The other day, I walked into the house after gettin’ back from a short trip. I walked into the house, threw my duffle bag down, kicked off my boots, and fell down onto the bed.
It was at this time the phone rang. I reached over and picked it up.
“Yellow,” I said. There was silence. “Yellow,” I said louder, and I then heard that faint little click and I knew I had a phone creature on the line.
As you may recall, phone creatures are what I call those pesky phone solicitors that call when you are really not in the mood to talk. Well, I’m always in the mood with those people.
“Mr. Mitchum,” the creature said.
“Speakin’,” I said.
“Yes, Mr. Mitchum, how would you like to receive your electricity for only 13 cents a kilowatt?”
“A killer what?” I asked.
“Yes sir,” the creature said.
“Yes sir, what?” I asked.
“Uh, a kilowatt,” he answered.
“A killer what?” I repeated.
“You know, a kilowatt of electricity.”
“What about it?” I asked.
“Would you like to receive it for 13 cents?”
“What does it look like?”
“What does it look like?” I repeated.
“Well, it doesn’t look like anything,” the creature said.
“Then why in the name of blue blazes would I want to spend 13 cents on it?”
“No sir, you don’t understand. We would like for you to change your electric company to ours to save you money.”
“I ain’t got none,” I said.
“You ain’t….I mean…haven’t got what?” the creature asked.
“I ain’t got no electricity.”
“You don’t have any electricity?”
“That’s what I said. Are you deaf?”
“Oh, no sir. I just meant I can’t believe in this day and time, that someone does not have electricity.”
“Don’t need it.”
“What about lights?”
“What about TV?
“Well, I guess I do have electricity for that, but I don’t buy it from the electric company.”
“Naw. I make it myself. You see, I got me a bicycle and I took off the rear tire, and hooked it up to a little generator, and when I got ready to watch TV, I’d get my wife to climb up on it, and start pedalin’. That is, when I had a wife.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Did you lose her?” the creature asked.
“Heck no. She ran off with the bicycle repair man.”
“Yeah. She lost a whole bunch of weight ridin’ that bicycle and started lookin’ good, and the blamed bike kept breakin’ down, and one thing led to another, and they rode off together into the sunset.”
“Oh,” said the creature. “I’m sorry.”
“I say ‘good riddance.’ She didn’t pedal fast enough anyhow.”
“So, did you start pedaling it yourself?”
“Heck no. Got me a monkey.”
“Yeah. Made me a deal with a research place, and bought one of their monkeys.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Naw, I ain’t kiddin’. He didn’t ride the bike, though. His legs were too short. He’d sit cross-legged beside it and turn the pedal with his left hand. He had his cigarette in his right hand. You see, the problem was that he was a smoker. Learned it in the research place. Smoked a couple of packs a day. Couldn’t see the TV for the blamed smoke. Plus, all he wanted to watch was the Animal Channel, old Tarzan movies, and Two and a Half Men reruns.”
“Did you get rid of him?”
“Naw, I couldn’t do that, him bein’ sort of family and all. I sent him off to monkey school, where he earned his G.E.D. Then he went to monkey college, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science. Then he ran for congress, and now he lives in Washington.”
There was silence on the phone.
“You there?” I said.
“You are a sick man,” the creature said.
“You have no idea,” I replied. “I just wish the monkey would have gone to medical school instead, so he could find me a cure.” The phone went dead.
I was chucklin’ to myself, as I hung up the phone. I looked up at the doorway of the bedroom, and there stood my wife Janet, starin’ at me. Her arms were crossed and her brow was wrinkled.
“What?” I said.
“Why do you do that?” she asked.
“It invigorates me,” I said and then added. “Want to welcome me home?” then raised my eyebrows a couple of times. She gave me her tilted head half-closed eyelid look.
“Sorry,” she said. “I’ve got a date with the bicycle repairman.”