What do you think is the most powerful word in the English language? At one time, I thought it was “love.” But, of course, back then I was a starry-eyed kid head over heels in something for the pretty long-haired blonde girl that sat next to me in biology class. But over time, I’ve come to learn that one of the most powerful words in the language is the word “no.”
I learned the power of that word when I was still that same starry-eyed young man with raging teenage hormones. My father taught me a lot of important things, but one thing he was adamant about, and made sure that all of his sons understood, was that the word no means no. Especially if it came from a woman. It doesn’t mean maybe, it doesn’t mean keep pushing, it doesn’t mean try a different angle, it doesn’t mean badger, cajole, or beg. It means “no.” End of story. He raised us to be gentlemen, and I’ve always followed that example.
At one time, I had an uncle-in-law (is there such a thing?) who was a State Senator. He once said that a bureaucrat’s favorite word is no. Because if someone asked them to do something, or asked them if it was okay to do something, and they said yes and it turned out wrong, they could be in trouble with whoever was above them. But if they said no, and someone came back on them about it, their response was, “I was just doing my job. I didn’t think I had the authority to tell someone yes to that.” And we do know that bureaucrats love the word no, don’t we?
However, I’ve come to appreciate that same little two-letter word. Sometimes it has a lot of power. For example, I got renewal notices from Sirius XM about the radio subscriptions in Terry’s Chrysler Pacifica and my Ford Mustang. When I saw the price, I did a double-take. $361.87 per car for one year! Are you kidding me? We’re talking about $723.74 a year? Even if we drove those two cars all the time, I wouldn’t pay that much. And we don’t! For the most part, they sit in the garage and we drive our Ford Explorer around town. We use the Pacifica for road trips, and I do like having the Sirius radio then. And the Mustang is a garage queen with just over 1,000 miles on it since I bought it new in November, 2018.
I called Sirius and told the young man who answered that I wasn’t going to pay that kind of money, and, of course, he told me that was a “special price” because I was a loyal customer. I told him that my loyalty ended at my checkbook, and I wasn’t paying that kind of money, so just go ahead and cancel both services. Then I got upgraded to a “manager,” who wanted to know how she could keep my business. I told her she couldn’t because I wasn’t going to pay that outrageous price. She hemmed and hawed a couple of times, and offered me a free Amazon Alexa Echo Dot. I told her I don’t need one because we have two or three of them around the house as it is. Then she offered me 14 months of service instead of a year, at that same outrageous price. Wow, two whole extra months! I again told her no, and told her that I was hanging up now.
It was amazing how quickly that set in stone price changed! She asked what channels I listen to, and I told her music and comedy. She wanted to know if I listen to Howard Stern, the NFL package, NASCAR, or other talk radio. I told her no. So she suggested that she could drop Stern, NFL, and NASCAR, and I would retain all my other programming for $143.80 total for both cars for a year. Okay, that I’ll do. Then she asked if she could automatically renew me a year from now at their regular price, “for my convenience”. Guess what I told her? Then I hung up before she could try to talk me into something else.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Be sure to enter our Free Drawing. This week’s prize is a four-book set of audiobooks from my pal Carol Ann Newsome’s popular Dog Park mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – You will piss a lot of people off when you start doing what’s best for you.