Stuck in an Endless Tech Support Loop

Stuck in an Endless Tech Support Loop

One of my greatest pleasures is spending countless hours waiting in vain for a customer service rep to help me with something that should have taken ten minutes but will ultimately suck several hours of my time. Ah, the joys of waiting on hold.

One of my greatest pleasures is spending countless hours waiting in vain for a customer service rep to help me with something that should have taken ten minutes but will ultimately suck several hours of my time. Ah, the joys of waiting on hold.

[The following is a true story, with no exaggeration, of the time I spent over five hours trying to get help from a tech support representative. – TEJ] 

I had completed what I hoped was my final draft of my newest humor book, THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS.  I was using Amazon’s publishing division called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I had compiled a list of questions to which I needed answers in order to fix several book formatting issues their online system had flagged.

I decided I needed to call their tech support team for help. I located their CONTACT US page in less than 12 minutes simply by navigating through an endless series of menus that required me to answer several series of questions until the website finally unlocked the secret passageway to its elusive CONTACT US page.

This page offered me several options: I could submit an email (“please allow 72 hours for a response”). I could initiate an online chat (probably with a web bot). I could pour through their voluminous online community forum containing scores of article links, none of which would be directly on point. Or I could request a call back from a tech support agent. I think I’ll go with Option D.

I clicked the button to have a tech support agent call me. Twenty minutes later my phone rang. The readout indicated the call was from Amazon / KDP. Oddly, it only rang once and then the call dropped. I tried to call back the number on my phone, but I reached an automated message: “We’re not able to accept incoming calls to this number. Please visit our website to request a call back.” 

I then navigated the maze back to the CONTACT US page. I clicked on the button to request a call back – again. That triggered this message: “Our records indicate that you have already requested a call back. Please wait until you receive that call.” Arrgh!

I waited thirty minutes. No success. I clicked on the “Call me” button again. Up popped the same notification as before. Feeling stymied, I tried their online CHAT to request a phone call. Within a minute Agent Adrian generically typed, “How can I help you?”

I explained that I had requested a call, then the call dropped after one ring and the system would not allow me to make another call request. “Could you just tell someone in your tech support department to call me?” I pleaded.

Agent Adrian typed back, “I’m sorry but this CHAT feature does not allow us to talk by phone with the customer.”

“I know that,” I wrote back, frustrated. “I get how online chat works.” I pounded away at the keyboard, trying again to explain my dilemma and that I just wanted to have someone from their tech team call me.

Then, like a broken record, Agent Adrian, who by now I was fairly certain was a bot, typed, “I’m sorry but this CHAT feature does not allow us to call the customer.” Instead he / it offered to help me via their web-based chat utility. I wrote back that I had literally 20 questions and I doubted he / it would be able to respond to all of them via chat. But he / it insisted that they were happy to be of service.

See this happy, chirpy fellow? This is Adrian, or Brad, or Bart. This friendly support agent will be happy to assist you via online chat. He’ll be polite and responsive, usually replying to your questions within 5 minutes. There’s just one thing he won’t be able to do: Solve your problem. Because he’s a bot.

See this happy, chirpy fellow? This is Adrian, or Brad, or Bart. This friendly support agent will be happy to assist you via online chat. He’ll be polite and responsive, usually replying to your questions within 5 minutes. There’s just one thing he won’t be able to do: Solve your problem. Because he’s a bot.

I copied and pasted my long list of questions into the chat message field and pressed SEND. Seven minutes later, the Agent Adrian bot resurfaced: “I’m sorry, but you will need to talk to a member of our tech support team. You can request a call back by visiting our website. Thank you.” He / it then abruptly closed out our session. WTF??

I then noticed that during the time I was bonding with the Agent Adrian bot, I had received an email from KDP tech support:

“This is Jennifer from KDP customer support. You had requested a call, but I called and there was no answer. If you would like to speak with a representative, you can visit our website to request a call back.”

Seriously? I guessed that enough time had elapsed to take a chance and try clicking on the “Call me” button again. I guessed wrong: “Our records indicate that you have already requested a call back. Please wait until you receive that call.

