Cursing at the customer service people

Back in the day I used to do a lot of speaking for various groups.  Some of it was motivational and inspirational.  Some of it was Bible teaching for teenagers and college students.  Occasionally I was asked to lead a seminar, speak at a conference or even do a school assembly.   One church even asked me to deliver a Sunday sermon.   I don’t remember what the sermon was on.   I do remember the response from the congregation – graciously positive.   What a relief.  I really hate speaking in the midst of flying tomatoes!   Afterward, I went home and went on with my day.

The following day was, as you might expect, a Monday.   When I took a moment to check the weekend mail, I discovered that my local utility company had overcharged me AGAIN for the second month in a row.   The hassle to get my money back after the first overcharge was nothing short of infuriating.   Now they are doing it again?  I immediately called the 800 number and navigated through a seemingly endless number of prompts.

  • Press 1, for English.
  • Press 1 if you are a current customer.
  • Press 2 if you know your account number.
  • Press 5 if you know any numbers.
  • Press 7 if you know the square root of Pi.
  • Press 4 if you want a pie.
  • Press 8 if you are tired of pressing buttons.
  • Press 9 if we are wearing you down.
  • Press 6 if you are about to commit a felony.
  • Press 8 if you are voting for Dancing with the Stars.
  • Press 3 if you still remember why you are calling.

UGH!   After what seemed to be 90 minutes, I finally got past that non-sense and was able to speak to an actual human being.   In that moment, a flood of emotions were upon me.  I was glad to be out of the purgatory of prompts.  I was furious I was having this conversation again.  I realized that this customer service woman is not the cause of my problem.  I also realized that she worked for the evil organization and needed to hear my frustration.  I wanted to yell and curse and scream, which is unlike me.

But my conscience and character were telling me to be patient and gracious and kind in my speech.   In that split second, I had to decide what voice was going to win.  I honestly did not know.  There were two beings on each shoulder, the devil and the angel, and they were battling over my mind and tongue.  Against my true desires, the angel spoke softly to the woman and explained my repeated frustration with her company and their costly mistake.

Customer service people are trained to handle idiots like me.  This lady was great.  She was helpful.  She was understanding and patient.  She spoke in a very disarming and soothing manner.  Within about ten minutes, my problem was solved and the money issue was fixed.   I could feel the blood leaving my head and watching the hulk-like figure lose it’s shade of green.   What she said to me next sent chills down my spine…

  • Customer service lady: “Mr. Arters, is there anything else I can do for you?”
  • Me: “No, Ma’am.  You have been very helpful.  Thank you so much.”
  • Customer service lady: “You are very welcome.  Before you go, I need to tell you something.”
  • Me: “What’s that?”
  • Customer service lady: “I just wanted you to know that the sermon you gave yesterday at church was very powerful and it really impacted me.  I was glad that I had visited your church.”
  • Me: (long silence)  “You were there?”
  • Customer service lady: “Yes, when I saw your name on the account I realized it was the same name on my church bulletin.  At any rate, I just wanted to say thank you.”
  • Me: (long silence)  “Um, you are welcome.  Thank you!”

I hung up and honestly wanted to cry.   How close did I come to discrediting my sermon?  I was about three seconds away from steamrolling a visitor at my church, without even knowing it.   In this case, my lips and my life matched.  Fortunately for me, what she saw in the pulpit and what she heard on the phone were the same.  The truth is, my heart was far from speaking kindly that day.  There was rage in my heart and only because I was raised right and living in the South, did I realize that such behavior never solves problems.

There have been plenty of times that my life has not matched my lips.  I’m working on that.  I have to constantly remind myself that I am always being watched – even when I am alone.  The customer service reps on the phone and the people behind the ticket counter at the airport, they both have ears.   The grocery bagger and the guy who works at the gas station, they both have eyes.  They watch and hear what we say, what we do, how we treat them.  And they know more about you then you think.

It has been said that “character is who you are when no one is watching.”     So, who are you?

