Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Amok’

When banks use some dumb excuse not to give you your money

July 06, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Amok 27 Comments →

Photo by Rene Guatlo

We bought some shirts at Glorietta 5 today and used all the cash in our wallet. No problem, we figured, the mall is dotted with ATMs. Then we went to the nearest automated teller near the washrooms at Glorietta 5 and put our Banco de Oro card into a Chinabank machine that displayed all the logos of the different ATM networks.

The ATM spat out our card and said our account had been blocked. No explanation was given.

So we called the Banco de Oro hotline. According to the call center operator, our account had been blocked because our ATM card had been used recently in an area that was prone to fraud.

Which hotbeds of criminal activity were they referring to? Glorietta 5 where we’d just tried to use the card, or Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, or Bonifacio High Street?

The operator advised us to have the card replaced at our BDO branch, a process which would take five to seven working days. Of course she issued a thousand apologies—all of which mean absolutely nothing, none of which make up for the inconvenience they have just caused us.

We know that while yelling at the operator would release the rage boiling in our system, it is not the operator’s fault that her employer’s systems are idiotic. She probably does not get paid enough to absorb public execration for her employers. If you need any proof that capitalism is evil: the underlings get the shit that the overlords richly deserve, the overlords get the big bucks no matter what dunderheads they are. (Arrogant underlings behaving as if they were overlords is another issue.)

Therefore while we were seriously tempted to follow our Jedi Master’s lead (Call people’s mothers whores and call their paternity into question), we merely told the operator to relay our hatred towards her corporate masters, who cooked up this lame excuse (fraud-prone area, your ass) not to hand over our money. Hey, here are some advertising slogans. We make ways…to cause you inconvenience. We make ways…to ruin your day. We make ways…to make money off you while you thank us for handing over what is your money in the first place. We make ways…to promote the rights of morons by putting them in charge of our ATMs.

So we shall start our week by telling the branch manager: YOUR BANK SUCKS.

Has this happened to you? Tell us your story.

We learned etiquette from Samuel Jackson.

July 21, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Amok, Movies 13 Comments →


We go to a quiet café to get some peace and naturally the last available table is next to a guy with a voice like a bullhorn. He’s alone, a fact that doesn’t stop him from producing enough noise for ten. He’s on his cellphone, talking in a voice that vibrates with the sense of its own importance. Perhaps he imagines that everyone in the place is dying to hear him so he’s doing them all a favor by killing their eardrums.

Loudmouth has the manner and inflections of the educated class, and the air of borrowed entitlement that wafts from the flunkies of the rich and powerful. (The rich and powerful do not have to announce that they are.)

Wait: he drops the name of an important person. We’re so impressed. He repeats it several times, in case the people in the next building didn’t hear it.

Why did we leave our iPod at home? Oh right, we thought we should listen to humanity. Well it’s not as if humanity can hear itself, it is braying like a donkey in a blender. Though the novel we are reading is delightful, we cannot help but absorb the details of the loud man’s conversation. Yes this is a loud city, but You Do Not Prevent Us From Reading.

We look his way several times to convey our disapproval at his one-man noise pollution campaign. He does not lower his voice. It is likely that he interprets our stares as admiration for his power, influence or looks, the unprepossessing types being the most convinced of their resemblance to Brad Pitt. His associates join him and it is established that his loudness was not due to a weak mobile signal. He’s just a rude, inconsiderate ass, and that’s an insult to the ass.

We’ve had it. There is one Samuel L. Jackson badass in this joint, motherfucker, and that’s us. Don’t be fooled by this girly dress because under it is a giant dick that will bitch-slap your skull in half.

“Miss,” we call the waitress, “Are there tables free on that side?” She says yes. “Then we’re moving there,” we say, pleasantly but loudly. “IT’S QUIETER.”

Silence falls over the next table. Ah, so you know we mean you. Come on, asshole. Give us an excuse. Bring on the vocabulary showdown. Words of five syllables or more!

From that point, conversation is conducted at a much less obtrusive volume.

People like aggravation

March 28, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Amok, Current Events 1 Comment →

Remember this? Maritess Vs. The Superfriends by Rex Navarette and Dino Ignacio.

Whenever I take a cab and the taxi driver is listening to the Senate investigation into corruption in the Armed Forces, I gently suggest that he switch to something less stressful. “Iinit lang ang ulo ninyo (You’ll just lose your temper),” I say. The cabbies always laugh and agree with me, but they never change the station. Fact: People enjoy getting ticked off. Many people tune in to TV shows featuring celebrities they loathe, specifically to get ticked off. They must not have enough stress in their lives.

