Thursday, February 19, 2004

Strange But True Telephone Calls 

We are visiting Mother-in-law when she receives what turns out to be an obscene phone call. As is her custom, she picks up phone and yells "HALLOW???". Mother-in-law listens intently as Caller describes, in detail, his plans if she will meet him somewhere. Mother-in-law then describes to Caller, in detail, what her contribution will be. Caller, embarrassed, hangs up, which disappoints Mother-in-law, who was just getting warmed up.

We have several friends over to grill some hamburgers. I am heading outside with a platter of raw patties when the phone rings. Taking a que from Mother-in-law, I pick up the phone and bellow "Hello???"

Soft, sexy female voice : Whatcha doin'?
Me (handing platter to Wife) : Here, Honey. Take these outside for me.
Me (clueless, but interested, to Caller) : Grilling burgers.
Caller (still sexy, but not quite so soft) : What??? I thought we had a date this afternoon!
Me (searching memory frantically) : We did?
Caller (soft & sexy replaced by pissed) : You said we would go to a movie!!!
Me (cleverly, even with brain overloading) : I did?
Caller (transcending pissed, s&s long gone) : Is this John???
Me (wimping out) : No. Sorry, this is [Me].
Caller (contrite) : Oh, I'm sorry. I must have the wrong number.
Me (lunacy once again in control) : No problem. Hey, if John doesn't show up for the
date, you wanna come have a burger with us?

(Caller with soft, sexy voice hangs up. Probably just as well, as Wife returns seeking more patties.)

I am home alone on Sunday afternoon; Wife and Daughter are out shopping. The phone rings, and I answer it with that cliche expression, "Hello?". The lady calling sounds elderly.

Lady (obviously distressed) : There's been an accident at the intersection of Main Street
and that other street!
Me (apprehensive) : How serious? Anyone hurt?
Lady (becoming more distressed) : I don't think so, but you better hurry and get here.
Me (becoming stressed my own self) : I don't have any way to get there. We only have one vehicle!
Lady (puzzled, and not a little annoyed) : Whadda ya mean, you only have one vehicle? What kind of
police department are you, anyway?
Me (far more puzzled than she is) : Police department?
Lady (puzzlement becoming anger) : You're not the police department???
Me (apologetic, but relieved) : No Ma'am. I'm [Me].
Lady (irate) : Well, why the hell are you answering the phone, you idiot? I need to report
an accident!!!

The phone rings and (I know this is getting monotonous) I grab it and say "Hello?".

Female voice (sounding professional) : This is the Operator. Will you accept a collect call from M (no last name)?

(Mother-in law's first name is M. I consider current financial situation and calculate that accepting collect call will probably be less expensive than divorce.)

Me (resignedly) : Yes, Ma'am.
Unfamiliar Female Voice (loud and angry) : Rufus?!?
Me (puzzled) : Who?
UFV (louder and angrier) : Is that you, Rufus?!!
Me (apologetically) : No, Ma'am. You have the wrong number.
UFV (approaching apoplexy) : Don't hand me that [crap], you bastard. You accepted my call!
Me (realizing I am paying for call) : Well, yes Ma'am, but I thought you were someone else.
UFV (yelling, on verge of stroke) : Don't you lie to me, you SOB! If you thought I was somebody else, you wouldn't have accepted my call! Now put Rufus on that damn phone, or I'll take the next bus home and kick both of ya'll's asses!!!
Me (teasing my new-found friend) : Rufus said you can suck his left 'nad, bitch; he ain't talkin' to you!

(I hang up and feel great relief when perusal of the obituaries over the next few days does not "regretfully inform" me of the demise of anyone named Rufus.)