It’s easy to look good on a platform or behind a pulpit or in a pew.  Anyone can pad a resume, impress on an interview or dazzle on a first date.  But how do you behave when you think no one is looking?  How do you speak when you think no one is really listening?   What does your web history reveal about your free time surfing?

Remember, we all live before an Audience of One.

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3

The church search

I have been looking for a new church to attend.  It’s been quite the experience.   Though I have attended church all of my life, I find myself looking at the whole church search through a different set of lenses these days.  Whether it’s been the conservative Presbyterian church, the big Baptist church, the liberal Methodist church, the ultra-traditional Greek Orthodox church or the casually dressed “pastor on a screen” church – here are some random thoughts on my experience the last several months:

  • THE VISITOR PARKING SPACE.   This is great.  For anyone new to the church, it really makes it easy to know where to park.   Good job to the churches that have it.  What’s sad is that most of the time, I’m the only car in that spot on Sunday.   Minutes later, I realize why.
  • THE PARKING LOT GREETERS.   Some churches have men in orange vests directing you into the church parking lot like you would at a professional sporting event.  I’m waiting for them to charge me $10 to park.  Other churches don’t have anyone in the parking lot looking to help you.  I guess those churches don’t care whether you make it inside.  Or maybe they assume you’ll find the door, just like you would at the mall.  Personally, I like the greeters in the parking lot.  Who doesn’t want to be greeted with a friendly face as you enter a strange environment?
  • THE AT-THE-DOOR GREETERS.   Some churches have people stationed at the door to greet you.  They are generally pretty friendly.  Others let you get the door yourself.  Some have people ready to hand you a bulletin of some sort.  Other churches assume you are illiterate and just hope you listen real well.   Some in the front lobby actually approach you and try to make you feel welcome.  Others avoid you like the invisible person you are.  Most people do care that you are there, except for when they are ignoring you.   Kudos to the churches that have someone at the doors to greet.  If somehow you missed the greeting sniper in the parking lot, these door bouncers are sure to get you.
  • THE STAND-UP-AND-GREET SOMEONE NEAR YOU IN THE PEW.   Some churches, in the middle of their service, ask everyone to walk around and greet someone near you.  I find this aspect very disconcerting.  What should I say, (“May the force be with you?”)  How much time is allotted?  Am I greeting someone who just got over the flu?   Do I tell them my name only or my last big sin?  No matter how you slice it, it’s just an awkward time for visitors.  Can you imagine if, during the 7th inning stretch, the ballpark announcer asked you to leave your seat and greet someone you don’t know?  I mean, the mall doesn’t ask you to suspend shopping to greet nearby shoppers.  The grocery store does not ask you to bump carts with the nearest person and share recipes.   The reason churches do this, I think, is to make it easier on its members from actually doing the hard work of greeting someone new.  One Sunday, I did get hugged by three stranger women.  Granted, they were all over the age of seventy but hey, a hug is a hug.
  • THE OFFERING PLATE.   This is always an interesting dilemma for a visitor.  To give or not to give, that is the question.  It feels like a free car wash, without the soapy water.  If you do give, you feel super spiritual for putting something in the plate like all the saints around you.  If you do not give, you actually feel like the cheap sinner you are and NOW everyone else knows it.  You know the people near you are thinking, “Jeez, I bet he doesn’t even pay for his car wash either.”  
  • THE MUSIC  For the contemporary churches – “deafening” is the new volume, it seems.   I thought it was loud because I am over 40 and all those years of rock concerts made me hard of hearing.   Nope.  When I took my six-year-old, he spent the entire service with the “hear no evil” posture.  It’s amusing to watch the reaction of people who think my son is boycotting church music.  I try to tell them that he’s just trying to stop the bleeding.  It’s futile.  They can’t hear me.  It’s often so loud that I can’t hear myself sing… so I don’t.  The musicians look at me and wonder why I’m not singing.  I think they’re offended.  It’s just hard to sing when the sound barrier is broken in my face.  They do provide free earplugs, which is nice.  Apparently, you shouldn’t wear them during the sermon.
  • THE SERMON.   Very interesting to see the different styles of preaching at each church.  One preacher taught through a passage of Scripture – verse by verse using illustrations.   Well done.  One pastor had the Bible in his hand the entire sermon but never opened it.  He told lots of stories and summarized the Bible’s teaching.  One man used a bunch of props and videos.  Very entertaining but I’m not sure what his point was.  I’m not sure he knew either.  Though the sanctuary was filled with a bunch of adults, one evangelist told a bunch of junior high style jokes like a comedian.   The only difference, he wasn’t funny.