I tried using the online chat app again. After I explained my situation and implored them to have someone from their tech support team call me directly, the Agent Paul bot offered this by now very familiar feedback: “I’m sorry but this CHAT feature does not allow us to talk by phone with the customer.”

The website referred to this as their Customer Service department. But as I reflect back on my experience, I think “Customer Severance” department” would have been a more appropriate name. Then the Agent Paul bot, no doubt programmed to follow the tech support chat protocol handbook to the letter, offered to try to help me via Chat. I explained – again – that I really needed to talk to a LIVE PERSON BY PHONE!

Finally, Agent Paul relented and agreed to try to find someone to call me. I’m pretty sure Agent Paul was going to be summarily fired for violating Online Chat Policy Rule #1: Never let the customer talk to a live human being. Or perhaps he’ll just be rebooted and upgraded to a more recent security protocol. 

An hour went by. Noone called. So I tried their “Call me” option one more time. This time, to my surprise, it accepted my request. Twenty minutes later, I received a call from KDP tech support. Interestingly, one minute later, while on the phone with KDP tech support, I received another call – also from KDP tech support. Not wanting to risk my first call dropping, I ignored the second incoming KDP call. I went into great detail describing my issues. Then I asked Agent Maria, “Maria, do you understand my situation?”

Agent Maria did not respond. I repeated my question – four more times. No reply – unless you consider the dial tone that followed to be Maria’s reply. The call got dropped. Crap! I saw that there was another email from KDP tech support. It said they had just tried to call me but I had failed to pick up.

I went back to the KDP website’s CONTACT US page. When I tried to request yet another call back, yup, you guessed it: “Our records indicate that you have already requested a call back. Please wait until you receive that call.

It went on like this for another hour. Finally, I received another call from KDP tech support. This time the call did not drop. This time I was actually able to present all my questions to an actual live person. After describing my problems in exhausting detail for 10 minutes, tech support Agent Thomas paused and explained: “I’m in first level tech support. I can’t help you with your issues. You’ll need to talk to someone in Senior Level tech support. Would you like me to transfer you?”

“Sure,” I said. “I’ll be most curious to see what rabbit hole this sends me down,” I muttered under my breath. Agent Thomas put me on hold. Ten minutes later someone came back on the line: “This is Thomas again. Would you still like to continue to wait to speak to a Senior Level support agent?”

“Um, yes, I would. Thank you.”

“Okay, please hold.” The next sound I heard was the soothing, familiar melody of … of another dial tone. My call had been dropped. Again. It’s now been over five hours. I’m still waiting to talk to someone about my issues. I’m sure they’ll be calling me back… any moment now.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2022

Thank You For Your Suggestion

Thank You For Your Suggestion

Over the years, scores of people have suggested humor topics for me to write about. Their ideas typically consist of a four-word concept, like “something about McDonald’s fries.” Um, thanks. But it would appear you’ve already written most of the story for me. You’re brilliant.

Over the years, scores of people have suggested humor topics for me to write about. Their ideas typically consist of a four-word concept, like “something about McDonald’s fries.” Um, thanks. But it would appear you’ve already written most of the story for me. You’re brilliant.

I’ve been a humor writer for 13 years – a source of unceasing embarrassment for my wife and daughters. Over the years, I’ve routinely received suggestions for what readers think would be a funny article for me to write about in my column. I’m grateful to the scores of people who have unselfishly submitted their ideas. I distinctly remember this one time when the suggestion was almost usable.

I think it’s long overdue that I thank the many people who have graciously come forward to pitch their hilarious concepts. So, here goes….

To George Kittlesworth of Sioux City, Iowa: Thank you for your creative recommendation that I write a piece about your prize heifer Daisy and the fact that she was awarded Honorable Mention at the Iowa State Fair in 2004. And what a lovely photo you sent of the two of you. You must be so proud. Quick question: Which one of you is Daisy? Also, can you give me a little more to go on than simply “Here’s a funny story for you.” Did Daisy somehow cheat her way to victory? Did you end up eating her for dinner the following week? What’s the hook here, George?

