So I called a number in the Pennysaver and ordered 4 cords of firewood. The guy delivers two, I pay him for all four, and then he disappears. He doesn't answer his cell phone (which I expect to be disconnected shortly), and his voice mailbox is too full to accept any new messages. All the phone numbers I have for him turn out to be cellphones, and they're all not being answered.
Turns out, he did the same thing to my neighbor. So I'm out almost 300 bucks, and my neighbor 150. At this point, I don't know how many people he's screwed, but I'll bet it's a lot.
I was talking to my neighbor, and here's his take on it:
"Well, I'm pretty sure he's living hand to mouth. He told me he just got divorced and has two kids. I feel bad for him, so...I'm just going to let it go."
You know what? Eff that.
I might have felt sorry for him too, except this guy stole from me. He betrayed, yet again, my general faith in humanity and reinforced my reasons for hating all people universally until I get to know them. The sad thing is, I even gave the guy twenty bucks extra because he dumped the wood close to where I was going to be stacking it.
I don't understand the way my neighbor's mind works. Does he feel guilty for having what he's worked for? Could that be it? Does he think someone else is to blame for this guy's two kids and failed marriage? Did someone force the guy at knifepoint to knock up his wife?
I called the cops, explained my stupidity and gullibility. They took the report, and said they'll try to contact him. Rattle his cage a little.
In a nice way, they told me that I basically didn't have a prayer of seeing my money or my other two cords of wood, since it was a cash deal.
If he did the same thing to 50 people, that's quite a little Christmas club he's got going there.
I can tell you this: I'd like to shove a cord of wood up his ass sideways. So,it was an expensive lesson learned. Trust no one. Get the license plate and a receipt for all transactions.
Meanwhile, my car is sitting at the shop with a $400.00 invoice tacked to it. That's a nice bonus.
So don't buy firewood in Saratoga, NY or Corinth, NY from a guy named Tony Bills at (518) 696-7044 or (518) 791-3922 because he will rip you off. Let the search engines pick that one up.
On a lighter note, tonight is Halloween. We live in the boonies, and for the last ten years we've had exactly zero trick-or-treaters. If the doorbell rings at my house on Halloween, we get the guns. If we're home, we generally carve a pumpkin, have a few glasses of wine and maybe watch a scary movie.
Sarah's post about Drackila reminded me of a Halloween poem I wrote when I was 8. I share this touching and memorable poem in honor of this sacred night:
I wish I knew fankenstine. Good frends we would be.
I would take off his head and see what I could see.
And if he locked me up I would walk threw the wall.
And then I would watch the snake in the hall crawl in to the bedroom and threw the wall.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Fankenstine, 2005.
Yeah. Against my wife's wishes, I spiked his hair, and gave him some "monster" tackle. Poor guy didn't have anything at all. I think whoever slapped him together left it off by mistake. Besides, he looked like he might be needing it tonight, what with the unconscious chick and all, so I helped a brotha out.