Some calls I never take.
Some calls I take but later regret and other calls I have to take but regret even more.
Most of my calls come from telemarketers. I know not to take them because they come from area codes outside my region.
But lately these telemarketing scoundrels have gotten creative. They spoof my wireless provider into reporting a caller ID with both a local area code and a local exchange.
And the calls usually start something like this:
“You recently stayed at one of our resorts…”
“DON’T BE A STATISTIC…”
“HI! THIS IS TODD FROM CREDIT CARD SERVICES…”
As a result I only take calls from numbers I recognize. All others can leave a message. I found one such message on my voicemail a while back. It went:
“You need to talk to Stan.”
It was an old friend, so I returned the call.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you are the only one he will talk to.”
“Apparently you have never heard our conversations,” I told him.
“You still need to talk to him.”
“He refuses to listen to anyone.”
“So you want me to talk to him?”
“What do you want me to tell him?”
“Tell him to move out of my house.”
It is not unusual for Stan to be living someplace other than home because his wife kicks him out from time to time. It is not that she doesn’t love him or that they have a contentious relationship. It is more that there is only so much of Stan that any one person can endure.
“I suppose Daphne kicked him out,” I said.
“Not exactly,” the mutual friend replied.
“She moved in with him.”
“In your house?”
“Yes, their remodeling project ran over time and over budget so they just showed up one day with their stuff and now I need to get them out.”
When Daphne gets really angry at Stan, she takes it out on the sheetrock.
Gutting the house and shifting the walls around is her preferred method of communicating with Stan and given the growing popularity of HGTV, this is becoming more and more common.
“Can’t you just ask them to leave?”
“Stan simply ignores me.”
“She says talk to Stan.”
“So that is why you are calling me.”
“We have come full circle, haven’t we?”
So I asked myself, what would HGTV’s megastars Chip and Joanna do?
“The solution seems obvious,” I told him, “If going all HGTV is the only way to communicate with Stan and Daphne, that is what you need to do. Throw a plastic sheet over all of their stuff and start painting the spare bedroom. They will be out of your house in hours.”
After I hung up, I called my wife.
She still takes my calls.
“Honey,” I told her, “You know that painting you wanted me to do?”
“Uh-huh, like since we moved in.”
“Don’t ask,” I told her, “and honey…?”
“Don’t take any calls from Stan or Daphne.”