Monday, December 20, 2010

The Unexpected Call

by  Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist


People reach a certain age when late night phone calls are no longer from drunk friends who want you to come out and join the party.  When my telephone rang at 3:15 a.m.  last night, I raced for the clanging monster knowing with absolute certainty that someone was dead.  (I did briefly consider the possibility that war had erupted in the Koreas and all civilians were being called in to the "safety" of the base in preparation for flights home, but that was too far-fetched to distract me for than a couple of milliseconds.)

"Hello," I answered tentatively.

There was no response - which was a response in itself.  This was going to involve multiple deaths!

I braced myself and tried again.  "Hello.  Is anybody there?"

"Yes...er...uh...um," stammered a youngish-sounding woman. "Is this the Toledo Zoo?"

I flopped down in the chair by the phone, relief rushing over me, and explained to the lady that she had somehow managed to dial Okinawa.

"Oh, well thank you anyway."

I couldn't get back to sleep because all of my synapses were firing like Gatling guns - so I began pondering those timeless telephone gags that were so hysterical fifty years ago.  Gems like, "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?  You do?  Well, let him out!"  That probably wouldn't translate too well today when most responsible people no longer use tobacco products.  (Do they still make Prince Albert Pipe Tobacco - and is still packaged in a can?)  The other knee-slapper, of course was "Is your refrigerator running?  It is?  Well, you'd better catch it!"

Those gags were so funny when I was eight-years-old!  How did my parents manage to smile every time I delivered one of those timeless classics?  Well, the telephone jokes must have still been just a little bit funny, because I was smiling as I drifted back to sleep.

And I have added the Toledo Zoo to my bucket list!

3 comments:

Xobekim said...

As I recall these gags were funny when we were in college. Didn't someone's phone get cut off from the White House when one of our friends, challenged by political-geography, claimed to be Governor Romney - from a state other than Michigan?

As I recall the White House operator noted the error before the awful weight of Nixon's power made its way to your phone.

And then there was the time we called the Pope. He was saying Mass when we called.

Pa Rock's Ramble said...

I take the Fifth...maybe a couple of Fifths!

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure it was your youngest son and his wife messing with you. That sounds like something they would do!