Elizabeth Hurley Plays With Puppies, Buy Florida Gators Tickets At Costco & Yankees Fan's Hot Dog Straw

Advice needed

• Jason D. writes:

Hey Joe, I need some advice from average guys like me that have a few years of experience beyond mine. My wife turns 40 on Thursday. First off, I won't be mowing that night like I usually do on Thursdays. I'm dumb but not that stupid.

My wife is a teacher so she usually spends her birthday at school in some fashion. She was born to be a teacher but she doesn't fully enjoy her birthday because of where it falls at the start of the school year. We don't usually go all out for birthdays but I want to do something for this big one. I have offered to rent a house for her and a few friends to escape to for a night. This sounds like an easy thing to get accomplished but there is a wrinkle in the story.

I started having seizures two years ago. I have had multiple seizures since then and they usually happen in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping. My wife is so scared of something happening to me that she won't do anything that requires her to be gone for the night. I have had one night out with the boys and one night away for work in the last two years.

She needs a night away from me and the kids but she's not at a place mentally to allow herself to have fun while I'm sleeping alone. I'm wondering if any of your readers have an idea for how to celebrate a big birthday and more importantly if they have any advice for helping her get over her fear of having fun while she's away from me?

Jason is one of my favorite emailers who has been with the column for well over a year. As a husband who has a wife nearing this mark, I 100% wouldn't push the wife in this situation, especially when there are health considerations. To me, this is when you dial it back and pick a great restaurant, call up her closest friends and get together for a relaxing night out and a nice gift to mark the occasion.

I just bought my 39-year-old wife a Purple Harmony Pillow® and she is in heaven. I'm just sayin'. It's not a giant diamond, but eight hours of sleep is exactly what my wife wants these days.

Any other suggestions for Jason?

Email: joekinsey@gmail.com 

How do I know rents are exploding?

Monday morning, I was doing my basic Facebook research when an apartment in my old building here in Perrysburg, OH came up on my feed as 'For Rent' with a price tag of...$940(!!!!!) for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom, no central air heat box with terrible old metal windows and a detached garage without a garage door opener.

Granted, it's a great location so close to the bars that you don't have to worry about paying for Ubers, but we're talking about an apartment that has nearly doubled in rent since I was in the building.

A quick look at the front of Fox Business shows that not only will the landlord likely find someone to fill that apartment, it's gotten to the point where there might be multiple people willing to pay the price.

From Fox Business:

Median rent payments for Bank of America customers surged 7.4% in July from the previous year, up from 7.2% in June, according to a new report from the Charlotte-based bank. Although skyrocketing rents are squeezing Americans across the income spectrum, middle-income and younger workers are feeling the biggest pinch.

Good luck to the soul(s) who pay $940 per month for that place. I don't care how close the bars are.

Random thoughts from a middle-aged guy

• Dax in Tennessee writes:

Long time reader, emailed a while back about a tshirt idea that your boy Maxx never followed up on, but I digress. Was in the shower this morning thinking about random things and thought it might be an idea for your column. Something along the lines of “Real Talk” or “Random thoughts from Middle age (44)”  I don’t know you’re the wordsmith. You may not even like the idea, which is fine. The following was the randomness that flowed starting in the shower and proceeded through my getting ready for work.  

This is excellent work from Dax. I try to warn my buddies nearing 35 that things are about to change in their lives, but they kinda brush off advice from the old guy about the wall they're about to hit. I'm out of breath telling them they'll need some of that Frank Thomas low-T boosters that the Big Hurt pimps on Bally Sports at 2 a.m.

Body shop backups in 2022

• Bob L. in Massachusetts writes:

First, love . Got it on my Google feed probably because I was a devoted fan of your leader Clay Travis 

Any way. Had an accident last fall. Got the check, brought to body shop I've used virtually 20 feet from my company shop they have not met adjustors for supplement check has been deposited I probably can't get $ owed by lowball insurance.

Had to take vehicle back a month ago for use for the business.  Used this shop 2x in the past he's also done free work coaching and negotiating on another claim. 

The current state of labor in the country is a disgrace.  Won't even start on my business.

• Joel in Camby, Indiana writes:

Here is my auto body experience in the summer of 2022. I had a slight mishap backing into a cemented light post at the end of May. Since I had a newer, all the bells and whistles model, I knew there were probably some sensors damaged.

So I dropped my car off in the middle of June (6/16) for repairs after getting the claim in through insurance. I was promptly informed by the shop that parts are hard to come by and they didn't know how long it would take. In Indiana, it's state law to be able to replace with OEM parts for any car less than 5 years old.

As mine is a 2019, that was my preference, but I said if they had problems getting those parts, I would be okay with after-market (new) if a delay was unreasonable. I was set up with a rental and off I went, not realizing I wouldn't see my vehicle for two months, or the unexpected financial pain waiting for me at the end. After two weeks and not hearing anything I called the shop to get an update.

