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The Phone Call I’m Not Answering

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Department Of How To Talk To An Obscene Phone Caller

Dateline: Monday eve, post dinner. Feeling nostalgic (or just too lazy to flip channels), MH and I tune in to the end of Wheel of Fortune, just in time to see the winner getting to choose the category from which her “bonus” puzzle will be chosen (categories may include Things; What are you doing?; Food and Drink; Places; People….). The night’s winner chooses the category, What are you wearing?

That’s weird, MH muses aloud. That category could be interpreted as a question from an obscene phone caller.

Moiself was beyond gratitude for MH’s observation, because it brought back a memory I hadn’t thought of in years.

 

“Pat, I’d like to buy a vowel….”

 

Arguably the only obscene phone call   [1]  I ever received  [2]  happened a long time ago in a galaxy far far away…specifically, one Friday afternoon between 2-3 pm, at the private OB/GYN practice where I worked.

Background info (which figures into the story, trust me):

*  The practice belonged to a doctor (“Dr. B”   [3]  ) and nurse practitioner (“NP”), who on Fridays saw patients until noon or 1pm and took the rest of the afternoon off. The practice remained open until 5pm for staff to return and make phone calls, notify patients of test results, ready the office for the next week’s patients, etc.

* The practice had two telephone numbers – one which was listed/public (for patients, pharmacists, hospitals, other doctors…) and an “inside line” which was private, its number known and used by staff only. If the private line rang on a Friday afternoon it was typically a call from Dr. B, more rarely NP, asking for clarification of something from a patient’s chart, or would I please check to see if he’d left ____ at the office, or call in a prescription for Ms. ____ or reschedule the Tuesday morning surgery of Ms. ____ …..

*  I had a very warm, congenial, and joking relationship with Dr. B and NP.   [4]

That particular Friday had been very busy – the morning slipped into the afternoon before I’d even had a chance to look at the clock and realize that the last patient had left over an hour ago and I hadn’t taken a lunch break.  I hadn’t seen Dr. B or NP in a couple of hours and figured they must have left while I was readying the ultrasound room for the amniocentesis which was scheduled first thing Monday morning, or perhaps when I was helping the pharmaceutical rep who’d stopped by to restock our samples shelves.  Dr. B and NP never left without saying goodbye, so when the inside phone line rang I picked it up, figuring it was Dr. B calling to wish me a good weekend. The male on the line spoke in the voice Dr. B sometimes assumed – a muffled, drawn-out, dopey tone – when Dr. B was imitating a drunken doctor, or asking me to repeat information he found to be implausible or just plain silly.

Unidentified Male: Hellllooooo?

Moiself: Well, howdy! Where’d you get off to?

Unidentified Male: Hellllooooo(and something else I couldn’t quite hear).

Moiself: Yeah, I’m here. What’s up?

Unidentified Male: What are you wearing? 

Moiself: Oh, you know me – just the usual golfing attire.

Unidentified Male:  (heavy breathing, moaning and panting ensues…)

At that moment I espied a most quizzical-looking Dr. B standing in front of me across the desk counter, one eyebrow raised in a Mr. Spock-like fashion.  According to the office manager I stomped my foot and gave the telephone receiver quite the double take when I realized it was not Dr B on the other end of the line. I slammed down the receiver and ran to the nearby patient’s bathroom, where I washed my hands while alternately laughing and shrieking EEEEEWWWWWWW – I feel dirty! as I told Dr. B and the office manager about the phone call.

Neither the office manager nor Dr. B ever let me forget the incident. When for whatever reasons the office manager wanted to cut me down to size  [5]  she’d find an excuse to say to a patient,  “Robyn enjoys talking to obscene phone callers.” As for the good Dr. B, every now and then and seemingly apropos of nothing he would look at me and say, “just the usual golfing attire?”

 

If this don’t stiffen your putter I don’t know what will.

*   *   *

Department Of Conundrum Of The Ages

Dateline: Saturday, August 17.

Facebook: Let ____ know you are thinking of her on her birthday today!                                                   

Moiself:  But, I’m not!

But wait – technically I am because of the Facebook notice; that is, I’m thinking about the fact that I’m not thinking about it, which of course means that even for a moment I am thinking about it….

 

 

*   *   *

Department of Epicurean Excursion   [6]

Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:

Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes For a New Generation, by Molly Katzen

 Recipes:

* Grilled Ratatouille Salad

* Lime-Drenched Sweet Corn and Peppers

My ratings:

For Grilled Ratatouille Salad:

 

For  Lime-Drenched Sweet Corn and Peppers:

 

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼

 

Recipe Rating Refresher  [7] 

*   *   *

Department Of Without Eternal Vigilance
It Could Happen In Your Neighborhood

A friend turned that age this week   [8]   Which got me to wonder if there have been any Beatles fans who are so dangerously obsessive devoted that they insisted their grandchildren be named Vera, Chuck, and Dave?

