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You know the expression, “It never rains, but it pours?” Well, I can go one better. “There’s never a day of sun following a week of rain, but it starts to rain again in the afternoon.” I am living proof of the truth in this personal adage.
After 5 months of battle and siege between me, the Federal Government, and a private insurance company, the end was in sight last week, with me finally emerging scarred and exhausted, as the winner.
It was an episode I would never like to repeat. I truly believe they all felt I would be totally beaten down to the point where I would just give up, whimper and accept defeat. I almost did, but my upbringing by a Spartan mother would not allow me to go home on my shield.
After 5 months of being tossed back and forth like a badminton shuttle with each side blaming the other for my predicament, I took the advice of my family and presented my case to Senators. When my adversaries learned of my move, everything changed. I was suddenly treated with care – almost affection – and the war stopped.
It was a matter of everyone taking money from me illegally and no one admitting to doing it. Now, I’m convinced it was a scam on somebody’s part. Every day you can read in the paper, or see TV, the stories of scams being perpetrated. Usually they are worked against senior citizens, and usually they are based on the fact that everyone wants something for nothing.
For years, the classic pyramid letter was number one on the hit list. You received a letter telling you that if you copied it and mailed 10 copies to others, your name would be added to the list of others before you and you would somehow receive money. I can’t remember the exact details, but I never believed it for a minute and never made a copy or sent anything on. Oh yes, there was the added fact that if you broke the chain and didn’t comply something dire would happen to you.
There was the time when I answered the phone and was greeted by a cheery “Hello Virginia, how are you today?” Beware this opener unless you can immediately identify the caller. The fast and smooth talker continued with his bit. “You are the winner of either a new TV or a Buick.” In order to receive one or the other, all I had to do was send a 35 dollar check to cover COD costs and my prize would be delivered. How dumb did you have to be to fall for this flummery? I had a standard response to all such calls. “Can you hold on? I want my husband to handle this matter. He’s an FBI Agent and, happily, this is his day off.” Wham! The phone on the other end was rapidly slammed down.
A few days later the today show had a segment about this scam which, apparently, was nationwide. The reporter played along to see what would happen. She sent the check for the charge and received a large box in the mail the size of a TV set. Inside were pieces of sheet rock. Since she was participating in a sting operation, the crooks were caught and jailed.
My son is convinced that I was the victim of a scam. He reasoned that I could not be the only person in the country caught, and that most people would not have continued to fight as I did. This could be true, but at the moment I just want it all to end, and my money refunded.
So, I’ve been sighing with relief. At the same time, I have been plagued by some sort of technical mess-up on the part of one of my favorite television stations, BBC America. I rely heavily on closed captioning since my hearing is not what it used to be. Even if I had ears like a bat, I would need captioning with British TV. British actors are trained to drop the ends of lines, while Americans are taught to send them up. The British delivery, combined with some of their regional dialects, make dialogue awfully hard to follow. Lately, the captioning on BBC America has been weird. Segments of the program have been captioned, while others have not, sometimes at the crux of the plots.
I called the BBC America headquarters in New York to ask what was going on. Were the captioning people taking tea breaks? They were very apologetic, promising they were working on the problem, but never explaining its cause.
Last night, to my delight, it appeared that all was well. There wasn’t a single lapse in the captioning. I was really happy, when suddenly my TV screen went black. Nothing I tried would bring it back, not even an SOS call to the cable station. I guess the set just died, even though it’s only about 6 years old.
See what I mean? Here I was, feeling so good because my war was won, and the BBC was functioning, and it started to rain on my parade. When my stolen money is refunded I’ll have to use it to buy a new TV. Last night my daughter-in-law was watching TV on her set, which is some 30-odd years old. So now, I’m a victim of one of the biggest scams of built-in obsolescence.
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