Famous People Are Not Retiring Left And Right So They Can Go Into The Discount Face Glop Business

This is either going to help or it’s going to inadvertently make things even worse because they’re still served partly based on page content, but since I’ve caught these ads running on our site among others many, many times I figure I should mention it.

No, Marilyn Denis has not retired so she can spend her time selling skin cream. Neither, I should add, have Shania Twain or Céline Dion, who I’ve also seen mentioned. And while we’re at it, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid have not been kicked out of the NHL for using super secret natural testosterone boosters that they would now like to put in your hands for a low, low price.

These ads, which are presented like shocking, clickbatey breaking news articles, are completely fake and you should think long and hard before either clicking one or doing business with anybody who feels they need to market their product or service this way. I can’t sit here and tell you with any degree of certainty whether or not these specific products are any good, because I haven’t used them. But generally speaking, if somebody has to trick you into looking at his sales pitch, whatever he’s hocking is probably complete shit.

And since I’m sure some of you are wondering, no, we personally can’t stop these particular ads from appearing on our site. We do have some blocking and filtering power, but the folks behind scams like these tend to use a whole lot of domains which makes banishing them to any useful degree virtually impossible. It’s hard enough for extremely well resourced advertising networks like Google’s, which does seem to honestly try to police these things, to keep up with them. So when your team consists mostly of me, there’s not much good to be done trying to police it from this end. Again, the best thing us ordinary folks can do is not engage with these scuzbags. No attention means no money, which is, of course, the entire point of their existence.

Denis’ name and image are being used as click bait for online ads promoting an anti-aging cream that also bill the veteran broadcaster as retired.
The fact is, Denis doesn’t endorsing any product lines, for skin cream or anything else and is urging people not to click on the Facebook and Twitter links.
“I need to speak about this, I’m getting the word out,” said Denis in a Bell Media release. “Because people need to know that I’m doing something about this, to try to stop people from getting suckered in.”
Denis isn’t the only Bell Media personality to have been targeted. Melissa Grelo, CTV Your Morning and The Social co-host, and etalk’s Lainey Lui have been featured in similar scam ads, in addition to celebrities like Kelly Ripa and Dr. Oz.

Denis says outside experts have been hired to do investigative work, but finding those behind the online scam is like “playing a game of whack-a-mole.”
“I am not leaving and there is no product line that I am endorsing, so please do not give out your information,” Denis said. “They are scammers. They are sneaky. They play the game. But if no one is engaging with them, then they won’t have a business, and that’s what I want.”

Global News Is Doing Bad Things That Might Make Everything Else Worse

Global Television used to produce a pretty good newscast. I spent many a night listening to the Toronto one over the radio as a kid and even into my adulthood (Hey Carin, imminent death!) until that frequency went silent several years ago.

When I say used to, it’s not because Global no longer produces newscasts. They absolutely do. They’re cranking them out several times a day all across the country. The important bit is the pretty good part.

It’s rare that I flip my TV to Global at all these days, but when I do happen upon the news there it’s quickly apparent that it’s not what it used to be. Part of the reason for that is obvious, and it’s the same reason why so much big media owned content tends to be so poor, especially on the local level. Money. Specifically that these companies don’t particularly care to spend much of it on producing and airing a quality product.

I think it would be hard to find a media outlet in the world that isn’t guilty, to some degree, of cutting corners. These organizations are businesses, after all, and sometimes tough choices have to be made in order for them to continue to function. We aren’t always going to like those choices, but some of them are at least understandable if we’re being fair. But the other part of the problem is that Global isn’t just cutting corners. They’re dismembering the frame, bludgeoning it in case it somehow survives, setting it on fire and then dumping whatever might be left over into the swiftest river they can find.

The things that Paul Tadich describes in this piece for Canadaland are astounding. Basically, Global has taken the methods used to create so much of the bad, centralized automated radio to which we’re subjected and applied them to TV news. But while it’s one thing to use those principles on a program where the biggest things you need to worry about are often generically talking about Survivor for a few seconds or pretending to know the first thing about the pumpkin festival in a town you’ve never been to before letting the computer throw it to the latest from Justin Bieber, pulling it off in an environment where things are constantly changing is quite another.

