When A Stranger Calls Back....Again and Again and Again

For your entertainment, I've written a three-act play for you, my brilliant readers. Now because you are you, I know you are on a higher intellectual playing field. That's why I didn't act it out and post it up through youtube. So, just perform this masterpiece in your mind. Oh, and by the way, this is all totally hypothetical, totally.

SETTING: Country Living Room, any living room. Young couple are unpacking the female's stuff, let's call her Sadie, into the slightly older male's, Duke, home. They've recently made the decision to co-inhabit with one another, a first for Sadie, third for The Duke. (What dude doesn't want to be named Duke?)

SADIE (super giddy): Hey baby, I'll start cooking those enchiladas as soon as I put away the rest of the dishes.

DUKE: Sounds good.

Telephone begins to ring.

SADIE: I've got it.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Good evening ma'am, is Debbie home?

Awkward silence as Sadie looks at Duke, shakes head and grins.

SADIE: I'm sorry she no longer lives here.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Ma'am, this is the number we have listed for her.

SADIE: Yes, but this is no longer her number.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR (all sarcastic, as though Sadie is lying): Ma'am, we need to speak with Debbie about an important matter.

SADIE: Well, sir, I would love to help you reach her, but I don't know her. She lived with my boyfriend before I did. So, you see, I don't know her number.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: I'm sorry for your time, ma'am.

Repeat similar scene once or twice a month for the following year.


SADIE (7 months pregnant): Duke, what time will you be in for lunch today? I was thinking I would fry chicken fried steak and just make up some sandwiches. Is that okay with you?

DUKE: That'll work!

Sadie putters around the house, refills her coffee mug with some decaf and turns on The Today Show.
The phone rings.

SADIE: Hello?


SADIE: There's no Debbie here.



TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Well, this is the number we have listed for her.

SADIE: Yes, I realize that it probably is, but she no longer lives here and hasn't for quite some time now.


SADIE: Oh, I'm quite sure.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: This is the number listed on her application.

SADIE: Uh-huh, she did live here at one time, but she doesn't any more.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Do you know how to reach her then?

SADIE: No, I don't.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: If she once lived there and, further, you know that, how can you not know how to reach her.

SADIE (quite pregnant and quite peeved): Well, let me tell you how. Before my husband and I met, she lived with him. Now naturally she had moved out before I moved in. Hell, she'd moved out long before I met him. I've gotten these calls for a long time and I've been very patient with them, but I'm pregnant and hormonal and, frankly, I don't need a periodical reminder from you bloodsuckers that my husband once shared this house with another woman.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: I apologize, ma'am. I'll take your number off the list.

Sadie hangs up the phone, half embarrassed that she snapped at bottom-feeding
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR and half hopes he spreads that effin' DO NOT CALL onto the team of other callers frequently ringing her line for her husband's old flame.

Over the following three years, various companies continue to call for Duke's ex-girlfriend. In fact, one even calls for her daughter. Sadie typically laughs them, periodically writing the calls down as messages to joke with her husband.

The calls eventually wane down to once every two or three months. Sadie never thinks of the calls except when she is randomly ambushed by one.


Sadie and Duke are playing with two children in the living room floor.

SADIE: Do you know what this week is?

DUKE (nervously): No, what?

SADIE: Our anniversary.

DUKE (eyes darting, cussing his thoughtful little brother in his head for not reminding him): Our anniversary, really?

SADIE: Not our wedding anniversary, jackass. It was five years ago that I moved out here with you.

DUKE: Am I suppose to get you a present or take you out to eat for that?

SADIE: No, I'm just telling you that it's been five years of blissful living.

DUKE (clearly relieved): Oh.

Phone rings.

SADIE: Hello?

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Hello miss, is Debbie in?

SADIE: Um, no, no she's not. In fact, she hasn't been in over five years. Do you know how I know she hasn't lived here in five years?

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Hmmm....no ma'am, I don't.

SADIE: Well, let me tell you freakin' how. I know she hasn't lived here in five years because I've lived here for five years. Do you know why she wouldn't be living here while I was living here?

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR (all passive and frightened): No?

SADIE: Because I wouldn't have moved in with my husband if he were still living with his ex-girlfriend in the same house no less. Further, I wouldn't have turned the spare room into a nursery and brought not one, but two kids into it if the father was living there with his old girlfriend.

TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Well, no need to fret miss. I was calling to inform Debbie that she has been entered into a million dollar sweepstakes. But, since she no longer lives there and I called you at a bad time, let's just enter you in the contest instead. Can I have your name please?

SADIE: Are you fucking kidding me?


Sadie hangs up the phone, looks at Duke and shakes her head. Five years later, still getting calls.


Mommy said...

I know the name of that tune.

Thankfully my hubby and I moved before we tied the knot...but still, at our NEW HOME WHERE HIS EX-WIFE NEVER EVER LIVED we get mail for her.


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