By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
[The Dallas Observer recently found this overdue bill in its mailbag, which obviously should have been delivered to TXU headquarters down the street.]
To: Erle Nye, Chairman and CEO, TXU
Cc: Bill Nye, the Science Guy
From: Paul T. Hanrahan, President and CEO, AES Drax
Re: Acct. No. 000-0000-0002
Most Esteemed Colleague in Energy, Mr. Nye:
Bloody hell, Erle, where are the pounds you owe us? Does our energy displease you? Are your overhead lights, break-room coffee pots and office computers not humming with the hot vibe of sweet electricity? I've a bill in front of me for your account, and it's several days past due. Just to be sure there wasn't some mistake, I sent the meter man back out to your London offices to double-check your usage. Our numbers were spot-on.
I know this is awkward, and I do admire the fact that you're obviously an Anglophile, what with your going by the moniker "Erle" and all. (How many "Duke of Erle" jokes do you get from the blokes at the pub, eh?) But, see here. I've been told that TXU is a global leader in electric and natural gas services, merchant trading, energy marketing, telecommunications, energy delivery and other energy-related services. As well, TXU is one of the largest energy companies in the world with more than $28 billion of annual revenue and $43 billion of assets. Besides, TXU is one of the largest generators of electricity in the world and sells more than 330 million megawatt hours of electricity and 2.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas annually. Finally, TXU delivers or sells energy to 11 million customers primarily in the U.S., Europe and Australia. So chin up!
Now, I've been forced to turn your delinquent account over to our manager of collections, Sir Graham Hogswallow. Graham is a dashing good sport, and he's outlined some brilliant ways in which we at AES Drax can help all of us continue a splendid working relationship. No reason to throw that down the loo, is there? So choose one of the following options:
AES Average Billing
We'll take your last 12 months of bills and average them together. Helps you get through those cold, rainy London winters with your budget intact.
AES Automatic Bank Draft
Just send us your account number, and we'll automatically draft your bill from your checking account. No more stamps to buy!
We'll send your bill straightaway to your e-mail in-box, and you can pay it at our Web site when you like. No more stamps to buy!
AES Virtual Pay
Call our 24-hour payment hotline with a valid credit card number and we can settle your account within minutes. Peace of mind is just a 13-digit phone call away.
Erle, without coming across like a raving Thatcher, we really need our cash. Just because your stock price is going the way of the Falklands doesn't mean you can shirk your fiscal responsibilities. As a final conciliatory note, I'd like you to take notice of our new program, AES Energy Advisor, in which you can sign up to receive an easy-to-follow customized energy plan with personalized recommendations on how to save money on your monthly electric bill. I think you need it, Yank.
Jolly good then,
Hell by Numbers
There were church vans, buses and family cars. There were youth groups, families and couples on dates. There was terrorism, abortion and rape acted out for the audience at Trinity Church of Cedar Hill's annual Hell House, an $8 revue of all the bad behavior that can send you tottering down the road to perdition.
The scenes stressed modern-day horrors like raves and associated drug use (as they sold glow sticks prior to the tour). They covered pornography and terrorism with montages of film and news images. The young actors did a "re-enactment" of a hijacking on 9/11 that left us wondering where they acquired the terrific airplane seats and when we signed on for a tasteless diatribe against Islam.
Other Hell-acious facts:
Minutes in line before hayride to Hell House: 60
Minutes on hayride: 5
Drug anecdotes overheard in line: 2
Dollars paid to get in: 0, thank God
O-Town posters used in scenery: 1
Depth of mud on way back to car: 4 inches
Girls determined to make out (with each other) in prayer room: 2
World Muslim population: 1.2 billion
Muslims in league with Satan according to Hell House: 1.2 billion
Times needlessly offended: countless
Unlit steps we just about broke our ankles on: 5
Live gunshots contributing more to hearing loss than to scene: 3
Best representation of hell: waiting in line for one hour next to chanting youth groups
Topics crammed into last (grand finale?) room: 7
People heard speaking in tongues whilst praying: 1
People frightened by speaking in tongues: 5
Estimated ages of participants: 11-17
Times an audience member yelled, "Represent!": 2
Times "KORN" graffiti appeared in Satan-worship scene: 3
Pro-Jesus montages with accompanying electronica: 1
"Big bags of O-neg" called for in botched abortion scene: 2
Rooms smelling of cat urine: 2
Times "I done told you" heard (in scenes and in line): 4
Child molesters named "Petey": 1
Times a narrator demon interrupted a monologue to say, "Please put out your cigarette": 1
Times we'll go back: never