This website contains rants, poems, articles, comments and a few book reviews I
have written for other writers. Enjoy yourself and bookmark the page to come back to see more new things.
To visit my MurderNovels.com website to learn more about my 10 murder novels featuring the senior citizen sleuth, Jim Richards,
then: CLICK HERE!
My Smoking Hot Blonde :)
Comics about Books
Here's a few comics I have found relating to the book world.:)
I write like WolfGirl's author, I don't have an ending either for my
books when I start to write.
Plain Jane - Brunettes Beware
By Cristyn West (@CristynWest on Twitter) added 07-02-10
I've read most of the Alex Cross novels by James Patterson to be grossed out by graphic
descriptions of cutting up bodies by psychopaths, so it should have been no problem getting through
Plain Jane by Cristyn West. I was still queasy after finishing this book.
Early on it is revealed that a serial killer called Plain Jane has stolen a woman's uterus,
actually lots of women, and it is up to another psychopath in the form of an FBI profiler named
Kent Harbinger to catch him. I call this FBI profiler a psychopath only because he is so focused on
the crime and getting into the head of the killer, he shreds apart the feelings of other agents who
are also trying to stop Plain Jane. He has this single-minded desire to be right and perfect in his
profiling of the killer that he keeps alienating everyone, but mostly a female agent who was once
his lover, before he was commited to a mental hospital for, well read the book.
The guy is also a loose canon, he constantly goes off on his own to do the deed and he cares not if
others want to help. The female hero, an agent named Nicole Usher, is trying to keep everyone happy,
but Kent is not making it easy. Plus her present amour and partner Ruben Torres, is in a power
struggle to prove Kent is a nut and should be put away again. He also doesn't like the Svengali
hold Kent has on Nicole. There's a bit of in fighting amongst agents which doesn't help them stay
focused on catching the real killer, well other than Kent's one track focus.
The story followed very well through the plot to catch the killer and a few red herrings were
thrown in to mess with your mind, and who the actual Plain Jane is was a surprise. There was one
part of the ending, I won't reveal, that had me amazed. It's something I have never seen in a story
or even a horror film, you have to read it for the ultimate in twists. There are many plot devices
I want to comment on but the whole thing depends on these surprises to carry the story so I can't
reveal them. All I can say is read the book, I believe you will be pleasantly surprised by this
first time novel for Cristyn West. I recommend this book and it can be found on Smashwords.com at
http://bit.ly/b60jVe go check it out.
Blunt Force Trauma Review
Blunt Force Trauma, by Danielle Monique, (@danmon22 on Twitter) Added 06-12-10
I really can't call this a book review, because there is no book. Just a story
that was sent to me from a perfectly delightful woman who I met on Twitter, lives in Western
Australia and I was honored (honoured, as they spell it in the Queen's English) to be the first to
read the entire manuscript of her very first full length novel. The story was written by Danielle
Monique, a drama teacher in Western Australia who loves to write laughingly funny poetry about
creatures who make stew from little children and a Peanut that ends up in a few places that peanuts
shouldn't. She has a new blog she is starting for her musings and poetry, I'll give the link later.
As I said there is no book in the sense of this work being "published" or printed
on paper, just words on the computer in digital, which seems the way to go now days. Whatever the
method, this story was a very good crime novel. The opening reveals a woman's body being dumped
from a highway overpass, slams into a car then being bounced onto the road harshly, but she survives!
Although she ends up in a coma for a good many months, she has survived being beat on the head
several times by unknown assailants and, as I said, dumped on the highway. What follows is the
girl's attempt to remember what happened the night she was attacked and along the way discovers
some very strange facts, like that she has left her husband for a woman and a mother who she hasn't
spoken to in years suddenly reappears. These are very strange facts to a woman with a fragmented
memory. Oh and it should be mentioned that this woman is a writer of crime novels.
The story follows with a Detective who has been working the case having no luck
and now that the woman has come out of the coma he tries to help her to piece back the night in
question. The story takes many twists that make sense and she slowly starts to remember small
details. Many people are involved but the story is never bogged down by unnecessary plot lines,
just straight to the point answers about the crime. There are a number of action sequences that are
well played, and a few murders that cause the criminal's to start revealing themselves.
I have read tons of crime fiction, although American crime fiction, and I can say
this story kept my interest, had me wondering and never went sour on plot or characters. I honestly
enjoyed it. If I didn't honestly enjoy it I would just say it was good and leave it at that. The
story takes place in and around London, England and the writing has that cultural difference from
American slang and terms that I'm used to, but after a bit I was comfortable with the difference
and just enjoyed the story. Besides I have seen enough Canadian and British humor and shows on PBS
to have a small command of the culture.
As I said, this is not a book, and it's not available anywhere, it has be polished
a bit to fix a very few grammatical errors and maybe, just maybe Danielle will let the world read it.
If it were a book, I would not have been disappointed to have purchased it. Dani's blog can be
found at: http://somedayandnever.wordpress.com and be sure to read her heartfelt posting about her
twitter friends. You can find her on twitter as @Danmon22, say hi to her.
Maybe if you sweet talk her, she'll let you read her story too.
A Touch of Deceit Book Review
A Touch of Deceit, by Gary Ponzo, Added 05-23-10
There is a fine line between right and wrong. The FBI goes by the book, but would it
hurt to look away and bend the rules a bit when it comes to terrorist who would destroy
our freedom and our lives. I have said in another review that I wouldn't be upset
with vigilantism if done by people who knew how to do it right. The plot of "A Touch
of Deceit" features FBI special agent for counter-terrorism Nick Bracco, and his
sharpshooting partner Matt McColm and their quest to find Kemel Kharrazi the world's
most dangerous terrorist. Kharrazi is a leader in the Turkish Kurd's fight for
freedom or so he says, but does he have another agenda? I liked Nick because he
wasn't some super special agent, just a guy with a beautiful wife and a lot of baggage
in his life. He has a nervous condition, is being treated by a psychiatrist and has
doubts about his carrer. He is also related to some underworld people in the form of
a mob family. His cousin is part of that mob and a person close to him. When it comes
out that Kharrazi is going to blow up a lot of people and their homes to force the
President to remove troops from Turkey, Nick and Matt are on the trail. Kharrazi's
people make a wrong move by blowing up a home of a head of the mob family and the mob
isn't happy. The story is exciting and believable as Nick tries to find Kharrazi before
he can carry out his threat to blow up the White House. Intrigue ensues and the mob
is quietly drawn into the action to help find Kharrazi's stronghold and the detonator.
Lots of twists and turns along the story and lots of action, killings, bombings and
humor. I liked all the characters and the story was easy to read, very few diverting
back stories to murk up the plot, just all good adventure.
Gary Ponzo has a winner here
and I hope the ending of this book will carry Nick and Matt into further adventures.
