Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Modern Living

The thing I hate most about modern living is voice mail. First of all, is every voice mail system in the world mouthed by that same woman? She's like the computer on the Enterprise: she's everywhere! And I think she's getting impatient with me, because she's starting to sound very snippy. "Are you still there? If you'd like to check your messages, press one." Okay, I press one, and then she's still talking about this and that. "Third message. Left. Thursday. At. One. Thirty-two. AM." The message is outdated, so I skip it, then I got to listen to her tell me all about my options. "Please do not hang up. Your phone service temporarily needs you to redail the number you were calling. If you have a mailbox on this system, press pound." Of course I have a mailbox, you hussy, you tart, you incorporeal jezebel, why must you torment me so? To make matters worse, my cell phone service, I won't mention their name, but it sounds like "horizon," has shut down twice in the past month, so I've had to go in and redo all my voice mail settings and listen to all kinds of ridiculous bullshit service messages which explain everything about the crash, but stop short of actually apologizing in any meaningful way or giving me a free trip to Las Vegas to make up for the inconvenience. And while you're checking messages, you're stuck. You can't put the phone down, you can't pause it, because she'll get snippy again and hang up on you. You're stuck there, for the however many minutes it takes, the girl at the Krispy Kreme counter is looking at you in a pointed way and the federal agents who are following you are snickering, and you can't do anything else! And that same damn voice, at work or at home. That voice! That voice! I need to see this woman's face. I think I'm... I think I'm falling in love with her.

And to make matters worse, people are losing human intercommunication ability. You've noticed this. Face to face they'll hardly say word one, but on the email, where I leave a message like "Hey, Tin Foil, this is Marx, just wondering if you found the code that releases the sex scene on the new GTA yet, gimme a call, bye," instead what I always seem to get is:

"Hey Marx, this is Wichita Fats, I just wanted you to know I'm back in town from my wonderful trip to the Bahamas. Man, it was great. I was swimming with dolphins, and drinking mai-tais, and I met this girl who turned out to live on my same street in Pittsburgh, isn't that fucking COOL? Anyway, I had a lot of fun, I'm really relaxed, ready to get back to the grind, am I right? Man, work is hard. Vacationing is fun, though. Oh, I read your blog last week, and I gotta tell you, man, you're funnier when you're not being so political. I mean, I'm with you mostly, but man, rant rant rant. No, your best thing was the Sidekick one. Man that was hilarious. Mowing the lawn, Anyway, I was talking to my friend about your blog, and he was saying that he thought you probably don't get laid enough. This friend of mine, wait, hang on, **** indefinable noises **** okay, I'm back, so my friend, I want you to meet him someday. He's cool, he owns the largest collection of paper party hats in the western hemisphere. Which reminds me, did you see that new cowboy show? Or was it a space show? You know what I mean. It was AWESOME. Well, anyway, I've got to go now, so just call me when you get this and we can get together. Okay. This is Wichita Fats, just calling you to say I'm back, back in town, so, you know, we should, I dunno, get together soon or something. Okay, bye."

Fats, next time, it's this: "Marx? Fats. Coffee shop at 6 pm Wednesday, I'll show you my new tattoo." End transmission. And when we're having coffee, you can tell me all about this girl who lives next door but you crossed half the earth to meet her, and you'll be wasting my time in a much less concentrated way. But my old buddy Fats is habitually better than Momma Marx, who lives against all reason just south of Armpit, Oklahoma, where cell phone service is sporadic at best:

"Next message. Left.... today.... at.... three... fifteen.... PM. Hello, son, this is your mother, the woman who gave you life, I'm just calling to let you know that SSSSSSHHHHHHHHRRRRRRKKKKKKKKK who used to be married to Aunt Milton but SHHHHHSSSHHHHHRRRRKKKKKKK or probably a new car, we're looking forward to SHHHRRKK at SSSSSSHHHHHHHRRRRRRKKKKKK so be sure to have the SSHHHHKKK ready by no later than SSSSSHHHHRRRKKKK and don't forget to SHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRKKKKK or you'll all be eating your babies for breakfast. Love you, bye bye."

Here's a funny thing I just discovered, though. If you DON'T check your voice mail, and the thing is important, sooner or later the person will find a way to get in touch with you directly. Or they'll email you.

Email... Shudder.

2 Comments:

Blogger ypbs4feyy26mtow said...

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Current Profile
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1:05 PM  
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8:21 PM  

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