The Saga of AT&T (You Need To Thank Me–Remember?)

Listen, my fellow downtrodden, and hear,
How I took it as hard as can be up the rear;
Not once, not twice: Can you say “More than three”?
By the Customer Service at AT&T.

They Only Think They’ve Beaten Me

When doctors cut into my body, I prefer to get anesthesia.
Anesthesia Smiley
Don’t you?

After anesthesia, like many people, I throw up.

Finger Throwing Up

Look How Cute I Am Even While Barfing! I Had No Idea!

Unlike many people, I throw up for as many as fourteen hours.

I’ve hit that “personal best” twice.

Dino Breath Award

The Only Two-Time Winner!

Good times, good times.

Many anesthesiologists say to me “Oh, that won’t happen with MY special cocktail—Ho, ho, ho!”

Like a jolly St. Narco-less.

Anesthesiologist Sleep With Me Raccoon

Doesn’t He Look Like Someone You Can Trust?

I know better, and now do my own preemptive pre-surgical prep:

I get an anti-motion-sickness patch of scopolamine [skoe-POE-la-mean] behind my ear. (Their radio ad is kinda catchy: “A Vomit Queen? Throw blow ex-treme? Sko-POE-la-mean!”)

Scopolomine does cause some grogginess and dizziness.
Remember that: It will be important later on in our story.

Four years ago, I needed two surgeries re-done. (One was actually a re-do of a re-do.) I decided to get ’em both redone at once.

My loving sister Meg came to take care of me while I was a woozy, oozy mess. I slept downstairs on my big blue sofa in my den during my recovery. Meg slept slightly removed in the back guest bedroom. I’m certain it had nothing to do with my snoring.

Snoring Megaphone

Like I’M So Bad: My Old BF, Snapped Via My Super-Secret-y Ceiling Porn-Cam. (Whoops! Secret-y No More!)

Four days after surgery, exhausted from fetching and doing for me, Meg did not awaken when I stumbled up off the sofa for the very first time on my own. And chose to take my very first walk outside alone. At 6:00 am.

A walk like a rolling barrel, for I was still under the effects of the anesthesia from surgery, and my second scopolomine patch (replaced post-surgery).

Post-Surgical Owl

Here I Am. Didn’t Even Think To Put On a Bathrobe!

Even so, all would have been well had it not been for the AT&T telephone cable strung across my back door:
AT&T Tripwire

One of Two Outside My Door

I had phoned American Telephone & Tripwire several times asking that they remove the latter. First asking, then insisting. Each time, I was assured they would remove it “right away”.

I had given up for a while—they’d worn me down, and I was ill and occupied with other chores and crises among the day-to-day chores and crises which make up this odd life of mine.

For a year, I had managed to alertly step over the trip-cable, despite its tricky nature, and a subtle drop-and-drag my right foot experiences at times due to one, or the other, of my diseases.

Ballerina Tripping Lightly

Surprisingly Graceful, For An Aspie

But post-surgical drugged-out zap-happy Babe was not at her cable-avoiding best. So I finally tripped over the tripwire.

Oops. No big. Had it been anyone else.

But my luck runs—differently. (Did you happen to read You All Need To Thank Me?)

Outside that open doorway, I had a half circle before me in which to fall. All of that half-circle was smooth and empty, except for one skinny, skinny pizza slice, way off to my right.

Half Pizza With Thin Slices

Guess Where I Fell?

Feet away from AT&T’s cable (at angles 165-170°) was a metal irrigation pump. Atop that pump was a metal valve projecting vertically. Stabbing up toward the sky.

Or up towards the body of someone who has just tripped over an AT&T cable left above-ground and directly across a doorway.

Irrigation Pump

Not My Pump–Mine Was Way More Corroded and Poke-ier and Stabbier

The full weight of my falling body came down upon the handle of that metal valve, which DIRECTLY HIT one of my two surgical sites.

Could happen to anyone.

After slamming into the metal handle of the pump, I then fell off and landed as hard as I could upon one hip, with my opposite leg stretched across the pump. (Don’t ask. I am gifted with unique talents.)

