More tales from the phone front


Havin’ to work out of town sometimes gets me down. Oh, I like my work and all. It’s just that when I’m gone, I don’t get to talk to the Phone Creatures. And you know how I like to talk to them.

I’ll explain what Phone Creatures are to all of y’all out there that have never read this junk I write. Phone Creatures are those pesky salespeople who call while you’re eatin’ supper or tryin’ to get ready to go somewhere, or watchin’ your favorite show on the idiot box.

You know what I’m talkin’ about.

Well, a long time ago, I figured that if they were goin’ to disturb me, I might as well disturb them right back.

You know what? It’s pretty fun, too. Now, my wife Janet does not think it’s all that fun. In fact, she’ll leave the room if I get one on the phone.

She thinks I’m bein’ mean and she may be right. But, who cares, I’m gonna do it anyway. I had one call just the other night.

“Yellow,” I said into the receiver. I didn’t hear anything. “Yellow!” I said louder. Then I heard that little click that tells you it’s a Phone Creature.

“May I speak to Rusty Mitchum please?” the female Creature asked.

“Who!” I said in my old man’s voice.

“Rusty Mitchum,” she repeated.

“Speak up!” I said. “I’m hard a’hearin’!”

“Rusty Mitchum!” she said loudly.

“He ain’t here!” I yelled. “And don’t ask me when that good for nothin’ outfit will be back neither, ‘cause there ain’t no tellin’.”

“Oh,” said the Creature.

“If you’re sellin’ somethin’,” I said, “you need to be talkin’ to me anyhow. I’m the one what foots all the bills around here. I’m his daddy.”

“I see,” said the Creature.

“Yeah, that blasted boy ain’t had a job since he wuz 16 years old. And that weren’t much of a job back then neither.”

“Well, sir…,” the lady said.

“He come in all excited,” I interrupted. “Said he got a job shavin’ women’s legs. Can you believe that?”

“Uh, no sir,” she said.

“I slapped that boy upside his head, and told him no son of mine was gonna have a high falootin’ job like that. Heck, there weren’t no way, I’d let him have a job bettern’ mine.”

“I see,” said the Creature. “Uh, Mr. Mitchum?”

“Now, all he ever does is lay around. Except at night. He goes out dancin’ a lot. I ain’t never seen him dance, but it must be quite a sight. He’ll tip the scales at close to 400 pounds.”

“Mr. Mitchum,” the Creature said.

“Speak up!” I said. “I done told you I wuz hard a’hearin’!”

“Mr. Mitchum!” she said louder. “I’m calling on behalf of Direct TV Guide.”

“I ain’t got no wrecked TV,” I said. “Oh it may be a little old, but it’ll still pull in a purdy good picture. Some nights, if the weather’s just right, I can pick up Dallas. The city,” I added. “Not the show. I have one of them satellite thangs, too, but I can’t ever tell what’s comin’ on.

“No, I’m calling about Direct TV Guide,” said the Creature. “To go along with your satellite, uh, thing.”

“Speak up!” I yelled.

“Yes sir!” she yelled. “Sir, we are offering Direct TV Guide to let you know what is on your TV.”

“Why that’s the dumbest thang I’ve ever heard. I can look and see what’s on my TV. Right now the cat’s on my TV. I can’t keep the blasted thang off.”

“No sir,” the creature sighed.

“I have to open the back of the TV ever so often, just to get all the cat hair out.”

“Sir,” the Creature tried.

“You wouldn’t believe how much hair that cat sheds. Usually, it’ll be enough to stuff a pillow or two.”

“No sir. I’m talking about television programs. Wouldn’t you like to know what programs were coming on?”

“Are those kind of like candy grams? I always wanted to get one of them candy grams.”

“Programs!” she yelled.

“I got a telegram once,” I said, “but I ain’t never got no candy gram.”

“Sir,” the Creature pleaded.

“I went to the mall once, cause I heard they had a bus set up outside givin’ mammograms, but they said I couldn’t have one.”


“That was kind of disappointin’ at first,” I said, “but then I heard what they wuz doin’ in that bus, and I wuz sure glad they turned me down.”

“OK,” said the Creature. “That’s it. I’m gone. Have a nice day.”

“Wait,” I said.

“Yes sir,” she sighed.

“Speak up!” I said again. “I told you I wuz hard a’hearin’.

“AAAAHHHHHGGGGG!” she yelled and hung up.

I put the phone back on the receiver and chuckled. I didn’t have to turn around to know that my wife was behind me. I could feel her eyes burnin’ into my back. I turned.

“What?” I said to her.

“Shaving women’s legs?” she said.

“Just a job I dreamed up back when I was a kid,” I explained. “It sounded like a good idea at the time.”

“And a mammogram?” she said.

“Well, she said program, then I said candy gram, and then telegram, and the only other gram I could think of was mammogram.”

“Rusty,” Janet said. “When you die, I am donating your head to science.”

“Really?” I said. “You must think I’m pretty smart, huh.”

“No,” she said. “I want them to find out what is rattling around in there. I know it’s not a brain. Broccoli maybe, but definitely not a brain.


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