August 3, 2011

Some fees may apply

Welcome to Summary of My Discontent. Thank you for reading this column. Whether you are reading it in print, browser, Facebook, Twitter, blog, smart phone or tablet, this column, as always, comes to you completely free of charge.

However, due to ever-expanding capitalistic opportunism and because we just kind of feel like you might not be paying close attention, we at Summary of My Discontent will immediately begin charging the following fees, which will automatically appear on your credit card, iTunes account, cell phone or bank statement (and if you feel somebody groping around inside your pocket, that’s probably us):

Convenience Fee: $10. Unless you stop reading immediately, we will assess our Convenience Fee, which is a convenient way for us to charge you money without having to adjust our advertised price, which, as we mentioned, is totally FREE. Odds are, you will pay this fee because a significant percentage of people are what economists call “myopes”: consumers who will pay $4 for a bottle of tap water or accept a $10 credit-card charge just because some corporate goon made it impossible to avoid having convenience fees jammed down their ticketholes.

Membership Fee: $10/month. Congratulations! As a Summary of My Discontent member, you’ll gain a backstage pass to important features not offered to non-members, such as paying the $10 Membership Fee.

Punctuation Fee: $5. While many (but not all; see below) of the words in this column are free of surcharges, we have recently had to implement a Punctuation Fee in order to offset the ever-rising cost of punctuation worldwide. If you’d like to avoid this fee, please download this column and remove the punctuation, which you can then sell on the open market to recoup your losses.

Adjective Fee: $1 each. It was a dark and stormy night when we came up with the tricky and insidious idea to charge you this unnecessary, useless, pointless, superfluous and gratuitous fee.

Sarcasm Fee: $7.50. We REALLY appreciate your business and we TOTALLY value your opinion and we are SO sorry to have to implement this fee.

Supplier Surcharge: $50/quarter ounce. So, what we do is, we gather up these supplier surcharges, see, so we can pay our supplier.

Sneaky Fee Fee: $20. Our most meta fee, the Sneaky Fee Fee makes no bones about what it’s for: It’s for making us some mo-nay.

Tea Fee: $1,000. If you like to complain about taxes while also supporting a climate of deregulation that rewards corporations who charge unfair fees that do nothing but enrich those companies and enable them to “exercise their free speech” by making large contributions to politicians who overlook corporations who impose devious consumer fees, you are going to love this totally free-market fee, which is in no way a tax.

Out-of-Network Fee: $3. You are reading this column on the wrong side of the street, so we will add $3 to your tab. Is this OK? Please press Yes or Yes.

Dealer Preparation Fee: $150. Our dealer isn’t going to prepare himself. (Please refer to Supplier Surcharge above.)

Appraisal Fee: $75. You’re probably wondering how your enjoyment of this column is going so far. Fortunately, we’ve done an appraisal and it seems to be going fine. That’ll be $75.

Origination Fee: $25. Known in some alternative publications as the Big Bang Fee, the Evolution Fee, the Adam and Eve Fee, the Lord Brahma Fee or the Turtle Mother Fee, this is a fee we charge our readers to supplement the massive amount of ink and electrons it takes to constantly remind the American people that they have freedom both of and from religion.

Insurance: $50. You probably didn’t think you needed insurance to read this article, but you didn’t really need it on your apartment, property, life, rental car, cell phone, accidental death, dismemberment, flight, flood, home-title search, or family vacation, and that didn’t stop you from buying insurance on those.

Extended Warranty: $50. See Insurance.

If you feel any of these fees have been charged in error, please notify us in writing by completing Fee Error Form #27b676g351h876536, which is available on our website for $17. Please mail a check with your completed form to cover the Error Reporting Fee of $32.50.