Fiction Humor

My Experience Quitting Facebook

Towards the beginning of 2022, I made the decision to leave Facebook. This was not a decision that I took lightly. I engaged in long, emotional discussions with friends, family, and clergymen before telling Meta to delete my account.

“Can’t you just deactivate?” my niece asked me, tears welling in her eyes. She didn’t understand. How could she? She was only 2. 

“Perhaps,” I said, stroking her long, white beard, “In another life.”

I gathered my supplies — Clif bars, Powerade, prayer beads — and set out on my journey. In only a few days, I managed to click the “delete my account” button. Now, the hard part would begin.

The Facebook account deletion process

Warning: This essay contains graphic depictions of data sanitization.

Most people don’t know that when you delete Facebook, the site begs you to stop. 

You have so many friends, it says. Without you, suicide. Plague. 

grayscale photography of crying woman
Photo by Kat Smith on

You must take these words seriously; they are not entirely without merit. In my case, I had assembled enough analytics to prove to myself, with statistical near-certainty, that I was making the right decision. I fed my spreadsheets into the Facebook deletion page, typing each line and column by hand. When the website disabled my keyboard, I drew the numbers with my mouse. 

Fine, the website told me, Your reasoning is acceptable. Faulted, yes, but acceptable. Look at this picture of your dog from eight years ago. If you cannot be convinced, you may take the final step. 

The sweat on my brow stung as it worked its way through the deep gashes on my forehead incurred during the final identity verification process. I took a bite of a Clif bar and called my dog into the room. His suffering was brief; mine was just beginning.

I had deleted Facebook.

The first days were difficult.

I had some fantastic ideas for posts — my neighbor cut down a tree, and I recorded the whole event. The footage synced perfectly with Genesis’s “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight” (the live ‘73 performance). Several times, I had quirky encounters with restaurant waitstaff. I gave a bottle of water to my mailman and recorded the interaction with my door camera. 

None of these moments would be preserved. None would be my legacy.

My God, I thought, What have I done? I wrote the words in a Microsoft Word document, then placed the thumbs up emoji next to it. 

The diarrhea began almost immediately and did not end for five days. They had told me about the diarrhea, and I was prepared with Pedialyte and damp hand towels — but Meta had not warned me about the tooth loss, which began five days after deletion and lasted for a full 32 days.

The skin loss and bone fragmentation were probably the worst parts of the whole experience. Also, I realized that I was no longer able to find the location of my neighborhood’s Little Library Book Exchanges.

My condition began improving in mid-April. I wish that I could tell you that I turned a corner thanks to my own constitution, but this was not the case. I joined Twitter — only briefly — to stave off the worst symptoms. When the abscesses were severe, or when my body hair began self-bleaching, I would write a quick tweet to restore my reserves.

We need to talk about antisexual representation (or lack thereof) on Friends.

Hey, guys, it’s actually possible to use a public bathroom without being ableist. @ChelseaHandler @AimeeMann 

Oh, now we’re talking about Iraq again? #BoycottYoplait #TeamUpForExcellence

But my goal was not to switch from one platform to another; it was to draw attention to myself by quitting social media entirely. After a brief weaning period, I deleted Twitter (I think).

It gets better.

I have become quite skillful with my walking cane, and while my days rarely start before noon, I have learned to take joy in the “little things” in life: Beekeeping, home improvement, day trading, and water polo. Mainly beekeeping.

My life is better without Facebook. I mean this truly. While I’ve lost a tool for communicating with my friends, colleagues, and neighbors, it turns out that none of those people really wanted to talk to me anyway. 

If you’re thinking about deleting Facebook, I would not recommend it — unless you’re as strong and interesting as I am. In that case, embark upon the journey. You will darken one corner of your digital world, but the light will live on; you will find new worlds to explore, new sensations, new ways to love, and a fourth new thing. 

I will remember my time on Facebook fondly, but I will not return. I do not think my body could withstand the Account Generation; even if this were not the case, I’ve gained too much. 