Book is available on Smashwords.com and at Gary's website http://www.garyponzo.com
Now and Then Book Review
Now and Then, by John Locke, Added 05-23-10
In the fourth book of the Donovan Creed series, author John Locke takes a different twist in this plot
than in his past stories. This is a two part book, first, a continuation of John's last book "
Saving Rachel", showing our assassin hero Donovan Creed and his new lady love going away for a
quiet vacation. They become involved with the owner of the Seaside Bed and Breakfast and end up
helping to keep the place running. The bed and breakfast is nearby St. Alban's Beach, Florida, a
town with a tortured past. They harbor ghosts of pirates past who were supposedly tricked by the
town's ancestors into being caught by the British army. The leader of the pirates, Gentleman Jack Hawley has
a connection to one of the present day inhabitants, a girl named Libby. That's all I'm giving away,
but Donovan eventually confronts Libby and some plot twists are revealed. There is a side plot going
on during Donovan and Rachel's stay at the B&B, that is a character named D'Augie. This was a
hilarious device as D'Augie is trying to kill Creed, and has unbelievably bad luck. I laughed my
head off, especially about his mis-adventures with the attic squirrels.
The second part of the book was a story line that I
probably wouldn't have read if it was in a book by itself, but I followed it from Creed's last
appearance in the story, and I really enjoyed it. This second part is a flashback to 1711, when pirates sailed the seas and
occasionally had to pull into a port for food and fun. This where the townspeople of St. Alban give
the pirates up, even though they had a mutual agreement to exist peacefully. Jack Hawley was
eventually captured but not before he and his followers cause a bit of damage to the town and a few
residence. This part of the story was fantastically accurate as to the time period, I felt like I
was reading a journal of the times. The language and descriptions were so real, I believe John
Locke is Jack Hawley reincarnated. I enjoyed the plot and story of the entire book, my only problem
was what happened to Donovan Creed and Rachel? Maybe to be carried on in the next book.
John Locke does it again. This book is available on Smashwords.com and there is more info at
lethalbooks.com check it out.
Heaven Falls Book Review
Heaven Falls by Winslow Eliot, Added 04-23-10
I'm not one for reading romance novels, but I had met the delightful Winslow Eliot through
Twitter and when she offered her book on Smashwords.com for a good price I
bought it. I was reading John Locke's latest book "Saving Rachel" so had Winslow's
book on the burner. The book is called "Heaven Falls" and I have to say now that
I recently finished it, I am impressed. It's isn't totally a romance novel, but
the flavor of the book is romantic, and then a mystery, then excitement. It
revolves around an exclusive health spa that caters to people looking for the
romance of love, not sexual but romantic love, just to hold hands and share
romantic thoughts with another person and get a good spa treatment. Sounded
good to me.
Tess is an ordinary woman with an 11 year old daughter, Freya. Tess had a brief
fling with a man, Max, from a powerful family and the owners of Heaven Falls Spa,
and Freya was born from that brief liaison. Years later Tess is approached by Jason,
the brother of Max telling Tess that Max had died in an accident and his family
wanted to meet Freya, Max's daughter. An offer is made to Tess to move to Heaven
Falls, an offer Tess takes to heart being she is nearly broke and recently lost her
beloved Aunt who she lived with. Too many details to cover here, but Tess does eventually
move with Freya to the huge estate of Heaven Falls and becomes involved with the
very strange family who runs the spa and now her new found relations.
As I said I'm not overly excited about reading romance stories, but this book took
so many twists and turns it became more of a mystery novel to me. Tess had to fear
for her life after she inherited the family business when the matriarch of the
family passes, and the assortment of crazy relatives now want a piece of the wealth.
She starts to fall in deep love with Jason but will they be destined to sort through
the myriad of problems that come up. Who is the mysterious Ari, and what is his
reasons for hovering over Freya and Tess. What is the story behind Phillip, the
scarred, wheelchair confined brother who wants to marry Tess? Mystery abounds,
and doesn't give an inch till later after murder attempts, kidnapping across the
globe and deceitful goings on in the family.
I give this book a resounding endorsement, definitely a wild ride.
For more about the book go to Winslow's website: heavenfalls.com
Lethal Experiment (Book 2 of the Donovan Creed series) Book Review
Lethal Experiment by John Locke, Added 03-21-10
I recently finished reading John Locke's first book, Lethal People, introducing
the professional assassin Donovan Creed. My prior review covers that book
(See Next Review below),
but this second book in the series goes in a different direction and I have mixed
emotions about this book. First to say, I did thoroughly enjoy reading this book
to the end, but I have to say that John Locke is an evil man. He must have locked
himself away without food or drink while writing this thriller with no regard for
his sanity or that of his readers. The whole thing starts off much like the first
book, with Creed off killing people who need killing and making great jokes while
he does it, but then the book took some twists that had me stopping and wondering
if I read it right. I ventured carefully forward and found myself in strange
territory. I can't really say much about what happens because that would be
giving away the twists and turns this book takes. It works though and I got to
the last page and was bowled over by it. If you are expecting a lot of explosions,
well there was one unexpected one near the end, or lots of killing, be warned,
this book became more cerebral than adventure. But that's good, I now have a new
respect for Creed, he's a good man despite his penchant for executing people.
He had to make very hard decisions that changed his life and those around him,
sacrificing love and friendship, but at what cost, his life choices and sanity.
And the sanity of the reader. Well, done Mr. Locke.
Lethal People Book Review
Lethal People by John Locke, Added 03-20-10
The main character in the "Lethal" series of novels by John Locke (no, not the guy
on Lost) is an enigma, at first it took me a while to warm up to his purpose in
the plot of the book. Donovan Creed is his name, a strong mysterious man reminding
me of John Carr from David Baldacci's Camel Club Books, and both men share almost
the same background. They are or were both assassins for the government. While Carr
hides from life, Creed goes forth doing his work. Donovan Creed has many paths that
he follows, he explains his job as being a killer for hire, whether it is for the
secret agency he works for or hiring out to private contracts and even has a tie
to a mob boss. He doesn't question why he is hired to kill people, he says he is
not the Judge, Jury or prosecutor, he calls himself the executioner. I started to
like the guy when he began to show a good sense of humor and a good heart.
Creed has a small number of associates that help in his quest to dispatch people
he is hire to … well, dispatch. His main partner, Augustus Quinn, is a monster of
a man who has a disfigured face but a good sense of who he is and his place in
life. He also helps Creed stay alive by watching his back from men hired to kill
Creed, or from the bevy of hookers Creed lines up to … well, dispatch or take to
bed, then dispatch. I really started to like this guy after he made it his
mission to help a little girl who was seriously burned in a home fire that was set
by unknown criminals and killed her entire family. Creed also has to placate his
ex-wife while trying to protect her from a wife-abusing fiance. Creed's daughter
is trying to cope with her father's constant absence, although he keeps in touch
with her as often as he can. He also starts falling in love with a woman who is
the ex-wife of his ex-wife's abusive fiance. Confused, read the book. Creed
already has so many irons in the fire, and it's even compounded by having to hire
out to a strange voice on the phone with complex murder requests and then having
to hook up on a mission with a band of little people clowns. No, this book isn't
silly, it is has good intentions that work.
