I have had this long bizarre excruciating experience with Verizon for something like most of 2009. Last week, they sent me a bill which still reflected their assertion (admittedly partially reasonable) that I lived where the sub-town boundaries of the City of Boston thinks I do: In Jamaica Plain.

Unfortunately, for some unknowable reason, the United States government disagrees with this, and although they haven’t yet beaten down my door and hurt me, they have decreed that my mail at least is delivered to an entirely different place, with an entirely different ZIP Code: Roxbury, which technically begins across the street. In the olde dayes, the clever mailman/woman/dachshund would realize exactly what was going on, and delivered it to me at the address indicating the actual building in which I live, regardless of “where” it was supposed to be.

Well, we all know times are different now. This bill had unhappy governmental remarks all over it to the effect that the people at Verizon were ignoramuses, which of course I knew; and it had taken several weeks for that canny dachshund in his natty blue-grey dark-striped shorts to get the damn thing in my mailbox.

It claimed that I owed them the couple of months I had spent waiting fruitlessly for the dachshund; and that was only fair. It also hinted that that credit Tawara-in-New York had insisted on a couple of months ago was “disputed.”

The very next day Mr. Internet was bye-bye. I had the first salvo of The Usual, and curled up to be sick. As in, I think I actually had to take a PRN. I braced myself for several more hours of hell that coming Monday.  In a state of misery, I looked at the Comcast website. It looked complicated and expensive, and I was pretty sure I owed them money anyway. But seeing as Verizon was now hinting that they wanted over $300, what the heck. So I called them.

To my overwhelming joy, it turned out that I don’t in fact owe them money (how often do we hear that?) and that when all the dust settled, my installation would be less than the two month bill of a hundred-some dollars that I agree I owe Verizon, Tawara’s credit besides the point. Even after the year of cheap newness, they work out to be about $15 more than The People Of Corporate Evil—no, wait; that’s Bank of America. Um, The People Of Corporate Incompetence? No, that’s still Bank of America. Let’s just pretend I was clever, and forget we ever, ever, ever heard the word “Verizon.”

And you’d better believe I’m skating on the fucking Verizon bill. Sometimes honor lies in the civil disobedience of refusing to pay any more money to the charming people who ate eleven hours of my life. (And also charged me the minutes for it on their wireless phone.) Ten bucks an hour? Cheap at twice the price.

And cable is faster, too!!!