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Fiction Humor

A series of YouTube comments on Henry Mancini’s Baby Elephant Walk

I recommend listening to the song while reading these comments.

Terry G.

Love this tune. Dad used to play this. He’s gone, but I still have the memories. miss you dad and those long nights in the tugboat in mississipi


they don’t make songs like this anymore…brings me back to a different time. better in a lot of ways!

Geoff Richards

you’ve titled this video “baby elephant stomp.” it’s “baby elephant walk.” please re-upload with correct title


where were u the first time u heard this???? bet you don’t remember

Terry G.

I’ll nver forget where i was. An old tugboat with a couple of leaks and a proud man looking at me in the moonlight. miss you dad

Randy Fripps

anyone else listening in 2021

Terrance Riggle

I always loved this tune. Simple, yes, but sort of profound, maybe? You hear it and you really picture a baby elephant walking. It transcends cultures. No matter where you come from or who you are, you picture a baby elephant. World would be a better place with more universal music. 🙂  – Terrance Riggle


i don’t picture bby elephant

Terrance Riggle

What do you picture, then? I can’t imagine hearing this song and picturing anything else!  – Terrance Riggle


ur mom

Terrance Riggle

Typical — I bet you’re Gen Z 🙂


no i’m probably older than u 

Terrance Riggle

I doubt that very much by your failure to use the English language. And if you truly don’t picture a baby elephant when listening to Mancini, I feel sad for you 🙂  – Terrance Riggle


i don’t care, i don’t picture an elephant 

Terrance Riggle

Without resorting to tired jokes, what do you picture, then? Genuine question. Not a “gotcha.” – Terrance Riggle


i picture an older gentleman trying to walk down the street on a snowy day  and his feets r failin him

Terrance Riggle

Preposterous. The lilting flutes, the simple beat — it’s an elephant, my friend. Right there in the name of the tune 🙂 Take care. – Terrance Riggle


hope y’all love this song about the old man on street in snow tryin to get to the bank an the wind’s blowin him over

Terrance Riggle

What are you “smoking”??? Mancini himself named the song for what he saw — and what we all see in our mind’s eye when we hear Baby Elephant Walk. It is as canonized as any image in any song could be. Listen again.

Okay? Now listen again as you read this: If the song was intended to show an old man walking on a snowy day, it would have horns, bluster. Something to symbolize the snow, perhaps timpani to build a powerful sense of foreboding (see “Autumn Leaves,” another classic). It would not be as lighthearted because Mancini’s generation wouldn’t find humor in the pain of elders. It would not have a carefree, lackadaisical quality. That much is clear. 

But that’s not the case, clearly. This is the sound of an elephant, a baby, learning to walk. Taking its first steps to join its mother, perhaps in a circus (I am opposed to animal exploitation, but we must understand that it was a different time). Perhaps it is enjoying a brief rest from the savage nature of the Serengeti — the sense of innocence is certainly there, if you listen hard enough, and I would venture to say that Mancini hides some elements of sadness in the gorgeous arrangement. It is, sir (or madam, or they, or whatever your generation wants to be called) a baby elephant. 😐  – Terrance Riggle


no its not, old man on the strteet 

Terrance Riggle

Are you calling me an old man, or are you retaining your asinine premise? I genuinely can’t tell, because you can’t even write in complete sentences. What in God’s name is a “strteet?” You can’t tell me, because you don’t know. Your typing skills show your limited cognitive capacity — I have an IQ of 150, verified by three psychiatric professionals, and I can identify an idiot when confronted with one.

THIS. SONG. IS. ABOUT. AN. ELEPHANT. Maybe the capitalization will help you understand, because this is really not up for debate. 🙁  – Terrance Riggle


lyrics: man on da street and he is walking, boy there sure be a lot of snow, it’s snooowing 

Terrance Riggle

In case anyone else happens upon this idiot’s comments, those are NOT THE LYRICS. Mancini added lyrics after the instrumental was a hit, and in my opinion, they degrade the piece. Even so, a quick perusal of the lyrical themes should end our argument (if you have brains to read them):

Make believe you’re in a jungle movie / Watch the BABY ELEPHANTS go by

Emphasis mine. I really don’t know what else I could say. Idiots abound. 