The initial estimate was wrong and they had submitted additional claims as they found additional damage underneath. Those had just been approved, so parts had been ordered. The shop stated they were understaffed (who isn't?), so I called in weekly for updates instead of waiting for them to call me and found a lot of back and forth between the shop and insurance, as well as some wait times on parts during the process.

I had surgery on my shoulder around mid-July. Unbeknown to me, the payment on the rental car was stopped. So even though I had a car that I was now paying out of my own pocket, I wasn't exactly driving it everywhere. You can maybe see where this is going. Thinking all was fine, I got a call from the rental place about getting the updated tag for the license plate on 8/11. It was then that I learned that insurance had stopped payment on my rental several weeks prior AND NO ONE HAD NOTIFIED ME. Not the rental place. Not the insurance. NO. ONE.

I was a tad upset (read: LIVID) and set out to find what had happened. The rental place had a note stating the adjuster was going to notify me about the stopped payment. At no point in this process had I even talked to the adjuster. I informed the rental company they could expect the car tomorrow as I actually had a need for it that day.

Next I called the shop to get any story from them that they might have. Instead, I got the happy news my car was finally done and I could pick it up that day. When I arrived, they had similar stories of troubles with my particular adjuster (oh boy) in getting things approved. I had my culprit, but still a $700 bill I was not anticipating. I attempted to contact the adjuster, but was met with silence. I called the claims team.

They were quick to respond and super helpful. I got the number to the adjuster's boss and called him the next day. So according to this gentleman, that I will call Bob (not his real name), everything is sort of a disaster area with repairs and it all stems from obtaining parts and the lack thereof. He has his adjusters approving up the max limit in terms of $$, and ignoring the day limit (30 in my case) when it comes to rentals.

That's not really alleviating much though. He has some customers still without their cars that have been in the shop for 8 MONTHS due to the parts shortage and wondering if they should just buy a new car at that point. It is BAD out there for auto repairs. Sadly, I'm still on the hook for most of the rental bill. Bob promised to have a talk and make some changes with his team about communication with customers (as that was my biggest complaint since I wasn't informed in a timely fashion to find other transportation that would be cheaper) and that was the best I was hoping for really. The rental company local affiliate also noted they should just start letting auto repair customers know when they are notified of any stop payments from insurance.

As for tips to anyone needing repairs right now - If it's just cosmetic, seriously don't bother. Unless you're looking at a safety issue (in my case sensors and a blown out tail light), learn to love dents. If you do drop it off, you will have to be super vigilant about news on your own vehicle, and any rental your insurance company puts you up in.

Be prepared for a wait. I got the distinct impression that I was one of the lucky ones in getting mine back in less than two months. You may need to make sure you have another vehicle handy. Remember to let your feelings be known to our government about just how HAPPY you are with the supply chain and its current operating efficiency on November 8!

• Jeff M. writes:

On the body shop question, I hit a deer on memorial day and the truck was just finished yesterday.  Definitely more damage than your car, but be prepared for a wait.

• Mike C. writes:

I think I know why the insurance and body shop business are totally swamped.  Have you noticed how bad the driving is lately?  At least 20% of the people on the road are actively on their phones while driving, so not paying attention to the actual job of driving.  Stop signs and red lights are basically optional at this point.  I can't say I recall the last time I've walked my dog through the neighborhood and didn't see anyone either glide through a stop sign or just completely ignore it.  And when if I'm first at a red light, I wait a couple seconds when it turns green.  About every other day someone is blowing a red light, not just as it's turning red but more than 5 seconds later.  I've prevented numerous accidents just by waiting (and getting a honk from behind of course).  Bottom line, it's turning into a free-for-all out there. 

• Bob R. writes:

Don't know if there is one near you, but Service King is top-notch, and usually doesn't take more than a week for minor repairs.

Final preparations for the football season

• James Mac writes:

With college and pro football coming up may l suggest your readers change the batteries on their TV remotes. Be ready. Don't want the remote conking out during a big game.

This is also a great time to make sure your TVs are connected to streaming services. I don't know how many times I've gone to connect to NBC Sports and somehow the TV lost its connection to that app.

Speaking of final preparations, don't forget it's still the Summer of the Patio

• Louie in Savannah had a nice relaxing weekend:

Wife at work, kids at the grandparents for a sleepover, have to take advantage.

Hope you’re having a great weekend too Joe!

- Louie

P.S. I will have a patio tv sometime soon. Lol

A few items from Beau

• From Beau in Toledo

Um, nope.

Johnson City, TN real estate isn't slowing down

• Galen in Johnson City writes:

Enjoying your shenanigans as you end the summer and get ready to go full tilt into football season.
Especially enjoy your barbs and straight-out hatred of social media. I feel ya!

I understand where you need to keep a “finger on the pulse” for Screencaps and trends.
Speaking of your recent posts concerning housing market trends… Johnson City, Tennessee (yes, of Wagon Wheel fame) made another list on Realtor.com Top 10 Hottest Zip Codes. Notice we are the only Zip Code in the south.

Love the Screencaps community, the TNML community, and the joy of being an average guy that loves God, country, great food, family, and good times!

That should do it for Tuesday.


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Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.