A couple of things that have been rattling around my brainpan:

A while back, I wrote a column complaining about the MBTA’s Red Line. My complaint was centered around the fact that my train stopped at one point and just let me hang for about 20 minutes due to “traffic ahead.” My point was that the MBTA should really be able to prevent 20-minute traffic jams that aren’t due to disabled trains (and they always tell us about disabled trains). I was frustrated and, as a result, I said I would probably drive in to Cambridge more often.

The column was linked online in a few places, including a site called universalhub.com. Someone posted anonymous comment about my column on that site, and it was so delicious I just had to share it:

This guy is kind of a whiner, if he was upset about twenty minutes in a tunnel, he’ll waste a lot more time sitting in traffic, not to mention looking for a place to park. The T has to move a few hundred thousand people a day which is a daunting task, particularly when the riders are, apparently, Royalty.

This seemed like a fair and reasonable point, and I rather enjoyed the “Royalty” shot. But, not satisfied with stopping when ahead, Anonymous continued:

That said, I don’t ride the T anymore because [of] the busted equipment and UTTERLY ignorant employees. They kept making me late for work and I was starting my commute a full hour before I had to be somewhere that I could have probably walked in that same time.

To sum up: I am royalty, and yet my accuser not only agrees with my assessment of the MBTA’s performance but takes it further by bashing the T’s employees with capital letters, of all things.
Since receiving that comment, I have often returned to it – usually when I am in a darker mood – and its blow-hardiness (yes, I made that up) has never failed to delight me. I only wish that the commenter had left proper contact information so that I might send him or her some token of my appreciation – maybe a greeting card of some sort. Then perhaps we could get together at my castle for a spot of tea…

…It seems that I can’t turn on the television these days without encountering a pony-tailed man telling me to buy furniture. There are several people on TV telling me that, so I would not otherwise notice, but Pony Tail is trying to engage my sense of sport. He tells me that if a Red Sox player hits their sign with a batted ball, my furniture will be free – so I should get on up to the store and start a-buyin’. He seems quite excited about the whole thing. I am somewhat less excited about it.

This all started, I think, about four years ago. Pony Tail and company ran a promotion where furniture would be free if the Red Sox won the World Series – and then the Red Sox obliged by winning. From what I hear, the promotion allowed the furniture company to sell quite a bit of furniture to loyal Red Sox fans and everyone was happy (with the likely exception of the insurance company the furniture people hired).
It was a clever promotion, but since that time the threshold for free furniture has gotten more and more ridiculous. The furniture company does not wish to let go of the illusion of free furniture, but it appears that they don’t want there to be any free furniture (I can’t say that I blame them).

For example, last year and now again this year the company put up a 6 foot by 12 foot sign in center field in Fenway Park. The wall itself is about 420 feet from home plate, and added to that are some seats between the wall and the sign. To hit the sign alone would be quite a shot. But that wouldn’t be enough. The batted ball has to hit a small piece of the sign that features an image of a baseball. That would really be something.

But, just hitting the image is still not good enough. No, in fact, for the customers to win the sign must be hit by a ball struck specifically by a Red Sox player between the dates of July 22 and September 21. That’s only 34 home games (I counted). Another consideration is that any of those games that the Red Sox win in regulation will only have 8 innings worth of Red Sox at-bats (Of course, with the way the team is playing now that doesn’t appear likely to have much of an impact).

It could happen, I guess. Maybe. If it doesn’t, the furniture company is offering a coupon for 20% off of a future purchase. Yay. I was thinking of buying an ottoman, but maybe I’ll just invest in scratch tickets, instead. If I buy enough, I’m sure they’ll prop up my feet just fine.

I hope some Sox hitter does manage to ping that sucker, just to see what Pony Tail comes up with next year. Let’s see – they’ll release a pigeon into the City of Boston, and people only win if that very pigeon relieves itself onto the helmet of Kevin Youkilis while he is hitting a grand slam in the 9th inning of the 73rd home game.

My suggestion is to have a contest that would be good for everyone: For every game the Sox complete in 2.5 hours or less, get a portion of your purchase price back. That would get me excited, and would likely be a pretty safe bet for Pony Tail and friends.