The writing is smooth and easy to read, I like books that don't challenge me to
know all about the childhood of a character if it means nothing to the plot, just
put there for padding. I like a book to go on with the plot and keep the action
going. This book has plenty of action including gun battles in a restaurant,
blowing up hotels and an attack with little people carrying fortress destroying
weapons, it keeps you moving. The sex is gratifying and frequent. Oh, speaking
of sex, there's Callie, a super sexy and lethal killing machine who is another
of Creed's stable of collaborators who pops in to help out. The complex plot of
this book is sorted out by the end and everyone is happy, except those who were…
I read this book on my Palm TX in EReader form that I purchased from Smashwords.com,
but the paperback edition is available for those who like to flip pages. It's a
good, enjoyable read and continues in the next book, "Lethal Experiment" which I
am reading now. If you enjoy the John Carr or Mack Bolan type of hero, this is
one for you to add to your collection.
To read more about John Locke's books go to http://www.lethalbooks.com
Book description from the lethalbooks.com website:
While pursuing a budding romance with the beautiful Kathleen Gray, Creed
stumbles upon a plucky-but horribly burned-little girl named Addie Dawes. Creed's
suspicion about the fire that killed Addie's family puts him on a collision course
with crime boss Joe DeMeo, in what soon becomes an issue of kill or be killed.
DeMeo, a relentless killer who will stop at nothing to protect his empire-targets
Creed and his loved ones for death. But Creed has plans of his own. Employing a
bizarre cast of characters including a giant, a rival crime lord, an angry midget
bent on world conquest-and a team of circus clowns- Creed goes on the attack,
with hilarious results.
My Mini-Review of "The Addict"
I met Bob Kuykendall on Twitter and we both shared the love to write crime novels.
Bob's book, "The Addict" is an intriguing tale about a special agent for Homeland
Security and his mission to find a killer who is poisoning drug users with a bad
mixture of a street drug. Along the way he runs into a former classmate and football
team player, Esposito, but the friend is now an addled drug user who can't seem to
get his life together without lying and using. Cade is the agent who tries to reform
his now attached friend all while trying to track the killer, but his own inner
turmoil is getting the best of him. He feels conflicted with being away from his
family and his own self-doubts about the people he comes in contact with, both the
police he has to deal with and the leads he tracks down in his case.
This is an interesting story about a man on the edge and how he deals with it.
Bob's use of his past and present occupation in law enforcement adds to the
authenticity of the book and sometimes it seems his character is going in circles
by the real world rules and not those in fiction where the agent can just bust down
doors anytime he feels like. Bob's real world says there is tons of paperwork before
and after a door busting which ties Cade's hands often. I won't spoil the
ending, it is a head turner, but read
carefully this book before you get to the ending. I was given a "Teen Copy" of the
book to read since the adult version, with all the good words and stuff, is in the
process of being edited for future publishing through Tribe Literary Agency.
This is definitely an enjoyable read, and thought provoking. It's also a two tissue
ending, I'm big on happy endings in the books I write, but Bob's ending works. Check out
the story on http://www.yournextconference.com
for Bob and the real man the book character of Esposito was based on.
Posted January 25, 2010
MORE BOOK REVIEWS COMING!
Everything below was written by myself unless noted.
My erotic-horror short story
Listen to an Audio of my short story
This is an audio presentation of my short story "Apartment 766" (text is below) narrated by me.
You can listen to it or just read it below. It runs almost 10 minutes and you need to turn up your speakers.
by Bob Moats
Morgan sat by the counter waiting patiently for a delivery, he hated
the job, but needed the money. Pizza delivery was not what he had in mind when he
graduated from college as an economist, too bad he didn't see that the economy was
tanking and providing no work for him. He had dreams of a family, nice house, great
expensive car and a job that paid enough to afford the lifestyle. Unfortunately after
school he couldn't find a job to save his life. So he was single, living in his
brother's basement, driving a fifteen year old Chevy Nova and barely affording his
rotten lifestyle. Morgan was in his early twenties and wasn't really bad looking,
but he was shy when it came to he opposite sex, so his love life was bleak.
The phone rang and he answered, it was a customer thankfully. He asked
the standard questions and wrote down the info. The woman on the other end of the phone
had a very sexy voice. He started to dream of having a life long affair with the female
on the phone just as his boss yelled for him to get moving. Morgan gave the paper to the
pizza man who started the process of whipping the pie out. About ten minutes later, the
pizza was ready for delivery. Morgan grabbed the box off the counter, after consulting
with the map on the wall for the address of the building the caller lived in. He crashed
though the door and out to his car, flipping on the lighted sign on the roof that
advertised the Pizza Pit, a name he hated because it sounded like a bad place to eat.
Driving down Yorkshire Avenue he turned on the side street of Enock and up to the
highrise that stood at the end of the road. These were old apartments, having been built in the
60's and renovated at the turn of this century, but still looked like they did last century. He
parked and went up to the main door and pulled on the handle, but it was locked. He looked in and
could see the lobby desk was vacant, the guard must have gone off to pee or have a smoke. Either
way he was standing out in the cold. He turned to the panel that had call buttons for the
apartments and ran his finger down until he found the apartment of his delivery. He pushed the
button and waited. After a moment a female voice came out from the tiny speaker asking who it was.
He identified himself as the pizza delivery and said the desk clerk was gone. He heard the door
buzzer sound and he grabbed for it, pulling the now unlocked door.
He wandered around finally finding the elevators and punched the button to the
seventh floor. The ride was slow and bumpy, he feared the thing would crash to the basement leaving
him a blob on the floor. It finally arrived at the seventh floor and he was more than happy to
leave the death trap. He looked both ways to see if he could spot room 766, and went the wrong way
first, so turned and headed back the other way. After a bit of walking around he found the
apartment and knocked on the door. He waited for a couple minutes before knocking again, then the
door slowly opened and there stood a woman who Morgan could only have wet dreams over.
She asked him to come in and then closed the door behind him as he entered the room.
He didn't normally go into a customer's home because he had heard too many crime stories of pizza
delivery persons who were killed during a simple delivery, but he wasn't really thinking of that
when he saw the woman.
She was in her thirties, he figured, and had a slim build, very nicely rounded
breasts and a face that would turn men's heads anywhere she went. Her hair was golden brown and her
eyes were a bright blue, almost like a wolf's eyes. They were something to get lost in. She was
wearing a low cut black negligee that was hemmed just below her crotch. Any shorter and it would
have been a belt. Her legs went all the way up and long, he felt an urge in his crotch. She smiled
at him and asked him to sit while she got his money, then disappeared into another room, the
bedroom he presumed.
He didn't want to sit so just stood waiting. He could hear movement and rummaging
from the room and finally he heard her call to him, asking if he could come help her with something.
