Tuesday, June 05, 2007

June 5, 2007
Thomas Charles is headed back to Philadelphia, and on to Peru for his Peace Corp stint. We had dinner last night with he and Bill Glenn at El Encanto ($105, includes tip, Sue account). The two long-time friends regailed us with all the demonic things they did as kids that we never knew about. For example, often when we were gone they would take everything off the fireplace (knick nacks, statuettes tucked into narrow grooves, and the ultimate irony is that the free form fireplace was built by Bill's dad, John Glenn), put couch cushions around the bottom, then timed each other climbing to the top of the fireplace and jumping off into the cushions (it's a 13 feet drop from the top). If parents only knew half the stuff their kids do, they would be even grayer. Ha.

About five years ago someone in the credit industry typed in my social security number and missed it by one digit. In other words, one of the digits is wrong. This attatched a certain Navajo living on the res, who I will call Bob Begay (not his real name) to all of my credit reports. When we went to get a refinance on our mortgage, the bank told us our credit was lousy. When we asked why, they produced our report which showed that we skipped out on a hospital bill in Flag, stiffed a car dealership in Winslow and ran up quite a few bills and bad debt all over northeastern Arizona. When they showed us the accounts, we quickly realized these were not mine (in fact they are in Mr. Begay's name, who is ten years younger than me), and I sent the appropriate documentatioin to get Mr. Begay expunged from my record.

Five years later, Mr. Begay is back on my records. It's like a virulent strain of virus that will not die. And the three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are very little help and take zero responsibility for any of this, making it almost impossible to even talk to a live person. I tried calling Experian twice and got caught in phone hell: "If you would like to open an account, press one; if you want to dance the watusi, press two; for everything else, press three." Five layers later, I was out of choices and no where near wherre I wanted to be. And, by the way, pressing zero, which usually works, doesn't work with them (I imagine their engineers went to gleeful lengths to eradicate that helpful option).

What's extra frustrating is all three bureaus list me with three aliases, as in "AKA Bob Begay," which adds to the sinister nature of the reports (what bank would lend money to someone with three aliases?)

Kathy, who is quite organized and thorough, went online and found a site that shows you how to contest the bogus listings. She had to fill it out in triplicate. Here are a couple samplings of wrong info on my credit report (there are 14 total):

• I am not retired; I work for True West magazine

• I do not do business with Marshall & Ilsley.

• I do not and have never done business with HSBC/MAHA

• I do not do business with Wells Fargo Bank

• I do not and have never done business with Winslow Medical Center

• I do not and have never done business with Tate Ford Lincoln Mercury

I'm half tempted to contact Bob Begay and laugh about this, but somehow, I have a hunch that would only make things worse: "And so Mr. Bell, also known as Begay, did you contact your alias to go over your criminal schemes to defraud Tate Ford?"

Here's a couple sketch pages I've done in the past two weeks.

Dr. Sam Palmer contacted me last night and I'm going up to Big Dry Wash on Thursday and he's going to walk me through the famous fight. Looking forward to that.

Onion Headline de Jour
Meek Coworker Taken Down A Notch

"Two men working as a team will produce more than three men working as individuals."
—Charles McCormick

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