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2010-11-25 digital edition

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2010-11-25 / General Stories

Just called to say, “Hi!”

“This is the Snyder residence. We cannot come to the phone right now. At the sound of the tone, please leave a message.” BEEP!

“Hi Mom. I just called to say hi. Talk to ya later!”

My son called just to say hi? I’m not buying it. He’s in some kind of trouble. I’d better call back.

“You’ve reached 555-1234. Clearly I’m not here right now. If you wanna talk to me, leave a message.” BEEP!

“Son, you need to change your message. It’s very disrespectful. I didn’t raise you that way. What will people think?” BEEP!

For heaven’s sake, he could at least try to be friendly. What if it’s somebody calling about a job offer or something? And where the heck is he?

First, he leaves a message of sheer desperation. Then he doesn’t answer his phone. It’s enough to give me a stroke! He could be bound and gagged by Rwandan terrorists. He probably doesn’t think that’s important enough to tell me.

BEEP! “Hi Mom. Got your message to change my message. Is that all you wanted to say?”

Now he wants me to beg for information! He’s the one who needs help. I should call him back.

“You’ve reached 555-1234. Clearly, I’m not here right now. If you wanna talk to me, PLEASE leave a message.” BEEP!

Well, he did say please. That’s something.

“Hello, Son. I was merely returning your call. Perhaps you will tell me what you need. I can’t read your mind, you know. Why don’t you ever answer your phone? Do you owe somebody money?”

Three hours later. BEEP! “Mom, I don’t owe anybody money. I don’t answer my phone because it never rings when I’m home. And I don’t need anything. Now, maybe you could tell me why you are calling? By the way, do you like my new message? My friends think I sound desperate.”

Maybe his friends were raised by wolves. Not my problem.

So, it’s probably not Rwandan terrorists. He sounds too robust for being tortured. They probably wouldn’t let him call his mother anyway.

What could it be? Tax season is over. His car is in good shape. If he had lost his girlfriend, we would see him more often and I wouldn’t be having an affair with his answering machine.

Maybe he has a rash? Or his washing machine broke? Who am I kidding? He doesn’t use his washing machine. Maybe he’s home now.

“Clearly I’m not here. Would you be so kind as to tape an oral communiqué after you hear a rather obnoxious beep?” BEEP!

“You’re a real comedian, Son! The terrorists must’ve warped your brain. This is your mother. Now, since you called me first, it is proper etiquette to inform me as to your status: Financial, physical and mental. Well, forget the mental, your answering machine has been quite forthcoming about that one.

Don’t make me come over there, boy! You know you’d be embarrassed to invite me in!” BEEP!

Sometimes you just have to play hardball.

BEEP! “I’m fine, Mom. I just called to say I love you, but I didn’t want to say it to your answering machine. Um. terrorists?. really?”

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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