Sheplers Sucks

Okay, here’s the story.

I’m going to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving, which will be the third year in a row that I do so.  I think I’ve spent at least ten Thanksgivings at her place over the last 25 years or so, so it’s cool tradition.

Since I moved to Germany, I started ordering stuff to have sent to her place.  Stuff I can’t buy here, or at least stuff which I would pay a hell of a lot of money for here.

I need new cowboy boots.  So I went to to buy some boots.  While I was at it, I ordered a new shirt for my gigs.  I was very happy:  new boots, new shirt…cool.

About 15 minutes ago I received the following email:

Dear Sheplers Customer,

We apologize, but we have cancelled your order.

Sheplers is proud to be the largest international source for American western wear. Our goal is to make ordering as efficient and economical as possible, while protecting ourselves and our customers.

Our experiences with unsuccessful delivery to some countries and with international credit card fraud make certain procedures necessary. Also, from time to time we are forced to block all orders to a country or region with no notice.

The following are tips for placing your order:

To Become an Established Sheplers’ Customer:
1) Provide payment by bank draft or money order in US funds.
Mail to: Sheplers
6501 W. Kellogg
P.O. Box 7702
Wichita, KS 67277-7702
2) Arrange payment by wire transfer (add $20.00 US funds for bank fee).
Fax order to: 316-946-3646
Transfer money to: Commerce Bank
150 N. Main
Wichita, KS 67202
Account #670017158
Transit #101100540
3) Place a small order by credit card.

Always include a daytime phone number or email address, or customs may return the package to us.

Then, wait 90 days for us to confirm payment and delivery before placing another order.

For Established Customers:
1) Include your established customer number or previous invoice number on the message line of all new orders.
2) Use the same credit card number for all orders.
3) Use the same address for all orders.
4) Use the same email address for all orders.

Thank you for helping us continue to provide excellent service to all our overseas customers.

Please note that I wanted to have the boots and shirt sent to the States, and not here in Germany.  But SO WHAT!  Is my credit card not good enough for Sheplers?

I sent them the following email:

I doubt you will read this, but here goes:

1. I live in Germany and go home for Thanksgiving each year to my sister in Carlisle, PA.

2. Each year I order a bunch of stuff and have it sent to my sister’s house, where I spend my Thanksgiving.  My order was to be shipped to my sister’s house IN AMERICA, so your bullshit email about credit card fraud in sending to foreign countries does not apply.  I did not ask you to send the stuff to Germany…but even if I did…do you want to sell me something or not?

3. I have NEVER, until now, had any order of any kind refused.  NEVER.  I have many hobbies, and I always buy lots of stuff to send to my sister’s place.  NEVER.  Sheplers…you’ve got a problem, and are missing not only a sale but a reputation, in my book.

4. My credit card has always been accepted.  I’m sure it would have been accepted by your bank.  If the credit card is accepted, you get your money.  What else do you want?  (Obviously not a good reputation!)

5. I understand protecting yourselves financially, but when a credit card is valid, there is NO REASON to reject the order.

6. You are assholes, and I will NEVER ORDER FROM YOU AGAIN.

7. Which is too damn bad, because I REALLY wanted those boots.

8.  I’m a real musician and I really play cowboy music.  You could (if you were interested) go to and see that I’m not trying to fool anybody about anything.  I just wanted some vintage boots and a new shirt, and I’m damned disappointed that you won’t sell them to me.  Really.  Disappointed.

9.  But you know what?  I can order the stuff from other places.  You won’t get my money, but others will.

10.  I’m publishing this email on my blog, just to make a point that you are a bunch of assholes.

Thank you.


So much for Sheplers.



Halloween…part 2

I forgot to tell about scaring the shit out of the boys.

Here’s what I did:

I put up a small tent in the attic. I set up a few monster posters (which my son and I made last year out of flourescent paint) and a black light and creepy music for atmosphere. I bought some glow in the dark bugs and threw them on the floor of the tent. I gave each of them a glow arm band, cut off all the lights in the entire house, told them they had to see whether there were any ghosts in the attic, and we walked up all the stairs in the dark with only their arm bands for light. We got to the attic, and I told them they had to stay up there for 10 minutes by themselves or there wouldn’t be any party food tonight.

So they went and sat in the tent, saying things like “I’m not scared…are you scared?”, obviously giving each other some much needed reassurance.

I went downstairs and played with a deck of cards for five minutes.

Then I took a broomhandle and banged the ceiling of the room under the attic. I did it in such a way as to sound like a ghost were walking underneath them to the small closet in the attic.

Of course, in the small closet in the attic I had hung a glow in the dark skeleton in the doorway. Of course, the door was closed. Of course, I had tied some twine to the door and run it along a wall and down the stairs. They couldn’t see the twine with their little glowing arm bands.

I played with the cards a few more minutes, then put on my glow in the dark mask and went VERY QUIETLY up the attic stairs. The boys, against all my plans with music and all, heard me. Or they thought it was me, at least. Didn’t matter. I pulled the twine. Nothing. I pulled harder. Nothing.

What I left out is that the stairs to the attic are on the opposite side of the room from the attic closet. So they think they hear me coming up the stairs on one side, but the surprise is on the other.

The twine I had had to run behind a small table with a drawer. The next time I pulled the twine, it tipped the table over. On top of the table were a couple of boxes of model railway rails. I had not intended to tip the table over, but could not have hoped for a better accident. The table fell on one side of their tent, I came running silently with my luminescent ghost face towards the other, and the boys appeared to be very frightened.

Black lights are cool, aren’t they?

They never saw the skeleton in the door way. I had to point it out to them/

Afterwards they claimed not to have been, of course. Of course. Three seven year-old boys aren’t really frighted of anything, are they?

Well, of course they are on a one-on-one basis. But with each other? “Didn’t scare me…but I was pretending to be scared so that you would be scared.”



…has come and gone.  I hope my son enjoyed his party.

We had not one but TWO groups of trick or treaters come by.  That’s a record.  Last year and the year before no one came by.

But today I was just fooling around with the blog and ran into a TOTALLY COOL, IRRESISTABLE blog that I intend to keep looking at from time to  time.  It’s called DarkWalls, and you can find it here:  Dark Walls.  It’s also now on my blog roll.  For those of you who like ghosts and such, like I do.