 

 

*   *   *

May you not be plagued with “When I’m 64” videos
when you have that auspicious birthday;
May you remember, when you turn 64 and  friends play “When I’m 64” for you,
to react as if you had NO IDEA that might happen;
May friends and loved ones remember your birthday sans social media prompts;
…and may the hijinks ensue.

 

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!

*   *   *

 

[1] Obscene Telephone Call – is that even a thing anymore? For y’all who are too young to remember, an obscene phone call is a telephone call made to an unknown and/or unsuspecting victim, wherein the caller uses deception to gradually or suddenly pose questions about or make statements using explicit sexual imagery/suggestions and/or obscene language. The caller’s aim is to get the unsuspecting respondent to listen to material of an explicitly sexual nature, from which the caller derives sexual satisfaction.

[2] If there were others, I can’t remember them.

[3] Hoist your goblets, you who know what to do (certain friends invented a drinking game where one must take a sip of a [preferably alcoholic] beverage whenever moiself tells a DR. B story.

[4] Who were married to each other…although many of their patients didn’t know this, as they had different surnames.

[5] She sometimes gave off the vibe that she was envious of my collegiate relationship with our employers.

[6] A recurring feature of this blog, since week 2 of April 2019, wherein moiself decided that moiself would go through my cookbooks alphabetically and, one day a week, cook (at least) one recipe from one book.

[7]

* Two Thumbs up:  Liked it

* Two Hamster Thumbs Up :  Loved it

* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin would like this.  

* Twiddling Thumbs: I was, in due course, bored by this recipe.

* Thumbscrew: It was torture to make this recipe.

* All Thumbs: Good recipe, but I somehow mucked it up .

* Thumby McThumb Face: This recipe was fun to make.

* Thumbing my nose: Yeah, I made this recipe, but I did not respect it.

[8] Happy birthday, Erndawg!

The Romantica I’m Not Googling

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This week’s internet hygiene tip for smart boys and girls of all ages: be sure to practice safe Googling.

I received this email from my publisher’s publicity assistant:

Great news! People can now pre-order The Mighty Quinn. Here are the links: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Quinn-Robyn-Parnell/dp/1938063104/ref=sr_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1350928793&sr=1-20&keywords=the+mighty+quinn  

Barnes and Noble (the cover image should be up soon): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mighty-quinn-robyn-parnell/1112095494?ean=9781938063107 

And another interesting piece of news to go along with this is that evidently there is an erotic novel series called The Mighty Quinns… And so when you search “The Mighty Quinn” on Amazon or B&N, your book gets lodged right in the middle of some saucy covers. Not the most ideal placement, but perhaps we’ll just suggest people search your name instead.  

Where is a deep, protracted, “Oh, myyyyyyyyy” when I need it?  Oh, yeah, right here.

But of course, I had to do my search and check out the source of those alleged saucy covers. I found Harlequin Blaze a certain publishing imprint, which describes itself thusly:

                 You like it hot! (Our) stories sizzle with strong, sexy heroines and irresistible heroes playing the game of modern love and lust.
They’re fun, flirty and always steamy. 

Ah, as in, Lifetime Channel aficionado core porn? Excuse me for using the p-word; the genre prefers to call itself Erotic Romance, or Romantica.  And, indeed, the series cover “art” features various square-jawed, pectorally-enhanced men[1], most of whom seem to be battling (but not too successfully) the genre-specific, shirt-be-gone malady.

The idea that a searcher for my book may encounter (from The Mighty Quinns: Marcus):

                                                                Boat restorer Marcus Quinn is not going to sleep with the infamous Eden Ross he tries his best to ignore her topless sunbathing and blatant teasing. But when that fails, what else can he do but give her exactly what she’s asking for–frenzied, brain-numbing sex?

 is reason enough to send me into frenzied, brain-numbing my Happy Things file, and confer a Pretty Purple Toe to…well, to me.  And to The Mighty Quinn.  Singular, please.

*   *   *

Whaddya mean, there’s nothing to celebrate this weekend?