To Ned Hopper of Cheboygan, Michigan: Thank you for your email in which you wrote, “I saw my neighbor fall off his riding mower. The mower kept going and plowed right through his flower bed and destroyed his prize roses. He broke his leg in three locations. What a hoot!” My, that sure sounds hilarious. There’s nothing funnier than stories about people injuring themselves from falling off of riding mowers. When I have concluded I no longer have an original thought in my brain, I’ll definitely put yours on a short list for serious consideration, Ned.

To Harvey Farmington of Hazlehurst, Mississippi: Thank you for suggesting, and I quote: “How about something about eggplants?” Hmmm, enticingly vague, I must say. Are you talking about the actual vegetable? Or the sexually suggestive emoji? How did you know that two of my favorite topics to write about are weird-looking vegetables and sex emojis. I’ll get right on this. Thanks, Harvey, for doing the heavy lifting with your thoroughly fleshed-out five-word description.

From Boyd Jefferson of Cape Corral, Florida: “This is a photo of Buttons, my daughter’s hamster. Can you write about him? Or maybe it’s a she. I’m not really sure.” Um, Sure, Boyd. Say no more. I’ll take it from here.

From Boyd Jefferson of Cape Corral, Florida: “This is a photo of Buttons, my daughter’s hamster. Can you write about him? Or maybe it’s a she. I’m not really sure.” Um, Sure, Boyd. Say no more. I’ll take it from here.

To Mary “MAGA” Offerman of Halifax, Massachusetts: I appreciate your thoughtful letter you sent me this week in which you wrote: “How about something about Donald Trump. Have you ever thought about doing a piece on him? He’s the best president ever, don’t you agree?” Oh, yes, I couldn’t agree more, Mary. Nobody did a better job trying to illegally stage a coup to stay in power, that’s for sure.

Oh, and great suggestion. Other than the 30+ articles I have previously written about Trump over a six-year period, I’ve not really given him much thought. Thanks for confirming that you’re a regular reader of mine.

To Barney Montague of Horseshoe Bend, Idaho: I must offer up my deepest gratitude for your out-of-the-box premise: “What about Periwinkle?” Oh, yes, indeed. What a treasure trove of hilarity springs to mind upon reading your three-word seedling of a notion of a concept. I’m already in stitches just thinking about the hysterically funny jokes that spring from your cryptic suggestion, Barney. Maybe an entire series on flowers with funny-sounding names, like, “What about Forsythia?” followed by “What about Hibiscus?” The possibilities are endless (if your goal is to put the reader into a coma).

To Becky Mavensberg of Paducah, Kentucky: Thank you so much for suggesting I write a piece about how dogs are better than cats. Perhaps you missed my piece about how cats are better than dogs. Still, I appreciate your riotously funny premise. But I must take issue with the photo you included of your dog. My cat Zippy is cooler than your schnauzer Buster.

To Tom Bakersfield of Beaumont, Texas: My, Tom, what a creative mind you have. To quote you: “How about a piece about how all those liberal commie snowflakes are destroying America and how all that matters in life are three things: Jesus, babies, and bullets. Everybody else can go back to Africa.” Wow, where do I begin? You sure know comedy, Tom. How about you take the lead on writing a first draft, send it to me, and I’ll do my best to make sure nobody ever tries to steal your brilliant diatribe idea and publish it – including me, okay, buddy?

From Clarence Withers of Duluth, Minnesota: “Hey, can you do a hit job piece about my ex? This is her, right before she left me for that coffee barista. And she doesn’t even like coffee! I could kill her!” Um, Clarence, perhaps you’ve mistaken me for a producer at Dateline.

From Clarence Withers of Duluth, Minnesota: “Hey, can you do a hit job piece about my ex? This is her, right before she left me for that coffee barista. And she doesn’t even like coffee! I could kill her!” Um, Clarence, perhaps you’ve mistaken me for a producer at Dateline.