A software technology called Mosart had just been installed. This production control suite automated many of the technical positions required to put on a live newscast — a dedicated audio engineer was often no longer needed, and other positions were either lost or concatenated. Local producer jobs were also slashed so that shows could be remotely produced. Signals that controlled robotic cameras were relayed from the main Toronto studios to studios in several of the other Global markets, so camera technicians were no longer needed in each of the individual cities. By the end of 2012, I often produced the Winnipeg news from Toronto, alongside a remote camera operator, a teleprompter operator, and a director.
This system had its faults — mainly that producers in Toronto often had little knowledge of the cities they were responsible for, so street names, neighbourhoods, and local politicians were sometimes misidentified. However, this was considered by employees to be the cost of progress, and they worked long, hard hours to learn as much as possible about their adoptive cities to make the new system fly.
But that wasn’t enough. In 2014, someone in management apparently got the idea that 11 p.m. newscasts were simply not worth the time and expense to produce live: they cost too much money, and not enough people — especially young ones — were watching them. But Global still wanted to produce newscasts that would air to a dwindling number of people at 11 — so how to slash costs even further? The idea would be to dispense with live news at that hour altogether in favour of a pre-recorded newscast that would appear as if it were transmitted live. Many of these pre-recorded news segments were to be duplicated across each of Global’s markets in an effort to wring more cost-savings from an already rather scrunched-up mop. This idea became the basis of a troubling concept called “news sharing” — using technology to make it look like local news could be coming from a studio in downtown Winnipeg, when in reality it was a pre-recorded chunk of info emanating from a green-screen studio in Toronto. This was the birth of the MMC concept — which stands for “Multi-Market Content.” Once Global figured out the enormous savings this offered in terms of slashing jobs, there was no going back. Every Global station from Saskatoon to Halifax now uses the MMC set-up, with most relying on Toronto-based anchors for at least one nightly newscast.

This is every bit as bad as it sounds. In fact, it’s probably worse. Doing local news well isn’t always the easiest job at the best of times, so just imagine how hard it must be when you have to do it while overworked, under-resourced and under-educated.

I don’t use under-educated as an insult, in case that isn’t clear. I use it as a fact. No matter how hard either of us may try, I have as much business putting together a daily news hour from my living room in Kitchener that’s going to be locally relevant to Steve in Moose Jaw as Steve in Moose Jaw has doing the same for me. Unless you’re Global management and don’t care about things like these, this is not an arguable point.

And speaking of not caring about things…

But because the playout process is buggy, and because the technology that controls the system often goes on the fritz, tremendous howlers would occur, often going unexplained to the viewer. Some examples of these errors: the output for two cities is mixed up, meaning viewers in Montreal see the first five minutes of the Winnipeg newscast and vice versa before someone notices the error and restarts both shows from the top; the weather forecast for Regina is slotted into the news for Montreal; late-breaking sports items are fed into the show at the last minute, causing the playback software to freeze, forcing the producer to cut to commercial early, messing up the timing for the remainder of the show. On one weekend last summer, a software update caused the playback machines to go completely bananas, spitting out random content into various cities across the country, including making viewers watch an inexplicable live feed of CBS golf coverage instead of a local news item.

No matter how buggy the system got, management seemed hell-bent on expanding the implementation of the MMC model to subsume more and more content. Evening broadcasts increasingly became pre-recorded affairs: by the time I left the department in August 2017, most of the 6 p.m. newscasts on weekends, and several during the week, had ceased to be produced live. There were several occasions, also during weekends, when the Toronto assignment desk was left unstaffed. This meant that, on top of their already crushing workloads, MMC producers working on the Toronto show had to monitor Toronto police and fire department Twitter accounts to ensure any breaking news made it to air. On more than one occasion, serious incidents made it on to the newscast only because a Global employee happened to catch sight of a clutch of cop cars on their drive in to work.

I have never worked for Global and it’s unlikely I ever will, but reading this has me feeling embarrassed as though the place were my life. I can only imagine how it must feel to have to rely on a situation like this for my livelihood and convince myself that I’m proud to be doing so.

Canadaland also went to Global for a response, and it got one in the form of a chat with Troy Reeb, senior vice president of news, radio, and station operations at Corus, which has owned Global since 2016.