 – Terrance Riggle


sounds like manchini knew your mom

Terrance Riggle

FUCK. YOU. THIS IS A SONG ABOUT ELEPHANTS. And I have better things to do with my time than explain them to a half-wit fucking zoomer with no fucking better thing to do than type bullshit about a great song. Have a good day. Fuck you. :((  – Terrance Riggle


i listen to this song every time it snows. gotta avoid tripping lke the old man from ths ong! snow 2 big for you ol timer, but ur gonna be fine :0

Terrance Riggle

I am done with all of this bullshit. Your fuckstick generation will never fucking understand what we went through to give you all your fucking iphones and shitty fucking video games. Fucking assholes grew up with trophies and think the whole world is a fucking joke. Nothing better to do than jerk off all fucking day like the cocksucking cowards you are and blaming everyone else because you can’t hold down a fucking job at a burger joint.

Meanwhile I drive a Lexus and fuck my beautiful heterosexual wife and then log on to YouTube once a day to hear Baby Elephant Stomp with a glass of scotch (not whiskey, SCOTCH) and I never fucking have to worry about Gen Z because you dumb shits don’t buy insurance so you’re never in my insurance office. Fine by me, I’ve got the music. You’ve got shit because you are shit.

My generation wins because we have the music. We ARE the music. And Baby Elephant Stomp is proof of that. The music fucking sings and you’re too shit to even hear it. It’s sad, really. I won’t be addressing this further.

Geoff Richards

it’s baby elephant walk not baby elephant stomp


Who’s listening in 2022

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Fiction Humor

Mr. Fix-It

I was thinking that maybe today I will finally get around to screwing in that piece of drywall that has been sitting against the bare studs in the downstairs bathroom. I did not intend to let the task get away from me, but things have a way of piling up to the point where a person does not want to do them, even if they are minor things that only take a few minutes.  

I know where the screws are, and I think that they are the correct size for the job. It doesn’t matter if they’re a bit long, because there’s nothing behind those studs, just air, and it doesn’t matter if they are short, either. I don’t suspect either of us will be pulling on the drywall, trying to unseat it (can you imagine?). 

Eventually, we will sell this tiny house, and it will be up to the next person to figure out whether the drywall screws are the correct size. Fuck ‘em.

I haven’t wanted to run the drill during the day because you have been working late nights or going to the hospital, which leaves me alone. You are here, but I am still alone. You sleep endlessly, and while you are only unconscious for a normal number of hours (5-6), those are the hours when I am most capable of doing things like screwing in a piece of drywall that has been sitting against the bare studs in the downstairs bathroom for six months.

Last year, we bought this house, and we were not excited about it.

We looked at a half-dozen houses, the real estate agent preening about the laidback nature of the HOAs in the northern part of town or drawing our attention to the brand-new outlets that indicated that a particular home was move-in ready. 

“Look at this tuck pointing!” she said, and you asked me what tuck pointing was, and I shrugged and felt a little embarrassed because the real estate agent heard you. Then she explained it (and I still don’t really understand). 

Those homes were not for us. Not yet, anyway. We chose a semi-dilapidated house on the southern part of town that, in my overly ambitious estimation, was on the correct side of semi-dilapidated and capable of making us a quick buck. I would fix the home, and you would help when you could. You would work your nights, and we would be close to the hospital, which would be good for you and good for Julie. 

Is it clean enough, you asked. The doctor said… 

We’ll make it clean, is what I said. Cleaning is easy. Fixing walls is easy. What we’re going through, well, it isn’t easy, and some days I think that it’s harder for us than it is for her. I say that to myself, and it feels right, but I don’t know if it really is right. I can only speak from my own experience and sometimes it gets in the way.

