I consider myself a responsible citizen.
I support many good causes.
I brush my teeth three times a day and avoid sugary foods to prevent unnecessary trips to the dentist. I mean, some poor hockey player may need to replace those molar implants and that definitely trumps a lame-ass cavity totally preventable by cutting back on Fruity Pebbles. I even chew my food 27 times before swallowing to avoid a choking disaster that might require calling on my local emergency medical response team lest it take away from a more serious sitch like some else’s heart attack.
I don’t ask for much…really, I don’t. I just want all these fucking unsolicited phone calls to stop! Did my susbscription to the No Call List expire? Is it one of those things you constantly have to keep with like an insurance plan? If so, is it too late to get back on? Did I miss the drop-dead-you-have-to-sign-up-by-this-date-or-else deadline? Maybe I have a pre-existing condition that renders me ineligible to be left alone like “Well, ma’am, you DID actually pick up the phone once back in ‘o8. You knew by doing so you knocked your own sorry ass right off that No Call List, right?”
Guess I missed the fine print.
Anyway, my anger reached fever pitch yesterday when I did actually pick up the phone so I could tell this solicitor to take my name off their call list (which they are obligated to do if asked). And I asked real nice like. I mean, I don’t want to offend people who are just doing their jobs. It went like this:
Good evening, ma’am. I’m calling on behalf of Rustoleum Inhaler’s Anonymous and we’re conducting our annual fundraiser over at the Ace Hardware. Is Mr. Howe available?
No, he isn’t. Would you please remove our name and number from your call list?
Look, we spoke to your husband last year and he helped us out.
Oooohhh…..liar, liar, pants on fire!
My politeness evaporates and I slam the phone down. My husband wouldn’t pick up a call from an unknown caller if he had a gun to his head. This is not an exaggeration. It would go something like this:
INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY
CLINTON HOWE, a wiry man who looks like he could spontaneously combust at any moment, sits rigid on a beautiful couch probably chosen by his lovely wife to compliment the other tasteful furnishings. He stares hard at a FIDGETY GUNMAN who holds a gun to Clinton’s head.
A PHONE RINGS….
Close on a giant plasma screen T.V.: Caller i.d…UNKNOWN
The ringing does not stop. It’s long and intense…. bbrrriiiiinnggg. It unnerves the gunman. A bead of sweat forms on his pock-marked forehead.
Answer the goddamn phone.
Clinton’s stare intensifies.
I’m warning you, man. Answer. The. Fucking. Phone.
Not one movement from Clinton save for a subtle smirk that sends the man into a twitching frenzy. He dances around like the floor is on fire, the gun shakes in his hand, each ring a searing hot poker to his senses
I’m gonna count to three…and then I’m gonna….
Jesus H. Christ! Don’t you have an answering machine??
Clinton stares harder.
It’s the second line. No answering machine. It’ll ring until someone picks it up. Could go on for hours.
WTF?? The gunman’s whole body shakes. He stares around the room, frantic, looking for something to make it stop. A hand flies to one ear to block the sound. No use. His gun shakes uncontrollably. He pushes the barrel harder into Clinton’s head.
The man stares wide-eyed. Who the hell is this freak?
Pull the trigger, chicken shit, cuz I’m not answering that motherfucking phone.
The gun drops from the man’s hand. He backs away…terrified. He stumbles over a beautifully upholstered chair with a matching ottoman. It’s lovely.
The man scrambles to his feet and flees through the front door.
Clinton calmly rises from the comfort of aforementioned beautiful couch, picks up the phone receiver, places it back in one quick movement.