He set the pizza down on a chair and went to the door where she was. He entered the dimly lit room,
smelling a bit musty. His eyes adjusted and he saw her lying on the bed with her seductive legs
arranged exposing her feminine parts, one's he hadn't seen often. He stammered, asking what she
needed, she smiled and asked him to come to the bed. He couldn't resist her voice, he was entranced
by the beautiful woman on the bed waiting for him. He could only hope.
He went to the side of the bed as she held her hand out to him. He couldn't resist
her touch, and took her hand. She pulled him down to her and started to undress him slowly making
him squirm to get out of his clothes. She started to get rough and just about tore his clothes off
his quivering body. She rose up over him now and unbuckled his belt, then unsnapping his pants,
pulled down his zipper. He was getting hard, couldn't stop it if he tried. She smiled at his hard
on and then stroked it with her soft smooth hands. He felt a strong tingle down his back as she
massaged his hardness. She rose up and he saw her sit carefully down on his rising manhood, filling
herself with him. He couldn't believe this gorgeous woman would want to take him for pleasure.
She rose and then went down on him in a rhythmic fashion causing him to want to
scream from the tightness of her. She moaned so softly and then panted as she picked up speed,
causing Morgan to want to explode into her. She had pulled off her negligee up over her head and
took his hands to her ample breasts and rubbed them over her. She was still moaning and then she
went wild and banged him hard and fast. She built up to a frenzy and then screamed out loud as she
came hard down on Morgan for one last thrust.
She collapsed next him sweating profusely. Morgan felt her go still and he stroked
her hair which now felt a bit stiff. He whispered in her ear that she was great, not being a suave
talker, but she didn't move. He lay there for a moment and wondered if she had fallen asleep. He
pulled himself out from under her and sat on the side of the bed. She was still not moving and he
was starting to worry about the whole situation. What if she's married, her husband could come
crashing in finding them together, with murder in his heart. He started to panic, and stood pulling
his clothes together and dressing quickly.
Women like this don't want men like him, she had to have a husband, a big man who
could kill with one blow. Morgan grabbed the rest of his clothing and ran to the front door and out.
He finished dressing as the elevator slowly went back down to the lobby. It arrived and he sped
out of the lobby to the front door passing the still empty lobby desk and out the front door. He
got to his car when he realised that he hadn't collected for the pizza. He didn't have enough in
his pocket to cover the cost, and he didn't want to get fired for not collecting. It would be hard
enough to explain why he hadn't collected.
He stood with his head on the roof of his car thinking about what he should do. He
made a decision, it was his job, hard enough to find, he would go back and collect. Hey, she got
her pleasure, she should be willing to pay. He went back to the door and looking in he saw a huge
black man sitting at the lobby desk. He tapped on the door and the man looked over and hit the
release button. The door opened and Morgan went in and up to the desk. The man looked at Morgan
like he was a bug and asked what he wanted.
"I was just in here a while ago and delivered a pizza. The woman who ordered the
pizza hadn't paid me, she was a bit distracting and I forgot to collect." He stammered.
The man grinned and said, "got your rocks off did you?"
Morgan was a bit taken back by that comment, he said, "Well, yes, I had rushed out
without getting paid, may I go back up to collect?"
"What floor and room?" the desk man asked.
"Seventh, room 766." Morgan said.
The big man just sat and stared at Morgan. He was feeling uncomfortable now. The
man stood and leaned on the counter. "You say you've been up to room 766?" he asked.
Morgan didn't like the way he asked that question and said, "I was and I need to
"You sure it was room 766?" he asked again.
Morgan said it was. The man gave him a strange look and said, "that room isn't
being rented. No one is in that room."
"Hey don't screw with me I was just up there, you must have gone out for a smoke
or something, she let me in."
The man sat back down, "Sorry boy, that room hasn't been rented because of a murder that
happened there four months back, woman was killed and the cops have no idea who did it. They found her in bed,
dead as a door nail. They say she was a nymph, loved sex, probably picked up the wrong guy. He musta done her in."
He looked at Morgan for a bit then got a strange expression. "Hey, the cops said
there was a pizza box on a chair in there during the murder, they questioned the pizza place but they said no one delivered
from their store. What pizza place do you work for?"
Morgan's head was spinning, he was feeling ill. He didn't want to answer anymore
questions, so he said not to worry about it and quickly went out the front door to his car. As
he stood by his car, trying not to vomit at the thought of sex with a dead woman's ghost, he
looked up to the seventh floor, a shuddering chill ran up his spine.
He could see the woman standing in a window smiling back to him.
My Chat Poem
By Bob Moats
Posted on February 11, 2010
Back in 1992 or so, I used to get on IRC chat rooms a lot and I met
a woman online who inspired me to write a poem about meeting someone online. I used
to write a number of poems back then but this is the only one I could find that
survived the years. Hope you enjoy it.
I sought refuge through a wire
of cable thin and long,
reaching to a network link
how else could I go wrong?
The faceless voices on the screen
of people far and near,
only talking, never touching,
no need to be sincere.
Hidden in my room so safe
I chat with them at night,
hiding my life behind the keys
that makes it feel so right.
Being brave I venture out
with my armor safely on,
no one will touch me were it counts,
in my heart long dead and gone.
I disguise myself with a name
that builds an image there,
to those online all hidden too,
who really do not care.
Talking all, listening none
they ramble endlessly,
I wonder why I am in here,
better than alone to be.
Then a voice cuts through the mire
and reaches to my room,
a friendly voice so clear and strong,
it wipes away my gloom.
A friendly voice of happiness,
a voice that lifts me up,
past the bounds of empty talk
and fills my empty cup.
My spirits soar through the wire
to a place unknown to me,
where a person sits and types away
to a person they can't see.
Giving smiles and LOL's
they bring me back to life,
and makes me feel the way I did
before the stress and strife.
Secrets told, thoughts are shared
we talk into the night,
just two lost souls all alone
hoping this is right.
My special friend in the wire
of cable long and sweet,
a special friend who I just met
and hope someday to meet.
Written by Bob Moats 1992
Was Bugs Bunny a Crossdresser?
By Bob Moats
Posted February 5, 2010
Written in 1994 for a friend's website.
As a child watching all those Bugs Bunny cartoons, I never realized how many
times the wascaly wabbit wore women's wardrobes. I just thought of it as funny
and never thought of the possibly deeper meaning in what he was doing. I never
even questioned all the times that he kissed men full on the lips. I guess I
wasn't put in any emotional turmoil because Bugs always went nuts and acted
typically male when ever he saw a babe in a bathing suit and usually ended up
with a face full of kisses. Recently after a full day of a Bugs Bunny cartoon
marathon on cable and as an adult I now feel obligated to analyze those deeper
meanings behind his actions. So, since we all know that Bugs had healthy
hormones when it came to women, we can assume that he was heterosexual and he
never flirted with men unless it was to avoid getting shot at, which to me was
more of a defense move than a preference. One time he did go through a mock
wedding with Elmer Fudd, but it was meant to completely throw Elmer off track
and not as a statement that Bugs had a desire to be Elmer's better half. So
examining his sexual orientation, we can safely assume that Bugs was a healthy
heterosexual he-man hare.
