one. (Note the red T-Mobile sticker on the right-hand box).

I returned home and immediately contacted Consumer Cellular to cancel my service. They responded by saying that they billed for the previous month’s service and that I still needed to pay them $45. I told them I did NOT owe them anything because of the poor service and the useless, broken phone. I even offered to send back the defective phone to cover what I owed. Trade my $125 phone for a $45 invoice. Seemed fair to me. Nothing doing they said. Give us the money. Eat the phone. I tried to return the broken phone to Square Trade as well but they said my warranty was invalid as I had just canceled my Consumer Cellular plan. Again…Eat the phone.

Only when a problem arises do you realize how completely disorganized and out-of-touch Consumer Cellular is.

When you try to quit your plan that’s when the problems really begin. Their employees are like a cult. They seem to take rejection personally.  Consumer Cellular is a complete and total ripoff. Their monthly fees are not just way overpriced but there are limitations on the size of videos you can send via messaging. Anything over 23 seconds long would activate a notification saying the file was too large for “my plan” and would I like to upgrade? If something goes wrong with your company supplied phone, it takes them weeks, if not months, to correct the problem.

Now they have turned me over to a collection agency. At first, they said I owed them fifty bucks. Now that amount has magically transformed into one hundred forty-eight dollars. By the time we get into a courtroom they will be demanding a million dollars and my first born. Such is the arrogance of this tin-pot corporation.

I am going to try and fight them in court. I have been researching the issue and have a basic understanding as to how to contest a debt. I may very well lose but, at the very least, I will be able to tell the world what a bunch of self-serving cretins these people are. John Marick, the multi-millionaire CEO, will probably win this fight (money-wise) as he sics his lawyers on this old man but he will have to live with this damning indictment of him and his creepy enterprise. In the months after I post this article, you can Google “John Marick CEO Consumer Cellular” then click images and you will probably see the photoshops from this article. Even if they succeed in making me take down this article, the original photoshops I constructed will always be there as it is next to impossible to remove an image from Google once it has been posted.

One last note regarding Consumer Cellular. If you go to their website you will see the following:

The #1 Rated Cell Phone Service. No Contract Plans Start at $10/Mo!
Nationwide Coverage · 30-Day Guarantee · Family Plans · US-Based Customer Support
Ranked Highest Among Non-Contract Wireless Providers
Imagine That! Their Own Website Rates Consumer Cellular as #1!
If, however, you go to any number of independent review sites you will see that they are rated very, very low in customer satisfaction, service, pricing, and connectivity. Complaints, in the hundreds, can be found at the click of a mouse. I found some truly horrible reviews but the one below (from Consumer Affairs) was the worst:

Maybe she should have buried her husband with his phone in his pocket. I would not be surprised if Consumer Cellular employees were to gleefully line up to take turns harassing a corpse.

 

I also canceled my AARP membership as well as my auto insurance through the Hartford. At my daughter’s suggestion, I contacted GEICO where I saved $200 per year and got free roadside emergency service. Roadside emergency service is extra through the Hartford.

Fingers crossed…the Hartford hasn’t started harassing me…yet.*1

AARP uses pressing political and economic issues to solicit donations and make you feel like you are a warrior for truth. They will also collect your membership renewal fees and a few weeks later send you another bill, then another, then another. I received so many requests for renewal after I had made my annual payment that I finally penned a letter and told them to knock it off. No telling how many confused seniors pay double, triple, or quadruple fees to this questionable enterprise. Hopefully, some enterprising law firm will sniff this tidbit of information and sense the possibility of a class action lawsuit.

In case Consumer Cellular’s CEO, John Marick, takes umbrage with this article (and the pictures contained herein) he needs to note that, as I was being harassed unmercifully for money that I did not know, I responded that I was an active blogger and that, if they did not cease and desist, I would publish an article detailing the astounding level of corruption, incompetence, and dishonesty extant at Consumer Cellular. I even included three photoshops in my communications with both Consumer Cellular and AARP (All but the dead horse thing. That was a last minute inspiration).

I offered them ample opportunity to back off. Maybe they didn’t take me seriously. Perhaps they are simply a swaggering pack of dolts who are incapable of logic and reason…swilling from the cesspool of corporate arrogance…so vested in the moment that they are unable to recognize that actions have consequences. So be it, Mr. Marick, you get what you pay for and you reap what you sow.

If you, the consumer, are looking for deals on hotels, travel, or meals I suppose you can save money. You need to avoid their cell phone and auto insurance services like the plague.

Look up the Hartford/AARP and Consumer Cellular on Ripoff Report and other consumer friendly sites. There are literally hundreds of complaints.*1) Update on the Hartford auto policy. I sent them a certified letter on July 1 telling them I was canceling my policy. Evidently, that is not sufficient for these folks. Four weeks after I mailed that letter I get a form from them that they want me to submit requesting cancellation. WTF? All these schmucks are doing is trying to screw with me for money. I am sending their stupid form but I fully expect that, like Consumer Cellular, they will start harassing me anytime now.