You will never find a perfect church or a perfect church service.  18th century British pastor, Charles Spurgeon remarked, “The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it.”   C.S. Lewis wrote, “The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of.  Our attention would have been on God.”  

A special word to my NON-CHURCH friends:   Go to church.  This Sunday.  Pick one and go.  If you don’t like the church you grew up with, pick another one.   Just as all food in the grocery store is not the same in content, quality or nutrition – so is the church.   Not every church teaches the Truth, as found in the Bible.  Not every church loves sinners, or even visitors for that matter – so find one that does.  But know this – just because people go to church or dress nicely does not mean they have their act together.  Most of them don’t.  You’ll fit right in.  Yes, the church is filled with hypocrites.  But don’t use that lame smoke-screen excuse to keep you from entering.  As preacher Billy Sunday once noted, “Hypocrites in the Church?  Yes, and they are in the lodge and in your home. Don’t hunt through the Church for a hypocrite. Go home and look in the mirror.  Hypocrites? Yes.  See that you make the number one less.” 

A special word to my CHURCH friends.   Look for visitors at your church.  Seek them out.  Greet them before you are told to by the pastor.  Find them in the parking lot and open the doors for them.  Some of them left their church and are looking for a new place to connect.  Others haven’t been in church in years and really need a word from God in these hard times.  You just never know if the person or family that just entered is going through a rough time in their life and needs a new Christian friend.  Some have messy lives.  Some are divorced or struggling with an addiction or just got out of prison.  They might smoke or drink or curse or look at porn.  Love them anyway.  They may not be in church because they feel unworthy to walk in.   Perhaps this Sunday they mustered up the courage to finally enter.  Let them find in you a compassionate person with a friendly demeanor.

Remember, you are simply a church beggar telling a visiting beggar where to find Bread.

The “in home” sales guy…

As an “in home” salesman, I come across all different types of people on a daily basis.  Unlike a traditional store owner that has to wait for someone to walk in his door each day, I have the distinct privilege of being invited into a customer’s home to discuss our products or services.  You just never know what you’re going to see on the other side of that door.  Unlike a friend, you really get to see how people live.  For friends, we clean up and vacuum.  We will dust and put away laundry.  We will wipe  down counters and bring out the cleaning supplies.  After all, we don’t want our friends to discover that we are really disgusting slobs.

But for a sales guy, homeowners don’t spend a lot of time cleaning up for us.  I can’t tell you the number of homes I go in where the homeowner (usually the woman) will apologize for the amount of dust and how busy she was this week.  I always love that excuse.  Sure, we are all busy – I get that.   And I understand that dusting is lower on the priority list.  But that excuse always comes from the woman whose home should be condemned.  I’m always very gracious in the home even though I want to say, “Good grief lady!  How can you live like this??  Where is your dust mask??”  I would never say something like that.  Again.  The truth is, three years of dust does not accumulate because your schedule was busy this week.

I estimate that in the last five years I have been in over 5,000 homes.  Averaging at least three house calls a day, I have literally seen it all.

