On Thursday evening, Inez, after having been disturbed at dinner by no less than three telemarketers, decided enough was enough. So the following evening, when the telephone rang at half past six, she picked it up on the second ring. She said hello. And waited to hear if it was anyone she knew. It wasn’t.
“Good evening! This is Brad calling with AT&T. Is this Mrs. Inez Cooper?
“Brad? Honey…is it really you?”
The young man on the phone promptly forgot his training.
Inez, her voice filled with joy cried, “Oh Brad, I’ve missed you so much! Where are you?”
Confused, Brad fell back on his training, which said that he should follow the recommended script, no matter what. He began again.
“This is AT&T calling, ma’am. Is this Mrs. Cooper speaking?”
“Oh Brad, don’t tease me…not after all this time!” Inez pleaded. “Just tell me you’re coming home. The children have been crying for months now. Every time they hear a commercial on the radio for the “one rate” plan, they go to pieces.”
Brad abruptly abandoned the recommended script.
“Uh, ma’am, I’m not who you think I am,” he began. “I’m–”
Inez was ready for him.
“Sweetheart, I’ll admit that I was shocked and disappointed that you could betray not only me but our three children with that two-bit whore you ran off with, but –”
“My name is Brad! I’m with AT&T” Brad cut in desperately. “And–”
“I know your name, silly. I know everything about you; ” Inez chided firmly. “I know how you like your eggs in the morning, I know how you like your shirts ironed…and I know better than that piece of trash you been sleeping with, how you like a good, slow striptease before –”
Inez smiled as she put the phone back onto its holder.
Twenty minutes later, the phone rang again. Inez set her fork down, tapped her lips with her napkin, then rose to answer it.
“Hello?” She said.
A woman’s bright and cheery voice said, “Hi! This is Lisa with Patterson’s Permanent Siding. How are you this evening?”
Inez sighed deeply. Loudly.
“Oh, I’m not well at all.”
Lisa, surprised not to hear the usual, “fine,” replied, “Oh…well…I’m uh, sorry to hear that.” Then made a fatal mistake. “What’s wrong?”
“Hemorrhoids!” Inez cried. “It’s just awful! They’re so big, they bulge out of my rectum like water balloons…only with veins!” Hearing a shocked gasp on the other end of the line, Inez smiled broadly.
Lisa valiantly attempted a recovery.
“Um, gee, that’s terrible. Well, the reason I called is because we’re offering a siding special in your area for –”
Inez wasn’t having any of it.
“The hemorrhoids aren’t the worst of it though, ” she confided. “I haven’t had a decent bowel movement in over two weeks. That stuff is packed in there like boulders! I’ll probably have to go into the doctor’s and have it dug out again like before.”
A strangled “URK” on the end of the line.
“Of course, I could just use a spoon myself like I did before and save some money…”
The line went dead.
Inez grinned and sat back down to her now nearly cold dinner.
But she didn’t really mind. It had been a very entertaining evening so far. And it was only seven o clock!