If it’s for me … I’m dead or having sex …
“Tell ’em I’m dead if it’s for me!” I shouted out to husband-head when the phone rang the other evening.I’d been in bed upstairs for about thirty minutes watching television and half asleep when the call came in.Husband-head, who never responds to Alexander Graham Bell’s device, had no choice but to pick it up.”I think it’s your work!” he hissed, running up the stairs with the phone in his hand. “What do you want me to do?”Ummm … press the “on” button and say “hello” would have been my first suggestion.Instead, I grabbed the phone and answered it.”Hello?” I said groggily.”What are you wearing?” the male voice on the other end said softly.”HUH?” I asked, not sure if I was having, you know, one of THOSE dreams. “Who IS this?”Turned out it was one of my many editors who had a question about a story I’d written earlier in the day.He was just kidding, of course, but it definitely got my attention and woke me up enough to answer his questions.Because of the nature of the business I’m in, I don’t really mind getting calls at all hours of the day or night – as news doesn’t necessarily happen between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.Neither do my family’s emergencies.But it’s the OTHER phone calls that disturb me – like those made by telephone solicitors who believe that I want to hear their crap either in person or on my answering machine.Fortunately, I recently received a really funny audio e-mail that featured a guy who found a way to get back at telemarketers, which put it all into perspective. I only wish I’d thought of it first.In the clip, a telemarketer named “Mike” calls a guy and proceeds to try and offer him a free satellite system.Instead, Mike is informed that he has called a crime scene and the man he is trying to call has just been murdered.Mike apologizes profusely and tries to hang up, but is told to keep his ass on the phone or he would be charged with obstruction of justice. He is then repeatedly asked what his relationship with the deceased was and why he was calling.”I don’t even KNOW the guy!” Mike pleads, trying to get off the phone. “I’m hundreds of miles away!”Hmmm … a telemarketer trying to get off the phone – what a strange turn of events …What transpires is so funny I can’t even describe it, but you can bet Mike probably resigned after he was finally allowed to hang up. The guy playing the prank must have absolutely wet himself – I know I did.I played the tape for husband-head, who also laughed.”Well, that’s one way to get rid of unwanted phone calls,” he agreed. “But I don’t know that I’d do that to someone who called from work.”Probably not.But it made me start thinking of things one could do if called for duty after hours.Sex would probably be a good excuse.”Ummm … I’m … ummm … busy right now … can I call you right back?”And then wait at least three hours to return the call to make your partner look really good.When called by work on your day off, drinking is always a valid way to get out of work.Nobody will make you come in if you’re half in the bag.”There’s been a fatal accident on the highway and body parts all over the road,” an editor might call me and say. “Can you get out there?””Ummm … I’m … ummm … busy right now … can I call you right back?””Good Lord, you’re not having sex again, are you?” the editor would retort in disbelief. “It’s not even dark yet!”No, but I’ve had three glasses of wine.Come up with your own excuse, but thank goodness for Caller ID.Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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