Saturday, April 18, 2015

All My Sorrows -- A Billion Complaints

I'm suffering a weird, slowed-down miasma for my thought-processes today, no doubt rooted in a wild profusion of problems all pressing to the fore at the same time. And weighing me down. I know I'll make it through -- there's no problem big enough to keep me down forever -- but I want to alert you. If I come across mean, wicked, and surly, that's why. Being a billionaire, as I am, only seems to intensify the situation, likely because it seems like wealth should be a perpetual happiness machine, a steamroller.

The ironic thing is that my wealth is creating new problems all the time. Remember my euphoria at buying 300,000 books at the Biggest Book Sale in the State the day before yesterday? I backtracked on that yesterday, apologizing for ruining everyone's sale. Now there's questions about how I'm going to make it through the books, then what to do with the excess.

We were in touch with the worm bedding company in Alabama, and discovered that they have strict rules for what they'll accept. There's all kinds of safeguards they insist on, out of fear that the books might be infested with bedbugs, dust mites, various harmful larvae, and even the dried skin cells from readers, termed by them bookworms. Leading me to snap back, "Nothing's too good for a worm, eh?" Sheesh. But they have "high standards," and all the rest, any excuse to make people jump through a few more hoops.

Another problem, sort of the same, there's interstate commerce laws that shipments of books over 50 tons, particularly involving transport to Alabama -- damn the luck -- is subject to rigorous checking, verification procedures, and of course reams of paperwork. It's all pressing on me like the weight of the world, simply because a few measly earthworms are picky about where they sleep! Please don't write in; I know these are human regulations, based on this bureaucrat having a job, working for this bureaucrat, on and on, bureaucrats on the ground floor, extending upward forever. They're not worried about the worms.

Then even when we get the paperwork done -- and every Alabaman ass sufficiently kissed -- the train lines have their own regulations. Then there's the procuring of box cars, the logistics of all that, the loading, the overseeing of the job, right down to insuring the shipments for liability, I guess lest a hobo starts in on a good book and ends up with head lice! For crying out loud, they're hobos! They live in jungles, and you're telling me they're scared of books! Anyway, I saw a train going through town today and it boggled my mind; how'd they manage to ship anything?

Apart from those problems, there's a few liability issues of a different sort closer to home, also involving the book sale. Apparently we're being sued. Disgruntled customers are claiming all kinds of injuries in the lines involving the guys we hired to slow things down. Some were jostled, feet stepped on, toes stubbed, arms bruised, and one old guy -- 83-years-old -- claims one of our guys sexually molested him! Without getting explicit ... that's probably enough. Just the thought that this old bastard would think our team went out of their way to "get it on" with his little prune is absurd. Hell, I had a 81-year-old guy grab me one day in the park, and I was freaked out but overlooked it. But I haven't been back since.

You know something? I was happier sitting at home minding my own business. Which I should have been doing this whole week -- enjoying my $2.1 billion in activities like this, going out to eat, having a few ice cream sundaes, and maybe buying a new car. The garage could use new shingles. I'll have to check the old ones first, though, just to make sure there's no troublesome infestations. Usually old shingles are clean, thanks the sun pounding on them all day. That's what we could do with the books, spread them all over the half-acre for six hours at a time, and let the sun kill off the bugs, worms, mites, and other vermin. But I doubt if that's an authorized method.

I don't have time to mention two other problems, gold diggers and glad-handers. Glad-handers, too many. Gold diggers, none yet.

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