My second surgical site was…intimately placed. My spreadeagled landing started bleeding there anew.

Have I mentioned that I am a particularly lucky gal?

The pain was…stunning. I mean that I lay on the ground, stunned. I was unable to call for help, cry, or even moan. Some of you unfortunately know what it’s like, when you’re just trying to hold your body together and see if it will stay in one piece.

The good news:

My semi-splits did not cause the need for a fourth re-do of my lower-half repair.

The other news:

My semi-shishkebob on the metal valve did require a re-do. I had to undergo a third surgery on my upper body. Followed by physical therapy. For life.

I am left with permanent discomfort (alternating with that p-word that doctors try so hard to avoid), and a permanent DENT in my body. Okay, “dent” is overstating it: It’s more like a divot. Still… I have to SEE that damned thing and be reminded every time of what AT&-damned-T did to me.

Oh, but golly were they prompt at burying the cable once informed of the accident. The sweet gentleman who came out to do the actual work, Charles, had to use a spud bar…

Spud Bar

No, Not a Toothpick. It’s Iron, and Five Feet Long.

…to break up a shallow concrete layer we discovered under the top two inches of soil. He said “That’s probably why they never buried the cable like they were supposed to—because they found this in the way.”

Did I sue? You bet your #ss I did.

This was the first time I tried to sue anyone. Four years later, when the case was 30 days from expiring, my lawyer told me that, since I’d moved across the country, and my travel wouldn’t be paid for, I might weigh the non-reimbursed costs of airfare and hotels for three trips against my 50/50 chance of winning “an extremely modest amount” (say, in the neighborhood of $10,000–the cost of a year’s medical out-of-pocket for me).

My lawyer reminded me that the state of F#cking Florida® (official state name), unlike the other 49 normal states, considered ME liable to a significant degree for not dealing with the tripwire’s danger. Because, after all, I’d known it was hazardous, and it WAS on MY property.

They had me dead to rights, there, folks, on both points.

Florida Americas Wang.

F#cking Florida.

“What could I have done?”, I asked.

“I dunno—put a wooden board or a rug over the cable.”

“But—but– But with my right foot-drop, I would have eventually tripped over the BOARD!”, I said.

“You could have paid someone to bury the cable.”

“But– but– Did you know I’d been unemployed for TWO YEARS at that point after becoming disabled? (I am only partly-disabled and am part-time employed now, y’all 🙂 .) That the house was bought “as-is” with no working showers? That I was under a shrink’s treatment for depression?!”

Don’t matter to the law, the judge, or a F#cking Florida® jury, y’all.

Church Bans Kids

As Miss Maggie Often Says, “I Have No Words”.

So AT&T got clean away with their negligence.

I am left with a reminder every morning (and some nights) for the rest of my life when I wake up in p-word (or discomfort), when I do my remarkably awkward physical therapy exercises, and when I look down and see my little AT&T divot.

Thank you, AT&T.

This post doesn’t end here because AT&T wasn’t finished with me, yet. But it will be continued in a later post when I’ve calmed down a bit.

Chocolate Meditations Buddha

“Jai-ai    gu-ru-uu     fla-ay-vaaa….Yummmm…..Chocolate’s gonna heal my world…”


There were actually two unburied cables outside my door, and it took me moons after buying my house to determine whom they belonged to.

One was the responsibility of the cable TV company, but I didn’t know WHICH cable co. (they all refused to claim ownership). (I’ve never had cable TV, so had no hookup.) I finally asked a random cable dude if I could safely cut the cable, and got the green light. CHOP! That cable didn’t cross my doorway.

By that point, I had finally learned the doorway tripwire was AT&T’s. I asked the same cable dude if I could safely cut AT&T’s more-hazardous wire.

I cared not a whit if the entire neighborhood lost service, mind you–AT&T would have simply had to finally bury their cable when they came for repairs. He said “99% of the time, yes, but once in a while, no–it can carry a whopper of a charge.”

AT&T later verified this during one of the “We’ll take care of it.” calls when I threatened to cut the cable because they’d been blowing me off:

“Oh, no! You could get electrocuted!” So I was stuck.

