An Observation In Chance Encounters

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As the days get torn from the calendar this week, we find ourselves doing the last minute shopping to ready our son for his first day of the 8th grade this coming Monday. In the midst of all of the grand excitement we found that we had missed a few things on his school supply list. It was only a few items, but still meant a trip to Walmart for my son and I. We decided that we would go yesterday after dinner, just the two of us, father and son, on the hunt in the Walmart jungle. Actually, it was more like a trip to the zoo, but who am I to say. Before we go, I get into my dresser and get a $50 dollar bill, thinking that should cover anything we need to get. My son wants to take my H1 so we went out, got in, and left. Walmart is about 15 minutes from my house so the trip went pretty fast.

Arriving at Walmart at 8:30 pm at night I was really surprised to see the parking lot was at least 80% full. Which means, I assume, that they will have both check out lanes jam packed with long lines. I was able to drive right in to a parking spot, so far so good. Then, as we are getting out of the vehicle, a decked out Escalade pulls into the open disabled spot to my left. The music was so loud that it was rattling car parts on the car directly in front of it. I couldn’t see the driver because the window tint seemed to be darker than my own double limo tint. I had the back door open on that side because I was grabbing socks bought for my son that were the wrong size and needed to be exchanged. Then the driver’s door to the Escalade opens, I hear this woman screaming “where in the fuck does your aunt keep that fucking blue thing for the window, I ain’t fucking gonna park way out in the fucking middle of nowhere”. I heard no reply. She pulled her phone out of her bag and calls whoever and cusses that person up and down for a few minutes. As I walk away, about to bust out laughing, I hear ” excuse me sir, I seemed to have misplaced my blue window thingy, do you have an extra one I can borrow? ” I turned slowly and replied with a simple no, pointing out I have plates, I don’t need the window placard. After she gave me a go to hell asshole glaring stare, she turned to one of the children, around 9 or 10, and told her to sit in the car to watch for the cops, if she sees any to call her so they can leave. WTF? Against my better judgment, my son and I just walked away.

However, once inside, I did locate the store manager, explained about the girl being left inside the car, and she did contact the police. From that point on now, I have no idea what happened. I never saw the lady in Walmart nor was the Escalade parked next to me when we left. She, my friends, is an absolute douchebag. We wait in line at the return counter, one person running one register, behind a half dozen or so people. Finally, my turn, present the bag of socks, present the receipt (4 days old), and get told they don’t exchange. I of course opted for the refund. She processed the return and tells me she has to put the funds on a Walmart gift card. Why? I showed her I paid cash and want cash back. After a short argument, she gets a manager involved to override her transaction, and then gives me my $7.56 in cash. Are these people really this fucking stupid? Of course, there aren’t any carts available, so I sent my son to scavenge one from the parking lot. He returned quickly and we began our seek and destroy mission for the missing school supplies. It is, however, a very short list, just 3 essay notebooks, 1 folder with tabs, and 2 spiral notebooks. Talk about impressed, everything was in one aisle, everything was fully stocked, and we were the only people on that aisle, bonus. Boom, boom, boom, and fucking done! But wait, my list has other stuff on it, I needed 2 a/c return filters which after checking, they had zero, strike one. Over to the groceries, I need cream cheese, check, I need raspberry extract, check, and finally, raspberry pie filling, check. Okay, time to get the fuck out. Time check, elapsed time at Walmart 51 minutes.

Wonderful, all of the self checkout lanes are closed, strike two. Then we just picked a line, which we were in for 20 minutes. But wait, there’s much more. The lady in front of me had three carts, two with groceries, and one with school supplies and clothing. After the first cart cleared, she paid with her food stamp card. When the second one cleared, she paid the over $400 in $20 dollar bills. The items in that basket included alcohol and other food items not allowed by food stamps. After her third cart clears, she uses 5 gift cards, two different credit cards, putting just a little on each one, and paid the remaining $300 in cash. My checkout was easy, paid, and we were out. As we walk out the door guess who has her Escalade parked right at the doors? Yep. The lady in front of me was loading her stuff into the back of it. How convenient, curbside service. This bitch was holding up allot of cars, and they took their sweet ass time doing it. As we walked by I felt her eyes burning the back of my skull and when I turned to look she was proudly displaying a full on double bird and mouthing “fuck you cocksucker”. Awwww, how sweet. My son and I just waived politely and smiled, I don’t think she quite understood our kindness because she looked pissed. To each her own.