Notable birthdays on October 26 include

– Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary and founder of the Red Army, 1879
– Mahalia Jackson, “The Queen of Gospel” singer and civil rights activist, 1911
Felix the Cat (the wonderful, wonderful cat),   1917
– Wheel of Fortune host and Vanna White’s drinking buddy, Pat Sajak, 1946
– Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State and world-renowned texting-maniac, 1947

*   *   *

Smarter People Than Us Said This

– The truth will set you free.  But first, it will piss you off.   (Gloria Steinem)

– If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.  (Anatole France[2])

*   *   *

It’s been quite the week, both personally and politically, and no rallies for wisdom or reason or common sense in sight.  One of the few things I find more relaxing and sanity-restoring than doing Tai Chi, reading a good book or contemplating the diverse criteria for categorizing farts[3]  is the bestowing of the Asshat of the Week award.

So many worthy recipients come to mind.  Nominees include:

-The conservative/Republican/fundie/non-uterus bearing Indiana senate candidate who attempted to justify his grievously mistaken notion that what goes on in a woman’s uterus is any of his bid-ness by proclaiming that even a pregnancy resulting from rape is something his god “intended.”[4]

-Perennial Lady Asshat[5] Sarah Palin, who was mysteriously silent[6] on fellow wingnut whackadoodle  conservative pundit Anne Coulter’s use of the word “retard” to refer to President Obama , despite the fact that when then White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel used the term, Palin wasted no time in seizing the spotlight, and called for Emmanual to be fired.

About the r-word.  After Anne Coulter’s spew, a mutual friend of MH and moi posted a FB link to an article that addressed how most people still don’t get the gum-flapping about using “retarded’ as an insult.  That night MH and I had a rumination-worthy dinner conversation about the subject.  In that calm, trying-to-appreciate-the-issue way of his, MH dared to postulate that people (in particular the teens, including our own, we’ve heard rib friends about having, say, a “retard” idea) never envision an actual, mentally retarded or developmentally disabled person when they use the word to tease a friend.[7]  MH rhetorically wondered/wanted to understand why other people find it hurtful, or claim insult for another person or category of persons, when the word is not directed at them.

Earlier that day I’d read a commentary about the incident on a British newspaper’s website.  The article began  “… it should come as no surprise to anyone that Coulter used terms that were idiotic and offensive.”  Well, now, I said to moiself.  I’d bet that many people, even those who decry using retarded as an epithet, would not hesitate to declare that a politician who preaches about divinely intended rape pregnancies is an idiot, and his ideas moronic.  And they’d likely do so with nary a thought as to the origins of the labels.

Moron and idiot are/were rankings on the Binet Scale of Human Intelligence ,and indicated intellectual deficiency based on IQ score ranges, with the respective orders of moderate and profound.[8]

Perhaps, MH speculated, it is just too recent in history that retarded was both a medical description and an insult, but idiot and moron have been out of the medical lingo long enough not to ruffle feathers in the same way.

Yet again, I digress.  The business at hand:

I’d read the excerpts in online newsmags about a certain cartoonist blogging his endorsement of a certain presidential candidate.  Surely, they must be wrong, I thought.  Had to go to the source to discover that no, Toon Guy wasn’t quoted out of context.  And the context, yikes.

In a recent blog post  Scott Adams[9] spends a good deal of time enumerating President Obama’s failure on what seems to be the key issue for Scott Adams.

We grapple with increasing world population growth and climatologically induced natural disasters and extricating ourselves from ill-planned wars and a possible nuclear Iran and the continual rumblings of other conflicts in the Mideast and around the world and a tenuous economic recovery and the burgeoning social, cultural, political and economic divide both abroad and here at home…and the deciding factor for Adams?  The Obama administration’s upholding and enforcement of existing Federal laws governing medical marijuana dispensaries.

So while I don’t agree with Romney’s positions on most topics, I’m endorsing him for president starting today.

Uh….yeah.  Because nothing says rational decision-making like voting for someone you think is wrong about most topics.

And so, with a lusty, pungent inhale, asshat bong-head of the week goes to Scott Adams.

*   *   *

With all the hoopla-doodle-doodery  as Armageddon the election approaches, I yearn for a combination sanity/humor break.  Has it really been two years since the The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear took place at the National Mall in D.C.?

The rally, as those of you who were sober may remember, was co-led by The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (who stayed in-character as his Colbert Report conservative political gasbag analyst).  The purpose of the rally, besides being a send-up of a certain, prevaricating talk-radio show host’s[10] ironically titled “Restoring Honor ” rally,[11] was to have some fun promoting the idea of civil, reasonable social and political discourse — you know, the kind of dialog favored by most intelligent, thoughtful, good-natured folk, in contrast to the fear-mongering and irrational shrillness of the more vocal and extreme political voices which manage to dominate the news.