  • I have been accosted by an overly friendly Saint Bernard the size of Marmaduke.
  • I have been bit by a “friendly” pit bull.
  • I have been hugged by children who just met me.
  • I have been offered jobs.
  • I have been “hit on” by single women and propositioned by gay men.
  • I have seen rooms filled from floor to ceiling with junk.
  • I have been in the homes of hoarders.
  • Once I walked by a parrot’s cage and it grabbed my shirt and wouldn’t let go.
  • Another time a parrot landed on me during my presentation.  (I still made the sale!)
  • Several times I have been “trapped” at a customer’s home because of bad weather.
  • Once I was trapped by an incessant talker.
  • Some homes have had such a pungent smell that I literally gagged as I entered.
  • One customer had so many clothes on the floor in her foyer that I could barely enter without stepping on something.   Humorously, she told me she ran out of hangers.
  • I have met eccentric collectors.  One couple had collected over 400 PEZ dispensers and prominently displayed them in their kitchen.  Another man collected exotic carousel horses.   These gigantic horses were all over his house and imported from all over the world.
  • I had one lady break down and cry in the middle of my presentation as she told me about her difficult life.  Um, awkwaaard!   How do you transition from that??   “So, anyway – our flux capacitor will solve all your severe emotional problems too.”
  • Another woman answered the door totally drunk.
  • Speaking of which, I have been offered a beer on more than one occasion.  As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t drink at your job – we can’t drink on ours.  🙂
  • One woman had full-blown Alzheimer’s.
  • The most shocking was the minister who had forgotten about our appointment.   He answered the door in just a pair of boxers.  Needless to say, I was grateful for his modern-day loincloth.

Over the years, I have discovered that many homeowners believe some “myths” about “in-home” salesmen.  Here are the most common:

  1. Every sales man is a liar.  Granted, a few tainted apples can spoil the bunch but most of us want to make an honest living, earning an honest dollar.  Do not assume just because someone is in sales that they are willing to do or say anything to get the sale.  We tell you what we are supposed to tell you and for most of us, it’s legit.  Snake oil does cure cancer!  It says so on the bottle.   Jeez.
  2. Salesmen are greedy and just want my money.   Granted, many of us are motivated by money but before you climb into your pulpit, so are you.   Why do you work?  For money so you can pay your bills and take care of your family.  We are no different.   Yes, of course we want your business.  But for most of us, we also like the satisfaction we receive of helping you get what you need/want in the process.  Many of us really do want to help improve your life with our products or services.  In exchange, you can help improve ours with some green paper.
  3. We are paid a salary.   What most people do not realize is how “in-home” salesmen get paid.  Many of us are not salaried employees.  We have no guaranteed income.  We travelled to you on our own dime and many of us travelled a good distance to get there.  As an “independent contractor”, we invest 1-2 hours with a customer on our own time with no guarantee of a sale.  Many many days we feel like a volunteer.
  4. We get paid per appointment we run.   Most “in-home” salesmen are paid 100% commission which means that we only make money if you buy something WHILE WE ARE WITH YOU.
  5. All salesmen use high pressure tactics.   Yes, there are some salesmen that are former mafia types that “make you an offer you can’t refuse.”   And sadly, they do not take no for an answer.   But many of us are not wired that way.  Statistically, we have found that if the homeowner does not make a decision in the home while we are with them, they rarely buy later.  This is one reason why we put some “pressure” on you while we are there.  Look at it from our perspective.  YOU called our company and made the appointment.  YOU wanted to learn more about our product or service.  YOU have a definite need/want for what we have.   WE have just given you an hour (or more) of OUR time and expertise FOR FREE.   And WE are held accountable for the result of YOUR appointment with our company.   Every appointment we run is compared against our total sales for the month.   When we are with you and you do not buy – you cost us much more than just our time/gasoline.  You hurt our overall sales percentage which, in turn, affects our income.  Most of us do not put the pressure on you that is placed on us.   HINT: One way to avoid any pressure is to get out your checkbook immediately after our presentation.  🙂

So, on behalf of my “in-home” sales compadres all over the world – may I suggest the following:

