NaPoWriMo2021 Day Nineteen


Today’s prompt was to write a humorous rant. I got the rant part down. I don’t think it’s very humorous, though.

Cold Call

Why must telephone callers
talk so fast?
I’m old—I listen slowly.

Please! Identify yourself
and give me some context.
How do I know you?
Why are you calling me?

Don’t ask me how I am today
Before I know who you are.
If you’re my pastor or my cousin
I’ll give you a more complete answer 
than I would to a stranger.

When I was a little girl
my mother taught me 
what to say on the phone.
Start with Hello, Mrs. Ladisky. This is Andrea.
May I speak to Bonnie Anne, please?

Do parents even teach phone etiquette anymore?
When I was a little girl
a phone call was a public affair
that took place in the kitchen
in front of your entire family.
There was no privacy,
and there would be a critique.
You could only get as far away from familial ears
as the length of the cord would allow.

Nowadays, every 10-year-old has 
his own private cellphone,
and he can’t even tell you his parents’ phone numbers.


©ARHuelsenbeck 2021

5 responses »

  1. 😬 I don’t know my family’s cell phone numbers, but I remember my childhood one on the rotary. 😊 I think because we never actually put in (or work with) the numbers now because of saved contacts or asking Siri to ring them. You’ve actually inspired me to use the keypad from now on so I can start memorizing the “old fashioned” way. I’ve also seen funny videos on social media in which parents give their children a rotary phone and watch them struggle with figuring out how to use it. 😂 AND YES, when callers ask how I am or who I am as their intro…. 😒

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We own some rent houses so people call all day long trying to buy one. Depending on what mood I am in, I sometimes say, “No, but while I have you on the phone, would you like to buy a hand made quilt?”
    Yesterday my husband got a call where the people wanted to buy the industrial building he works in from him — he is just an employee, not the owner, so he was joking to me about how this could be our get-rich-quick scheme. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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