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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You (But Probably Not)


“Don’t call us, we’ll call you” isn’t just a catch-phrase I hear from time to time, it’s more like the story of my life. I’ve been waiting for the phone to ring ever since I’ve had a phone. Today could be my lucky day…or maybe tomorrow!  Yesterday definitely wasn’t my lucky day or the day before yesterday, and so on back to when I first cradled the receiver of my first phone. I have a good feeling about today, though. Today it’s going to ring! 

I mean, they said, “we’ll call you.” How would you interpret that? We will call you. It’s in the future tense which implies that it is something that is going to take place, that it’s definitely on. But when, dammit, when? When will they call me? I have a life, too, you know. I have things to do. I can’t be waiting around forever for them to call.  But what if they do call and I’m not home? Maybe I’d better just stick around this weekend just in case. While I’m at it I’ll clear my schedule for next week. Better safe than sorry.
                                                           
Even telemarketers politely hang up on me, promising to call back.  They usually tell me they have something burning on the stove. Just yesterday a guy called selling aluminum siding. I don’t have a house to put it on but I told him that I could find a place to store it just in case my housing situation changes radically.  He promised to call back soon. “Soon,” he said. You can bet that I’ve got my fingers crossed.  

Even when I’ve tried to call the emergency services I’ve been told not to telephone and that they would call me if I have a future emergency.  I suppose that I should be reassured to know that the next time I almost chop off one of my digits in the kitchen someone will actually call me before coming to my rescue. The last time I called 911 no one answered and I ended up putting my thumb back on with duct tape (based on a true story, at least the part about the tape holding a chunk of my finger from falling on the floor).

Sometimes people will give me a shorter version of this cliché. They’ll say, “Don’t call us.” Some folks have taken this even further with the rather abrupt but completely unambiguous, “Don’t.  Just don’t, man.”

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