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Rude July 17, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I have been rude to someone along Route 153. The problem is, I don’t who.

Back on the 5th, a day Tim had off from work, he also had an appointment a few towns away. Without going into details, it was an appointment that if he missed, it could not be rescheduled for weeks, and as the outcome of the appointment, whenever it happened, would itself take weeks, missing the appointment wasn’t an acceptable option.

The appointment was at 2:30. We decided to take a bike ride in the late morning. Are you sure your appointment is at 2:30? I asked. Yes, he said.

It was a hot, sweaty bike ride. When we got home, there were a couple of urgent messages on the machine from the office manager: Tim, your appointment is at 12, not 2:30, remember? Then, Tim, are you on your way?

We tried to call back, but the line was busy, busy, busy. We got the message at about 12:10.

Tim changed clothes, no shower, and decided to put his sweaty stinky self in the car and just go. I was frustrated that he would drive all the way there for nothing, it was so late already, and we could not get past this busy signal. He was dressing, I was hitting redial.

Suddenly, there was no dial tone, but silence. Maybe it’s the office calling again, I thought. Hello? I said.


Damn. I’d picked up on a social call before it rang. It sounded like my neighbor, A.

Yes? I said. I’m sorry, whoever this is, but I have to call you back!


Is this A?

I just wanted to tell you . . .

I’m sorry, but I really can’t talk right now . . .

I just wanted to tell you that I saw a skunk in your driveway last night!

I sighed. A skunk. Yes. The skunk comes and eats the sunflower seeds from under my bird feeder. Sometimes more than one skunk. If one feeds birds, one is by default feeding small mammals (and, unfortunately, that *^($#@! white cat, who, I can assure you, is not eating bird seed).

I don’t mind the skunk at all. I figure it’s doing me a favor by cleaning up a bit. When I pull into the driveway at night, I pull in slowly and give the skunk space and time to scamper away. Sometimes this takes awhile, but never more than, like, a minute.

Yes, I know, I said. He’s there every night!

So you know?

Yes, I know! Thanks! Gotta go! I’ll call you back!

And I hung up.

Tim left for the appointment. I gave up on the redial game and got in the shower, whereupon the office manager called again, of course, and, soaking wet, I assured her that Tim was on his way. It seemed they would still see him, which was a great relief.

I toweled off and checked caller ID. But I’d picked up on the call so fast that it hadn’t even registered. So I looked up A’s number and called her.

I’m just calling to apologize for being rude to you, I started.

What? What are you talking about?

Didn’t you call to tell me about the skunk? I was in the middle of an emergency, and I couldn’t talk, and I was rude . . .

Indigo, that wasn’t me.

Oh, well, maybe it was D, I said, trying to think of who could see my driveway at night.

Try *69, said A. But I had already gotten another call, so I knew that wouldn’t work.

It must have been D, I said. I’ll call her.

I called D’s number and got an answering machine. It was an automated voice that did not identify the person for whom it was taking a message. So I could only hope that I was leaving a message for D.

I went through the entire apology again.

The next Saturday, Tim and I got on our bikes once more, and I saw D working in her garden. We stopped there before the ride.

Did you get my crazy message? I asked her.

Yes, she said. I was going to call you, but I figured I would wait until we ran into each other. That wasn’t me who called about the skunk.

My heart sank. I mean, I’m glad I wasn’t rude to D. But who was I rude to? I don’t know. Possibly it was a woman down the street, but I’d be surprised if she called me. Argh, it could be anybody.

I have been rude to someone along Route 153. I don’t who.

This stinks.


1. Bridgett - July 17, 2010

I hate those kinds of things. In other news, did you hear the report on NPR about the guy whose brain didn’t recognize voices out of context? His mother would call on the phone and she’d have to identify herself.

2. helen - July 17, 2010

I suggest printing this out and posting it along Route 153.

3. helen - July 17, 2010

Or, a slightly more extreme solution, commit some crime that will cause the police to check your telephone records.

4. Wayne - July 17, 2010

It sounds to me as if you may have been a bit abrupt, but not rude. You attempted to get the person’s name, you explained that you had no time to talk and you said you had to go.

If you really feel bad about it then put an apology on your voicemail saying ‘If you are the person who called about the skunk then thanks for letting me know. I’m sorry I was abrupt, I was dealing with an emergency. If you are not the person who called about the skunk, then forget the apology and leave a message.’

This way you get to apologize, assuming of course that the offended party will ever bother to call you again, and the rest of us can be amused at your little faux pas.

5. Lali - July 17, 2010

1. It wasn’t me.

2. Wayne is right.

6. LisaS - July 20, 2010

ha! i love Wayne’s solution!

7. indigo bunting - July 21, 2010

B, I did not hear that story. Very interesting.

Wayne’s solution may be a good-ish one, but I imagine whoever called will not be calling again, which makes Helen’s solutions more practical if I want to get to the bottom of this.

8. Wayne - July 21, 2010


“Wayne’s solution may be a good-ish one… ” That is your evaluation.


Well, now that I have some perspective on the situation, I realize that Helen’s idea is superior. I recommend action in this direction in an expeditious fashion. Oh my yes, it should be an act guaranteed to attract the attention of the local constabulary. No, perhaps not, that may not ensure a proper investigation of the phone records. I believe that only a felony of a level that would require the involvement of State officials would be good enough.

Yes, a felonious deed would do the trick. I suggest you get right on that.

And now, with that taken care of, I think I will go sit in my comfy chair and mutter evil imprecations into my beard.



9. indigo bunting - July 21, 2010

My dear Wayne, this person will almost certainly never call me again. Seriously. That is the problem.

I should probably post fliers like one would for a lost cat.

10. Wayne - July 21, 2010

Oh. Well. I suppose flyers would work too. Although, you should never completely rule out a good crime.

11. Mali - July 22, 2010

I’m late again. How rude of me.

Wayne and Helen were at least the only two who came up with solutions. Brilliant both of them. (Yes, I’m a suck up).

12. helen - July 22, 2010

To ensure your phone records are checked, I recommend offing Wayne :). Call him first though to let him know you’re on your way.

13. Wayne - July 22, 2010

Thank you, Mali, for that wonderful compliment. I’m glad someone recognizes my efforts.

* cast sly glance toward Indigo *

* realize what Helen just posted ( ! ) *

I really think that the flyers are the best idea. My idea was clearly substandard and unworthy of a serious response. In fact, my idea was crap on a stick.

Yes indeed, Helen sure was right about those flyers…

14. indigo bunting - July 23, 2010

(laughs in a sinister fashion)

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