  • Do not call our companies to make an appointment unless you are seriously investigating your options.  If you are just curious and window shopping with no intention of making a decision to do this project in the next few weeks, go to google and get your answers there.
  • Only make an appointment if you actually own the house.   You would be surprised at how many phone calls we get from the renters – the people who are not authorized to make major purchasing decisions on a home they don’t own.
  • Have all interested homeowners available when we come.  If you are married, make sure your spouse can attend the appointment.  If you co-own the house with siblings, make sure they can all be there.  There is nothing more frustrating than spending an hour or more OF OUR TIME to discover that you can’t make a decision.  While you were wasting our time, we could have been in another home actually making a sale and supporting our families.
  • Give us time.   Depending on the industry and what we are selling, it takes time to check out your house.  It takes time to measure and take pictures.  It takes time for the small talk.  It takes time to show you our products and explain our services and answer your questions.   Ask the appointment setter on the phone  exactly how much time we will need and then add 30 minutes.
  • Be prepared to make a decision while we are with you.  This is important for 2 reasons.   First, if you don’t decide now – you will not decide later.  You know you want whatever we have.  You know you need it.   Just bite the bullet and get it done.  Secondly, it is in your best interest to do so on the day we arrive.  For customers that decide “today,” we are often in a position to give you the best deal possible.  If the salesman has to come back out to a home to close the deal on another day, that means he cannot be somewhere else making a new sale.  To maximize our time and company resources, we are usually willing to reward you with a discount for simply saying “Yes!” today.
  • Ask for a better price.  The first price offered, though fair, is often not the best price we are allowed to give.  Don’t feel bad about asking for a lower price or adding services to the package.  Most of us who are honest will do whatever we can to help you get what you want at the price you can afford.   We are often willing to give you a MAJOR discount on the spot.  We know if you don’t bite now at the slashed price – you will never bite later when the price goes back up.
  • Be prepared to give a “down payment” of at least 20%.   We ask for this for two primary reasons.  First, it locks in the price that is offered in the home.  Secondly, it is considered a “good faith” deposit and shows us that you are truly serious about moving forward.  When a customer has some “skin in the game,” we find they are more serious about their decision.

Oh.. and one last thing… clean your house and put your dogs away.  We are tired of sitting at your sticky dining room table being licked by Spot.

See you soon!   🙂

Holy Kiss

If you have read the Epistles (letters in the New Testament written by the Apostle Paul), you will find 4 similar verses in 4 different letters:

  • Romans 16:16 – Greet one another with a holy kiss.
  • 1 Corinthians 16:20 – Greet one another with a holy kiss.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:12 – Greet one another with a holy kiss.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:26 – Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

What is this holy kiss anyway? Is this a kissing someone in church? Kissing while holding a Bible? Praying while you kiss? Kissing while you pray? What exactly makes it holy?

Greeting one another with a holy kiss is foreign to us because we are generally not a kissing people.  I mean we kiss our spouses or children or parents or our Italian Uncle or our cousins (That was for my Southern friends).  But for the most part, we don’t usually “pucker up” for our greetings.

So, as this might sound strange to us, Luke 7:40-48 shows how common a greeting a kiss was back in the first century.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house.  You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

As you can see, Jesus rebukes Simon (a member of the leading religious organization called the Pharisees) for not greeting Him with a kiss when He entered his home. From what we know about Jewish culture, the kiss would have been delivered on one or both cheeks. We see this again in Luke 22:47-48 when Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.  Even today, in that culture – most everyone still greets with a kiss.

So, what do we do with these verses today? If you have never greeted anyone with a holy kiss, have you been sinning?  Yes. I mean, No. I don’t know! Here is what we should take from it.

  1. Greet other believers! I know it sounds elementary but we should make sure we are greeting other believers every opportunity we get. What does it communicate to a non-believing world when they see us greet other believers of different churches, denominations and colors? Though we are different and diverse, our bond is in Christ and that unity just baffles a non-believing world.
  2. Greet your enemies! Jesus makes it clear, “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Matthew 5:47). What does it communicate to your enemies when you greet them, in spite of how they treat you? When you ignore those who persecute you or withhold your greeting from those who bother you, your actions become Gentile-ish, in the eyes of God. Remember, knowing that Judas was about to betray Him unto death, Jesus greeted Judas and allowed a kiss from the ultimate betrayer.
  3. Greet appropriately. If an older person enters the room, respect for their age should cause you to rise to greet them (Leviticus 19:32). While you are greeting, you should always maintain eye contact and smile alot. The use of titles (such as “Mr.¨ or “Mrs.¨ or “Sir¨ and “Ma’am¨ are always appropriate, particularly with those older than you.  The woman’s kiss (in the passage above) was appropriate given Whom she was kissing.
  4. Greet affectionately. If you know the person well (family, close friend, etc) greet them with a holy kiss on the cheek. When they ask what you are doing, simply say “Romans 16:16 baby!¨ and make them wonder what kind of verse that is!   If you know the person more casually, greet them with a holy hug or holy handshake or a holy high five.  If the person is a true enemy, perhaps you should toss them a holy hand grenade.  If you don’t have one, a warm greeting will do.