Now it seemed that Bugs frequently donned women's clothing to elude his
predators, but was this necessary? Many other cartoon characters found other
ways to evade capture such as putting a lamp shade on their head and standing
still or slamming a door in their stalker's face. Bugs chose to put on women's
clothing and beguile his aggressor, putting them off until they saw through his
ruse. He seemed to actually enjoy going through the arduous task of a complete
makeover in a matter of seconds to foil the villain. But why go through all this
trouble, as we know it is, when a fast hole dug in the ground would have stopped
a truck. Simple, Bugs was a closet crossdresser and used cartoons as a vehicle
to show off.
It is well known that comedians have used comedy to bring out their pain or deep
emotions and have let it out through their satirical actions. This points up to
the fact that since Bugs had so many different alternatives at his disposal to
prevent capture or worse, why the crossdressing? Because this is part of what he
was and he fell into it when it was needed. Male rabbits have a heavy stigma put
upon them as being sexually aggressive and this can be a burden to a sensitive
crossdressing hare. As a male, Bugs was always running from someone, but when he
assumed his female persona, he became the aggressor and protector of his male
alter-ego. This is not conducive to the stereotype of aggressive male, passive
female, which Bugs seemed to be skewing. The rational behind his actions was to
distract the aggressive male chaser with a helpless, demure female which showed
that he could feel at ease being feminine even in a tense situation.
Further proof that he was into crossdressing was the fact that he always had
feminine clothing and make-up handy even during a speedy chase scene. This could
only be possible because a male who was a crossdresser would have such an
extensive wardrobe and accessories available at their immediate disposal. He
probably wore the feminine clothing under his rabbit suit and had make-up tucked
in his pockets. Some of the more exotic costumes were probably stored in various
hiding places throughout the forest to be used when he wanted to relax dressed
or for emergencies.
Bugs, as far as I have seen, at fifty years old was also single. This was
probably a result of the realization that if married, he would have to explain
his actions to his wife and the children, and for a rabbit that could be well
into hundreds of children. It's hard enough to reveal that you are a
crossdresser to one child, let alone hundreds, so Bugs opted not to have to put
himself through this extended grief by remaining single and true to himself
only. A noble gesture but this can tend to make a rabbit frustrated by not
having someone to share their passion with. Occasionally Bugs would slap a dress
on Elmer, Yosemite Sam, or Porky in an attempt to stir up some companionship,
but this usually met with their resistance.
In an attempt to come out of the rabbit hole, Bugs used the cartoon medium to
show off his desire to dress. No one questioned the fact that he dressed because
they were all too busy chasing him and the dressing was just a temporary
distraction to them. He seemed to enjoy starting up a chase just so somewhere
along the way he could transform and get a vicarious thrill in attempting to
pass as a woman before his pursuer. This sad attempt will only result in a self-
destructive nature that will end up with Bugs hitting the singles bars and
finally to the street corners in an attempt to find a little action. The worse
part is that he has no friends, only enemies, to share the turmoil as to his
gender identity. Darn if I'm not starting to sound like Geraldo. Bugs was no
different than Uncle Miltie when it came to comedy drag and did it all for the
gag. Or did he? ThThThaat's All Folks!
There is No Such Thing as Time Travel
Written by Bob Moats and Posted January 29, 2010 (Another concept of change)
All right, to explain that statement, I'll have to give you my personal philosophy
on time. There is no such thing as time. There, that was easy to say, now why? Well,
I first have to state that time was created by man, which we know is not a good thing,
since man created "As Seen on TV" products so we know he has made a few mistakes. Way
back when the early humans found that they were wandering aimlessly and missing witch
doctor visits, they had to form some kind of schedule to keep them on track. So, since
they had no mechanical skills yet to make clocks, they decided to chart the days and
nights and made the calendar. If you Google it, there are a number of calendars out
there, Gregorian, Chinese, Mayan, etc, to really confuse everyone.
Well, once the calendar was refined for us "civilized" people, we now knew when to
take the chariot in for greasing the wheels and re-shoeing the horses. But for the
blacksmith to avoid the pile-up of customers, the day had to be broke down into
segments, so some smart man came up with the clock. Now our day was divided into
tiny slots that we could schedule appointments and TV shows in. Well, TV wasn't
invented yet, but would be. Now, over the years we have gotten used to the concept
of time as a thing that is ticking away, and if we could run real fast backwards,
we could catch up to the minutes past. Superman had to fly real fast around the
world backwards to go back in time, and Star Trek would just slingshot around the
sun to go back to the sixties.
I say time is a charted concept, not a physical entity. I believe that we just
move in physical space from one place to another, tear down and build up and it's
all in the same "moment", it's just movement and change. How often have you been
in a town where there has been no progress or change since the civil war and felt
you were back in time (using the word loosely)? Well, that's my point, the town
hasn't moved or changed it's buildings so there has been no change in "time". I
could just sit in the middle of a field and not move and technically time stands
still, but the watch on my wrist keeps ticking ahead to force me to think I am
moving forward in this thing called time. Even though I may never leave the field,
everything around me is building, changing and moving in physical space.
Also another incorrect concept is the aging process. Even the term aging is
incorrect, as we don't age in time, but our cells are changing and dividing and
sluffing off to become dust. Our bodies grow and change and wrinkle, then break
down not because of time, but because we haven't found a way to halt this change,
so we assume that we are being eaten by the ravages of "Time". The statement "Boy
are you getting old" should be "Boy is your body changing and falling apart badly".
Okay, I'm getting confused myself and I know what I mean. A few years ago,
Lee Aronsohn, along with Chuck Lorre created a few great TV shows, "Dharma and
Gregg", "Two and A Half Men" and recently "The Big Bang Theory", which has nothing
to to with time. But Lee Aronsohn, wrote on one of the Vanity Cards that appear at
the end of each of these shows for less than a second of the clock, his belief of
the concept of time and I found it to be better of an explanation. He wrote:
"Contrary to conventional wisdom, time is not a dimension. In fact, time does
not, in itself, exist. 'Time' is simply the name we give to one aspect of the
ever-changing relationship between moving objects in the universe. If nothing moved,
there would be no time. Hence, 'time travel' is a meaningless concept and I will
never be able to go back and avoid having written for 'Charles In Charge'."
Yes, he was trying to be funny, but it makes sense to me, and I had thought
about this long before he stated it. I was ahead of his time. Opps there I go
again, it's time to stop this, I have no more time to write, so I'll spend a few
minutes sitting very still and trying to stop my aging process. Nope, not working.
February 4, 2010 - Update to my "There is No Such Thing as Time Travel" article.
