. . [On the other end of the line – dead silence.]. .
Probably a spam call.
You know how they go. There is often a long pause before the recorded message kicks in – but I recognized the number…
. . . [Nothing]. . . .
. . . [Not even the chirp of crickets]. . . .
It was my buddy Stan, but apparently he was not talking to me.
Who calls for the express purpose of not saying anything?
Other than Stan?
A better question is why?
I had to ask.
“Did you call just to give me the silent treatment?”
. .[No response] . .
Apparently, he did. But again, why?
A few things came to mind. The top of the list being my shed.
Before my recent move to town, I had ten acres and a large pole shed. It was the perfect place for Stan to stash things. He stuffed all kinds of junk in there, much of it of dubious origin or worse – dubious nature. I don’t want to get into the paranormal here, but there were things made entirely of metal lurking in the back of my shed that glowed, growled and hissed.
Before the move, I loaded up what I had the courage to handle and dropped it all off at the end of his driveway.
The other stuff, I let him deal with.
He still has not forgiven me.
“Is this about the shed?”
. .[Not a peep] . .
“Or about insisting you pay for your own drinks at The Pit, like for the first time ever?”
. .[Dead air] . .
“Okay, maybe it is about that thing you said should never get back to Daphne. I swear, it was not me.”
. . [Still nothing] . .
I guess that wasn’t it. So what did I say or do that warranted the silent treatment?
It is getting like that everywhere. Too many people are breaking ties and canceling relationships for the thinnest of reasons. To avoid being ghosted you have to self-censor everything you say and everything you do and even then, it is like walking on egg-shells.
It is not just culture, politics or religion that is fracturing the norms of civil behavior. The reasons go deep and wide as the ocean, and to such ridiculous extremes as brand loyalty…
Oops… maybe that’s it.
People around here are passionate about their pickup trucks and our little rural area is nestled deep within Ford country, specifically Ford F150 pickup country.
Here Ford F150 ideology is so rigid that the only other vehicles you are allowed to drive are the F250, F350 or F450, but then only if you have a damned good reason and take care not lord it over the F150 people.
And earlier in the morning I was looking at a used Chevy Silverado.
An act of pickup apostasy.
I mean, hey, I moved to town. Different rules apply.
Einstein once claimed that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, but obviously he was ignorant of the velocity of gossip.
It must have gotten back to Stan.
“I was just looking at the truck. It was a good deal, but I have no intention of buying it. So are we good?”
..[Road kill could make more noise than the sound of his response]..
I had enough and hung up.
It was Daphne, Stan’s wife.
“I just called to tell you that Stan is having a problem with his phone. He forgot to take it out of his pocket before tossing his jeans into the wash. Now the microphone doesn’t work. He can hear, but the person on the other end can’t hear him.”
“Okay, that explains a lot.”
..[A long pause]..
“Yeah, and by the way, what’s this ‘thing’ that is not supposed to get back to me?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about, put Stan on.”
“He is not speaking to you. Maybe forever.”
“Why? Because of the ‘thing’?”
“You know how he feels about Chevy trucks.”
29 thoughts on “The Silent Treatment”
Ha ha ha…. Seriously, though, don’t look at the Silverado.
You’re a Ford guy or a Chevy guy, there really is no middle ground and clearly some lines must not be crossed.
And if your phone doesn’t ring, it will be me…
Great post! It’s great to read you again.
I put my phone on silent. You know, because Stan might call. I am not speaking to him, because he is not speaking to me……so there!!!! 🙂
It is all like Jr High.
Well, if someone is not speaking to you, the least you can do is not speak to them either. That should teach them not to be immature!
Sounds like one of those places where a pickup line could get you slapped – or worse.
Fun read. I wish that happened to the phones of real spam calls or those taking a poll.
Polls only reflect the opinions of those who speak to pollsters.
I have missed your posts! And I laughed at this one….
I missed writing them too. Maybe this time I will work up enough inertia to keep writing.
I once washed my phone. On Christmas eve. I was supposed to drive to San Antonio to meet up with relatives who’d said, “Give us a call when you get here, and we’ll let you know where we are.” How’s this for a Christmas miracle? I had an old phone, and the Verizon elves still were in the workshop. One transferred the data from my washed phone to the old one, and everything worked. It took fifteen minutes.
That doesn’t have much to do with the larger issues you touched on, but sometimes a little kindness and creativity when solving a smaller issue helps to make those ‘large’ issues shrivel up and disappear.
My Samsung phone specifications list that it can be submerged in water to the depths of 10 meters. Either that or 7 inches in a washing machine.
I definitely feel the need to self-censor, but fail to do it. It costs me, for sure. Why can’t I express my opinion any more? Sigh.
But your story is good for a chuckle!
I self-censor all the time, especially about matters concerning pickup trucks.
Thank you, I needed this and the chuckles that ensued. 🙂 Being a dinosaur, I never imagined I’d live in a time where one person could cancel another one. Back is the old days, we had conversations and listened as people expressed different opinions. Usually, if we listened well, we learned something. I drive a Nissan Frontier, so go ahead and ‘look’ at that Chevy. 🙂
I recall several discussions during late 60’s family events that pitched long haired hippie cousins against their relatives in uniform. I am still missing a tooth from one of them.
But hey, we were talking and still talking today.
BTW, Mike, you owe me a tooth.
🙂 🙂 🙂
I’m a Ford guy, too…you’re dead to me.
Thank God you are not a Toyota guy. There is still hope.
Oh I see it around here, too. Extreme brand loyalty, especially for vehicles. Apparently it is that important.
In a community where almost everyone is the same race, religion, ethic background and political leanings, what else do you have? We need diversity, at least for something worthwhile to get worked up about.
I’m not sure we even have a working theory on the speed of gossip.
I think it is related to quantum entanglement….. well, maybe just entanglement. That seems to be the hot topic around here.
Love that well-placed Einstein quote!
Einstein was a really funny guy – though you had to have a PHD in physics to understand his humor. 🙂
Thanks for the smiles.
You are welcome.
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