Regardless of how you greet, be sure that you do.

After all, who wants to disobey the kissing verse?

The Jesus Rider

When you invite a guest speaker or band to “perform” at one of your events, the invited person/party usually has a “rider” (list of do’s and don’ts that must be adhered to) that needs to be read and signed before they will agree to participate.

Many of these speakers, artists and musicians have riders that are completely outrageous.  Here are some examples of “ridiculous riders” that have been recorded.  Among other requests, these artists also required:

  • Van Halen, demanded that all brown M&M’s be removed from the group’s candy bowl.
  • Beyoncé demands her dressing room be kept at exactly 78 degrees.
  • Adele requires 6 metal teaspoons in her dressing room while banning organic honey.
  • Kanye’s rider asks for a barber’s chair, Carmex lip balm, and shower shoes.
  • Taylor Swift requires the following Starbucks drinks if she is arriving before 11 am:

    1 Grande ICED Caramel Latte w/ 2 sweet-n-lows
    1 Grande ICED Americano w/ 2 sweet-n-lows with soy milk

  • Comedian Will Farrell’s rider includes 1 Electric three wheel mobility scooter and 1 rainbow (can be painted on canvas) on wheels.

This led me to wonder what it would be like if Jesus, the Son of God, had a “rider.”   The following list might be on Jesus’ rider:

    1. Must have a 12 ounce glass of water at the podium. I promise not to change it to wine during My talk.
    2. Must have at least 5,000 in attendance at each event. Do not expect Me to feed them!
    3. Must keep all children away from Me while I am “on stage”. I cannot have them bothering Me when I am trying to speak or heal people.
    4. When I am taking a nap… I am taking a nap! Do not let any of your people wake Me up for some reason like bad weather, sinking ships, etc.
    5. I want five people praying for Me as I speak. Please make sure that none of the five are part of Peter’s Narcoleptic Support Group.
    6. In spite of my Omnipresence, the sponsor shall provide transportation to and from the town where I will be speaking.
    7. Because of recent “problems,” I do not travel with Rent-A-Donkey so please do not book Me there.
    8. If I am expected to walk across a lake to an engagement it is assumed that the sponsor will clearly mark where the stones are for Me to do so with ease.
    9. Please provide sufficient “security” so that no one may get close enough to touch My cloak.
    10. Please do not have a spotlight shining in My eyes. I am the Light of the world. I do not need your sorry light.
    11. Do not worry about bringing a sound system. I have a tendency to speak loud enough so ALL people can hear Me.
    12. When delivering the expected honorarium, please DO NOT give the money to Judas.  Yes, I am serious.
    13. If I happen to give a parable during My talk, I am only going to explain it once. If the audience still does not get it they are more than welcome to buy My cliff notes which can be found in the back at My concession stand.
    14. I expect that My concessions “stand” will not be placed in the temple. I hate overturning My own tables.
    15. My Father will not let Me sign autographs in anyone’s Bible.
    16. I refuse to do any Bob Marley impersonations.
    17. I understand that my opening act of raising the dead is powerful but please let your audience know (in advance) that Elvis cannot be raised. He is not dead anyway. He lives in Iowa. Shhh.
    18. Due to My contract with Zondervan Publishing Company, I may not help any of you find Waldo.
    19. For an additional $300.00 shekels, I can guarantee you the weather you want.
    20. When I enter town, I expect to stay at a four star (****) Hotel.  Inn’s and stables are definitely out.
    21. When I give the closing prayer, if I see anyone peeking… they are in big trouble.
    22. When I give an altar call, normally everyone comes forward.
    23. At no point during the entire event may any musician or band play the following songs: (“Friends” by Michael W. Smith, “Just as I am” or “Kum by Yah”)
    24. During the Q&A time, I refuse to answer the following questions:
        “How much would could a wood chuck chuck—blah blah blah!”
        “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?”
        “Can your Dad make a rock too big for Him to lift?”
        “Are you republican or a democrat?”
        “Where is Noah’s Ark?”
        “Where was Obama born?”


