The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Sunday, December 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The Lighter Side of the News

Rudolph, the red-faced, 'I've had enough' consumer

It's that holly, jolly time of year. Just for fun, call people by reindeer names this week. "It's Prancer and Vixen! Let's get this party started!" "Have another cup of cheer, Blitzen." "Where's the mistletoe, Cupid?" Let's Dasher and Dancer through the headlines:
•"Consumers have had enough, 'rage survey' says": More people than ever are dissatisfied with the products and services they buy, the report says. To express that "dissatisfaction," more people are "yelling and cursing at customer-service representatives than two years ago." Oh, dear. It's safe to assume that customer-service representatives likely also "have had enough." They are probably dissatisfied with the yelling and cursing.
Overuse of that word, "rage" is unhelpful as well. Must "road rage" be something that morphs into everyday life? Like it's a reasonable thing to yell and curse at a low-paid customer-service rep who didn't produce the product the yeller is dissatisfied with, nor did they sell it to her. (The product most often responsible for enraging people is cable or satellite TV. That alone might seemingly provide perspective about its relative importance vis-a-vis "yelling and swearing.) (Uh oh, Prancer's getting a little preachy.)
•"Duck-billed dinosaur sported a rooster's comb": That's pretty impressive, considering he didn't have any hair gel. (Is there such a thing as a dinosaur-billed duck?)
"Is 'affluenza' a real condition?": Well, if by that they mean do people of wealth, influence and/or fame more often escape punishment in our legal system than people without such means, yes, it is a real condition. It's not a new idea, of course. Jesus addresses "affluenza" frequently in the New Testament. As did the Buddha, he of the anti-affluenza teaching. (Uh oh, Donner's getting to be a downer.)
"Tourist distracted by Facebook falls off pier": Status: Doh! And damp. The woman couldn't swim, but managed to hang onto her phone while she floated on her back until she was rescued. The Australian authorities declined to say what country the tourist was from, but she is now required to wear a life vest at all times until she returns to the United States, er, wherever she's from.
"Shrub genome reveals secrets of flower power": Fascinating, no doubt. But more important: Do you think former President George W. Bush, who loves to bestow nicknames on people, has the proper appreciation for whoever first dubbed him "Shrub"?
"Neanderthals could speak like modern humans, study suggests": That's a shame. Whatever. Obviously. Like, you know.
"Holiday shopping a disappointment so far": Ah, the annual week-before-Christmas "poor sales" story, which always manages to actually end on a brighter note than predicted by analysts and retailers who sound the "disappointing" alarm tactic.
"Police: Job applicant stole from tip jar": "I thought I deserved a bonus for the way I finessed that question about where I see myself in five years," the accused did not tell police.
"49ers fans raise money for S.F.-bragging billboard in Seattle": Thanks for spending your money here! How about some full-page newspaper ads, too? Brag away! Buy all the smack talk you can afford!
Dunder, Blunder and Online Comets didn't even make Santa's junior varsity reindeer squad.
Carol MacPherson: 425-339-3472,

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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

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