The aggravation level rises logarithmically when the subject being questioned is the wife of the former AFP comptroller General Ligot. Irritating enough that she won’t answer any question, but she weeps, falls ill, snivels, bleats for mercy and acts like the victim. They’ll take everything, even our sense of victimhood!

You know what Mrs. Ligot sounds like? You know how it is when you have a really, really, really stupid maid?

Apologies to all housemaids who have not been going off on mysterious trips with unidentified companions to undisclosed locations bearing undetermined amounts of unexplained money.

Know your neighborhood crazies: Ex-cop hostage takers, ex-satanic cult member taxi drivers, etc

August 23, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Amok, Current Events, In Traffic 5 Comments →

At noon I was sitting in a taxi, effectively held hostage by radio coverage of that hostage-taking incident.

According to the breathless radio reporters, a former police officer had taken a busload of tourists hostage. At first the hostages were thought to be Korean; later they were revealed to be from Hong Kong.

Apparently the former officer had been dismissed on corruption charges. He demanded that the Sandiganbayan decision be rescinded and that he be reinstated with back pay. And to prove his innocence, he took 25 people hostage.

Was he never required to take an IQ test at some point in his career?

Update, 2048hrs. And yet he managed to hold off dozens of police rescuers and SWAT, advancing retreating advancing retreating with no apparent strategy. They make the hostage-taker look smart and gallant.

According to a newsanchor: Good news! Some of the hostages survived!

Earlier the Palace announced: The Philippine situation is stable despite the hostage taking!

And the media was given total access to police movements, so everything the police did was broadcast live on television for the hostage-taker to watch on the TV inside the bus. Surprise!

IQ tests all around.

* * * * *

William Blake, Satan inflicts boils on Job

I remembered how a few months ago I got a strange (-er than usual) text message from my friend Maricon, who was in a taxi. Without any prodding, the taxi driver had started telling Maricon the story of his life, particularly his experiences as a member of a satanic cult. He started talking faster and faster, as if he were speaking in tongues or something. I told Maricon to record the rant on his phone, and he did. I’d been meaning to transcribe the rant, but you should hear it to believe it.

The cult even had a nickname for Satan: they called him Taning. Apparently prayer groups also use that nickname. It almost sounds like a term of endearment. Hah! John Milton never thought of that.

Here’s the mp3. This is part 1. Warning: May freak out some listeners.


Before the dramatic exit: “I hate to be a bag nazi”

August 12, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Amok, Traveling No Comments →

He warned you.

More on Steven Slater, the flight attendant who freaked out and made an emergency exit from the flight he was working on. Gawker has unearthed the messages Slater had allegedly posted on airline message boards warning of new pressures on cabin attendants.

The airlines have created a monster. Lousy bagggage handling, theft, and now gouging with bag fees, why WOULD anyone want to check a bag? Add to the our collective laxidasical approach to enforcement, and you get a disaster. At the end of the day, the airlines have to step it up. I hate to be bag nazi when i work a flight, but I feel if I am not, then I am letting down all those who cooperate and thry to help out as well.

Read the whole article.

Election noise pollution

May 08, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Amok, Movies, Music 2 Comments →

Rainbow, Port Campbell, Victoria, Australia, 4 May 2010.

I cannot wait for this election to be over so I can hear myself think again. Every morning I am awakened by campaign vans roaming the neighborhood, blaring campaign jingles. We are exhorted to vote for their candidates to the tune of Bad Romance, We Will Rock You, Pokerface, You Spin Me Round and other pop hits, and what is the probability that the campaigning politicians actually got permission from Lady Gaga, Queen, Dead or Alive and the other copyright owners? FILSCAP, ASCAP, whoever is in charge, I hope you’re monitoring this. As for the noise pollution and the violation of our human right not to be awakened by campaign jingles causing the building to vibrate, we’re on our own.

Sometimes the vans park near my place and try to drown each other out. The funny thing is, I recognize the melodies but the sound quality is so bad I can’t make out the name of the politician on sale. It’s louder than Iron Man 2, except that Iron Man 2 is fun.

Speaking of which, I finally saw the movie yesterday. My friend says Robert Downey Jr makes narcissism sexy. Are you kidding? Robert Downey Jr could make not being sexy sexy. He can do anything! Please, he made Sherlock Holmes watchable. I’d like to see him in another romantic comedy—he was brilliant in Chances Are, Heart and Souls, and Only You, it’s the vehicles that let him down.

Mickey Rourke with a Russian accent is a great villain, but my favorite scuzzball is Sam Rockwell as Tony Stark’s competitor, a clueless man just dying to be cool.