Inhuman Swill : Snafus

That was The Week that was

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To my dear former friends at The Week:

I am highly annoyed by The Week's handling of my subscription. I received your magazine just fine for several months at my new address. Suddenly I realized that I had not received an issue for a few weeks. I checked my subscription status at your web site only to find that "the post office has notified us that the address we have listed on your subscription is incorrect."

Well, that's ridiculous because mail—including, once upon a time, my subscription to The Week—gets to me at that address just fine.

Nonetheless, knowing that the post office is picky about things, I updated my address a couple of months ago, but I still have not received any further issues. I checked the site again today only to find that same ridiculous objection about the post office.

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For the past few days, I've thought I might smell just a dash, just a soupçon, just one wafer-thin mint's worth of natural gas in the kitchen. I would sniff, and Laura would tell me I was crazy. It happens.

Last night I thought I smelled it, and this time Laura allowed as how she might smell it too. I didn't call ConEd immediately, having a vague memory of a similar situation in my Brooklyn apartment and being made to understand by the man who came to check it out that I had been kind of silly not to know this wasn't the dangerous kind of gas smell.

So I called up ConEd very late this morning, from work. In the voicemail treet, I deliberately did not choose the emergency options. I waited for a customer service representative. I said I might have smelled a little gas in my kitchen.

"What's your address, sir?"

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Who moved my tepee?

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People, always remember to check the paper situation before committing to a stall. I'm only sayin'.

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Shooting myself in the head

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Have you ever noticed the red warning labels on bottles of seltzer?


Yeah, neither had I. Not until after I pointed the bottle toward my face as I removed the cap. The forceful ejection of the cap—and, to quote Dave Barry, I am not making this up—left a bloody dent in my forehead.

While I should probably be angry about this public-health threat—which is tantamount to Canada Dry selling Saturday night specials to American adults everywhere, possibly hoping we'll all kill each other south of the 49th Parallel, at which point they will step in and consolidate their North American soft-drink empire—all I could do in the wake of the incident was laugh. I mean, I shot myself in the head with a bottle of seltzer, for God's sake! The cap bounced off my forehead and hit the ceiling!

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American fire drill

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I'd been smelling the smoke for a while and wondered vaguely what was burning. So had everyone else. We even talked about it, but no one knew what it was.

This was yesterday afternoon at the office. I'd been trying to catch up on some overdue LiveJournal comments, and I was exchanging a flurry of email with Eleanor as we tried to work out a place to meet for drinks that evening. Then my coworker Monjay poked her head around my cubicle wall and said, in her soft, unflappable voice, "There's a small fire on the first floor, and the other half of the floor is all evacuated."

I wasn't sure what to do with this information, and I'm not sure many of us were. We heard no fire alarm. Surely there was no danger.

Then my friend Geoff, our lead Muppet illustrator and creator of the wonderful caricature on the front page of Inhuman Swill, strolled by and drily said, "Hey, there's a fire in the building. I'm thinking we should all get outside."

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William Shunn

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Snafus category.

Snacks is the previous category.

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