One of the concerns Paul Tadich raises is that, in his experience, the centralization of production leads to errors in pronunciation and local knowledge because Toronto-based producers and anchors aren’t typically familiar with the local details for a given city. Do you find that the “Multi-Market Content” model creates more opportunities for errors than locally produced newscasts?
No, I don’t.
Let me wind this back for you: Before we made this move, we were facing the same challenges as every media outlet across the country. Linear television viewing is on the decline, including for traditional newscasts. The old days of having newscasts at 6:00 and 11:00, that doesn’t serve the audiences of today. People want content on the device that they want, and they want it at the time that they want. So in order to keep up with that, we have to be able to provide more news at more times of the day.
So we came up with MMC, so that once the main, daily 6:00 newscasts are done, rather than having a local production team and anchor hanging around the building all night, just to rerun the same stories at 11:00, and maybe add one or two new ones, we’ve turned those people back into reporters who are serving online, as well as creating more content that can then be reported through the centralized anchoring.
So we’re actually super proud of this. It’s a model that last year won the first-ever Edward R. Murrow Award for innovation. It’s been looked at by broadcasters from across North America and around the world, who come in to study what we’ve done. Because what we find is that by freeing up the staff in the local market to actually do reporting — instead waiting for a red light to go on and start talking — that we’ve produced more journalism.
And to the specific question of, you know, does it increase the risk of errors, in terms of pronunciation or local knowledge? I would say that was a major concern of mine when we first launched it as well.
But to be quite honest, the problem with errors has much more to do with junior people — you don’t pronounce a name wrong twice. And what we find with anchors in small markets, unfortunately, is that you had massive turnover. So not only were people repeatedly pronouncing the same things wrong, but people didn’t stay long enough to not make that same mistake twice. But now our MMC anchors are the longest-serving anchors in many in the markets that they serve.
So no, I don’t think that the error rate is higher. We have incredibly experienced people who are handling the news for these markets.

There is merit to some of what he’s saying, of course. The world is a different place than it was ten or fifteen years ago before everyone had a computer in their pocket, and the demands and to an extent the financial realities of the job are somewhat different now. It doesn’t hurt to try to keep up with the times, and if you can do that while somehow putting more boots on the ground to chase down stories in all these places, great. You’ll never hear me arguing against the hiring of more journalists. But even though I can’t dispute that Global has actually gone and done that, something about it doesn’t feel right. If you’ve truly hired enough people, why do assignment desks in cities the size of Toronto have no one working them? What good are all those extra reporters if they don’t know from where they should be reporting?

And even though things have changed, I still feel that one of the things that hasn’t, won’t and shouldn’t is the importance of a newscast looking, sounding and feeling local. Obviously there will be people who don’t notice or care, but one of the most important things that local media does is connect people to and engage people with their communities, and if you care at all about those connections, there’s no excuse whatsoever for not having real live people being there to tell those stories at all times. To management maybe an anchor is just some guy waiting for a red light to come on, but to the consumer, that person is one of them. Even the most experienced MMC anchor can’t replicate that feeling. The best centralization in the world is still centralization at the end of the day, and eventually people will see through it and stop caring especially if the product is avoidably shoddy. And people not caring is the last thing anyone, even a vice president in charge of efficiencies, should want.

On a business level, if people don’t care about or feel they can’t trust your local content, why should they be inclined to feel any differently about what you’re producing nationally and internationally?

But in a broader sense, especially if you’re going to sit here and talk about how much local journalism matters, why would you want to take even a sliver of that responsibility out of the hands of the locals and risk alienating people? That’s how stories start falling through the cracks. And when stories start falling through the cracks when they’re small, they eventually get bigger and the rest of us end up with things like the Doug Ford Rights Trampling Traveling Shitshow And Corruption Jamboree slithering out of Toronto and taking over the entire province. Yes that’s a rather partisan and perhaps imperfect example and maybe truly local news by itself wouldn’t have stopped it specifically, but given how many people seem to be caught completely off guard by the things he’s doing, it sure as hell couldn’t hurt.

What it comes down to, quite simply, is this. The big national stories get most of the attention, but every national story starts out as somebody’s local one. And when you take that context away in the name of corporate greed, it does all of us, no matter where we live, a great disservice.

When Fun Went Wrong

Gill is back to wish us all a happy amusement park season. If you’re heading out to enjoy some fun over the next few months, hopefully you don’t wind up suffering the same fate as any of these poor folks. We need readers. We also care about your safety. Yes, we most definitely care about your safety. Over and above anything else, to be sure. There. You can stop punching me now, Carin.