For a few months, I think I did pretty well.

I did tile the bathroom like I said I would, even though I bought three separate tile cutters to get the job done. The first one was a piece of shit. It broke every single tile we fed through it. You blamed the tile I bought, but that tile wasn’t cheap — not like you said. And you gave up when the second tile cutter didn’t do any better, and you stopped helping, which was probably better for both of us.

I finally bought a wet saw and looked up videos online of people using it. They are all smiling people in nice houses that don’t really need new tiles. I pulled off each greasy piece of pull-and-stick laminate from our plywood floor, and I wondered whether I should put down some cement board, but then I looked at the clock and I heard Julie crying upstairs and I said fuck it, and I started laying down those tile. You came in and asked me if I had enough tile spacers. Yes, I said. Go see what she wants. 

She just wants more apple juice, but she can’t keep it down. 

I looked at the tile and I kept putting it down. It looks pretty good now, though I still need to seal it. And I replaced a few of the cabinets, enough of them for a functional kitchen. You’re embarrassed to have people over, but I keep telling you that they’ll understand. They’re unfinished, yes, but they don’t look that bad. They’re temporary. And shit, they hold the plates, don’t they? What else do we expect of our cabinets?

What about the office, you ask me, every time. Do they want you back yet.

The truth is (and I haven’t told you this) yes, they do want me back. They don’t need me, and I don’t really do much when I’m there. I didn’t do much before. I don’t think they know that, but they sure as hell aren’t looking over my shoulder now. 

When I do go in, once a month, I think I get more done than I used to get done all year. I just don’t like it anymore. Betty is always stopping by my desk and trying to talk about anything but that and it’s obvious what she’s doing, but I can’t tell her that. How would that even go? So we just talk about the house, because that’s what’s on my mind, and I just want to get back and start doing stuff. There’s so much to do.

I just need to get around to it.

I’m getting better about that. You should have seen the inside of that galvanized steel pipe I took out of the downstairs bathroom — I know you don’t want to look in it, I won’t make you — but the crud was so bad, it might explain the water pressure issue. I am going to put in the copper pipe to replace it. It’s just tough because I need to use a blowtorch to do it and I haven’t done that before. Fucking up is one thing, fucking up with fire seems a bit bigger.

You said it yourself, I am better at tearing things out than putting them together. Look at all of the rolls of carpet downstairs. That took weeks to pull out, and we found those wonderful hardwood floors hiding underneath the vomit-stained paisley prints. True, they’re not in the best condition, but clean them up, refinish them, and that should help the resale value. 

I also tore down that wall in the kitchen. It will be a nice, big, open space — you will be able to see right into the living room — I just need someone (cheap) to come in and tell me if I can take those studs down. They don’t look load-bearing. 

I know what you’re going to say, you don’t know what load-bearing looks like, I can hear you saying it. But the guy on YouTube explained that it’s just looking at the cross sections, seeing where the big boards are. That’s not hard. I’m pretty confident it’s fine, I just need someone to tell me for sure.

Here, I will say that I am sorry about the bedroom. I went overboard there. There was nothing wrong with the wall, and the ceiling probably could have been fixed, and — well, look, I didn’t know that the insulation gets everywhere when it drops down like that. Now I know, though, don’t I? Won’t make that mistake again. Not that I’ll be ripping out ceilings anytime soon, I learned my lesson.

The bedroom gets really hot now. I guess I don’t need to say that, but it’ll go back to normal when we get some drywall up. I really need my own truck. I’m sick of borrowing the neighbor’s F-150, and I think he’s sick of me borrowing it, too. 

Did we ever even figure out that guy’s name? It’s too late to ask, I probably drive his truck more than he does. Maybe you could invite your sister over (she’ll understand about the kitchen, I’m telling you) and I’ll introduce her to him and then he’ll have to say his name and we’ll know it, and I’ll write it down this time.

At least we don’t have much of a lawn to worry about.

