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Lament

This isn't the post you would have read

This isn't the post you would have read

This hardly ever happens, but you're getting totally robbed by this post. It's scant and tiny compared to what was here just minutes ago. It lacks the energy of what it would have been. Why? Fate. Damnable fate. 


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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So long, Wendy's - an open letter

Since the contact form on the Wendy's website rejected my e-mail based on length, I figured maybe I should just post it here. If you happen to be from Wendy's corporate, I'd love to hear a reply. Also, I'm not mad at ya. We just have different ideas of how to raise my money.

And now, an open letter to Wendy's ...

---

Hi there,
My friends and I recently decided to stop being customers of Wendy's. I thought you might like to know why.

For more than 20 years, my friend Bob and I have had a tradition of going to the local fleamarkets here in Houston, usually three or four times per year. On these trips we start early and run hard. We comb every stall, examine every table, and hone in on the cool stuff we like with the precision of a hawk pouncing on a field mouse. When the morning is done, we transition to the other side of the city and start all over with a different set of flea markets.

It's epic.

Part of our tradition, from day one, has always been a stop-over at the Wendy's restaurant located at I-45 and Almeda road. We've been going to that specific restaurant for more than two decades, enjoying a nice, refueling lunch of burgers, fries, and sodas.

A few years ago, after the death of Dave Thomas, we noticed some changes in the way the chain operates. Most notable (to us, anyway) was that the drink machine was moved from the customer side of the counter to the employee side. We were no longer allowed the privilege of pulling our own drinks, filling them to our preference, and refilling them as needed. It didn't make us happy, but we understood it to be some kind of cost-cutting measure. Who could blame you for that?

Us, maybe. But big deal.

We also noticed a little bit of shifting going on with regard to sizes. French fry packaging got smaller, as did the burgers themselves, while the size of the prices seemed to get bigger. Again, not happy. And again, we figured it was about improving your margins. What business wouldn't want to do that?

Despite some annoyances, we have always continued to stop at Wendy's for our fleamarket lunch. In fact, we have often stopped at a Wendy's restaurant when on road trips, when we needed a quick bite on moving day, when we just wanted something good and inexpensive -- though, unfortunately, those two adjectives are starting to apply less and less.

This may seem silly, but recently you guys did something that we consider to be the "last straw." It's a small thing, honestly, but it made a very big difference to us. It sent a message.

You decided to pull the Jr. Bacon Cheesburger from the 99-cent menu.

See? Small. The price jump isn't even that high. But like I said, it sent a message. And that message, from our point of view, is "We don't care about you. We only care about how much money we can get out of you."

Maybe you guys don't mean that. I'm hip. In fact, I'm pretty sure there's a mission statement or a corporate philosophy statement on a wall somewhere in Wendy's HQ that says something to the effect of "We value our customers." But for the past few years, your actions seem to have put the lie to that.

Little things add up.

Anyway, my friend Bob and I have decided never to eat at a Wendy's again. We prefer to take our meager, small, insignificant bit of business to an establishment that, at the very least, isn't constantly trying to squeeze more out of us. We've also convinced several of our friends to stop patronizing your restaurants as well. It wasn't hard, actually. Most of them gave up on you guys a long time ago, citing "food quality," "price," and "customer service" as their reasons.

I'm a little sad about this, because for one thing I always liked our little tradition, and that will be missed. For another, I liked Dave Thomas. I thought he was an amazing guy, and I was proud to support the dream he built, in my small way. Now I just think he'd be upset and hurt. He probably wouldn't eat at Wendy's either.

So anyway, thanks for everything. Sorry we had to say goodbye. We're such a small part of your demographic, I'm sure we won't be missed.

Then again, little things add up, right?

Take care,
Kevin


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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No boogers of me: Socially Awkwardification

I'm pretty sure I have a mental illness.

When I'm by myself, in my head, writing things down on screen or in my Moleskine, I think I'm pretty with-it. I'm not using that in the ironic sense. I truly think I've got a mainline to dope, hip, bitchin', and other words that are rarely used anymore to convey how cool someone is. I'm pretty fly.

All that fly-ness gets me into a pretty confident stride, too. Almost a strut, really. Basically, as long as I'm throwing down sweet word science I am rockin' out with my proverbial ... junk ... out. Sorry ... I think there are kids present. But then I'm pulled short, and I bust out all Jerry Lewis.