To Heather Rodriguez of Angel Fire, New Mexico: Thank you for your  brainchild for an article. You wrote: “Could you do a piece about how my boss, Will Johnson, is a total jerk and I hate his guts. He never shampoos his greasy hair. And he has the worst body odor. But could you change his name so I don’t get fired?”

Well, Heather, if that’s not comedy gold, I don’t know what is. Nothing says LOL more than a scathing, bitter rant about your hatred for another human being. Just one question: Is there a job opening in your department? Your boss sounds like a great guy.

Honestly, I can’t count how many unsolicited pitches I’ve received from regular readers and folks who learn I’m a humor writer. Their suggestions range from stories about getting drunk to celebrities they think are over-rated to well, falling off of riding mowers.

The only thing missing in all of these clever story ideas is any semblance of … a story – because after a five- or six-word description of what they think is hilarious, that’s all they’ve got. They are happy to let me turn “something about my wife’s burnt pot roast” into an actual story – with humor. The only ingredients they forgot to include are a story idea I can actually use.

I just did a quick count. I see that I still have 240 more thank-you messages to write. This may take a while. I better get back to work…

To Artie Bugleton of Nome, Alaska: Thank you for your idea “something about peeing in snow.” Are you sure you’re not a professional humor writer, Artie? Because, wow, I can’t believe I never thought of this one myself …

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Subscribe to my new View from the Bleachers YouTube Channel and request notifications to see my latest videos. And check out my new book, THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS (is Something I Have Never Figured Out. I’ Open to Suggestions).

THE GREAT PHONINI – The World’s Greatest Telephone Magician

THE GREAT PHONINI – The World’s Greatest Telephone Magician

Prepare to be amazed. Introducing the one, the only GREAT PHONINI, the world’s greatest telephone magician – and as far as we can tell, the ONLY one.

Prepare to be amazed. Introducing the one, the only GREAT PHONINI, the world’s greatest telephone magician – and as far as we can tell, the ONLY one.

[The telephone rings] RRRRRINNGGG! RRRRRINNGGG!   

Guy answering his phone: “Hello?”

Telephone Announcer: “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S GREATEST TELEPHONE MAGICIAN. And now, for your listening amusement and AMAZEMENT, it’s the one, the only, THE GREAT PHONINI!”

Guy: “Excuse me? Who’s calling?”

The GREAT PHONINI: Thank you very much for coming. And now –

Guy: “What? I didn’t come anywhere. I’m in my living room. Is this Barney? What’s up, buddy?

PHONINI: “It’s not Barney. It is I, the GREAT PHO-NI-NI!! And you are about to hear some magical miracles like you’ve never heard before. Now, close your eyes and – “

Guy: “Um, hold on a minute. Did you just say, ‘you’re about to HEAR some magic?’ Is this Barney? You really had me going there for a minute.”

PHONINI: “Like I said, it is not Barney. It is I, the GREAT PHO-NI-NI. Imagine for a minute that you can see this gorgeous buxom blond woman standing beside me. This is my incredibly talented – and sexy – assistant, Gretchen.”

Guy: “Um, sure, Barney, I mean, All Great and Powerful Oz.”

PHONINI: “This isn’t the Wizard of Oz. I’m the GREAT PHONINI, the world’s greatest telephone magician. If you could see her, I am sure you’d agree that Gretchen is quite stunning. Gretchen, will you please enter this giant box before you?” [He pauses explaining that Gretchen needs time to get situated in the box.] “Very good. Caller, notice how I open the box and there are no hidden compartments of any kind. Now, if you will count to three… “

Guy: “Seriously? Okay. This better not be a weird sales pitch from T-Mobile. I told them four times now I am not interested in their upgrade package. Okay, ‘1, 2, 3.’ “

PHONINI: “Abracadabra! As you can hear, Gretchen is gone. Hard to believe, right?”

Guy: “You got that right. Dude, you realize we’re on the fricking phone, right? I can’t see a thing. You expect me just to believe you that she’s magically vanished? How about we switch to FACETIME so I can see?”

PHONINI: “I don’t have Facetime. My flip phone can only make audio calls. But trust me. If you could have seen what just happened, you’d be blown away. My lovely assistant is gone. But would you like me to bring her back?”

