I used to have quite a cache of them in my head, ready to use at the drop of a phone receiver … or rather, just before.
But time and the no-call list have eroded the cache, and I’d like to think that a kinder, gentler nature emerging in me has helped wipe out a few of them.
Before all of that, there was I time when I did not hesitate to answer the incessant, invasive ding-a-lings:
“Well, if you knew it was a wrong number, why did you dial it?”
“Fascinating as it sounds to spend hours trapped in Nowhere, Florida listening to some failure-in-life raving about the features of the time-share condo you wish to saddle me and my progeny with forever, I’m afraid I shall have to decline your kind invitation.”
“Did you just belch while you were talking to me? Just now? Did you? How rude! Don’t you ever dare to call this number again. I have caller ID and I am not too proud to deliver a world-shuddering belch in response to your rudeness. You’re just lucky I haven’t had a carbonated beverage for the last several hours.”
“That’s really interesting, but … do you like the sound of my voice? I mean, do you find it pleasant? Would you say even attractive? Could you go so far as to describe it as irresistible?”
“Yes; right. Listen, do you actually get paid to do this or do you just enjoy annoying people?”
“Oh, thank you for calling. I’m not really interested in what you’re saying but I don’t have any friends and the friends I do have don’t call anymore and sometimes it’s just so reassuring to hear another human voice after talking to no one but my cats all day and night ….”
“Uh-huh. If your supervisor is handy, would you tell them something for me? Would you tell them that you’re quitting this dead-end job and finding a real career position somewhere you can actually help people, and put your God-given talents to good use benefitting humanity and if your supervisor isn’t a complete idiot, that perhaps he or she should fire the whole lot of you and you could all go job-hunting together like real colleagues in a support group, you know?”
“No, I’m sorry. They don’t live here anymore. We killed them and buried them under the … but perhaps I’ve taken enough of your time already.”
Those were the days. But they’re gone, and good riddance. Time to get those nasty retorts out of my head and tell them good-bye and put them here in pixels.
(Just in case those good old days decide they want to call back.)