Millroy: without humour, where would we be?


Just personal stuff today, two people living in virtual isolation 24/7 month after month during the pandemic and an update on some buying online that had gone bad.

Skype and Facetime have been a solid benefit during our time in isolation as it at least allows us to see family members as we speak with them but, of course, it will never equal actual contact. You can’t hug over the Internet.

Lying in bed the other night, my wife Barbara and I got into a discussion about two people living together in isolation 24/7 during the pandemic.

She offered:
“There are times that if I gave way to my thoughts you would be bleeding.”
You might think I would be upset at that comment but I wasn’t because I could understand it. I have found irritation levels take a hit during isolation. And anyway, with Barbara, you sometimes don’t know what is humour and what isn’t.

A couple of examples.

One time she gave me a note I had left her and said she couldn’t make out my writing. I read the first part to her with, I admit, some difficulty, but then I came to a wall. I tried and tried but then had to admit I could not make out that last sentence.
“That’s because you didn’t write it,” she said. “I just put down some chicken marks.”

Another time she approached me with a magazine in hand, asking me to take a questionnaire in regard to marriage. Sensing a trap, I declined. But she insisted.

“I have taken it,” she said. “It is only fair that you do. We can compare results.”
As I expected, the questions were the type that would make anyone squirm and I answered as carefully as I could while skirting outright perjury.

I breathed a sigh of relief when she came to the last question, which was so easy it seemed out of place. “Do you think you are gullible?”
“No, of course not,” I answered, expecting we would now go to the comparison of our answers.
She looked at me for a time and then handed me the magazine opened at the page from which she had been reading, supposedly been reading, it turned out.
There was no such questionnaire. She just wanted to see me squirm and succeeded.
“Doug doesn’t live here any more,” she once told a friend who had phoned me,
When I came on the phone he said he was sweating. “I didn’t know where to go with it after she said that,” he said.

When she quit smoking I began to find butts here and there and finally asked if she was cheating. “Sometimes dense is good,” she said.

We take a ride three times a week just to get free of the house, our gasoline bill last month running to $398, but I think it is the humour, the laughter, that Barbara provides on a daily basis that is going to get us through the pandemic without any permanent scarring.
However, just in case I think until the pandemic is over that it might auger well for me to attempt to learn how to sleep with one eye open.

TWO WEEKS BACK I wrote about a couple of problems my wife and I had with online shopping: I never got a smokeless grill I ordered from an ad on FaceBook and she never got a smart watch she ordered for a Christmas present for a grandson.

I have an update:

MasterCard has already reimbursed me for the grill, although it suggested I hang onto all my information for a year in case the provider appeals.

My wife never got her watch but she did receive a letter from Mitch Fortner, the owner and chief officer of, offering an apology and also asking her not to file for a chargeback or lodge a complaint against his company because “Banks are ruthless, and they will wipe our business out before we can ever repay anyone.”

Barbara replied that this was too late because she had just filed for a chargeback.
Two days later she got a reply, Fortner again asking her not to file for a chargeback and saying that although has become a success for him, the company has had problems that could drive him into bankruptcy and possibly cause him to lose the family home and maybe even his wife.
“We have had some financial mismanagement leading to delays,” he said. “On top of that a large inventory order was lost at customs leading to several hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of losses.”
Then he proceeded to attempt to sell Barbara some shoes.
“Cobblestone Shoes. are handmade full-grain or top-grain leather shoes that sell anywhere between $300 and $600 depending on size and colour,” he said, suggesting Barbara could get a pair for just $79.99.
She is just going to let her filing for a chargeback stand.

As a result of my column Nadine Robinson, who writes a column for The Sault Star, emailed me to say she had gotten caught by a Facebook ad back in late October.
“It took me to a reputable looking site and I got all the right emails and tracking info and was charged tax (which I hadn’t been, which maybe should have been a clue I was being scammed).”  She said two months later, with still no product and the tracking site having disappeared, she filed a dispute with Mastercard.
“Fingers crossed that it won’t be an expensive lesson for me” she said..
“Thought I’d let you know that you aren’t alone.”

Actually, I figured there would be others out there and the one thing we all will have learned is to deal only with sites known to be legitimate, such as Amazon.