"No one can get to the phone right now, so please leave a message." BEEP!
What do you mean, no one can get to the phone right now? You live ALONE! You don't even have a cat! Just say YOU can't get to the phone, dammit!
No, of course I didn't actually say those words out loud. But I was so irritated by the message that I almost forgot why I called. Oh yeah, now I remember...dinner...I have to invite her to dinner, because we're having Nick over, and it's uncomfortable having an odd number of people around the table. Especially when they're all odd, which we are. An even number of odd people evens things out, softens the edges. So, I leave a message.
"Hi Suzy. How're you doin'? I'm sorry you can't get to the phone right now, because I have an important message for you. Can you join us for dinner Sat...BEEP!"
Shit! Well, she'll call back and I'll fill in the details then. And she DID call back, but of course I was outside shoveling snow at the time, and couldn't hear the phone, or anything else except my non-stop cursing of everything about life in miserable, goddamned Pennsylvania. When I went back into the house to defrost my fingers, I saw the blinking light on the telephone.
"Zelda? When is the dinner? You didn't say. I can't answer if I don't know when it is. Call me."
So I called her again. "No one can get to the phone right now..."
"Suzy, where the hell are you? Pick up the goddamned phone! The dinner's on Sat..." BEEP!
Shit! I'd send her a goddamned letter, but there'd probably be a message in her mailbox saying, "No one can get to the mailbox right now." I'm going to cancel the whole thing! I'll just call Nick and tell him we'll do it some other time.
"Hi! This is Nick. I can't get the phone right now, so please leave a message."