Rusty Mitchum

Rusty Mitchum

Guess what? Yep, you guessed it. I got another call from a phone creature the other day.

I’m gettin’ fewer and fewer of them here lately, because my wife put us on one of those do not call lists. No, it wasn’t my idea. She’s the one who doesn’t like to talk to them, not me.

Heck, I’m findin’ it harder and harder to find anybody that will talk to me. For some reason they think that I’m some kind of reporter for the paper or something. Well, let me inform you right now, I am not a reporter.

If you don’t believe me, call the paper. They’ll tell you. Reporters are trained to do their craft. Nobody ever trained me to do this stuff, as you can probably tell. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, the phone creature.

Phone creatures, for you out there who haven’t been readin’ this junk I write, are what I call those pesky phone solicitors. I like to mess with them, if you know what I mean. Anywho, I got a call the other day.

“Yellow,” I said as I answered the phone. I didn’t hear anything on the other end. “Yellow!” I said louder, and then I heard that faint click that tells you it’s a phone creature.

“Mr. Mitchum? Hi, this is Stacy Lyndon, and I am calling to let you know that you have been selected as our winner for a new DVD player.”

“A what?” I asked.

“A DVD player,” she repeated.

“How do you spell that?” I asked.

“Uh, how do you spell DVD?” she asked back.

“I asked you first,” I said.

“Well … uh … It’s spelled D-V-D.”

“Oh, just like it sounds, huh?”

“Uh, yes sir.”

“How’d I win it?” I asked.

“Well, first you would have to sign on with our satellite dish service, and let us install you a new satellite dish.”

“Is that one of those things that gets pictures from outer space?”

“Well, sort of.”

“It’s for your TV, ain’t it?”

“Yes sir.”

“Well then, you’re gonna have to talk to my wife, ‘cause she’s the only one who watches TV around here.”

“I see. Is she in?”

“Naw,” I said. “She’s in the hospital.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. It’s nothing serious, I hope.”

“Well, she electrocuted herself.”

“Oh my!”

“Yeah, it all started out with her wantin’ to get rid of some hair on her face and those dents in her thighs.”

“Dents?”

“Yeah, you know, she had a bunch of tiny little dents all over her thighs.”

“Oh, you mean cellulite.”

“Whatever. It looked like hail damage to me. She tried exercise, and creams and all sorts of stuff, but nothin’ worked. I suggested Bondo, but she just looked at me like I was an idiot or somethin’. Anywho, she also wanted to get rid of some of them old black hairs on her chin. I told her to shave ‘em off, but she said that they’d grow back thicker. Then she seen this advertisement where they remove the hair through electrocution.”

“You mean electrolysis,” the creature said.

“Yeah, that’s it, electrolysis. Anywho, she called and they wanted too much money for the procedure, so she figured that she’d just do it herself. So, she gets the lamp off of the nightstand, and yanks the cord out. She stripped the wires, attached one of ‘em to one of them hairs on her chin and the other she tied around her little finger. Then she stuck her foot in the commode, so she’d get a good ground. Water’s a good conductor, you know. Then she plugged it in.”

“You’re kidding,” said the creature.

“Wish I was,” I said. “Anywho, it worked.”

“It did?”

“Yeah,” I said. “It worked a little too good. It not only took care of the hair on her chin, but the hair on the rest of her head, too.”

“Oh my.”

“Yeah, it weren’t pretty. But, on the plus side, it did blow all of them dents out of her thighs.”

“You are kidding, right?”

“Naw, I ain’t kiddin’. Heck, the house still smells like burnt hair.”

“This just sounds too unreal.”

“You think this sounds unreal, you should have heard her hollerin’. The ambulance that picked her up didn’t even have to use the siren. They just hung her head out the window.”

There was silence on the other end. “Hello?” I said. “Are you still there?”

“Mr. Mitchum, this was not funny, and just for that, I’m taking you off the list for the free DVD player,” and she hung up.

“Ha!” I said as I hung up the phone. I knew before I even turned around that my wife Janet was standin’ somewhere behind me. I could feel her eyes borin’ into the back of my head. Slowly, I turned around. I was right. There she was.

“What?” I said.

“Hair? On my chin? Cellulite? Where do you come up with this stuff?”

“It’s a gift?”

“A gift? More like a curse. And guess who the curse is on. Me, that’s who! Now, people will think I have a beard and cellulite.”

“Why would they think that?”

“Because you’ll probably write about it.”

“Who me? Naw. Never,”

Heh, heh. Don’t tell her about it. Let her read it for herself.

Rusty Mitchum lives in New Harmony, Texas, where he writes a regular column for The Lindale News and Times. He says the only reason he writes is to keep the voices away.