E-ZPass is one of humankind’s greatest inventions. Of the four inventions of the past twenty years, it’s not quite as cool as the internet, but leagues ahead of the Thighmaster and the Eggwave. For those of you who don’t know what E-ZPass is, please contact your closest university; there are anthropologists there who will want to study you.
While E-ZPass is great, it is still a relatively new system, and as such has a few kinks that still need to be worked out. Two years ago, my then-girlfriend Kara and I took her car through a toll booth with the E-ZPass transponder not properly mounted to the windshield, partly (and by partly I mean entirely) because I was tossing it up and down to myself in the passenger seat as we drove through the toll booth.
The dreaded CALL EZPASS sign lit up, which is the interstate equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death on your computer. When we got home, I obediently called E-ZPass, and after navigating deep into the bowels of their phone system, I actually found a human being there. That human being was Vinnie Barbarino. If you don’t know who Vinnie Barbarino is, he’s John Travolta’s character from the 70’s version of Saved by the Bell. Back then, Screech was called Horshack. Anyway, here’s how our conversation went:
Me: Hi. The CALL EZPASS sign lit up at the New Paltz exit on the New York Thruway when we went through the toll booth earlier today.
Me: The sign at the toll booth. It said CALL EZPASS. So I’m calling you.
Me: The sign at the toll booth. It said to call.
Me: Earlier today.
Me: Dude, the sign. The CALL EZPASS sign. It said to call.
Vinnie: Up your nose wit’ a rubber hose.
After that conversation, I sent a check to E-ZPass for the toll, hoping to clear my good name. They responded by sending piles of violation notices to Kara’s parents, at the address to which her car was registered. I poured special love and care into my next letter to E-ZPass, enclosed another check, and the violation notices actually stopped.
I am so proud of myself for writing a letter that actually accomplished something, I’ll paste it here exactly as I sent it. Maybe you can get some use out of it, too, if you ever need E-ZPass to stop sending violation notices to you. Feel free to use this letter and modify it for your particular situation. It has a proven track record.
I already sent in a payment for the enclosed violation, but the delinquency notices have not stopped coming. I took my transponder through the New Paltz booth in my girlfriend’s car. The
booth didn’t read the transponder, and the “CALL EZPASS” sign lit up.
I am trying really hard to comply with E-ZPass in clearing up this violation. PLEASE help me end this! PLEASE! I know you can do it. I have faith in you. My girlfriend’s folks are [angry] at me because they keep getting these notices. I am probably going to marry this girl, and her parents will likely be my in-laws someday. This E-ZPass mess is not helping at all. I think they are starting to think that their daughter should have stayed with that motorcycle punk guy. I’m trying to be the nice guy, but does a nice guy screw up his girlfriend’s parents’ credit rating and let E-ZPass harass them? No!
You can help! You can make the world a better place. Opportunities like this don’t come along every day — you are empowered to right wrongs and cure injustices! All you have to do is close this violation notice.
Thanks for your attention. You are a good person.