Guy: “Back? Back from where? Next to you on your couch? But what the heck. I’ll play along. Sure. Amaze me. Please, Lord, bring her back. Whatever.”

PHONINI: “I will now say the magic words: Hocus Pocus. And voila, Gretchen’s back. ‘Gretchen, did you miss me?’ She’s nodding yes.”

Guy: “Okay, who is this really? And if you really are the GREAT PHONINI, how do you expect me to believe you made Gretchen disappear. Let me guess. Gretchen is your basset hound, and you just threw her a ball to make her momentarily disappear, until she came back with the ball, Am I right?”

PHONINI: “You’ll just have to trust me. Now for my next incredible feat, listen as Gretchen ties me up in unbreakable chains and a straitjacket. ‘Now, Gretchen, make it as tight as possible, dear.’  [There is a pause and there are sounds of grunting and clanking chains in the background.] There, I’m completely tied up. And now Gretchen has attached my chains to a fifteen-foot high crane. [Grunting and breathing heavily] Now I’m upside down, [more grunts] hovering precariously over a steaming cauldron of boiling oil that is over 1,000 degrees.”

Guy: “Hmm. Let me guess. In a minute you’re going to tell me that you somehow escaped from your terrifying predicament miraculously within seconds of the crane lowering you into the boiling oil.”

[Over the phone] “And now, The GREAT PHONINI will magically turn this rabbit into a bouquet of roses. Abracadabra, Presto Chango. Would you like a rose, sir?” “Um, who are you, dude, and how did you get my number?”

[Over the phone] “And now, The GREAT PHONINI will magically turn this rabbit into a bouquet of roses. Abracadabra, Presto Chango. Would you like a rose, sir?”
“Um, who are you, dude, and how did you get my number?”

PHONINI: “How did you know? Have I called you before? Anyway, just watch, I mean listen. [Over the phone, we hear more loud grunting and clanking until finally, PHONINI coughs and then whispers in an exhausted voice.]  “Wow, that was close. For a moment there, I thought I was going to meet my maker.”

Guy: “And who is your maker? T-Mobile? How’d you get my phone number anyway? Was that magic, too?”

PHONINI: “And now for a mystifying card trick. Caller, pick a card, any card.”

Guy: “Why are you saying, ‘caller?’ You called ME, remember?”

PHONINI: “Have you chosen your card? Write it down on a piece of paper.”

Guy: “This is ridiculous.”

PHONINI: “Have you written it down, sir?”

Guy [grabs a piece of paper and writes down the four of clubs]: “Okay, okay. I’ve written it down.”

PHONINI: “Very good, my fine chap. Is this your card?

Guy: Is WHAT my card? I can’t see what you’re holding.

PHONINI: Oh, right. My bad. Well, then. Would your card by any chance be the seven of hearts?”

Guy: “Nope. Very impressive.”

PHONINI: “Oh dear. Well then, surely it must have been the Jack of Spades.”

Guy: Strike two, El PHONINI.”

PHONINI: “My, this is quite embarrassing. My good fellow, would you mind going to your refrigerator and opening the door?”

Guy: “Dude, you’re starting to creep me out. If this is Barney, you really need to stop your day drinking, buddy. Okay, I’m at my fridge and I’ve opened the door.”

PHONINI: Excellent. Now, open the crisper drawer and grab that orange sitting there.”

Guy: “Wait, what? How did you know I have an orange in my fridge?”

PHONINI: “Lucky guess.“

Guy: “Yeah, yeah. Seriously, how did you know I had an orange there? Is T-Mobile bugging my house with hidden web cams?”

PHONINI: “Now, take a sharp-edged knife and slice your orange in half.”

Guy: “You know, I’m this close to calling the cops on you. But okay, here goes.” [Guy grabs a knife and slices the orange down the middle.]

PHONINI: “Please peel the cover off the orange. Tell me, what do you see?”

Guy [peels the cover off, as instructed]: “What the f*ck? There’s a card inside the cover of my orange.”