For much of the world’s population summer’s here, and often that can only mean one thing. Time to go for thrills and chills at the amusement or water park. Most days spent there are fun with little more to show than sunburns, family and friend memories made, and even the occasional vomit off a high speed ride. Sadly, some of these trips end in ambulance rides or fatalities.

  1. Take Her to the lightning – At a Massachusetts amusement park called Revere Beach a ride called the Lightning got a reputation as a quick abortion device in the 1920’s. This predated safety standards, and many a fun day an unwanted pregnancy was ended here with its many bumps and jars.

    Note from Steve: It was part of a group of rides known as the Giant Cyclone Safety Coasters, a name it kept even after taking its first victim by day two.

  2. Banned after 1930 – On July 24 1930 a ride called The big Dipper crashed killing four and injuring seventeen. After the accident, the Omaha city council banned wooden roller coasters from the city, a ban which stands to this day.
  3. Curse of the big dipper – We hop across the pond and jump ahead four decades to West London England. Some of our older British readers may even remember Battersea Park, opened 1951 closed 1974. On what was supposed to be a day of fun and frolic in May 1972, a ride also known as the Big Dipper carrying dozens of children lost control and slammed into another section of train, killing five and injuring many more.
  4. Three Dead In Edmonton – In the mid 1980’s, at one of the most amazing malls in the world, the mindbender, which had been declared safe just one day earlier, jumped the tracks in front of a horrified concert crowd. Three lives were lost, and many more changed.
  5. Traction park and grave pool- From 1978-1998, Vernon, New Jersey’s Action Park got a reputation for fatalities, broken bones, and lawsuits. Action Park saw three drownings in what would come to be known as The Grave Pool, one electrocution, and two deadly events involving the slides. The employees were often drunk, high, or otherwise unqualified.

My Experience

I was born with a congenital heart condition, but on a sunny day in 1991 that did not seem to phase me. My sister, who belonged to a local figure skating club, was gifted tickets to an amusement park called Canada’s Wonderland. Opened in 1981, it boasts water slides, roller coasters, and loads of other fun stuff. My sister and I each brought friends from the neighborhood, and since my dad had to work that day my mom was running the show. My friend and I rode several rides, and were having great fun. She suggested we go on this one ride called Saloco. It looked alright from what I could see, just several cars going around a track. I was so very wrong. It started going up. No problem yet. But then it got to maximum height and started turning on its side. Needless to say, when I got off I was white as a ghost, shaking, and feeling pain in my chest. Now, for the most part, my amusement park experience involves holding people’s stuff and a whole lot of walking.

Thought

In researching this article I have come to the conclusion that although safety standards have improved and people seem to have a better understanding of hiring practices, one must always follow something my mom says. “If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.”

Question

What’s your scariest water slide, amusement park, or carnival experience?

If You Want A Survey That’s CRAP, Call On CROP

Quite often I find myself getting offended by the things that offend other people, but I think I’m with Lacey Willmott in wondering just why Aeroplan, the travel and shopping rewards people, would be sending out a survey asking folks to choose their level of agreement with statements such as “Overall, there is too much immigration. It threatens the purity of the country,” “getting married and having children is the only real way of having a family,” “the father of the family must be master in his own house” and “whatever people say, men have a certain natural superiority over women, and nothing can change this.”

“I was alarmed and extremely concerned,” said the PhD geography student at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ont.
In an email, Aeroplan offered her 100 bonus miles to take a “shopping and life habits” survey. It said the results would only be used to help enhance the program.
So she was shocked when she encountered questions on hot-button topics such as gay marriage, government’s role in society and family values.
“I thought, ‘Wow, this is really problematic,'” said Willmott, who wondered what the questions had to do with Aeroplan’s rewards program.

Also wondering the very same thing? Aeroplan, which while saying some silly ass thing about not having properly reviewed the questions like a responsible person would do, did agree that this was wrong and pledged to delete all of the data collected by CROP, who the company had contracted to put the survey together.

Ahh, CROP. I had never heard of them, but I do believe that should we ever require market research here at Vomit Comet World HQ, we will be passing them over in favour of a firm that maybe has a snort of a chance of understanding concepts such as knowing its audiences.

