Tipster Don’ts: We Don’t Care For Rape Analogies

Yesterday, Ben and I received an email from Bruce C. asking us how to send in a complaint. We’ve been getting a lot of these sorts of emails from people since we went on ‘Nightline’: guys, seriously, just write it up and email us. I never bother responding to these people, but Ben took pity and emailed Bruce C. back, asking him to send in his story.

What Bruce C. promptly proceeded to send us was practically the poster child of the sort of email complaint we don’t really want to see: boring stories that invalidate any shred of their own legitimacy with clueless, disproportional and offensively ignorant hyperbole.

Bruce’s email, followed by a response from a Dublin Rape Crisis center after the jump.

About three or four years ago, I had purchased a green laser from Beam of Light Technologies. I primarily was going to use it for star pointing when I would take pictures.

I never got around to buying the equipment for taking the pictures, so I had only used the laser for about three minutes total in that three years time.

It went dead. I had e-mailed the company and explained what had happened. They e-mailed back and told me to send it to them for a replacement.

I sent it to them and all of a sudden they changed their minds and said they wouldn’t do it because it was out of warranty.

I turned them into the BBB. The president of the company lied to the BBB and said that I had called them and said that I had just bought the laser. So he was calling me a liar to the BBB.

I never lied about anything. I just want what’s right. Now they won’t send back what I sent them unless I pay for shipping.

I may be a man, but I now know what it feels like to be raped.

On the one hand, Bruce C. seemed to have a quasi-legitimate gripe, and we admired its clearness and tersity. On the other hand… holy crap! Did Bruce just play the rape card?

Ben and I conferred. We both agreed that Bruce C. had been staring into his green laser for too long. Still, I was intrigued. Is paying a few extra bucks for shipping and being called a liar the same as being forcefully held down and sexually violated?

I didn’t want to go native on this one, so I called a local Dublin Rape Crisis Center. If anyone knew what being raped was like, it would be they. When I got a woman on the other end of the phone, I read Bruce’s email to her, emphasizing the last sentence with a booming theatrical quality.

What?” the woman on the end of the phone asked, in what would be the only incredulous shriek I’ve ever heard. “He actually said that?

“Yeah, he did.”

“What a muppet.”

“I don’t know what that means,” I said. “So are you claiming that paying, say, an extra ten dollars on shipping isn’t analogous to rape?”

“Yes. I mean, no. It’s not.”

“What about being called a liar?”

“NO.” This time she responded in annoyed phonemic capital letters.

“Last question. What if the president of Beam of Light Technologies came to Bruce’s house, kicked down the door, wrapped Bruce’s complaint letter around the green laser and then violently rammed it up his rectum? With his fist, not his penis. Would that be like being raped?”

“No… that’s would just be like what Bruce would deserve for the analogy. Being RAPED is like being raped.” And then she triumphantly hung up.