First of all, let me apologize. I seem to have fallen into the habit of getting these posts finished late in the evening instead of early in the morning, and some days - like today - I don't get anything out via e-mail at all. I'll get back on top of my publishing schedule one day, I promise. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience with me.
I have previously pointed you to the folks at Mint.com, a financial tracking and help site. Turns out they have a pretty good blog, too, and here's an excellent issue about several websites you should check before you make any kind of online purchase.
ANOTHER OLDIE BUT A GOODIE
A friend bought some property in Texas and decided to buy a donkey as a family pet. He found one for sale from an old farmer for only $200 and promptly made the purchase. The farmer agreed to bring the donkey around in the morning.
The next day, however, as the farmer climbed out of his truck, he said, "I've got some bad news. Ol' Blue here was fine when we loaded him into the trailer, but somewhere between there and here, he passed away."
"I see," said my friend. "Well, give me my money back, then."
"Can't," replied the farmer. "Already spent it."
My friend thought furiously, then said, "All right, then. Just unload the donkey."
"What are you going to do with him?"
"I think I'm going to raffle him off."
"What?" exclaimed the farmer. "You can't do that! You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"
"Watch me," my friend answered. "I'll be raffling off a donkey. If they ask me if it's dead or alive, I'll be honest about it, but otherwise ... well, they'll still be winning a donkey."
About a month later, the farmer ran across my friend in town and asked him how the raffle had turned out.
"Great," said my friend, pleased. "I sold 450 tickets at $2 each, and wound up making a $798 profit."
"Didn't anybody complain?" asked the farmer.
"Just the guy who won ... so I gave him back his $2."
[Net 153's Smile A Day]
WORD for YOUR WEEK: Some would say my friend's raffle was a form of chicanery, which is a cheap kind of trickery, or deceit. The actual root of the word is not really known, but it can be traced back to France around 1600, when "chicaner" meant to make a fuss, or quibble about something and was most commonly used to describe delaying tactics used in the legal profession.