Funny Business with Jane Wells

Why You Hate Christmas & The Tale of the 'Black Mamba' - Your Emails


Lots of great emails this week, most of them about the blogs on Christmas decorationsalready for sale, and the Embassy Suites contestfor funniest business travel blunder.

First, more blunders.

Elliott R. was invited to tour a medical school he was applying for:

"As I took out my dry cleaning with my suit in it, I realized that my dress shirt was missing - had the dry cleaners lost it? Had it fallen out? I had a suit with no dress shirt and was staying in a part of town where there weren't any stores open early enough to grab a replacement. I went down to the lobby in my suit w/ white shirt underneath and asked all the other interviewees if they had an extra shirt. No dice. At this point, I was in full panic mode. I looked outside and saw buses full of college basketball players who were staying in Charleston for a tournament and I had an idea. I ran to the ATM, got a hundred bucks out, and ran to the parking lot. I immediately started soliciting every player and coach I could see for their white dress shirt to no avail. Finally somebody bit, grabbed a wrinkled, coffee stained shirt out of their bag, and sold to to me on the spot. I got into the bus for my interview in a shirt and tie with seconds to spare. I made sure my suit jacket stayed buttoned so nobody could see the stains...Unfortunately I didn't get into that program, but it's made a great story..."

Gary L. tells the story of his father:

"He Is an Oral Surgeon who is always being asked to speak overseas. He is constantly having his luggage arrive late. This one time he was in Monaco without anything to wear except his pajamas. The good doctor actually got up and spoke to the crowd that way."

RS's story is a tad racy!:

"Couple months back I was in Chicago for a business meeting. I was very tired because of delays in flight so I thought the best thing would be to check in the hotel and go find a nice bar and have couple drinks before I go to sleep. After having a couple drinks I met this beautiful lady and started talking to her... (note from Jane-use your imagination about how the evening progressed). Next morning I woke up at 6 to get ready for my meeting and I called my boss to meet me in my room as I wanted to discuss some issues with him before we go to the meeting as our meeting was in the same hotel I was staying at. Well, I did not get to attend that meeting because I found out that I was sleeping with my boss fiancé and I am collecting unemployment."

And listen to this tale from Anonymous, who identifies himself as a young black professional (I'm mentioning his ethnicity because it's pertinent to the story). He had several flight delays and ended up arriving late the night before an important meeting, so he stayed at the home of a nearby aunt:

"I was extremely tired and really could use a home cooked meal so I accepted the offer. My 17 yr. old cousin and uncle were happy to see me. I'd just purchased a new Toshiba laptop the week before and I asked my whiz kid cousin to place some of his 4,000 songs onto my new laptop. Meanwhile, I joked the night away sipping Johnny Walker Green with my uncle. I went on ad nauseam about how well I was doing and how a new information platform called 'Black Mamba' was going to set my small marketing firm up for the next several years. I told my genius cousin, 'if you get your nose out of the computer every once in awhile and met some real people (especially some girls) it would do you some good when you get to college. Being smart isn't the only thing companies' look at, you need personality - I am a prime example!" I explained this to him while his father nodded appreciatively over his scotch stating "That's what I've been tryin' to tell you, listen to him.'

"Next morning, I wake up to a big breakfast and best wishes. I meet the team at the conference and I bring my laptop in just in case. Toward the end of a terrific meeting, two SVP's arrive late to shake hands and view the conceptual artwork for the project. No one else on my team remembered to bring a hard copy.... my boss looked at me in horror. Not to fear, I had my laptop with the complete schematics in PowerPoint just in case something like this arose. I flicked on my super fast duo core laptop...typed in my password and turned the computer toward the others who hovered around the conference table. As I plugged in the projector, I sensed a looming silence in the room... I turned back at my comrades to see 10 flush red faces transfixed on my computer screen...I leaned over to see that the wallpaper of my screen had been replaced with a close up picture of cousin's private area with a 3-D tag line stating 'The Black Mamba'."

Update from Jane: By the way, the whiz kid cousin is currently at Stanford.

Then came the emails about Christmas sales already:

Patty S:

"The K-Mart in Redlands, CA has all their Christmas trees and ornaments on sale; how depressing. Instead of getting me excited for Christmas it has the reverse effect and I won't be buying anything. Not too many people want to see all that red and green stuff when it's 106º outside." Slideshow: Top 10 Video Games for 2010

From Mike N.:

"I have some news for you. With the bad economy only getting worst, EVERYDAY in 2009 is a Black Friday with deep discounts that only are getting deeper by the day...The decorations must have been from last year's sale.."

Bill G:

"I agree totally! There are three holidays before X-mas and not one word about any three of them. So much for Columbus Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving....Guess they just do not matter."

Bart H:

"Thanks for sticking up for the real Christmas."

Ken W:

"I started donating to charity rather than give gifts to the adults in our family several years ago, and the idea caught on. We all take the time to tell each other at Christmas to whom we donated and I'll tell you it makes Christmas a much better holiday...I would love to see this become a trend and send a message to the retailers who start selling Christmas stuff before the leaves have even fallen!!"

On Now -Slideshow: Toy Makers Get Nostalgic

Ralph D:

"Macy's in Quakerbridge Mall in New Jersey had their Christmas decorations room open this weekend. I walked in for about three seconds, and then walked out. WAY too early for me."

Andrew W:

"110% agree with your feeling of Christmas. I think retailers have ruined the once joyous time of year. Although my children are still young, 5 & 7, we will be keeping up with our own Xmas tradition; donating old toys to Goodwill and new ones the local Marines. Now this is the one tradition I do not mind doing 3-4-5 even 11 months before Xmas. What's next? Easter in November? Wait, I think I just saw some Cadbury Eggs on the Target shelf... Oomph...."

Anthony L:

"I own a retail store of my own, and I totally agree, I refuse to get out any of my Christmas décor until after Halloween, when in the first weekend in November we have our huge Christmas open house, where we do our big unveiling of all of our new Christmas stuff. I could never imagine putting it out in September! The only thing I can think of is that retailers are so scared of the recession they are getting it all out earlier just to encourage people to start buying."

Amy R:

"Hobby Lobby has had decorations and artificial trees out since JULY. It totally makes me dread Christmas."

Pete P:

"I'd like to boycott all stores that do this...problem is, they all do. You'd think one store advertising they won't put out Christmas merchandise until the Friday after Thanksgiving would draw huge business."

Robert P:

"What's even more depressing than Christmas displays in late September are Christmas shelves that are half stocked in so many stores. Inventories in many department stores are at a bare bones minimum and it feels like shopping in Russia in the mid seventies. Very depressing."

Sharon H:

"I don't know why you're surprised by Target having X-mas merchandise out already. Seems to me we see it around this time every year...I wouldn't want to have to endure it every day but it's kind of fun to stop in when it's 100 degrees outside and dream about a white Christmas. Ya are bein kinda scroogie: )"

Stephen P:

"In a sense most Americans feel pressured into purchasing goods that they really don't need, by marketing experts that study the human psyche so as to make us feel guilty for not buying something for our loved ones. I would rather partake in a good Christmas meal with my loved ones rather than opening a multitude of gifts that I know my family really just doesn't need."

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