PHONINI: “Would you mind sharing what card appears?”

Guy: “How in the HELL did you do that!!!”

PHONINI: “What, pray tell, is the card you have found, sir?”

Guy [thunderstruck with confusion]: “It’s the four of clubs. That’s my card! THAT’S MY CARD!! How did you do that???!!!”

PHONINI: “It’s magic. Thank you for being a great audience. And now for my very final act, I will make myself disappear.”

And in a flash, the GREAT PHONINI vanished. The line was dead.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Subscribe to my new View from the Bleachers YouTube Channel and request notifications to see my latest videos. And check out my new book, THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS (is Something I Have Never Figured Out. I’ Open to Suggestions).

Apparently My Wife Doesn’t Like It When I Kiss Other Women

Apparently My Wife Doesn’t Like It When I Kiss Other Women

Sometimes I can disappoint my wife and, without intending to, hurt her feelings. For example, recently she was telling me something about something – not really sure what her point was. I was watching a football game at the time. Then she asked me a question about something or other. Apparently, “Sure, honey, that’s great” was not the response she was looking for when she asked me (I later learned) “When do you plan to start making dinner?” So, she got a little peeved, if you can believe this, just because I had not listened to a single word she’d been saying for the past five minutes. In my defense, it was a playoff game.

Don’t get me wrong. My wife is a wonderful person. But she asked that I not mention her by name in this story and therefore will be referred to as “Joanna.” I love Mic – er, Joanna dearly. But sometimes, it seems I can’t quite measure up to her lofty expectations of her husband. Now and then she’ll roll her eyes in annoyance over the most trivial infractions. Like the time I left the toilet seat up after I used it. Or the time I ate the last slice of German Chocolate cake without consulting her first. Or the time I kissed another woman.

Perhaps that last example warrants additional clarification. I couldn’t very well deny that I had kissed another woman because, technically, I did it right in front of Joanna. She saw the whole thing. I must have misread the other woman’s buying signals because when I kissed her, like Joanna, she was none too pleased about it. This woman, who I’ll call “Sarah,” was, to my surprise, so put off by my sudden romantic overture that she slapped me across the face. But I have an explanation for my actions: She was really attractive. (My wife has informed me that does not make what I did okay. I guess I just disappointed her again.)

In retrospect, I can see how my actions might have been slightly hurtful to Joanna. Perhaps I should have asked her for permission before I took Sarah in my arms, caressed her hair, and kissed her. I probably did not make things any better when later that same evening, I approached Sarah again and once again planted a passionate kiss on her lips. My wife caught me in the act this second time as well. (She sure can be a busybody.) My encore kissing performance just made matters worse. I now appreciate how, from Joanna’s perspective, I probably mishandled this affair, because, to be honest, I didn’t give a second’s thought about how my actions would impact my life partner.

I imagine Joanna was asking herself, “Who is this man I thought I knew? Can’t he see I’m right here?!?” I should add that on my second romantic overture, as our mouths came together, Sarah didn’t slap me. She didn’t push me away. Quite the contrary. She acted as if she really liked it – a lot. She put her arms around me and swooned. It was magical – except for the small part about Joanna being a witness to this scene. I was concerned that she might not speak to me for the rest of the evening – or make me dinner.

I am not proud to admit that I pursued this tawdry affair for three weeks. I only saw Sarah on Friday and Saturday evenings, and on a couple Sunday afternoons. Before each visit, I rehearsed what I was going to say to her to win her heart again. And my lines worked perfectly. Each rendezvous was as exciting as the previous one. But after three weeks, Sarah abruptly broke it off, without so much as a goodbye kiss. She decided she had to put our affair behind her. I never saw her again. I would never feel the touch of her ruby red lips or her hands as they forcefully slapped my face, ever again.

I have to say, Joanna was surprisingly forgiving. Because after having witnessed me kiss Sarah not once but twice, on the way home, she barely brought it up. What a great gal! But to be honest, I’m not really sure why any of this should have bothered her in the first place. For starters, Joanna and I weren’t even married at the time. We were just dating. I had never said I wouldn’t see other people.