Sometimes, when I get into a real-world, three-dimensional social situation I suddenly become that guy who says awkwardly inappropriate things into the silences of conversations. I'm the guy everyone stares at, nods at, and agrees with condescendingly. I suddenly become the guy everyone pities in the conversation. And that ain't right.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I have my share of "leave 'em rolling" moments. Put me with the right group at the right time and I'm damned hilarious. Hi-lar-i-ous. But not all the time, unfortunately. There are those moments, usually when I'm trying to fit in with a hip crowd in a hip place while consuming hip food, that I become "Odd Cousin Billy" and nothing I say or do comes out quite right. Friggin' hate that.

I pride myself on my social skills. I know I can be abrupt and inappropriate. I've made it a lifestyle choice. But I can talk to anyone about anything, and that's a fact. Except sports. Can't talk about sports. Can't ... relive ... the pain ...

So what the hell is it that comes over me when I'm out with these hip folk in hip places, and suddenly I'm a candidate for the short bus and a permanent bicycle helmet? I wouldn't call it "social anxiety." I'm not feeling any anxiety at that moment. More like "social oblivion." I suddenly feel like I could abruptly stand up, walk out and drive home and no one at the table would even wonder what happened to me. But take my pants off ONE TIME in the middle of a crowded restaurant and everyone suddenly notices. Unreal.

Anyway, I had one of those awkward moments today, and no matter how cool I tried to play it I still felt like the guy with the booger on the tip of his nose. Thankfully I had my iPhone to keep me company and make me feel loved and/or appreciated. iLoveYou, it said. And I believed it.

Also, I was able to use the camera to check for boogers. Free and clear. Oh yes.



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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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TV or not TV

"Hi. My name is Kevin Tumlinson, and I ... <<sigh>> am addicted to TV."

<<all>> "Hi Kevin!"

"It's a long-running addiction. It started when I was just a kid. I would happily and excitedly jump out of bed on Saturday mornings around 5 a.m. and glue myself to a spot roughly three feet from the tube for the next eight to ten hours. All we had was a rabbit-ears antenna back then, and reception was poor. Thank God! Can you imagine if I'd had cable or satellite TV back then? I'd probably still be sitting there in some seriously over-stretched Spider-man Underoos."

<<Polite laughter, knowing nods, affirmative thumbs up from sponsor>>

That, my friends, is me taking the first step. I'm admitting I have a problem.

Practically since birth, TV has been my friend, my companion, my mentor. It was an educator. It was a comfort when I was sick or sad. It was a window into a world that I desperately wanted to be a part of. Happy, whole families. Fantastic adventures. And everyone makes out good in the end. Happy endings for all.

Recently, Kara and I bought a huge HD television. It's one of a dozen or so purchases we've made for our new house, but easily one of the most telling. This is an object that sits front and center in the one room of the house where we spend the most time. And despite the fact that we have gobs of unfinished work literally from floor to ceiling in every room of the house, a yard in desperate need of landscaping attention, and a garage that we currently can't park in, our TV works perfectly, and has astounding quality.

Kara and I have talked about this problem. We've come up with plans to become more "active." We've made decisions to "eat at the table more," "prepare more meals," "do more things around the house." "Maybe the TV could run in the background," we say. A soundtrack to our fruitful and productive lives.

Nay, nay.

Always, inevitably, we will plop down, plate of food in our lap, and start watching a marathon of shows. The Internet has made it possible to watch dozens of episodes for a series each night. It never stops. There is an endless supply.

I want to actually live my life. Watching it happen in HD isn't a good enough substitute.

I have books to write, inventions to invent, artwork to create. I have walks to take and neighborhoods to explore. I have yards to landscape, and neighbors to meet. I have so much more to do with my life. And since I can't DVR the whole thing, it's kind of important that I catch it live.

So, what's a TV junkie to do? Is there a program for this kind of addiction? A TV program? Heh ... sorry ... couldn't resist.



Like what you're reading? Consider tipping the author!

Tip in any amount you like, safely and securely via PayPal (no PayPal account requred). And thank you in advance for your generosity!


____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

BECOME A SLINGER

Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.