F#cking Florida® !

Bugs Bunny Cuts Florida Loose

Oh, Yeah: And I’m Not Overly-Fond of AT&T, Either.

Next Luck Magnet Post: Quoth the Raven–Holy Sh#t
Prev Luck Magnet Post: The Saga of AT&T–Episode 1


Leave a comment


  1. Paul

     /  2014/12/27

    Whew, when things go bad for you, they really go south in a hurry don’t they?


    • Yes. My entire life been like this, although of course there have been very happy oases sprinkled throughout, for which I am grateful.

      It is why it is sometimes a struggle to be happy, or act happy until I am happy. I take each incident and put it in a closed mental box on a shelf, since I am, most times, proven impotent to effect change. But the weight on the shelf…it does affect me, when there is little in the way of a positive counterweight.

      Writing is good…and bad. Seeing my life in print…it is sad, even when I try to make it funny. I hope this was a little bit funny. Was it?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Paul

         /  2014/12/28

        Absolutely funny. Even the little pictures. If this had been a ficional character, I’d’ve been ROFL, but knowing it was real, made it a lot less funny. I bet you could write awesome fction based on your real life. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just KNEW this life of mine was too bizarre to be real!

          You are the second person in a week to say that–the other dude suggested screenplays. If only I could write (think) more quickly…

          Thank you for answering my question, Paul. You have my permission to still ROFL. What the heck–I do. Some of the time, anyhow–may as well! 🙂 🙂 🙂


  2. It was funny, Babe. It is funny. Until it got sad – actually, I got pissed off at one point, on your behalf. Freaking Florida, indeed, blaming the victim!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have no idea how grateful I am that you answered my question. Thank you, Maggie. I may add a “lightener” at the end. Nah…More likely, I’ll move on to the next episodes of the shafting: Far duller tales, and thus ones which challenge even more my ability (?) to wring smiles.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I might have risked electrocution.
    You always make me laugh. And cry. And want to hug you. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did consider buy insulated gloves and cutting the friggin’ thing, even after the cable guy told me he thought the charge was super-huge and those wouldn’t be enough (didn’t make sense to me). But I am basically a total weenie about electricity. You should see me the few times I’ve worked on changing out lights and light switches. I must re-check the breaker switch four times.

      Re: That hug–While I can be Aspie/shy/abused person skittish about those, from you, Grandmalin, I would welcome a hug, and I’d hug you right back : )

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s hilarious if not for the reality part 😉 But may I ask – does it hurt when you laugh? It amazes me that you can write about this in such a humorous perspective, works as therapy I suppose? The least they could have done was “wired” you some hush money to prevent bad media exposure. That was a trip from hell. God must be a comedian, if you still believe in one after that. Kudos to you for still smiling and making us smile too 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ohmy gosh, wire we going the pun route? Resist-or I’ll be forced to overpower you.

      It IS therapy, absolutely. I am , as I repeat far too often, an anger-filled woman powerless against the fates, regardless of what clever strategies she devises to overcome them.

      I’m envisioning a sort of Brain, whereas really I’m closer to Pinky in my appearance, grace, and subtlety.

      So, each morning I awaken and have my own inner dialogue which resembles that of the show:

      “What are we going to do TODAY, Babe?”
      “Rake over that CHURL!”

      And of course, it never works. The various churls always win. At least, in my own blog, I can wring a few grins out of the situation. Even if it’s at my own expense (sniff!–poor Brain/Babe–sob!)

      Liked by 2 people

      • There there now, Babe Brain, we will laugh with you and chase those sobs away. For what it’s worth I have noticed that the highly improbable happens a lot more than can be explained. Nasty quantum entanglement sure has a target on you. It’s enough to make one paranoid and insecure. Here’s hoping that changes with 2015, Happy New Year 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thank you for your good thought. Should I hope it comes true, thus bring bad luck to you? What’s a Jonah to do?

