Communication 3…

I used to talk to my mother a lot on the phone once I got over the fact that I dislike using the device to chit chat.  When I first moved to America it was sufficient for me to call on birthdays and at Christmas, in fact my parents tried to call on birthdays but they invariably mixed up the time difference and were left hanging with the answering machine.  Oh, that was a challenge.  I’ve listened to many a message that goes something like this (they’re on phone extensions so can both contribute):

“What was that?”  my father asks my mother, after listening to our message.

“I don’t know, something about we’ll call you back.”

“They wanted a phone number, shall we leave ours?”

“If you want to.”

“Maybe we shouldn’t, we don’t even know if this is them.”

“Of course it’s them, who else would it be?”  My mother sounds a little impatient.

“What should we do then?”

“Leave a message for them.”

“What shall we say?”  my mother again, forever practical.

“Hello, Vivienne, this is Daddy,”  begins my father,

“And Mummy.  Now what?”

“Let’s just hang up now.” says my father.

“We can’t hang up, oh I hate these silly machines, I just don’t know what to say!  Why can’t they just be there?”

“We can wish Simon a happy birthday.”

“All right, you go!”

“Let’s say it together.”

And so they wish Simon a happy birthday together.

“I suppose we can hang up now.”  says my mother.

“Yes, well, I’m putting my end down, you put yours down too.”

“Are you sure that’s enough?  Should we ask them to ring us back?”

“No, we don’t need them to ring us back.  Come on I’ve got to take the dog out.”

“I’m hanging up now!”  Thud as the phone goes down on my mother’s end.

“Kay, are you there?”  Thud as my father puts his end down.

Their messages were always most entertaining, a conversation within a conversation.

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