I really think that our house has curb appeal. Don’t laugh, it does. Granted, that big window in the front needs to be replaced. I found a video that says it’s easier than you think, and after I get that wall up downstairs, I might take a hack at it. 

I’m sure I could at least get it out today, and then get the new one tomorrow. I’ll be committed to it this time, I know we can’t have a big open space where a window used to be. Although we could just put plastic sheeting in front of it — people do that. It doesn’t take much time to put up, obviously, and it actually insulates pretty well. Better than that shitty window, I’d bet.

How much do windows cost, do you thinky? I bet they’re more expensive than doors.I bet they’re easier to put in, though. The only reason I haven’t put the door back on the bathroom is that I think I’d fuck it up. I watched about six videos about putting a new frame on, and I’m almost ready to try it, but Jesus, there’s a lot of math involved. Not fun. Not that any of this is fun, but it needs to be done.

And I’ll do it, starting with the wall downstairs. The screws are down there, too. I just need to find the drill and that’ll be one more thing off the list. So I am sorry I don’t go with you to see her more but there’s a lot of stuff to do around here.

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Fiction Humor

emails from a car dealership

FROM: Timothy Richards
Business Development Manager
Cookman Auto Sales LLC

DATE: March 20, 2021

See “baseball season” radio spot, attached. Email Terry with questions. This has been approved by Dave and Thomas Cookman.

NOTE TO VOICE ARTIST AGENCY: Keep to under 30 SECONDS!!!! This is important and will be checked internally.

Excited to work with your team again. To reiterate our primary note: Ad MUST be 30 seconds long. At 31 seconds, we pay an additional $500 to three of the 78 local stations.

These are ANNUAL CONTRACTS, which is problematic in the baseball communications vertical.

This was partly our fault last year, though not completely.

We did not acknowledge the actual extent of the radio contract in our communications. You may be surprised, as I was: There are 162 games (baseball) per year, not counting rainouts, and almost exactly as many broadcasts! Please keep this in mind during performance.

This is our concern because an extra second can create a substantial decrease in ROI and other tracked metrics. In fact, last year, we paid over $240,000 extra for the 31-second ad your firm submitted, owing mostly to extraneous pauses and (if I may) languorous pronunciation. 

We attempted to cut out a second of audio, but were unable to recreate the natural sound of the talent with our in-office technology. Our CEO Douglas Cookman remarked that the finished product sounded “fruity,” which pertained to the quality of audio itself and was not a homophobic inference (Douglas has many gay and non-binary friends and clients). We decided to use the 31-second ad, which resulted in the aforementioned overcharge.

Needless to say, this is totally unacceptable. As mentioned last February, our budget assigns a maximum of $150,000 for production errors. Last year’s overrun resulted in a restatement of financial expectations in our internal Q4 report, which created an undue burden that forced one of our administrative assistants to work on Christmas Eve. 

As a partially family-owned company, this was a major concern for us. We are thankful for our administrative assistants and compensated the employee (Deborah) appropriately.

Despite last year’s mistake, we continue to use your firm because, frankly, you are the least expensive (but still very capable!) option in the greater St. Louis area. We also noticed better-than-average ROI for last year’s longer advertisement, which is why we sent an official “thanks” in our holiday package to your firm. 

So with that in mind, we can let these “bygones be bygones,” but to be clear, I will not sidestep or shirk the issue: We would prefer to make all creative decisions IN-HOUSE!!! This is VERY important to our CEO Douglas Cookman.

Please contact Terry if you are unable to make this ad fit into the 30-second (NOT 31 SECONDS!!!) spot. Also, we will need time for the 5-second bumper at the end of the spot.

So, actually, please keep ad to 25 seconds. 


Ad follows. PLEASE READ AS WRITTEN! Last year’s ad included an ad-lib by talent, which was not appreciated by Douglas Cookman (Cookman Auto CEO). The copy read, “That’s a great deal,” but talent read, “Wow, that’s a great deal.”

The addition of the hyperventilative “wow” may have contributed to aforementioned time issue.

