I have a friend who can be a little breathless, and breathtaking, on the phone. There are the small, social niceties that sometimes can make all the difference. “Hello,” for example, and “Do you have a minute,” or “You’re never going to believe this,” are phrases that the savvy conversationalist can use to pave the way for a story.
She doesn’t have any of those.
My friend has recently been on a kind of medication that tends to stop you up, if you know what I mean, and for the past six days had not passed her bowels. (Yes, it’s another True Tale of Doody.) Yesterday, the magic moment finally arrived, and to her great relief she passed 6 days’ worth of stoppage. Wanting to share the glory with her best friend, she called her husband – to whom else would you relate such an achievement?
He answered the phone and never got to say hello, since as usual she launched into her True Tale of Doody with nary a pause, reciting a blow-by-blow account of the best 15 minutes she’d spent since calling Geico last year. In great detail. With sound effects. When, after a full two minutes of this recitation, she finally wound down, her husband asked her the one question she had not been expecting.
“I’m sorry, who is this?”
Wrong number. Sometimes, it pays to say Hi.