I'm not entirely sure, but I think America is one of the few places in the world where you have to pay for things you don't use.
As I was talking recently about my cell phone situation, I realized that these companies are signing you up for 1 and 2 YEARS, and charging you a monthly rate even if you never use your phone. Then, if you desire to turn the phone off during that "contract" period, you are charged a hefty cancellation fee.
Same thing with tanning beds, gyms, etc. Their scam is to sign you up and charge your credit card every month, even if you haven't been in for weeks... or, in my case with the gym, months. Cancellation is possible, but you have to write a letter and mail it to the company. Then, probably about 30 percent of the time (according to friends who have done it) they "lose" the letter or claim to have never received it.
The problem is, we allow it. We sign up, we pay, and we don't complain. If we were smart, we'd draw the line and tell companies to shove it deep. As soon as my cell contracts are up, I think I will do pay-as-you-go. Likewise with my gym, I'd like to find a place that allows you to pay as you use it... even if, you know, you hardly ever use it. (Dr. Mike, you bastard, we need to get back to the gym. Stop making lame excuses like "my wife just had a baby.")
Are companies allowed to do this sort of thing in Europe? Asia? I'd like to know.
Something does my heart good to see Boy George cleaning the streets of Manhattan. I'm not sure why I enjoyed this story - he seems to be an OK sort of person. I just guess it's human nature to find enjoyment in the misfortune of the famous. Especially when they have a british accent.*
Why do we get particular amusement out of seeing a famous person arrested? (Martha Stewart is a great example) I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that they are so often treated differently because of their fame or notoriety. I'll bet Letterman gets out of more traffic tickets than I ever dreamed of. I am SURE Paris Hilton never has to wait in line to get into a night club. I'm positive Rosie O'Donnell gets extra butter on her popcorn at the theater. (at least it appears she does)
So when any of these types have to pay some sort of price for something they've done, we revel in it. We celebrate it, if in no other way than to get a warm feeling seeing Boy George holding a plastic garbage bag.
*Why is it more satisfying when they have the british accent? Because they always sound just a bit condescending? Also, (and I don't mean this the way it will inevitably sound) does anyone else find it freaky to listen to a black person with a british accent? It just totally throws me off.