Distressingly, we also received poor social media engagement as a result of this addition. Several Twitter users noted that “wow” is synonymous with, and I quote:

white middle-class feelings of subterfuge – @Proper_Yoda

This is NOT the brand we’re building at Cookman.

Our target audience is, in fact, middle-class, but we take pride in honest pricing, and we have explicitly declared in our company literature that we do not prefer customers of a particular race (see first attachment, paragraph 2, sentence 7). 

This is not a cavillous point: Voiceover performances should reflect our company values. Please review the attached materials for an even more thorough explanation.

AND PLEASE EXPRESS THIS TO TALENT, FIRMLY BUT POSITIVELY!!! We cannot allow for ANY ad-libs. To this end, I have included extensive (and explicitly detailed!!!!!!) guidance. Any performance decisions should be checked with Terry. 

If any talent has questions regarding this script that cannot be addressed internally, they MUST receive a sign-off from either Terry or Douglas (please do not contact Douglas unless Terry is unavailable for a minimum period of two days).

Script follows.

PERSONAL NOTE: Personally, I loved last year’s radio spots provided by your firm. No-Nonsense Voiceovers delivered on its promise, with the obvious exception of the unnecessary ad-lib(s), and the timing issue detailed above. We saw an increase of 18.56% ARGS and nearly 40% HTR, which I explained to Douglas Cookman in our quarterly meeting.

However, Douglas (he prefers to be called Douglas) expressed restrained consternation regarding some of the decisions reflected in the final advertisement. His concerns are my concerns.

I do not blame your firm entirely, though the fault was not wholly mine, either.

My wife had started a new job at the time, and our schedules rarely lined up, which inhibited my at-home productivity significantly from April-June. Regrettably I was unable to provide an extensive overview of the submitted materials before their publication. I have created a three-point plan to resolve this oversight over the next quarter.

This is why I have provided so many notes on this draft. Put yourself in my position; Douglas is not a micro-manager (this is noted in our company literature). He entrusts his team to “act like a real team,” or even a baseball team, if you will, and I’m sure you will. As the “captain” or “starting pitcher” of the audio marketing division, I have extensive responsibilities (and quite a bit of power) to leverage company resources as I see fit (“throw a strike”). I am expected to “knock it out of the park” and will not settle for a “single” or even a “triple.”

When a radio spot fails to meet the basic metrics (time, lack of adlibs, etc.) set by my office, this reflects on me!!! And you, to a greater extent. 

We’re happy to have you “on deck,” but please don’t “strike out!”


Script follows.

FINAL NOTE: Terry has not provided input on the first seven drafts (which have been forwarded to you for your preparation). Unfortunately, Terry is currently spending most of his time in the hospital with his male husband (Terry is gay, which I only note here to clarify the third paragraph of our company mission, which includes several clear — and bold — statements opposing discrimination, please review if necessary). 

Terry is still answering email and therefore should still be available for questions. Please keep questions brief, as Terry has limited time in just about every conceivable sense of the term.


 When sentences end with exclamation points, read with excitement. NOT JUBILANCE. Some of these sentences require nuance. Please select talent accordingly.

CASTING: MAN SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY MASCULINE. WOMAN SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY FEMININE. Please listen to AT&T’s “Fiber Internet 2021 – Radio Spot” (attached) for guidance, but do not mimic. Do not strictly adhere (or shy away from) gender roles in a way that could alienate the target audience (middle-class consumers of any race who are “sick and tired” of traditional auto sales and wish to hit a “home run” with a reputable local family-friendly dealership located near the Crestwood Mall, but a safe distance away from the nearby smeltery).

Woman should not sound as though she is looking to Man for approval. Man should not sound aloof or incapable of making his own decisions. 

Woman should be confident, free, but not jubilant. Man should be easygoing, semi-confident, and curious. 

REMEMBER: We will request re-takes if necessary.



Honey, that old clunker in the driveway isn’t doing too well!