CROP’s president Alain Giguere says he asked some bold questions simply to help Aeroplan better understand its members’ points of view.
“Are we dealing with modern people or are we dealing with very traditional people?” he said. “The goal of it is really to understand all the sensitivities of your audience.”
Giguere says, like it or not, many Canadians have conservative views on some issues.
According to his own research, in August 2017, when Canada was experiencing an influx of asylum seekers, 45 per cent of the 6,000 Canadians CROP surveyed agreed with the statement: “Overall, there is too much immigration. It threatens the purity of the country.”
Giguere says he has been asking these contentious questions in market research surveys for decades, including in a poll on populism and xenophobia that CROP did last year for CBC’s Radio-Canada. It included provocative questions such as the ones on immigration threatening the purity of Canada and the father being master of the house. 
Giguere adds that people are free to oppose any statements they find offensive.
“You just have to disagree and we will know that you are a modern person,” he said. “This is a very scientific process.”

Which is all fine, but again, know your audience. Unless the goal was to allow Aeroplan to better target discounts on travel to ass backward shithole destinations such as the White House where every night is racist night and bigots eat free to “very traditional people”, those questions have absolutely nothing to do with my ability to swipe a card at the drugstore or sit there and curse at the miles balance that won’t let me fly across town let alone the country. Next time, assuming somebody in the stuff reviewing department doesn’t do his job again and there is a next time, maybe leave the provocative bits at the office until they’re asked for, Alain.

United Breaks The International Date Line…And Also A Dog

Again with the dogs, United? At least you didn’t kill anyone this time, so you’ve got that going for you, I guess.

KCTV reports that Kara Swindle and her two children flew from Oregon to Kansas City, Missouri, Tuesday on a United flight.
They went to a cargo facility to pick up 10-year-old Irgo, a German shepherd, but were instead given a Great Dane. Swindle, of Wichita, Kansas, learned Irgo had been put on a flight to Japan, where the Great Dane was supposed to go.

United paid for the family to stay at a hotel for a night as they attempt to unfuck things, and wonder of wonders, managed to get them a room in the correct city. At the moment nobody seems to know how long it’s going to take for poor Irgo to be vet checked and flown to his proper destination, so one night may not even come close to cutting it.

United Breaks The Rules Of Overhead Bin Stowage…And Also A Dog

If there’s one truth about United Airlines, it’s that no matter what the greatest extent to which something can be fucked up is, they’re the people who will find it.

Today’s episode: Let’s put this family’s dog in this here overhead bin and see what happens.

You, because you do not work for United and therefore might have some sense, already know what happened. It died. And while officially the cause of death is unknown at this time, I’m going to go way out on a limb here and guess that the fact that dogs are not designed to fly between Houston and New York whilst crammed into both a pet carrier and an overhead luggage compartment might have had something to do with it.

United, for once, appears to have wasted no time taking full responsibility for a dumb thing they did. They refunded not only the pet transportation fees, but also the entire cost of the tickets for the family of three. The airline has also offered to pay for a necropsy to be performed on the dog, the results of which they plan to use to make sure they get smoked even worse in the eventual lawsuit.

In a statement, United said that this was “a tragic accident that should never have occurred,” possibly referring to the hiring of the flight attendant who thought it a good idea to store a dog in a fucking suitcase box for several hours.

And just in case you’re new here and think I’m being unduly harsh on United, it should be noted that what went on this week is pretty much standard operating procedure there. In 2017, 18 animals died due to interactions with the airline, as compared to the six that met similar fates on all other airlines in the United States combined. So this is just United Uniteding, basically. Way to keep those numbers up, guys!

Save Money, Live If The Ancient Cereal Doesn’t Kill You

I have an urge to go through every cupboard in our house all of a sudden, not to mention a simultaneous urge to maybe never shop at Walmart again. I can’t quite put my finger on why either of these things might be.

A Lakewood family bought a box of Quaker 100% Natural Granola cereal from a Littleton Walmart on Monday. It was the Quaker cereal with oats, honey and raisins.

It wasn’t until the Carelses sat down for a serving that any of them realized something was terribly wrong.
“It looks like February 22, 1997,” Anthea Carelse said, pointing to the box’s printed “best by” date. The box appears to date back 21 years.
“I had about two bites, and that was it,” she continued. Her husband, Josiah Carelse ate a full bowl.
“I just started eating and thinking, ‘it just tastes funny. It must be ok,’” he said.
Of course, Anthea told him, “I was like, ‘Josiah, you’re going to be really sick.’”
Fortunately, he’s feeling fine and has plans to return the expired box back to Walmart.

