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A few years ago, a city in the Netherlands had a refuse problem. A once-clean section of town had become an eyesore because people had stopped using the trashcans. There were cigarette butts, beer bottles, chocolate wrappers, newspapers, and other trash littering the streets. Obviously, the sanitation department was concerned, so they sought ways to clean up the city. One idea was to double the littering fine from 25 guilders to 50 guilders for each offense. They tried this, but it had little effect. Another approach was to increase the number of litter-agents who patrolled the area. This was more of the same, that is, another “punish the litterer” solution, and it, too, had little impact on the problem. Then somebody asked the following question: “What if our trash cans paid people money when they put their trash in? We could put an electronic sensing device on each can as well as a coin-return mechanism. Whenever a person put trash in the can, it would pay him 10 guilders.” The idea, to say the least, whacked everyone’s thinking. The problem had been changed from a “punish the litterer” one to one of “reward the law abider”. The idea had one glaring fault, however; if the city implemented the idea, it would go bankrupt. Half of Europe would come to use the trashcans!Fortunately, the people who were listening to this idea didn’t evaluate it based on its practical merits. Instead, they used it as a stepping-stone and asked themselves: “What other ways are there in which we can reward people for putting their refuse in the trash cans?” This question lead to the following solution. The sanitation department developed electronic trashcans that had a sensing unit on the top that would detect when a piece of refuse had been
deposited. This would activate a tape-recorder that would play a recording of a joke. In other words, joke-telling trash cans! Different trashcans told
different kinds of jokes (some told bad puns while others told shaggy dog stories and still others told snappy one-liners) and soon developed reputations. The
jokes were changed every two weeks. As a result, people went out of their way to put their trash in the trashcans, and the town became clean once again.

Braille dictionary for sale. Must see to appreciate.

Help wanted, singer for rock band. Must be female or male.

For sale, Hope Chest, brand new, half off, long story.

Help wanted, adult or mature teenager to baby-sit. One dollar an hour.

Lost: small brown poodle. Reward. Neutered. Like one of the family.

For sale: a quilted high chair that can be made into a table, potty chair, rocking horse, refrigerator, spring coat, size 8 and fur collar.

Four-posted bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover.

Wanted: Part-time married girls for soda fountain in sandwich shop.

Man wanted to work in dynamite factory. Must be willing to travel.

Christmas sale. Handmade gifts for the hard-to- find person.

Wanted, man to take care of cows that does not smoke or drink.

Three-year old teacher needed for pre-school. Experience preferred.

Wanted. Widower with school-age children requires person to assume general housekeeping duties. Must be capable of contributing to growth of family.

Dear Cretins,

I have been an NTL customer since 9th July 2001, when I signed up for your 3-in-one deal for cable TV, cable modem, and telephone. During this three-month period I have encountered inadequacy of service which I had not previously considered possible, as well as ignorance and stupidity of monolithic proportions.

Please allow me to provide specific details, so that you can either pursue your professional prerogative, and seek to rectify these difficulties – or more likely (I suspect) so that you can have some entertaining reading material as you while away the working day smoking B&H and drinking vendor-coffee on the bog in your office:

My initial installation was cancelled without warning, resulting in my spending an entire Saturday sitting on my fat ass waiting for your technician to arrive. When he did not arrive, I spent a further 57 minutes listening to your infuriating hold music, and the even more annoying Scottish robot woman telling me to look at your helpful website… HOW? I alleviated the boredom by playing with my testicles for a few minutes – an activity at which you are no-doubt both familiar and highly adept.

The rescheduled installation then took place some two weeks later, although the technician did forget to bring a number of vital tools – such as a drill-bit, and his cerebrum. Two weeks later, my cable modem had still not arrived. After 15 telephone calls over 4 weeks my modem arrived… six weeks after I had requested it, and begun to pay for it. I estimate your Internet servers downtime is roughly 35%… hours between about 6pm -midnight, Mon-Fri, and most of the weekend.

I am still waiting for my telephone connection. I have made 9 calls on my mobile to your no-help line, and have been unhelpfully transferred to a variety of disinterested individuals, who are it seems also highly skilled bollock jugglers. I have been informed that a telephone line is available (and someone will call me back); that no telephone line is available and someone will call me back); that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is available (and then been cut off); that I will be transferred to someone (and then been redirected to an answer machine informing me that your office is closed); that I will be transferred to someone and then been redirected to the irritating Scottish robot woman…and several other variations on this theme.

Doubtless you are no longer reading this letter, as you have at least a thousand other dissatisfied customers to ignore, and also another one of those crucially important testicle-moments to attend to.

Frankly I don’t care; it’s far more satisfying as a customer to voice my frustrations in print than to shout them at your unending hold music. Forgive me, therefore, if I continue.

I thought British Telecom were sh*t, that they had attained the holy p*ss-pot of god-awful customer relations, that no-one, anywhere, ever, could be more disinterested, less helpful or more obstructive to delivering service to their customers. That’s why I chose NTL, and because, well, there isn’t anyone else is there? How surprised I therefore was, when I discovered to my considerable dissatisfaction and disappointment what a useless shower of bastards you truly are. You are sputum-filled pieces of distended rectum – incompetents of the highest order.

BT – wankers though they are – shine like brilliant beacons of success, in the filthy puss-filled mire of your seemingly limitless inadequacy. Suffice to say that I have now given up on my futile and foolhardy quest to receive any kind of service from you. I suggest that you cease any potential future attempts to extort payment from me for the services, which you have so pointedly and catastrophically failed to deliver- any such activity will be greeted initially with hilarity and disbelief quickly be replaced by derision, and even perhaps bemused rage.

I enclose two small deposits, selected with great care from my cats litter tray, as an expression of my utter and complete contempt for both you and your pointless company. I sincerely hope that they have not become desiccated during transit – they were satisfyingly moist at the time of posting, and I would feel considerable disappointment if you did not experience both their rich aroma and delicate texture. Consider them the very embodiment of my feelings towards NTL, and it’s worthless employees.

Have a nice day – may it be the last in your miserable short life, you irritatingly incompetent and infuriatingly unhelpful bunch of tw*ts.

January 12, 1993

Raleigh, N.C., judge Don Overby, in several recent cases involving juvenile theft, has forced the convicted kid to go home, retrieve his own most prized possession, bring it back to Overby’s courtroom, and watch while the judge smashes it up.

There’s a story about an MIT student who spent an entire summer going to the Harvard football field every day wearing a black and white striped shirt, walking up and down the field for ten or fifteen minutes throwing birdseed all over the field, blowing a whistle and then walking off the field. At the end of the summer, it came time for the first Harvard home football team, the referee walked onto the field and blew the whistle, and the game had to be delayed for a half hour to wait for the birds to get off of the field. The guy wrote his thesis on this, and graduated.



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