          Eat a chocolate or two, of course. Either way, that won’t hurt. : )

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel exactly as Maggie does, at one point laughing out loud to the point my little Max lifted his head in irritation, and then outraged at how cruelly you’ve been treated. I’ve never liked Florida!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry, but that was incredibly funny in the retell. Perhaps you can find some solace in that. Plus, your image choices were quite apt.


  7. I live in Florida. Hahahahaha Do I get a booby-prize? Maybe I have that already, this is my husband’s River Swamp Paradise and I have morphed into the Crazy Old Swamp Lady who is allergic to mosquitoes and ticks. My two nearest neighbors are registered predators.

    The church is too F#cking Florida® , really Jax off!!

    I’m glad this was a few years ago. Even so, you must have had a Jax off T.V lawyer. You were owed mega bucks. In my humble opinion however, I am not a lawyer or licensed anything.

    Happy New Year, anyway! XOXOXO

    PS Aspies live here, in my house, in the swamp, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my golly–the F#cking Florida SWAMPLANDS?! And allergic to mosquitos? How is it you haven’t swallowed the ten-gauge already?

      You poor, poor thing!! Every time I think again about leaving this city, one major factor that keeps me here is this: “L.A. has no mosquitos.”

      Name another mega-city that can say the same.

      As for your friendly neighborhood predators, “Pshaw!”. Two ain’t nuthin’. In our gentrification-attempt neighborhood which my abusive ex then refused to let us sell out of (jointly-owned house–couldn’t legally sell my half) we had SEVEN friendly men eyeballing our young sons (others eyed our neighbors’ daughters). Low-income neighborhoods do tend to gather a greater proportion of society’s shunned. Guess that’s how I got stuck there so long!

      Great to hear you run an Aspie-friendly establishment. There are too few of those. It takes a special neurotypical to let the soothing sounds of endless narrative and repetitive singing wash over them like a healing wave of higher thought. And to know better than to NEVER, NEVER, EVER say ” Just a minute.”

      Unless 59 seconds later, you’re THERE, dammit.

      Happy New Year, Swamp Queen.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! What a horrible thing to happen to you 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Iris! I missed this brief sympathetic thought tucked in amongst the lengthier comments–sorry!

      Thank you so much. Yes. It was a horrible thing, and the fact that, since the accident, the same company has caused me much misery in other ways makes it worse. But we socially-unconnected resource-poor people must accept our various shaftings. With rare exceptions, it is only in films that the little gal or guy wins, and even rarer when s/he’s an Aspie.


    • I figured out that your comment posted the day I was still making two E/R journeys for my broken ankle. That’s my feeble excuse for not answering you promptly, Iris 🙂

      I also saw that my first reply was quite gloomy. I’m just tired–it’s way, way past my bedtime. Tomorrow, I’ll hatch a new scheme to wreak revenge seek justice against AT&T 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s OK Babe, I’m never expecting replies when I make a short comment. If I comment short it means I just want you to know that I’m with you. Hope that you heal fast. I can’t believe how lazy AT&T was about your cable. Sucks.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I nominated you for a Liebster Award. Please check it out here: wishes for 2015, Aquileana 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • My goodness, Aquileana, yours is the second comment that languished here unanswered for days–and what a one to languish!

      Oh! Of course! Because of the broken ankle! I was in the E/R on the 2nd when your comment posted and am still catching up on email backlog. But you and I know I’d learned of your kind nomination through your own blog.

      Thank you for the honor and compliment 😀 !


  10. Ugh. I hate Florida. And AT&T and I’m glad I can have anesthesia (even if I need more than most people) and rarely throw up after. I’m sorry for your strife!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU for reading all these posts! And thank you for your sympathy. There will be a post someday that I believe will reduce some readers’ sympathy re: this accident. The reasons for that are…interesting. We shall see if I am right when I finally…write.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not done yet, I’ve got a few tabs open still. Today is a catch-up day! I look forward to continued stories 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • How can that do otherwise than to make me happy? I think it’s time to plan your next vacation. I have already planned my next gripe, and series of recovery-post links.

          Liked by 1 person

          • HAHAHA! I haven’t even unpacked! I took the bag with the toothbrushes out and found the recently purchased coffee! You’ll have to gripe while I’m home!



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