Okay, in fairness to those people out there who love the time travel scenario, I will re-state
part of my belief. While one could not go back in time, unless the universe would be agreeable to
move everything back into place on the "day" you want to go to, and humans would rebuild the
buildings and place props back where they were on the "day" in question, it's physically
impossible to travel back. BUT, now my admission, time travel into the future is possible, just
don't expect to get back. How? Well, a time machine has been built to do this, it's called
Cryogenic freezing. You go to a place and tell them you want to stand around until 2158, they
freeze you so all your body functions, down to your molecular being, stops. You are hopefully not
conscious during this long wait, and when they thaw you out, you are in the future, and your body
hasn't changed. Voila! Time travel. As I said, unless you can get objects back in place and
reverse the body changes of people to the place they were when you were frozen, you can't go back
to that moment you started the long wait. Okay, I wanted to be fair about this and this is my
addendum to my time travel rant. Excuse me, while I go to the basement and take a look at the meat
freezer, I may want to skip ahead to next year.
Posted January 23, 2010
First written March 1998 as an article for my online entertainment magazine
As I start typing this, it's 6:21 in the morning, and I'm not usually up this
early but I just woke from a strange dream in which I was in a classroom with Thomas
Magnum (yes, the P.I. guy from T.V.) and he was just about to give an oral report
when he announced to the class that I would present his report for him. In a panic
I took the huge pile of scribbled loose leaf notes and visual aids from him and
tried to sort it all out as the teacher stood hovering nearby waiting. The notes
(in duplicate with carbon paper between each sheet that I had to remove) were,
of course, unreadable and the visual aids were cardboard stand-ups that wouldn't
stand. As I finally got one stand-up to hang from a nail on the wall I turned to
find all the paperwork was missing (the fiends even took the carbon paper) and
stood there hoping the school bell would ring early. OK, I've never been in a
classroom with Magnum P.I., or Tom Selleck for that matter, and I've never seen
that particular classroom or that person pretending to be the teacher before me,
so where does it come from? This all takes me to a pet theory I have about dreams.
I've always been fascinated by dreams and I've recently had a number of "lucid"
dreams where you know that you are dreaming and can, sort of, control the dream.
My control of the dream usually gets my face slapped, but it is fun to know you
can do what you want and not go to jail. But where do the images of places and
people come from in dreams? I've been to places I've never seen, and met people
I've never met, and I'd wake in the morning feeling like I just got back from
another world. Which brings me, again, to my pet theory. If I have never been to
or seen the images in my dreams, then I figure they must come from outside sources
acting on my brain as I sleep. So, my theory states that I am actually receiving
mental images of memories from souls of past or recently departed people, floating
around in the nether world and I am living in their memories for the moment.
OK, I haven't begun putting aluminum foil on my head, but think about it, I
don't have a Hollywood crew in my head designing and building elaborate sets to
make me live in a strange world for a half hour or so, so where else could it all
come from. I figure that some dearly departed person tells the bright light that
He or She wants to vacation on the other side for a bit longer and comes floating
through my head on it's way to wherever, and my brain grabs some images from their
life and process them into a little drama, or nightmare, in my mind. There have
been billions of departed people, so the air is full of tons of vacationing spirits
willing to share their life experiences with me. To those people out there who
make piles of money explaining away our dreams as having some deeper meanings
would be disappointed to learn that when we fly in a dream it was just Orville
Wright taking us for a plane ride and not some hidden inner desire to escape.
So, examining my Magnum P.I. dream, Tom Selleck is still alive, even if his
career has been in a coma for a while, so it couldn't have been him floating past
my cerebral cortex. As I remember there was this funny looking student who was
bugging me all the while I was trying to set up the report, and it could have
been him who invaded my slumber this morning. Or maybe the impostor playing the
teacher was the spirit getting revenge on his "student". Or maybe I'm still
dreaming right now at 7:29am living some past writer's life trying to be funny
about a subject I know nothing about. Excuse me, I have to wake up now and write
a nifty article about dreams.
Singles Day or the Hell With Valentines Day!
Posted January 20, 2010
First written February 1998 as an article for my online entertainment magazine
February is noted for being the month of lovers (for at least one day a year anyways),
as St. Valentine's Day occupies the month on the 14th, and men and women rush to purchase
candy hearts, cards, gifts and flowers, etc, to show the loves of their lives that they
really care. I don't know who this St. Valentine is or how he (or she) got a day noted for
romance (I could check the internet for the name and research it, but...). My main reason
for my writing this is not a study of this special day in February, since I have put up
with it for far too many Valentine Days, or who the hell was this Valentine person, but
I'm doing this as an argument for creating a new holiday for us newly single, divorced
and/or burned people who have suffered the indecencies of bad relationships. Face it,
with the divorce rate up to over 50% and numerous unreported relationships dying daily
everywhere across the nation, and around the world for that matter, why not have a
national holiday for us poor slobs who really make up the majority of the battle of
the sexless as we sit quietly alone on Valentine's Day wishing a happy crap to the
rest of the world's lovers.
We are the people who now quietly take matters into our own hands and... opps,
not a good image. Try again, we are the survivors of romantic disasters who have
gotten on with our lives and today we stand alone to face our future, but do they
give us a day to celebrate our becoming free and rejoicing our independence.. NO!
We just sit quietly back while the Family Values people ignore the fact what we are
even around. Do the greeting card people pump out "Sorry you're single" cards for
us, NO. Do the flower companies advertise "Send a sympathy bouquet to a single
friend", NO. Do travel agencies advertise "Romantic Cruises for Singles", well,
actually they do. The point I'm getting at is we have no validation from a holiday
to really recognize our plight. Every other religious, minority or special interest
group has some type of a holiday to strut their stuff, why not singles?
We also have to suffer the punishment of the government through higher taxes
and no dependent deductions, and the indignities from the snickers of people as
we sit alone in a movie theatre, our eyes tearing up at the ending of "Titanic"
(sort of like our lives, eh). We are put at children's size tables at the back of
restaurants because all the other good tables have two chairs or more. We can't
even get a second meal at half price with the purchase of one at regular price,
unless we eat both meals. Movie theaters and restaurants would make a fortune if
they'd advertise "Singles Only Nights" at their businesses so we could go and relax
and maybe meet someone special and stop being alone and get married, but then the
romance fades, then the fighting starts, and the lawyers are called and a court
battle starts as to who gets the cat and they will divorce only to go back to that
stupid theatre or restaurant singles night hoping to maybe meet someone special.
We are gluttons for punishment and we need a holiday to celebrate it! Send a letter
today to your congress person demanding a "Single's Day" as a national holiday!
Do it even if you are in a relationship, someday you may be single too!
Are We SSSmokin' Yet
Written by Bob Moats and Posted January 20, 2010
First written February 1998 as an article for my online entertainment magazine
As of February 1st (1998) it has been 501 days since I last put a cigarette to my
mouth, hung it from my lip, lit it up and curled smoke into my eyes, blinding me as
I sat typing at my computer, trying to look down at the keys as I did back then.
Today, I'm no longer smoking, so I can now see what I'm typing. Unfortunately, maybe
I shouldn't see what I'm typing. Maybe no one else should see what I'm typing.
