Best Laid Plans (of Clowns & Men)

Two months ago a Washington County road grader slashed our phone line in numerous places. To restore service, a technician draped 3,500 ft. of cable down the ditch, across the dirt road, through the pasture, and into our backyard. It has now been lying above ground, exposed to the elements and automobile traffic for over 6 weeks. On Monday, Connie phoned our land-line provider to ask when they’d d bury the cable.

If you ever need a lesson in poor customer service, I recommend you call Sage Telecom and ask for Julio Tiluestre. Not only is Julio a master at speaking undecipherable broken English, he will NOT allow you to speak to a supervisor, nor will he pretend to take any action that might resolve your problem. Despite his incompetence and unwillingness to help, he WILL end the conversation with “Have a nice day,” no matter how strongly you’ve cursed him.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Head of Customer Service at 100 word Grand Central  who is famous for saying, “Jan—Come here.—I have a chore for you,” is Alexandria “Ma” Bell Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Madison Woods
copyright – Madison Woods

The job interview went better than he could’ve dreamed. Ray Kroc was so intrigued by his marketing strategy proposal that he encouraged Ronald to implement it at their busiest restaurant.

The focus would be on attracting and retaining young children as the primary customer base. Step one would be the development of small-portion meals containing a prize. Unfortunately, Ron relied on his degree in Entomology when selecting the contents.

Unsuspecting mothers shrieked in horror as live insects darted from their children’s lunch sacks. Angry complaints came pouring in.

Employees dubbed the highly unsuccessful and short-lived venture the ‘Grumpy Meal.’


*As with our fearless Leader’s post, this is also a syndicated rerun from ages past.

50 Comments on “Best Laid Plans (of Clowns & Men)

    • You must be referring to the Death Hoax where a child was supposedly pricked by a heroin needle while playing in a McDonalds ball pit. According to that was false. However, I bet all the bad publicity gave Ronald a horrible case of indigestion.

      When you order the Grumpy Meal they’re supposed to ask, “Do you want flies with that?”

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think that was at a Chinese restaurant in a rice bowl. It adds a whole new level to the concept of “fresh” food.


  1. I like your title, a variation on our immortal Rabbie’s lines.
    Also used, slightly more accurately, by the magnificent John Steinbeck.
    You are in exalted company this week, Russell!


  2. Russell, may I order a grumpy meal sans flies? You have turned this picture into a delightful story. I do believe Ronald was trying VERY hard.


  3. Dear Ron,

    I’d like a hot apple fly with that Grumpy Meal. Speaking of flying, I can’t believe I’ve been doing this Fly-Day Afflictioneer thing for three years. Funny and fun.




    • Dear Alexandria,
      The last three years have went by fast. It’s fun to go back and read some of the old posts (and comments). Here’s to the next three (clinking of styrofoam cup).
      Thank you for being such a wonderful hostess,


  4. That plan will probably attract a whole new set of customers, the local Entomologists. They can even take bets on what will fly out. Maybe your local cable customer service man hired his brother-in-lay to lay the cable. That would explain a lot. It might even be a two-man business. There might not be a supervisor. Hilarious, Russell. 😀 — Suzanne


    • The guy who answers the phone in customer service probably lives in your neighborhood, Suzanne. You call for tech support in America and 90% of the time someone in India answers the phone. No wonder Grumpy Meals are so popular.


      • You could be right, Russell, and that would also explain a whole lot. No one is coming from here to bury your cable. The young man probably has a paper in front of him with stock answers. 😦


  5. The concept of a small-portion meal would fall at the first fence with my grandkids. No prize in the world would compensate for reduced portions. Good one Russell, I think I remember this one.


    • I wish our grandkids would eat that well. They are more likely to grab the toy and throw away the food–which may be a smart choice in this case.

      Yes, it’s a summer rerun. Good for you if you can remember three years ago. I can barely remember what we had for supper last night.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about that, Patrick. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to get some people’s panties in a wad. Glad I’m not like that. 🙂


  6. Can we have Grumpy Meal as a take-out? Order one and have it sent to Julio, add some wasps.
    Very appetizing, story and comments. 😉


  7. So funny and yikes! Oh, no! Russell, I can just picture the insects crawling out of the box. It ain’t pretty. Grumpy. Yeah, kids would not be happy about this one or at least the parents won’t be. Uh, no thanks. Great story!


  8. That’s perfect for you and me — The Grumpy Meal! All except the entomology part. Is this a true story? And is Ronald the famous historical figure I think he is? Ronald Reagan? Not making a political statement here, just didn’t want to believe Ronald McDonald could have done this. As for Julio Tiluestre, I believe he is head of Customer Service at Comcast.


    • Shhh…I didn’t want anyone to know I was referencing a Republican. People are better off thinking I meant the OTHER clown named Ronald.

      Rumor has it that Julio Tiluestre has been cloned for management positions at all telecommunication and computer support centers around the globe. The poster boy for poor customer service.


  9. Funny as ever, Russell, but how on earth did he persuade the bosses to let him do it? I couldn’t suspend disbelief this week sorry!


    • They thought the bugs were going to be molded plastic from China. Little did they know he was going to use live insects.


  10. Or the Jumpy Meal. I can’t figure out how the kids take such a liking for their meals. Do they add addictive substances to their Happy Meals?
    Delightful story.


  11. I missed this week’s challenge. Too busy. Loved your story, as usual. I think any meal from that place should be called a Grumpy meal, given the toxins in that pseudo food. But that’s just me…oh, and a few nutritionists concerned about obesity and health.

    As for your cable, I had a similar experience, but can raise you one. The dufus mowing our lawn failed to move the very obvious black cable lying on the lawn and severed it. He got off the mower and hid it in the shrubs. I was on the phone with the cable company for hours trying to diagnose my sudden lack of service. Add to that, I had to be outside because I had zippo cell serve inside the house and my landline was–you guessed it–part of my cable. The day was hot, sunny, and 100% humid. Picture the unhappiest camper in the park. That was me! A few days later, the cable company came not only to fix the line, but to bury it.


    • I can just see you out there cursing the sun and humidity and unable to phone in your complaint. Can I Super-Size you Grumpy Meal?

      A man came out Sunday morning layout the route for burying the cable. Gee, now I’ll have to find something new to bitch about.

      Liked by 1 person

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Mandie Hines Author

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