Spoiler Alert: When Joanna and I were dating, I got cast as Sky Masterson in a community theater production of Guys And Dolls. My character had to kiss his female co-star, Sarah Brown, twice in each of our show’s eight performances. Hey, I was just doing my job!

Spoiler Alert: When Joanna and I were dating, I got cast as Sky Masterson in a community theater production of Guys And Dolls. My character had to kiss his female co-star, Sarah Brown, twice in each of our show’s eight performances. Hey, I was just doing my job!

Oh, and I’m not sure if this next part is important, but the woman I kissed was a fellow actor in a community theater production of Guys And Dolls we were in, in Miami, FL, the city where Joanna and I first met. We were on stage in front of 400 people just performing our lines, which included two kissing scenes.

So, if you ask me, I really think my wife should have taken up her concerns with the director, not me. I was just following the script.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

[Author’s Postscript: The story above is 100% true. In the play, my character, a rogue, suave gambler named Sky Masterson, falls in love with a character exactly his opposite: an upright, devoutly religious Salvation Army worker named, you guessed it, SARAH Brown.

Our characters kissed twice in each of our eight performances, which were performed on Friday and Saturday nights and matinees on Sunday. In the first instance, the virtuous, innocent Sarah is mortified by Sky’s slick, overly bold unexpected kiss, so much so that she slaps him in the face afterward. And my co-star did not hold back! But later in the play, the two characters fall deeply in love and Sky kisses her again, this time, with her swooning in his arms – just the way my wife swoons every time I kiss her. Um, sort of . – TEJ]

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2022

Thank You for Your Donation to Donald Trump’s Election Defense Fund

Thank You for Your Donation to Donald Trump’s Election Defense Fund

[Author’s note for the humor-impaired: This is a piece of political satire and not an actual solicitation for more money by the Trump campaign. – TEJ]

My Fellow Americans,

This is your legitimate president, Donald J. Trump. I want to thank you – and roughly 470 million other great Americans – for your generous donation of $100 to my Election Defense Fund. As you know, the nasty “Unselect” January 6th Committee is perpetuating the bigliest hoax in our nation’s history, claiming that I tried to overturn the 2020 election results. This is all part of the radical Democrats’ BIG STEAL. I won the election by the greatest landslide since Andrew Jackson defeated Herbert Hoover. I beat Sleepy Joe Biden by more than 30 million votes. If you don’t believe me, ask Rudy.

Mike Lindell (the My Pillow Guy) has proof that Venezuelan goat herders colluded with Filipino call center operators to rig the Dominion voting machines so that every vote cast for the Democrat nominee for president actually ended up being switched to a vote for Joe Biden. How in the world would I stand a chance when the machines were all rigged against me like that?

If it weren’t for millions of totally fraudulent mail-in ballots by dead people (not counting my mail-in ballot, which was PERFECT), it wouldn’t have been close. My attorney John Eastman assures me most of the Democrat mail-in ballots clearly violated the Constitution’s “It’s So Unfair” clause. If those ballots were eliminated, I’d have won by more than 400 million votes – 500 million if you include Puerto Rico. Those Puerto Ricans love me.

Everybody knows that the January 6th Committee has absolutely no case against me. The only evidence they “claim” to have is firsthand eyewitness testimony from more than 500 former Trump Administration officials and allies who testified that the election wasn’t stolen and argued that Mike Pence lacked the authority to overturn the election for me, then told me all of this, and then said I ignored their legal counsel and staged a coup anyway. They even claim I pressured the Secretary of State for Georgia to “find me 11,780 votes.” So untrue. I only needed, 9,500 votes.

They also claim to have proof from over 100 people in my administration that I deliberately incited a violent insurrection on the Capitol by urging my followers to get wild at the Capitol and stop the certification vote. And when it got out of control, they said I didn’t do anything for more than three hours to stop the violence. In my defense, I didn’t have time to call off the peaceful protestors smashing through the Capitol’s windows because I was busy watching a parade on TV and tweeting. And besides, who are you going to believe: a bunch of hacks I hand-picked for their positions or me, the most honest, stable genius president ever? Next to me, Lincoln looks like Lyin’ Abe.