I first started smoking as a 19 year old with those little black cigars the size
of cigarettes that you didn't dare inhale. I only did it because I didn't want to
look like a geek around my way cool friends who all had cigs hanging from their lip.
My first real cigarette came at a teen dance when a girl friend of my supposed girl
friend handed me her lit cigarette as she went to dance. I asked her what should I
do with it and she politely said "smoke it" or something like that. Now my supposed
girl friend hated the smell of those cigars I smoked (actually I did too) but she
didn't mind the smell from her cigarettes so I took a puff. It wasn't bad compared
to the cigars and it had an icy fresh feel in my lungs. I had my first cigarette, a
menthol Kool, and I was feeling really grown-up, and well, kool! I didn't jump into
them right away, but one day shortly after that fateful day, riding in a friend's
car, my supposed girl friend started into me about the cigar smell, so I asked my
friend Paul to pull into a nearby drug store and I bought a pack of Kools and made
her day. Well needless to say the girl friend left my life but the cigarettes stayed.
I was drafted into the Army in 1968 and I could buy a pack of cigarettes for a thin
dime at the PX! After an hour or more of grueling basic training workouts they would
yell "Take ten, light em if you got em, if you don't got em borrow one!" Great
incentive to not smoke, hmm, maybe I have a basis for a lawsuit? I continued to smoke
all through the army and out into civilian life, through many jobs, many moves around
the state, two marriages and the birth of a son (I smoked three packs waiting for him
to pop out). And all through the years I never thought to quit.
All of that changed as of September 17, 1996, I'm now a former smoker! No, I'm not
one of those militant smoker who goes around with a loaded hand gun and blows
away people who look like Joe Camel (RIP) or points a wicked finger at people who are
smoking and say "Naughty, Naughty! You're going to die". I can still empathize with
smokers and I still really get P.O'd at the government and the various health
organizations that wants humanity to be smoke-free, HA! We'll all be smoke-free the
same day that we are alcohol-free, drug-free, credit card-free, chocolate-free,
porn-free, shopping-free, auto emission-free, bingo-free, daytime soap-free, and
online chat-free (I could go on, but do you really want that? Do we really have the
time?). California recently passed a ban on smoking in bars and the non-smoking
employees applauded it. Last week I heard that California was reconsidering the
law due to the huge number of those same employees now complaining that their tip
money was cut drastically by the lack of patrons. One man on the radio said his
income dropped by $300. a week. So California will either have to rescind the law
or end up paying unemployment to all those many people who lost their jobs due to
lack of customers in the bars who are now sitting home drinking, playing music and
Anyways, I quit smoking, cold turkey, ONLY because I was financially broke for
a number of days and thought I would DIE without a cigarette, but I didn't. My
parents, both loving and good people, quit smoking about 20 some years ago when
they were my age, the same age I was when I quit over a year ago, 40-something.
Looking back, I never even thought about it when I'd go to visit them, and I would
sit there and puff away on my cigs and they would let me do so, being the good
parents they were, to let my lungs fill with noxious fumes and stink up the room
for them to live in after I left. After I quit I would enter a room where people
have been smoking and now realized how lousy the smell is.
Another benefit of not smoking is having extra cash in your pocket. I'd reach
into my pocket on a Thursday night and say "Whoa, where did this money come from?".
I remember back a number of years saying to myself that if cigarettes ever cost
more than $1.50 a pack I would quit, but that was back when I had money to support
my habit. Cigarettes finally topped two dollars and I justified it by the fact
that I still got a paycheck on Friday and would buy a carton at the discount store.
Then cigarettes hit $2.50 and my two pack a day habit got a bit expensive at $35.
a week especially at that time when my income was coming in irregular and flaky as
to when I'd get any money. I would do some strange things to get the $5. for my
daily fix of cigarettes. Then the time finally came when I was totally broke for a
few days, quit smoking and stayed that way. Now when I have money it stays with me,
unless I have to buy food or pay the bills, two things you can't quit cold turkey.
Today I honestly can't imagine that I actually smoked daily for 29 years and
now the thought of putting a cigarette in my mouth seems odd. My son hasn't show
any interest in smoking yet, but he's only 16 years old so he's is still classified
as brain-dead (I started at 19, so I was just barely out of brain-dead). I'm not
going to tell people who smoke that they should quit, as I used to get very annoyed
when people did that to me, but I will encourage my son and anyone else who hasn't
started smoking yet to just NOT start and hope they are smart enough to listen! Then
when the day comes that I quit drinking beer, I'll warn them against that too, but
one vice at a time please, as I have no other vices to quit, damn!
Robert B. Parker passes away at 77
When I first started reading crime novels, one of my favorites heroes was the P.I. Spenser, no first
or last name. The books were written by Robert B. Parker and I wanted to write my books just like
him. The humor and characters were great, I loved every book. He also wrote the Jesse Stone novels,
most recently made into TV movies with Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone. He wrote the Sunny Randall crime books
about a female P.I. that made me laugh and enjoy good fiction.
From what I have read on the Internet, he passed away at his desk, no word on why yet,
I'll fill this in later. He will be missed.
Posted January 19, 2010
"Arguing with idiots makes you an idiot, so.. stay off the internet
and don't run for congress" Wiley Miller.
Written by Bob Moats and Posted January 18, 2010
I saw this joke in the Sunday Funnies, it's from the cartoon "Non Sequitur",
which I read religiously. I paraphrased it from the strip, it works so well with how I feel
about dealing with people on the internet. I started working with computers and going online
back in 1992, on a Commodore Amiga computer, B.W. (before windows), and back then the internet
was mostly a text based medium. I used telnet to get there and read my way around to explore
stuff and there was no Google yet. I also discovered chat rooms, I would get on the IRC (internet
relay chat) and established my presence there. I would go into the 30 plus , 40 plus chat
rooms and watch the people chatting and I even participated many times. I love humor so I
would joke about what people said or topics, I usually got laughs, and never offended
anyone, mostly I was ignored. But there were those people who came in and wanted to dominate
the conversation and it had to go their way or they'd start a flame war. Flaming was a way
of arguing with people and being an idiot. It usually chased people away, I hung in until
the idiots tired or left then I would join back in. I did this for a few years, I even met
a girl from Buffalo and we started a long distance relationship that didn't last long.
Then came along the real internet, with pictures and animations and video.
I stepped up since the IRC wasn't for me anymore, I grew tired of the people there, too
annoying and narrow minded and I was spending way too much time there. I got into putting
websites together for people and myself, and wrote a good number of stories and articles for
my websites. I loved seeing my words on a page and worked on a longer novella and a stage play.
Bringing me to the twentieth century and beyond I started writing my novels, and wanted to
promote them. My brother is a professional nature photographer and I saw he had gotten on
Twitter, so I signed up. I have met many very nice people and great contacts with the right
people to promote my books. But, there is a but, I also started to see the same problems I
encountered back in the IRC. I basically lurk in the background and watch the festivities
and I've spent way too much time there. I came across one person who was upset with a one
line joke I made about this person's book. It was a quick mention, not going anywhere except
to the few people on at that time, it scrolled off the bottom of the page and was gone. It
would not go out to all of this person's followers unless they retweeted it, so what was
the problem? I still am not sure what. I apologized a couple times to mend fences but it
was to no avail. I don't care, I'll just ignore that person. I'm sometimes overly sensitive
and it bothers me, a simple thing takes the joy out of it all.
