Slouching Towards Absurdity

Satire on false perspective by Hogarth.

Okay, so I can’t pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time . . .

That doesn’t mean I’m a ditz, just ambidextrously challenged. I may be a dreamer, but I’m a pragmatist, too, as I only dream in black and white. That would explain why my life is like a Fellini movie.

Take today for instance. I simply called what I thought was a Japanese restaurant to make a reservation, leaving a detailed message on the answer machine. After I hung up, I sensed something was not quite right. The recorded voice didn’t mention the name of the restaurant and sounded more shrill-nasal New York suburban (where I grew up) than soft-lilting Far Eastern cosmopolitan.

I thought about it a moment, had lunch, and then sent my mind off on a mini-vacation to Tahiti.

Ten minutes later, after my mind landed, retrieved the luggage, and was able to get a cab, I received a call from a woman, who proceeded to tell me that I had left a reservation on her home answering machine.

“So, 7p.m. Tuesday, for five, correct?” I said.


“I need directions.”


“What are the specials?”

More silence and no detectable click or dial tone indicating a hang up.

“Oh, and it’s my birthday.”

“Happy birthday,” she muttered.

“But please don’t sing happy birthday or make a fuss.”


“At my age, birthdays are more like headstones than milestones.”

Audible gasp.

“And the funny thing. My birthday falls three weeks after my anniversary. This year was our twenty-fifth.”


“We went to Jamaica to celebrate.”

“Which resort?” she asked.

I took a moment to recover from the stun of her response. “Couples Sans Souci.”


“Maki Couples?”

“Maki Sushi. I highly recommend it. Will there be any thing else? I have to take another call.”

“What are the directions?”

“Hang up the phone and never call back again.”


Maybe French cuisine would be a better choice. After all Fellini and I do share a strange symbiotic relationship. I picked up the receiver, hesitated, and then hung up the phone. Damn. I don’t speak French.

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10 Comments Slouching Towards Absurdity

  1. Nancy

    How funny! I guess this is the closest we can come to a good old fashioned prank phone call with the onset of caller id?

    Now…..did you try the chew gum and walk combo yet?

  2. Lauren

    It's really just about taking a real situation and blowing it completely out of proportion. I really did leave a reservation on someone's personal answer phone. The woman called back to tell me, and we had a good laugh about it.

    Still working on the the chew gum walk combo. Which comes first – chew or walk?

  3. Tawnya

    Oh my! My anniversary was this past Sunday and my birthday was Tuesday. In between that Sweetest day happened. Ugh! This had me laughing

  4. blueviolet

    That is the most absurd phone call and you had me laughing! Nancy mentioned your blog so I had to come and see for myself.

  5. Lauren

    Hi blueviolet,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm so glad that you thought it was funny. I never know how people will react. Nancy has such an incredible blog and has been such a great inspiration for me.

  6. Bonehead

    I can’t properly rub my stomach, even when I’m not smacking myself in the head so fear not – you are not alone in that department.

    The phone call was hysterical! The funniest prank calls are when you can engage the unsuspecting victim in a conversation they did not expect to take part in, and, when it’s reversed and done to the caller, like this poor unsuspecting soul who simply called to alert you to an errant message, they’re classic. The fact that she got in the last word made it even funnier!

  7. Lauren

    Thanks, J.

    Don't smack your head. Pat your head. Maybe you're smacking yourself senseless. 🙂

    How's your contest coming along? You've gotten a lot of responses so far.


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