I don’t always see random stupid people at Walmart, but when I do they are usually trying to make the other fucktards feel a sense of pride and unity. So what was the point of me sharing all of this with y’all today? Great question! I really don’t know a great answer though, I think I wrote it out of the sadness I feel towards people who are liars, cheats, and thieves. I mean, let’s face it, this wasn’t a rare instance or occurrence, what I saw is the “norm” in our society. Too many people use government assistance as their career opportunity in life, they milk the “system” for their personal paycheck, and the utterly sad and ridiculous part of it all is they know they are scammers and cheats because their lifestyle revolves around it. And yes, our wonderful government enabled it to be this way. Maybe that’s just where humanity is at the present time. I joke with my wife, who doesn’t see the humor, ever, about me thinking I have made the wrong career choices. But, obviously, I like doing things the hard way, the right way, and with a clear conscience. Doesn’t mean I can’t be amused or pissed when I see these people because when I see it happening it does get my bullshit-o-meter pegged out, for sure. OK, sure, be mad at me because I see things and have an opinion about it. You’re probably right, the people I mentioned in this post are most likely legit, honest, hard working individuals, and I have just jumped to very obscure conclusions for no clear reasons. Oh, now I understand, some people like a sugar coating on their bullshit so its easier to swallow. Its cool.

So, I Was Arrested One Night

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But before I get into my arrest let me begin by telling you what led up to it. When I was pulling up in my driveway two months ago I got out of my car to get the mail out of the mail box when I noticed across the street the young couple living there having an argument in front of their house. There was some pushing and shoving, there was yelling and cussing, and just like that it was over. I watched the front of their house as I drove up my drive to park. Nothing. I was just thinking to myself if I needed to call the police department but since I couldn’t see or hear anything I let it pass. About an hour later, just as darkness was settling in behind the trees, I was taking the trash out to the cans and I heard them yelling again. I jumped on my ATV and headed back down the end of my driveway to see what was going on. By the time I got down there it was over once again.

Later in the night my wife were sitting out on the front porch talking when we heard glass breaking and then moments later a horrible scream. I told my wife to call the police right now and I took my ATV down to see what had happened. As I crossed the street leaving my driveway I could see a body laying off to the side of their driveway. As I got closer I could see it was the young lady and her body was twisted in an odd fashion. I get off the ATV in a panic of sorts to see if she is alive. Alive, yes, but really bloody. After I quickly surveyed my surroundings I determined the husband must still be in the house. She was trying to talk but the blood in her mouth made only gurgling noises. She had been pushed out of the second story sliding glass doors before falling off of the deck, landing in the grass. Her face was bloody, I tried to wipe it off to see where the blood was coming from but it kept pouring out just in front of her right ear. She was on top of her right leg and the way it sat I knew it was broken. When I straightened her legs out it was obvious it was broke as there was a sharp bone protruding through her pants. All I could do at this point was take off my shirt and hold it over her open leg wound in hopes to slow the bleeding.

I could hear the sirens in the close distance. I saw my wife at the end of the driveway directing them in. The police car was first, then an ambulance, and then the fire truck. The police officer asked what happened, he asked who I was, and what did I know. He walked me about 10 feet away from Sarah as the paramedics took over. Out of the blue her husband comes charging out yelling at the police officer that he wanted me arrested for trespassing. This instantly enraged me I suppose because I took two step and started pounding him in the head with every ounce of strength I had in me. In a matter of seconds he and I were both a bloody mess, not my blood, just his, as he never had a chance to swing back. For an instant I wanted him in the same pain he put his wife in, I wanted him to suffer, and it felt good pounding him under a full rush of adrenalin.

