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Written version. My friend Bill says to me at dinner Saturday night: “Join TheSZN.com. It’s hilarious. It’s a survivor pool for the NFL Season but its written by very funny guys. Well worth the 30 bucks.”
Bill’s a very good writer himself, so I tuck it away and when, the following day he sends me a welcoming link –you need a code to join, and you can use BROWNS18 if you want– so off I go to join. The payment option is PayPal or “not PayPal.” I pick “not PayPal.” I have no particular animus against PayPal –or didn’t– until yesterday. But when I picked “Use a credit or debit card” the site positively, absolutely would not let me use the card because my email is linked to a PayPal account I opened —and have not used since— in 2007! I repeat: Because I have only one email address, PayPal would positively NOT let me use any credit card. Turns out the only way to check out of this Hotel California is to cancel my old PayPal account, which is, well, about as easy as getting on to an airplane in the U.S. without identification, because my account had been inactive for nearly a decade and I couldn’t recall a password from 2007. I couldn’t join TheSZN.com because I couldn’t close my PayPal account!
Thus the dreaded call to a “help” center. After a very long call to the Ireland-based “service” center –which of course involved many automated questions and answers instead of a customer service rep who eventually showed up and could not help me, argued with me and repeatedly insisted I send them proof of who I was– as well as my tweets denouncing PayPal and DMs with PayPal customer service, some big at PayPal figured out that it was time to end the nightmare and just obliterate my nine year old inactive account, Captain Picard-like, made it so, and I was able to successfully use my own credit card to join TheSZN.com (which had better be good.)
Point of the story: Because I had some leverage –a Twitter account with a decent following– someone intervened, or I’d have never been able to actually buy a service for $30 that is supposed to be fun. The web was interfering with my life because I’d opened an account in 2007 and never used it and the long dead account was inactive, couldn’t be accessed to change the password, etc, but stood like Monty Python’s Black Knight in my path, telling me I shall not pass. Every day millions of Americans are experiencing minor irritants, “first world problems” like this one, but these minor irritants are coming on top of knowledge of and fear of major, major problems like gun violence in Chicago and crazed ISIS threats to florists in London.
And against this backdrop comes Hillary Clinton (and Bill, with his $17 million dollar payout from Laureate University), with her 13 missing Blackberries, 2 missing iPads and one missing laptop and an obvious, obvious, obvious obstruction of justice charade that makes ordinary people blink in astonishment while Hillary sings “Hey Jude” with Paul, Jon Bon Jovi and Jimmy Buffett.
Everyone has their breaking point. I expect the enormous mass of “undecided” voters to break for Trump. Because of PayPal and all that….