The Application to date my daughter

Revised by Rod Arters (though much was borrowed by many other sources) 

NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a one-time $99 processing fee, complete financial statement, job history, lineage and current medical report.

 General Information:

Name: _______________________________

Date of Birth: _________________________

(If you were born before the year 1999, you are too old for my daughter)

Height: ___________ (if under 5’6″, please discontinue application)

IQ: _________ (if under 135, please discontinue application)

Weight: __________    GPA: _____ (if under 3.8, please discontinue application)

Do you own a belt?  (if no, please discontinue application)

Social Security #: _______________________

Drivers License #: ________________________   (If you do not possess a drivers license, please discontinue application)

Detailed driving record:

______ # of accidents

______ # speeding tickets

_____  # parking tickets

______ TOTAL

(If the sum total is a number greater than “0”, please discontinue application)

Year, Make & Model of vehicle: _______________________________________

(If you do not own a vehicle or it is a luxury van, RV or any vehicle with a bed, please discontinue application)

Boy Scout Rank & Badges: __________________________________________

Home Address: __________________________________________________

Do you have a full-time job?   _____ YES   ______ NO  (if no, please discontinue application)


Do you have any tattoos?                               _____ YES     _____ NO

Do you have any piercings?                           _____ YES     _____ NO

(This includes nose, earrings, tongue, cheeks or belly button)

Do you own a waterbed?                               _____ YES     _____ NO

Do you own a truck with oversized tires?  _____ YES     _____ NO

Do you own a gun?                                         _____ YES     _____ NO

Do you have a criminal record?                   _____ YES     _____ NO

(If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, please discontinue application)


What is the name of the church you attend?  _______________________________

How many times a week do you attend? _________

When would the best time to interview your:

1)      Father?                        _________________

2)      Mother?                       _________________

3)      Pastor?                         _________________

4)      Parole Officer?            _________________

(If you have a parole officer, please discontinue application immediately)

Essay Section:

1)      In 50 words or less, what does the word “LATE” mean to you?

2)      In 50 words or less, what does “DON’T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER” mean to you?

3)      In 50 words or less, what does “ABSTINENCE” mean to you?

4)    In 50 words or less, what does “PUBLIC PLACE” mean to you?

Short Answer Section:

(Answer by filling in the blank.  Please answer freely as all answers are confidential)

1)      If I were shot, the last place I would want to be shot would be my: _____________

2)      If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my: __________________

3)      A woman’s place is in the: ________________________________________

4)      The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is: ______________

5)      IF I grow up, I want to become a: __________________________________

6)      When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice first is her: ___________________

(If this is a body part, please discontinue application immediately)

7)      What is the current going rate of a hotel room? _________________________

(if you know this, please discontinue application immediately)

I swear that all information supplied above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge under penalty of death, dismemberment, crucifixion, electrocution, waterboarding, or red hot pokers.

Applicant’s Signature:______________________________________________

Father’s Signature: _______________ Mother’s Signature: ___________________

Pastor’s Signature: _______________ Congressman’s Signature: _______________

In the space below, please provide finger prints, inked in your own blood for Homeland Security Identity Referencing & DNA sampling:

Thank you for your interest.

Please allow four to six years for processing.

You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. (Do not expect a letter)

In the unlikely event that you will be accepted, please read “Daddy’s Dating Rules”.

Daddy’s Dating Rules:


If you pull into my driveway and honk, you had better be delivering a package because you are sure not picking up anything in my house that evening.


You may only look at my daughter’s eyes.  If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.