And lest you think this is yet another unscrupulous attempt to wring a few bucks out of a hardworking businessman, it’s not looking that way. The television station from which this report comes took the time to hunt down the UPC codes and compare the brand’s old and new packaging and yup, these people ate 21-year-old cereal.

Walmart has yet to explain how this could have happened, not that anything they come up with is going to make it sound any less gross.

Nice Try Rogers, But A $0 iPhone 8 Does Not Cost $1440

I don’t know how many of you have gotten or will get this, but I want to mention it because I hate to see people taken advantage of.

Lately Rogers has been texting us, offering up a new iPhone 8 for $0. My current 6S is showing it’s age and sooner or later Carin is going to need a new one too, so we thought we or at least I would take them up on it.

But as it turns out, the new phone is anything but free.

When we called in, we were told that yes, we could get a $0 iPhone 8, but that the price of our current plan would be going up by $60 before tax.

Um…wait…what? That’s a not insignificant amount. What are we getting for this $60 plus tax?

One gig of data added to our current Share Everything plan, we were told.

We followed that up with the obvious question, which of course is and?

Silence.

So let me see if I’ve got this right. In order to get my free iPhone, I have to pay $60 more per month and get basically nothing in return? That sounds like a ripoff.

The rep on the phone seemed surprised that we had thought this through so quickly, but wanting to make a sale, told us that if we wanted to keep our current rates we could buy a phone for $429.

Thinking things through quickly again, I decided yeah, let’s do that, because a little quick math tells me that my free phone with its attached strings would cost $1440 over the length of the two year contract, or to put it another way, somewhere around 3 and a half $429 iPhones.

To their credit, nobody we dealt with at Rogers outright lied to our faces, but that’s some pretty egregious deception by omission that they were hoping we wouldn’t notice. And this isn’t me trying to talk up myself or Carin as super smart or anything, but they’re right to think that most people wouldn’t have. There’s a reason why almost nobody in my family will go to a phone store without at least asking me first. These companies (Rogers is far from alone here) make this stuff confusing on purpose. They do it because it works and because there aren’t any rules (at least not any with teeth) against it.

If you get a similar offer, by all means check into it. But be careful. That old saying about things sounding too good to be true because they usually are exists for a reason.

Spirit Airlines: Less Hamsters, Oh No!

I don’t have a lot of words. I am really trying to think of a circumstance where I could see where this woman was coming from, but it’s not working. I’m really really trying.

Belen Aldecosea had to fly home, and she wanted to fly with Spirit Airlines. In the recent past, because of anxiety over a medical diagnosis, she decided she needed an emotional support animal, and chose a hamster. She even got a note from a doctor saying this hampster, Pebbles, was her emotional support hamster. As I said in this other post about emotional support animals on planes, emotional support animals aren’t trained and don’t do anything for the owners except give them a warm, fuzzy feeling by being there. She probably could have gotten the same effect by buying a plush toy.

Apparently she called ahead to check that she could bring Pebbles on as an emotional support animal, and was given the incorrect information that this was possible. When she arrived at the airport and started the process of checking in, she was told that this was not going to happen. Then, according to her, she was told that she could either release Pebbles into the wild or flush her down the toilet. After a lot of “agonizing”, she flushed her.

I don’t even know where to begin here. This feels like that story where the woman put her guide dog in a cabby’s trunk, only way worse. At least that poor guide dog lived. I would hope that, God Forbid if somebody told me that Tans couldn’t get on the plane and actually physically prevented us from boarding, that I would possess greater problem-solving skills than this. I would hope that I would choose not to go on that flight so I could work something out. I would make some calls. I would figure something else out that wouldn’t result in an outcome so final for Shmans. It’s not like anyone had a gun to her head or anything.

Her lawyer is trying to say that this isn’t her fault because she’s only 21 so didn’t know what to do. I remember being 21, and although I was just learning about advocating for myself, I’m pretty sure I would have done something other than this. At the very least, I might have called my folks and got some more ideas. I would have never tried to take psych rat Hope on a plane, but if I did, I can’t even begin to picture a scenario where I would flush her if I was told she couldn’t fly. Maybe I would have called a vet to figure out how to board her somewhere. Maybe I would have asked for help finding some other officials in the airport to get more ideas.

This line kills me every time I read it.

“She (Pebbles) was so loving. It was like she knew I needed somebody,”

And that was how she repaid the poor thing.

She has a new hamster. God help Pebbles 2.0.

I guess I had more words than I thought.