Somebody dragged my soapbox out of hiding. Not using it would just be rude.
People, people, people. Don't mumble. Especially on the phone, don't mumble.
Actually, very few people do mumble, which makes it more maddening when someone does. Like the bozo who called early one day last week to tell me it was important that I do something. What he wanted me to do, I'll never know because although I asked him to repeat himself, he mumbled the second time too.
Of course, that he called me early in the morning had nothing to do with my inability to comprehend. Granted, it doubled the likelihood my thoughts were not on what he was saying, but I couldn't understand what he was saying anyway. I do know it was political because I heard the word senator.
Hindsight always kicks in after such a call. Oh, I should have said this or I should have said that. But every so often I can come up with the right response at the right time.
Riiiinnnnnnggggg. (That's my phone ringing.)
"Good morning." (That's me answering the phone.)
And the onslaught began. Bottom line, he had siding for sale. And he didn't mumble, so I knew he had siding for sale.
"You have perfect timing," I told him. "The siding just fell off my house."
"Oh, no," he almost shouted. And just as he slipped into his pitch, his voice flattened. "Wait a minute."
"No, you wait a minute," I said. "And take that minute to put me on your do not call list."
Hindsight jumped in early to save the day and future days.
Now, if it could just jump in and remind me where all my greeting cards are, that would be great. Somewhere in this house is a growing stash of cards. I don't shop a lot or well, but I do like buying greeting cards, so I often bring home several to have on hand. Likely they'll be on hand for a long time because I cannot find them. While looking for an Easter card I bought last year for my friend in Colorado, I ran across the Valentine card I bought two years ago. Why it is these cards are not together, I'll never know.
Hindsight tries to help. Hindsight is gender neutral, of course, so it doesn't care whether you're a man or a woman, it just tries to help by giving hints of things to come so you're ready to react. And it gives good advice.
It said to write a list of good responses to at least 10 circumstances and keep that list by the phone. That way when some mumbler calls to request action of any kind, I'll be ready. So, I started my list.
No. 1: All I have to do is Press 1 and a silent, no-smell fungus will crawl out of the phone receiver and slip into your ear to live forever in the vapid place inside your head.
I don't think I need 10 responses.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at email@example.com.