I've lately gotten tired of Twitter, and a few people who take the pleasure
out of it, I may go see if IRC is still around.
If it sounds too good to be true....DUH!
Posted January 18, 2010
First written March 3, 2006
I think I'm a reasonably intelligent person. I've been involved with computers and
the internet for over 17 years now, starting out on a primitive Commodore Vic20 and
now today using a more sophisticated computer that still occasionally runs like a
Vic20. Computers are frustrating but the internet can be a place to really lose
your sanity. Over the years I have been bombarded with advertising on TV (infomercials)
and in newsprint about "fantastic, free offers", but I know in my reasonably
intelligent mind that there has to be a price to pay somewhere. The internet has
ten fold the advertising and it's no better or safer than the old fashion means
of mass communication.
Again, I say I'm a reasonably intelligent person, but I must
have somewhere in my DNA a tiny gene labeled "gullible" because I had one of those
brain freeze moments when I saw the offer! I was on a website and on the right was
a box that offered me a free Palm Treo 650 cell phone for just answering a "brief"
survey. I always wanted that phone so I sat mesmerized by the offer until my hand
was controlled by that tiny gene to push my mouse to the box and click the link. I
was whisked away to a website that stated I would receive the FREE cell phone by
agreeing to complete a simple survey and try a few special offers. That's all! Wow!
I clicked the continue button and spent the next 30 minutes in
Dante's playground. I first had to give them the personal data and I have a post
office box, so I wouldn't have to give my real address to them. Then I was sent to
a page where I had to click the "no" buttons on each of a long list of informational
garbage that I didn't want to receive in my email box (or home mail box), and because
the "yes" button was already selected in each of the fifty or so offers, not pressing
"no" was not an option. I was sent to another page where I did the same thing, making
sure I had them all clicked "NO". I proceeded to the next page, where I was given the
chance to try about 15 special "free" offers, but I was informed I HAD to do at least
a minimum of two to get my phone. I picked two harmless looking offers, one for a free
eight week trial subscription to "Entertainment Weekly" and one to sign up for AOL 30
day free trial. I had to give my credit card info on each to sign up but I use a debit
bank card and keep a small amount in the bank so they couldn't grab more than I had.
I've used AOL before, I wasn't entirely happy with them, but I figured after a couple
of weeks I would cancel before being billed. Yeah, right, more on this later.
I clicked the continue button and was sent to page three, where I
found the same offers as on the last page and a statement saying I had to pick two
more offers from the list below to get my phone. I selected one to get info about
postage stamps through the mail and one from "Video Professor" for a free computer
lesson CD. Again I had to give the debit card info so they could bill me for the
small shipping charge. I've used "Video Professor" before and gotten burned because
I didn't read the tiny print on the contract, I'll explain later. Each time I clicked
on these offer links I was taken to a new web page getting further away from my phone
offer page. I was hoping they were keeping track of my wise choices so I would get
I clicked the continue link and was sent to the same stupid page
as the last two but this time I had to try ten, yes TEN, of the offers on the page.
Why didn't they just tell me on page one that I had to select all the offers and
save time! At this point I said "Poo-Poo Cah-Cah" and shut the computer off. Ok,
now I have to do a little damage control by canceling the free offers as they
came in, but the nightmare was just beginning.
I check my banking online so I can see when debits come in and as
soon as I left the "FREE Offer" site I saw that each one of the offers I chose had
put a hold for $1.00 in my account to see if it was really there. The next day
"Video Professor" took out $6.95 for shipping my free computer lesson CDs. As soon
as I would get the Free CDs I knew from past experience that I had to cancel and
send it back or they would bill my account for about $80.00. This is what they do,
you get about 3 CDs that are the free part of the lessons and a fourth one that
completes the course, but if you keep the last disk you have to pay the $80.00 for
it or send it back and be charged nothing. But you don't get the complete course
for free. Gee, they don't explain that in their commercials.
Ok, now moving ahead about two weeks, I didn't use the AOL, as
I said I don't like them (I use Earthlink), but one day I find a debit in my
checking for $26.00 from them, overdrawing my account by a few dollars. I haven't
even had my 30 day trial period yet and I was steamed. I called them to "politely"
tell them to cancel the damn thing and put my money back but first I had to go
through the recorded menu punching 82 different selections traveling through the
maze of places going everywhere but to the person I wanted to talk to. Now I was
even madder, but I finally got some guy with a suspiciously Hindi sounding accent
of whom I couldn't understand, finally agreeing to canceling my account although
he made many great offers to stay. Now I just have to wait at least four or five
months to get the money back in my account.
End of problems, not yet.
A few days later, I go to the bank to deposit money and find
that I'm overdrawn again. It turns out that "Video Professor" has put a hold on
$80.00 in my account and I haven't even gotten the stupid CDs yet. I was really
seeing crimson now and went home and got on their 800 number and discovered that
they don't want to talk to me. Again I got the standard recordings sending me to
a dozen places before I hung up and tried again. I just hit the "O" button this
time and was informed that all customer service reps were busy with customers
(probably complaining) and I could go to their website and put a request in to
their support or leave my number and they would get back to me (probably next month).
I tried as many ways I could to get to talk to a human but nothing worked. I guess
I will wait till the wee hours of the morning when they first open to try calling
them again and if I still can't reach them, I will write many nasty emails to them
until I get a human to talk to. In the mean time, they have tied up $80.00 of my
hard earned bill paying money until I can find a way to get past their answering
align=justify>So, by allowing my impulse to get something for free, I fell into
the trap and I have about $106.00 tied up in my account that I can't touch right
now and I'm starting to get plenty of "Free offer" spam in my email account now.
If it sounds too good to be true, IT IS! The internet is a great place and a great
informational tool, it's just too bad that there are opportunistic people out there
guided by greed to draw in people like me with their traps to take our money.
I still never got my FREE Treo cell phone and now I'm on the sucker
list, would someone please take this hook out of my mouth.
Fairness update: I did finally get in touch with Video Professor by calling on a
Saturday afternoon, and was told they offered me a 10 day trial (I'm pretty sure
it used to be 30) and since I hadn't responded they took out their money. I politely
told them I hadn't even received the stupid CDs yet and wanted to cancel. The girl
was polite and canceled the thing and noted in their system that I hadn't received
the disks. She said the money would be back in my account in 10 to 15 days. I'm
amazed how they can grab the cash out of your account in an instant but it takes
10 to 15 days to get it back? I wonder how much interest they accumulate on that
money before it gets back to me. Anyways, I haven't seen the cash yet but it is
coming someday. On a second note, AOL took almost two months and three phone calls
from me to finally get the money back in my account.