Knowing Amazon, I didn’t intend to appeal the shut-down of my blog Associates account, but at the urging of a kind reader, I ended up giving it a shot. The message that belatedly came back to me from the Associates program began:
Dear Sir or Madam,
We received your appeal regarding the termination of your Associates account. A specialist has reviewed your account and the decision to terminate your account was found to be correct. As stated previously, under the terms of the Operating Agreement (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/agreement), we may terminate your account at any time, with or without cause [my emphasis]. This termination is final and not subject to appeal.
To prove just how thoroughly they didn’t investigate, the remainder of Amazon’s email was nothing but a cut-and-paste, complete with the “warmest regards,” from their original FU notice.
“With or without cause” says it all. Deliberate deplatforming or routine bureaucratic whacking, take your pick. Doesn’t matter.
I was expecting this. I’ve never heard of an Amazon Associate successfully appealing any decision; the company is as notoriously nasty to its subordinates as it is glowingly good to its customers. I’d have been shocked by any other decision.
Nevertheless, I felt drenched with ickiness after reading “Warmest Regards MkII.”
I was at the library planning to post something to the blog, but after that I couldn’t think of anything to say and couldn’t even find any good links.
I went so far as to draft a post saying it was time for me to wind down the blog. But then I remembered friends and angels and I couldn’t do it.
I also remembered that our local Catholic church was holding a rummage sale that day. The Catholics always do the best sales, beating the local Lutherans by a length and leaving the poor old Baptists in the dust.
One hour later and a mere $12 lighter, I walked out with four DVDs, eight Sue Grafton alphabet mysteries, three hardback history books, one sweatshirt with a rhinestone dog face outline, two pairs of nearly new shoes, and a Dean Russo plaque redundantly claiming “All you need is love and a dog.”
I felt better. Somewhat.
The next day I met up with Furrydoc and her husband and we picked apples.
The picture doesn’t begin to convey the awesomeness of that one rather small tree. I’ve never seen apples growing in such profusion. The weight of them was such that every branch but one was bent earthward, a couple actually touching the ground. The tree belonged to their neighbor, a sweet Scandinavian lady who has grown too old to pick and process fruits from her own garden. I believe they had already picked a share for her.
With Furrydoc’s giant cart and all the buckets and bags we brought we were able to take away about 1/3 of the remaining fruit. Both they and I had plenty to share with other friends and neighbors.
Although this isn’t an apple growing region there are lots of stray apple trees about, some growing wild and some as ornamentals and shade trees in yards. But year after year, nobody seems to care much about picking most of them. Every fall, thousands of apples within our little community splat unappreciated onto sidewalks and lawns.
As we were picking, I mused, “It’s too bad people can’t, say, register their trees so somebody could come out each fall and pick the fruit for poor people.”
Furrydoc, a church volunteer, who talks with everybody in town including the operators of all the local charities, said, “Guess which items are always the least popular at food banks.”
“Fresh fruits and vegetables?”
“You got it.”
Damn shame. But this one apple tree was certainly popular with us. And also with Neighbor J when I left a five-gallon bucket of apples on her porch.
Oh, and I also came home with a tip, courtesy of Furrydoc’s father-in-law, who’s a retired food chemist. Maybe you knew this, but I didn’t. Unlike most other fruits, apples don’t lose their sweetness after picking; on the contrary, they develop more sweetness a week or two afterward. These particular apples (whose variety I unfortunately can’t recall; it’s not a common one) are also supposed to be good winter keepers.
So I’m leaving my 10 gallons out for a week before drying some and maybe making apple butter with the rest and keeping a few for cold-weather snacks.
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