When we were separated we were both placed in handcuffs and sat in two separate cars. An investigator opened my door about ten minutes later to inform me that I was being arrested because the husband was pressing charges. I was removed from the car in a kind manner, patted down, read my rights, and placed back in the car. I watched the ambulance leave and figured it was now time to go. The door opened again so a medic could check out my injuries because of the blood. As suspected, I had none except a dislocated middle finger on my right hand. He gave me a shirt to wear that my wife had given to him and told me I would have a moment to tell her goodbye. She approached me with sad eyes and told me it would be okay and that she understands. The police officer placed me back in the car, closed the door, and away we went. After booking me they checked my injury and then secured me in a holding cell by my self.

A couple of hours later I was greeted at my cell by an officer who told me that I had an appointment with the judge. In the courtroom I was not asked to speak, the judge read the charges, and set the bail. My wife was in the room with us, she was waiting on the bail information, and then she left out of one door and I was led out another door headed back to the holding cell. A couple more hours passed and the officer came back to the cell and announced that I was being released because my wife had paid the bail. He told me that after we did some final paperwork that I would be released and free to go with my wife. Then we left, we headed home, and when we got there all I wanted to do was have a hot shower. That may have been the longest, hottest shower I have ever had in my entire life. As I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my face in hands hunched over, my wife climbed across the bed, kissed me on the back of the neck and told me that what I did she understands and stands behind me. I was neither comforted or alarmed by her statement, I felt guilty because that Sarah got hurt so badly.

A few days later my wife noticed that Sarah was home. I wanted to go talk to her but my wife said it might be better not to. Later that afternoon I get a call from the courthouse to inform me of my case dismissal hearing which was the following day. When I went to the hearing it was exactly that, proceeding had been started and completed for a complete dismal of all of the charges filed against me, to include battery and trespassing. Within a week we saw that her husband was now home. I was sad again because I know this cycle all to well.

Why hang the laundry up here? I thought it might help me work through all of my own emotions before I head to my second therapy session this afternoon. Did it help? I don’t know yet. Maybe I will never know.

Scams, Fraud, And Abuse For Tuition

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Taxpayers are seeing their dollars thrown away to scam artists, and students struggling to pay for college may find higher tuition costs as some community colleges try to recover the millions of dollars they’re losing each year from federal Pell Grant fraud and abuse. Out of the $33.5 billion in Pell Grants the federal government doled out last year, individuals posing as students, called “Pell Runners”, took off with $1.2 billion.

Given how easy it is receive the funds, it’s no wonder there is significant fraud. When students register for classes at a participating college, they can fill out a financial aid form. If they qualify for a Pell Grant – based only on financial need – the federal government will issue the grant to the school. The school then takes out the cost of tuition for the semester and sends the remaining funds directly to the student. The student can use the leftovers to pay for a variety of purposes, such as food and living expenses. Because community colleges are generally low-cost, Pell Grant recipients can have one or two thousand dollars sent to them for their personal use. Once the money is received, however, scamming recipients disappear, leaving the school to try to find them to pay back the funds, and oftentimes moving on to do the same at another school. Tracking down these scammers is nearly impossible, and the college usually ends up paying back the fraudulently received grant out of their own monies.

At Henry Ford Community College this year alone, over $4 million of taxpayer money went to individuals who claimed they were full-time students, only to take the money and run, never actually setting foot inside a classroom. The federal government has not done enough to curb the abuse. Some schools have been taking matters into their own hands, implementing measures to try to reduce the incidents of fraud. Some impose a longer waiting period before distributing the funds to the student performing more stringent checks, one school waiting until 10 percent of the way into the semester, while other schools are increasing tuition, in part to cover the costs of Pell Grant abuse.

In either situation, it’s the honest students that suffer: longer waiting periods means it will take longer to get the money they need, and higher tuition costs means they will have to get by with less next semester when the college sends them a reduced check.

Education savings

Information found for this “Your Tax Dollars @ Work” post was done by using a Google search. Information compiled from multiple public websites & media outlets.