Well, why are we keeping it around?


What do you mean?


Cookman Auto Sales is cutting the cost of new vehicles! We could head down there today.


Today? But the baseball game’s on!


Sure, but I love baseball too, and Cookman Auto is offering a real “home-run” of a sale!


A home run?


Yes, a home run! Cookman Auto is “striking out” the competition with zero percent financing on all 2021 vehicles on the lot! 


And the best part is that we can head there right now! The financing deal lasts all summer, so we can save on a brand-new vehicle whenever we have the time! We can even shop online!


Wow, that’s fucking great! Let’s head there now!


Please provide FULL AD by end of day 4/10. We appreciate working with you!!!

FROM: Timothy Richards
Business Development Manager
Cookman Auto Sales LLC

April 25th, 2021

To whom it may concern,

In my previous message, I clearly explained the Cookman Auto Sales brand. I also wrote (and I have kept copies) that ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SCRIPT SHOULD BE REFERRED TO TERRY.

First, I will note that your firm followed most of our instructions (with one very clear, obvious, and unprofessional exception). Your talent clearly followed the guidance, and their performances were adequate, though not exemplary. In normal circumstances, I would not complain about the clear jubilance exhibited by the MAN actor in his penultimate line (“A home run?!”)

Now, for the elephant in the room. I will not skirt the issue. I admit that the typo in the script was my mistake. That is obvious. I was overwhelmed with family obligations at the time, which is why I was working from home for one day per week. I believe I had mentioned this in an earlier email (Jan. 1, 2021, “Setting Metrics for April Radio Spot”). 

This is not to excuse my mistake, as I do not make excuses.

This is simply to provide context which absolves me of any responsibility for the error.

I will not beat around the bush: If your firm is truly “no-nonsense,” I believe someone should have recognized the obvious flaw (curse word) in the final line of the copy. Leaving the errant entry in place was, frankly, unprofessional.

Playing this advertisement for Douglas Cookman, I became aware that your talent rushed the final line, perhaps (I hope not???) in an attempt to “sneak it by” us. Douglas certainly heard the error, and asked me, I quote, “what the (heck) was that?” I was able to offer an explanation, and an apology, which he accepted. To mitigate the error, I explained that your firm was no longer under contract with Cookman Auto Sales. Douglas (CEO) approved of this decision, and now I am relaying that to you.

I see no reason to hem and haw, straddle the fence, or even to equivocate: Our business relationship would likely end in litigation if you had not immediately issued a refund for the billed amount ($250). Needless to say, the advertisement (if it can be called that) was not acceptable for radio play.

We were able to use the advertisement on several fringe podcasts, which, frankly, do not fully conform with our stated brand identity. Through sheer ingenuity, I was able to recoup the moderate monetary investment (and a portion of the SIGNIFICANT TIME INVESTMENT) that we dedicated to your services.

Even so, I have several areas of disappointment.

First, I was under the impression that your firm would be more responsive. While you have provided the agreed-upon materials in a timely fashion, I have received limited interaction from your team after our initial consultation phone call. You have been absent on our firm’s proprietary communication tool (Cookman Auto Chatz, I provided 12 login tokens, only 3 of which have been used), and since last year, we have received a mere 37 emails from your firm (compare to my 113, not including Terry’s correspondence).

And this may seem “tacky,” but I kept an eye out for your firm’s holiday basket or other seasonal materials. When it arrived, I was disappointed at the lack of thought and the limited inclusivity. All items were exclusively Scandinavian. 

I cannot confirm whether you contacted Terry regarding the script, but I doubt that very much. While we have been unable to access Terry’s company account, his husband has stopped by the office several times and has relayed to me that Terry (his gay husband, with whom he surely discussed important matters) did not mention any of the script drafts prior to his (Terry’s) ultimate failure to lung cancer.

I am curious as to whether your firm has any records of such correspondence. Please forward if so. Regardless, we have moved on and will be using the services of a competing firm.

It did not have to be this way.

Timothy Richards

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