Another “creature’’ finds its way onto the property


Well, they’re at it again. Who, you ask? Those pesky ol’ Phone Creatures, that’s who.

Only now they have a new twist. Of course, I wasn’t fooled. Heck, I’ve been dealing those people (or whatever they are) for too many years to be fooled.

Oh, they are still trying to sell something, but they disguise it by starting out sayin’ they’re conducting a survey. I got this call the other day.

“Yellow!” I said, into the phone receiver. There was a delay, then a click. “Yellow!” I said again, knowing full well that I was fixin’ to be talkin’ to a Phone Creature.

“Hello,” the creature said. “May I speak to Mr. Rusty Mitchum please?”

“You got him,” I said in my old man’s voice.

“Ahhh, Mr. Mitchum,” said a pretty female voice. “My name is Naomi Calloway, and I am conducting an informal survey in your area. Would you be so kind as to participate in the survey?”

“Well,” I said. “I just had my land surveyed not too long ago.”

“Uh, no that’s not what I mean….” She said, but I interrupted her.

“Yeah, I had this here yayhoo bought some land next to mine, and he started tearin’ down my fence. I went over and asked what the big idea was, and he commenced to tellin’ me that my fence was over on his land.”

“Mr. Mitchum….” She tried to interrupt, but I continued.

“Well, I told him that that fence was built by my daddy and if’n he didn’t stop what he was a doin’, well I’s fixin’ to send him to Kingdom Come.”

“You don’t understand, Mr. Mitchum,” the creature said.

“That’s what he said,” I replied. “I told him I understood real good, and he better start fixin’ what he done tore up. Well, he made some smart aleck remark, so I sicked my dog on him. That dog run him all over that pasture, and finally he made it back to his truck. Then he yelled that he was goin’ to go git the law. I told him to go ahead and git ‘em.”

“Please Mr. Mitchum,” she pleaded.

“Well now, the law shows up, you see, and that man started tellin’ him all sorts of stuff, and I didn’t say nothin’. I waited till he was finished, and I told the lawman what that feller was a doin’ to my fence. He asked that feller if’n he had spoke with me before he started tearin’ up my fence. He said no, but…. then the lawman stopped him and asked him if’n he’d had the land he bought surveyed, and he said no, but…. then the law stopped him agin and told him that they way he saw it that not only was he tearing up my property, but he was also trespassing. Man, you should have seen that feller. He was madder’n a cat. Anywho, he got him a surveyor, and sure enough he was wrong. Well, not only did the lawman make him fix my fence, but he made him apologize to me, too. How do you like that?” I finally stopped talking.

Mr. Mitchum,” she sighed. “I do not want to survey your land. I want to conduct a survey. In other words, I want to ask you some questions.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so?” I asked. “Ask all the questions you want. I ain’t got nothin’ to hide.”

“Thank you,” she said, trying to get that sweetness back into her voice. “Your name is Rusty Mitchum. Is that correct?”

“Last time I looked,” I chuckled.

“Now, let’s see. It says here you live between the New Harmony and Mount Sylvan communities. Is that correct?

“Yes Ma’am,” I said.

“And your length of residence?”

“Oh,” I thought. “I’d say about 65 feet.”

“I beg your pardon?” she said.

“My house,” I said. “It’s about 65 feet long.”

“No,” she said. “What I meant was, how long have you lived there?”

“Heck, I don’t remember.”

“Have you lived there all of your life?”

“Not yet.”

“I mean, were you born there?” She was beginning to sound exasperated.

“Heck no. I was born in a horsepital. Well, it weren’t no real horsepital. Oh they had doctors and all, but what it really was, was just a big ol’ house. They delivered babies downstairs and they kept crazy people upstairs. You know, to this day if’n it gits real quiet, I sometimes can hear what sounds like crazy people laughing. Do you ever hear stuff like that?”

“Uh…, no Sir. Mr. Mitchum, I’d really like to get on with this survey if I could.”

“There ain’t nobody stoppin’ you,” I said.

“Now let’s see,” she said as if she was talkin’ to herself. “Sex. Male.”

“Victoria’s Secret,” I said.

“I beg your pardon?” she said.

“Victoria’s Secret,” I repeated. “You asked what sex mail I got, didn’t you? Well, I get one of them Victoria’s Secret catalogs in the mail ever so often. Of course, I only git to look at it if’n I git to the mail first. If Maw git’s to ‘em first, well, she tears ‘em up into little biddy pieces.”

“Uh No, Mr. Mitchum,” the creature said.

“Oh yes she sure does, too. Heh heh, I ordered one of them little flimsy see-through thangs out of that catalog once and give it to my wife, and told her to go try it on. Well, I walked in on her while she was a puttin’ it on, and I took one look at her and made the comment that it needed ironed. The next thang I knew, I was seein’ stars. How was I to know she hadn’t put it on yet?” There was silence on the other end of the phone.

“You still there?” I asked.

“Huh?” the creature said.

“I said, are you still there?”

“Oh. Yes. Yes! I’m still here. Uh… Thank you Mr. Mitchum. You’ve been so much help. If’n, I mean…If we need any more information, we’ll call.”

And she hung up. Man, she didn’t even get to what she was tryin’ to sell me.

Well, as you guessed it. My dearly beloved was standing in the doorway givin’ me one of those looks as I hung up the phone.

“What?” I said.

“Oh nothing,” she said. “I just wanted to let you know, you are about to see those stars again.”


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