The Fearless Consumer

Murky water: Swim refund not automatic
Published on Aug 1st, 2002
0 comments Several weeks ago I took a close look at something I'd rather not even think about ["Plop, plop: Pool poop spoils outing," July 11]. The subject arose when Hook senior editor Courteney Stuart and...
One born every... Hope trumps common sense
Published on Jul 25th, 2002
0 comments  "Audition with John Casablancas Representatives," the postcard began, for "Fashion, Commercials, Print, and T.V. Bring a non-refundable photo, & dress casually. Under 18 must be accompanied...
Super look? You can fool some of the people
Published on Jul 18th, 2002
0 comments I'm tired of being a secretary; I think I'll take up modeling. That should be easy, according to everything I've been told by my potential employers, the W.I.S.H. Shopping Network. After all, their...
Plop, plop: Pool poop spoils outing
Published on Jul 11th, 2002
0 comments   Be warned: I'm going to talk about poop in public pools, so if you're fainthearted, stop reading. But if you love– or, alternatively, are compelled to endure– the combination of...
Those cards!
Published on Jun 13th, 2002
0 comments There I was, staring up at the leafy green world above me as my friend Cinda, foot-reflexologist-in-training, did magical things to my feet. It was a Saturday morning in May, my back yard was an...
Did Uncle Ed leave you millions?...probably not
Published on Jun 6th, 2002
0 comments "Dear Peggy Powell," the email began. "Type your last name in the Foundmoney search engine and see if you can find CASH that belongs to you . . . INSTANTLY!"The message went on to tout the site (http...
Downhill ride
Published on May 30th, 2002
0 comments When Aer Stephen's Volvo suddenly threw itself into gear, backed out of the garage, rolled down the driveway, and crashed into his neighbor's car, there was one thing he could be thankful for: he had...
Bitter pills
Published on May 23rd, 2002
0 comments When Margaret Anderson e-mailed me to say that her husband's Pravacol costs "considerably less" at Kroger than at WalMart, it was déjà vu all over again. My very first column ["Lowest price...
Due dates
Published on May 16th, 2002
0 comments When Bobbie Thompson left a handmade Portugese linen tablecloth, a silk jacket, and two silk blouses at the cleaners, she never dreamt that would be the last time she saw them. But it was: When she...
The driveable car
Published on May 9th, 2002
0 comments On January 2, 2001, Downing Smith was suffering an especially potent form of misery: double pneumonia, a high fever, freezing weather– and a house call from Lethal Wrecker. Smith says that when...
Paid in full
Published on May 2nd, 2002
0 comments When I opened my email inbox and saw the subject heading "Carriage Cleaners," it was like old times. Carriage is part of the Cooke family cleaning empire, with which, in my first incarnation as the...
A little steep?
Published on Apr 18th, 2002
0 comments Twenty-eight, twenty-seven, twenty-six... I'm counting the days till graduation. Not because I'll be walking down the Lawn, mind you, but because that's when the students exit and Charlottesville...
Treacherous tartare?
Published on Apr 11th, 2002
0 comments If you're eating right now, stop– especially if you're eating in a restaurant; this week's topic, food poisoning and food-borne diseases, isn't likely to enhance your appetite.   ...
What's in a name "Lethal" jacks up emotions
Published on Mar 21st, 2002
0 comments There I was on a Friday afternoon at U Hall, locked out of a pickup I'd borrowed from one of my bosses and kicking myself for being so negligent. After a few feeble attempts to break in, I bowed to...
Fan's folly: A Lethal night at the arena?
Published on Feb 28th, 2002
0 comments  Here's a twist: the towing company did its job, and the consumer may have been wrong. Before you rush to the phones, however, let me provide some qualifiers.  But first, the facts: Around...
THE FEARLESS CONSUMER- Model Seduction
Published on Feb 7th, 2002
1 comments The flashbacks began as soon as I sat down: rows of chairs in a bland, chain-motel meeting room; impish children and their doting mothers; nubile girls in tight tops, a few older women, and a...