Though it is fashionable by today’s standards to wear your pants below your rear, this is not acceptable attire while dating my daughter.  Should you have trouble keeping your pants “up” in the appropriate spot (which, by the way, is just below your armpits) – I will gladly staple them where they need to be.


When I communicate with you – here are the correct answers to my questions:

1)      Question: When will you have my daughter back?

Answer: early

2)      Question: Will you kiss my daughter goodnight?

Answer: Only if I want my lips removed from my mouth.

3)      Question: When is it ok to touch my daughter?

Answer: Only when I am pushing her out of the way of a moving vehicle about to hit her. 

4)      Question: What are the appropriate titles to address me?

Answer: Your Honor, Your Majesty, Sir

5)      Question: When there is a misunderstanding between you and my daughter, who is right?

Answer: She is.


If you make my daughter cry, I will make you cry.   Any questions?


The following places are never appropriate with my daughter:

  • Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool.
  • Places where there is darkness.
  • Places where there is dancing, holding hands or happiness.
  • Places where the temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, sweaters or goose down parka – zipped up to her throat.
  • Movies with romantic or sexual themes are forbidden.  Movies which feature torture or chainsaws are acceptable.
  • Places where you are alone or outside of my field of vision.

Preferred places would be:

  • My living room
  • Front pew of church
  • Police stations
  • Nursing Homes


Regardless of my age, appearance or physique, I can still take you.


Never lie to me. Consider me the all knowing, merciless god of your universe.  If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one opportunity to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  I have a shotgun, a shovel and five acres behind the house.  Do not trifle with me.


Be afraid of me.  Very afraid.  The sound of your car in my driveway will always remind me of a chopper coming over the sand dune in Desert Storm.   As soon as you pull into the driveway, you should exit the car with both hands in plain sight.  Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car in a serpentine fashion.  There is no need for you to come inside or to the door.   The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

Welcome to my cloud in the blogosphere

I have been writing since age 5.   First it was just my name.  Then it was basic sentences in grade school (“See spot run”).   Eventually it was long essays in middle school followed by even longer term papers in high school.   One such paper was a 10 page (minimum) paper on a favorite United States President.   I waxed eloquent for 12 pages about Abraham Lincoln.   The teacher graded my paper (AND somehow 22 others!!) in a 45 minute period in the dark while we watched some boring filmstrip (remember those?) about something in history.   Before we left class that day, I discovered three things:

  1. The class finds it really funny when you “pick” someones nose on the big screen while the teacher isn’t looking.
  2. I get good grades when I write.  I got an “A+” for my Abe Lincoln filibuster.
  3. No one really reads what I write (which is sadly, directly correlated to #2)

And thus… my writing career began.

After high school, I retired my #2 pencil and graduated to the keyboard.  Writing became even more fun and fast.  I went on to college and wrote dozens of other papers with mostly positive results.  Along the way, I quickly realized the importance of spell check.   I no longer had to re-read my boring writing and check for errors, I simply could let the spell checker do the work for me.   That is, until my Freshman year English class fiasco.

After procrastinating on a 20+ pager due tomorrow, I wrote the paper in less than 24 hours.   With only 30 minutes to spare before the deadline, I needed to print it out and walk (aka sprint) across campus to submit it in time.  I hit “save” and it asked if I wanted to spell check the document.  Of course!  It then asked if I wanted to make changes.  Of course!  I blindly hit “yes” to everything, printed it out and was on my way.

A week later, the professor handed back the papers… all except mine.  When he asked who did not receive their paper back, naturally – my hand went up.   “Ah, yes.  That makes sense.  Why don’t you come up and get your paper?”, he said with a devilish smirk on his face.  I grabbed the paper and my mouth dropped open.

Somehow, I signed the paper, “Rod Arters” and evil spell check turned it into, “Rodent Arteries”.

Spell check: 1, Rod: 0

By the way, I received a “B” on that paper.   The professor thought the content was excellent but could not give an “A” to someone who couldn’t spell their own name.  =sigh=

Welcome to my blog.   🙂

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