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Brace Yourselves, Bad People

Seventeen years ago, someone pissed me off. That someone was U-Haul. Yes, the entire company. I wanted them to go to a very bad place. It's a long story, and we all have short attention spans, so suffice it to say that they sucked, and I was the victim of their suckage. I could have done the mature thing—phone customer service and register a complaint, in hopes that the matter would be rectified. I could have done the immature thing—leave a flaming bag of dog-and/or-human feces outside the front door of one of their facilities. Instead, I did the weird thing. I wrote U-Haul a letter. But, rather than write a letter castigating them for their abysmal service, which I felt fairly sure would not improve the situation and only succeed in further inflaming my temper, I sent them this:

September 18, 2001



2727 N. Central Ave.

Phoenix, AZ

Dear CEO:

How are you? I am writing to ask a question about the rental of one of your trucks. I would like to rent one of your trucks. But I thought I should explain the situation first to see if you would let me.

I need to transport 48 gallons of cream cheese from Chicago, Illinois to Hammond, Indiana on the eve of October 18, 2001. Here is the problem – it will not be in containers. You see, it is part of an elaborate practical joke (don’t ask!) that I am playing on my childhood friend, Jonathon. I was wondering if it would be okay for me to fill up your truck with cream cheese, drop it off in Hammond and then return your truck to you on October 19th, around noon or so (unless there’s a problem).

The reason I thought I should write first is because cream cheese is one of the messier cheeses. I know how much care U-Haul puts into each and every truck, and while I intend to clean up the best I can, I have never cleaned up that much cream cheese before, and I do not know how it will go.

I can promise you that there will not be much cream cheese left in the truck when I return it to you, if any. Besides, even if it does not all come out, whoever rents the truck next might even be happy they’re getting free cream cheese! (That was a joke)

Thank you, U-Haul, for considering this request. I have always been a big fan of your trucks and also of your storage spaces. I hope you can accommodate me.