That’s why I created the Donald J. Trump Election Defense Fund – to combat these lies. To date, thanks to 640 million patriotic Americans like yourself, we’ve raised at least 250 MILLION DOLLARS. These funds will go to pay for my legal defense team, with the remaining $245 million set aside to help me buy Fox News and pay off a few hookers who claim that I paid them to sleep with me at the White House when Melania was out of town. That’s a lie. I never paid them.

If you don’t actually recall making your donation, that’s probably just because you were tired. Your Republican-led state legislature and your local Republican-led Board of Elections Supervisors have  assured me that you intended to vote for me, had it not been for the Democrats’ blatant efforts to steal the 2020 election from me. Now they plan to steal my 2024 election win, too. Don’t let them. That’s why I need your help with another $100 donation to my Election Defense Fund, so I can be rightfully restored to my throne the White House for another 12-year term.

A few people claim they don’t recall donating to my offshore Cayman Islands bank account Election Defense Fund. If that describes you, perhaps, when you clicked to opt out of one of the 300 email solicitations I sent you in the past six months, you failed to notice the 3-point type disclaimer at the bottom of page 7, which clearly stated:

“By opting out, you agree to make a donation of $100 every month until the last of your grandchildren dies, payable to the Trump Mar-a-Lago Club, LLC Election Defense Fund. No need to provide your credit card information. We already have it, thanks to a Russian internet troll farm we hired. We also have your social security number – just in case we need it down the road.”

The despicable January 6th Committee has nothing on me. And to those critics who claim I tried to have my own Vice President killed by an angry mob, that’s just another vicious lie. I only wanted Mikey boy roughed up a little – to teach him a lesson about the importance of loyalty.

The Committee claims my Election Defense Fund doesn’t even exist. That’s ridiculous – another lie being spread by Crooked Hillary and Hunter Biden. I had my crack team of investigators, led by Sean Hannity and that Shaman Dude who stormed the Capitol, look into it. It turns out that the $250 million is missing. And I can prove that it was stolen by Liz “Pelosi’s Lapdog” Cheney and “Little Adam Schitt.” They committed the biggest theft since Pete Davidson stole Kim Kardashian from Kanye.

Please contribute to the Donald Trump Election Defense Fund. For every $100 you donate, President Trump will send a needy middle school child an AR-15, so they can protect themselves from Radical Democrats intent on destroying our democracy.

Please contribute to the Donald Trump Election Defense Fund. For every $100 you donate, President Trump will send a needy middle school child an AR-15, so they can protect themselves from Radical Democrats intent on destroying our democracy.

That’s why I’m writing to you. I urgently need your help to stop this steal and replace the $650 million that the Democrats and RINOs stole from my Election Defense Fund. Won’t you join the other 795 million gun-loving Americans who have already pledged to donate to help me Make America Great Again?

Together, we will prove that I clearly won the election fair and square, winning over 80% of the 850 electoral votes. When I’m residing again at Mar-a-Lago North (formerly known as the White House), I promise to pardon all the great patriotic protestors who were simply at the Capitol on January 6th because they were told by Kenyan-born Barack Obama that Congress was giving out free ice cream sundaes in the House Chamber. When they found out there was no ice cream, a few of them got a little “hangry” and got mildly annoyed. Could have happened to anyone.

Unless you want to turn America over to Crazy Nancy and her Democratic Antifa Socialist Party, please give generously. Thank you for your commitment to vote for me again in 2024. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “Hey, I voted for Biden in 2020. Why would I vote for you in 2024?”  trust me, you will. You see, I hired a Proud Boys reconnaissance team, and they’ve taken some extremely compromising photos of you which will be very hard to explain to your spouse – unless you vote for me.

Sincerely,

President Donald J. Trump

The Greatest President in the history of history

THIS LETTER WAS SENT ON BEHALF OF DONALD J. TRUMP, WHO APPROVED THIS MESSAGE.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2022