After the rally I remember spending more than a few I-should-be-working hours minutes perusing the online photo collections of people who’d attended or covered TRTRSAOF.  Revisiting the list of homemade signs carried by (and/or t-shirts worn by) the rally attendees still brings a smile to my cynical heart, and will do the same, I hope, to yours.  It is in that spirit I share some of my favorites:

Use your inside voice

I Disagree With You But I’m Pretty Sure You’re Not Hitler

Make Awkward Sexual Advances, Not War

I scare Juan Williams at Airports (sign carried by a Muslim woman)

ALL CAPITAL LETTERS MEANS I’M SERIOUS

Down With Zippers

I Masturbate And I Vote (But Not Usually At The Same Time)

Facts Are Like Opinions Except They’re True

Reality Has A Well-Known Liberal Bias

We Disagree But I Still Understand I Mustn’t Stomp Your Head

What Exactly Is In That Tea you’re Drinking?

THREE WORD SLOGAN!  THREE WORD SLOGAN![12]

I Want My Country Forward

I Fought Nazis And They Don’t Look Like Obama (sign carried by an elderly man)

If You Keep Shouting Like That You’ll Get Big Muscles All Over Your Face

Confused Senior Citizens For Sanity

Christine O’Donnell Turned Me Into A Newt!

I hate taxes.  But I like:  roads, firemen, some cops, traffic lights (except red ones), national parks, the coast guard, etc.  so I pay them anyway.  Oh yeah, I hate war too.

Frustrated
Arizonans
Rejecting
Tea

More Beer Nuts, Less Paranoid Nuts

…and take it off CAPSLOCK

The Mad Hatter called.  He wants his tea party back

WTF, I thought I voted for a Muslim?!

I like tea and you’re kind of ruining it

Don’t be a douche

Even my sign chooses not to yell

Obama is not the devil, I am
(carried by a woman wearing a devil costume)

I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals flaming

I want more tortillas when I order fajitas at a restaurant

Is this the line for Justin Bieber tickets?

Eggs are white.  Obama isn’t.  Breakfast is RUINED.

Stop Americans from stealing our jobs

100%  randomly searched at the following airports
(t-shirt with picture map of us with all major airports highlighted, worn my man with cobalt blue turban and long curly beard)

Bacon is good for me

The sign is too damn BIG

We should do this more often

My arms are tired

404 error political message not found

(Sign attached to a beagle puppy’s collar):  I am not afraid of Muslims, tea partiers, socialists, immigrants, gun-owners, gays…but I am kind of scared of LARGE BIRDS

Am I acting suspicious? (sign carried by a man wearing a Sikh turban)

Lions and tigers and Muslims, oh my

I am pretty sure that god hates us all equally

I already regret choosing to carry around a sign all day

I’m mad as hell but mostly in a passive aggressive way

End Glee theme nights

I see smart people

My name causes national security alerts.  What does yours do?
(shirt worn by Muslim teenager)

When I think about Christine O’Donnell I touch myself

God hates TimesNewRoman

I am the next generation responsible for you in your old age – FEAR ME!
(sign held by toddler sitting atop his dad’s shoulders)

Floridians
Against
Rational
Thought

I left my hyperbole at home

The rent is too damn high

Somewhat irritated about extreme outrage

Does this shirt make me look Muslim?

If you’re not using your braaainnzzzzz can I eat ‘em?  Please?
(shirt worn by zombie)

I shaved my balls for this?

Ironically, this rally is insane.

*   *   *

Thanks for stopping by.  Au Vendredi!


[1] Alone, or in a suggestive embrace with a lissome crotch clutcher

[2] French poet, novelist, journalist, Nobel Prize Winner, and all-around quotable dude

[3] Screamers:  High-pitched, tight-sphincter offerings, often of astonishing duration and tonal variations.

[4] What is it about religion that compounds political stoopidity? Never mind; I already know.

[5] Sounds like a pop star moniker, doesn’t it?

[6] Okay, Sarah Palin remaining silent on any issue, for any reason, should be a cause for unilateral rejoicing

[7] However, Coulter really was directing the “retarded” at developmentally disabled voters

[8] The scale has been revised several times since its inception, with moron, imbecile and idiot replaced with words deemed more descriptive of a scale of intellectual deficiency, such as Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh.

[9] Dilbert comic strip creator and infamous internet sock puppet, who seems to enjoy nothing better than (a) to warn readers of his blog that they are going to misunderstand what they read and (b) issue condescending apologies for confusing readers with his cogent blathering proclamations.  Because, you know, people are too obtuse to appreciate his genius.

[10] Why is it always the lying, slandering, chickenhawk Glenn Becks of the world who loudly squawk about “honor”?

[11] I think Stewart in fact denied that particular motivation for the rally.  But, really.

[12] Actually, that was a chant, not a sign