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thursday, 31

thursday, 31


I am sad. Very sad. I saw on the news that there is soon going to be a way to block telemarketers from calling your home, which seems to go against the Great American Dream. I mean, they are doing their jobs just like anyone else trying to make a buck. And I love to talk to telemarketers.

Here s a good way to make their day. You wait for the person to come on after the little three-second delay and you get very, very perky and enthusiastic: You want to speak with the person who pays for the long distance calling service? Well! I guess that would have to be me and me alone, now, wouldn t it? What can I do you for this evening? You re what?!! Hold on. This is too weird. You must be psychic. I was just this minute thinking of buying a very rare kind of three-eyed sea turtle for the old swimming pool out back to help with the otter problem. You are going to save me money on my long distance calling service?!! That is amazing, but, you know, they are pretty costly and eat only a kind of seaweed that has to be chipped from the ice by scientists and then thawed and shipped overnight every day, and let me tell you, that is not cheap! So I was, you know, crunching some numbers here and there, shaving a little off of this and that and doing the old switcharoo with the IRA and the 401(k) and the BBC and the VCR and the MTV and wasn t really getting anywhere. Then you call with a way to save me some money! That is incredible! Oh, can you please hold on for one fast second.

See, I m taking care of a sick friend who got struck by lightning while in line at a fast-food restaurant, and let me tell you, it was some blast. I heard they found a pickle as far away as Macon, Georgia. It blew out all of his teeth and he s in the other room moaning for some pudding. Hold on. Hey, in there!! Keep it down!! You ll get your Snack Pack in uno momento! Right now, I ve got someone on the line who s gonna help me buy my turtle! Whew, always nagging me.

Okay, let s talk about this deal. Come on with the deal. What s the offer? What s the offer all about? I m sure it s great! I bet you can beat every one of those other companies hands-down! Say, what s your name, anyway? Brad? Brad? Oh ê my ê well, I certainly don t believe this is happening. You re not going to believe this ê well, maybe you will, Brad, because you seem to be psychic and a sharp guy: I have a hemorrhoid named Chad! Can you stand it? You re name is Brad and my hemorrhoid s name is Chad! They rhyme just like in a poem or like you were twins or something! Brad and Chad. Wow!

Say, Brad, did you know my hemorrhoid can talk?! True story, fella. In fact, my hemorrhoid Chad is the one who does all of the long-distance calling. Yep, calls his other hemorrhoid buddies all over the world. Speaks seven languages. They all belong to this international organization called Hemorrhoids Of the World Don t Yield (HOWDY). And man-o-manicotti, Brad, these HOWDY members are scared to death their breed is shrinking, and they are a rowdy bunch. Let me tell you, Brad, they get on the phone and talk and talk and talk and talk for hours and hours and hours. Chad has a couple of hemorrhoid buddies living in a survivalist camp out in Montana that were actually Siamese twins that had to be separated with a Ginsu knife, and let me tell you, Brad, they are pretty bitter.

And, noooooo, they don t call and waste their money on long-distance phone bills. They just sit around the cave and wait for Chad to call them up on my dime and waste all of my money! Money that I could be saving for that sea turtle while, in the meantime, the otters are clogging up the hot tub jets out back.

Say, Brad, you ever sit around the fire at night drinking wine and listening to Judy Garland records? No? Don t go in for that kind of thing? Oh, well, I always like to ask, just in case. Say, would you like to say hi to Chad? Hold on just one minute. I ll be there with that pudding in a minute!! Stop crying!! Here you go, Brad. Say hi to Chad. Chad, say hi to Brad. Now, tell me a little more about this money you are going to save me ê .

Or something like that. Anyway, at this point I m not so sure who is the less dignified, so forget all this and take a brief look at some of what s going on around town this week. Tonight, University of Memphis student Nate Eppler s Keeping Up with the Joneses opens at the Michael Rose Theatre. It s the story of a family of geniuses that includes a biologist, an ornithologist, a physicist, and a would-be super hero. Preston Shannon is at Isaac Hayes. There s live jazz at Cafe Zanzibar on South Main, which I hear is a very good jam session. Teresa Pate and her jazz band are playing in the M Bar at Melange. And last but certainly not least, there s a CD release party for Memphis treasure Lily Afshar at Automatic Slim s.

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