Creatures, cantaloupes and burial plans


Guess what? That’s right, the phone creatures are back.

I’m sort of glad. It’s been a while since one called and I was afraid I might have hurt their feelin’s or somethin’.

Phone creatures are what I call those phone solicitors who call wantin’ to sell you somethin’. I like to give them a hard time. I know that’s not really nice, but somebody’s got to do it.

Anywho, I got a call the other day.

“Yellow!” I said as I answered the phone. Silence. “Yellow!” I repeated. Then I heard that click that tells you it’s a phone creature.

“Mr. Mitchum?” a female creature asked.

“Yellow!” I repeated again.

“Yellow?” the creature said. “Did you say yellow?”

“Well,” I said. “The phone went ‘green, green,’ so I answered ‘yellow,’ har, har.”

“Uh,” I see,” said the creature. “Uh, this is Mr. Mitchum, isn’t it?”

“It was the last time I looked, har, har,” I said.

“Well then, how are you today?”

“Could be better, but I could be worse, har, har.”

“I see,” said the creature.

“Mr. Mitchum, the reason I’m calling is to give you the opportunity to come and see our resort community here in Branson, Missouri.”

“I buried a cousin in Branson, once,” I said.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” said the creature.

“That’s OK,” I said. “He had it comin’.”

“Uh, I bet your pardon?” the creature said.

“What for? I didn’t do nothin’.”

“No, I mean…you said your cousin had it coming?” said the creature.

“Had what comin’?”

“You said you buried a cousin in Branson, and I said I’m sorry, and you said that he had it coming.”

“I did?”

“Yes, you did,” stated the creature through what sounded like gritted teeth.

“Well, if you say so,” I said.

The creature sighed. “Mr. Mitchum, we would like for you to visit our community, and it will cost you absolutely nothing.”

“You’ll have to ask my momma,” I said. “I can’t go nowhere unless I get her permission.”

“OK,” said the creature reluctantly. “Is your mother available?”

“Heck no!” I said. “She’s married to my daddy.”

“I mean,” the creature sighed, “is she there, so that I may talk to her?”

“Oh,” I said. “Sure thing.” I held the phone away from my mouth and yelled. “Hey Maw. There’s a lady on the phone wants to talk you into lettin’ me go off somewhere with her.”

“Brother,” I heard the creature say.

I waited a minute, and then spoke back into the phone in my old lady voice. “Hello,” I said.

“Hello, Mrs. Mitchum?”

“Speaking,” I said sweetly.

“Mrs. Mitchum, I was asking your son…, uh, by the way, how old is your son?”

“Rusty? He’s 47,” I said.

“I see, and he takes care of you, I suppose?”

“Heavens no,” I said. “That boy doesn’t have the sense the Good Lord gave a cantaloupe. I have to take care of him. Well, his father and I do.”

“Oh,” said the creature. “Well, I was calling about our resort community in Branson, Missouri.”

“Oh my,” I said. “Branson. We buried a nephew in Branson.”

“So I hear,” said the creature.

“But,” I continued. “He had it coming.” There was a pause on the line.

“What does that mean, he had it coming?” questioned the creature.

“Well,” I said. “It means that he was dead, and he had a burial coming.”

“Uh, oh…I see. Anyway,” she sighed. “Mrs. Mitchum…”

“Before we go any further, young lady, I must know your intentions.”

“My intentions?” the creature asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I understand you want to take my son off somewhere. I suppose it’s to this resort community of yours.”

“No Ma’am, you don’t understand,” she said.

“Rusty’s a special boy, you know.”

“I’m sure he is,” the creature said, with a hint of sarcasm in her voice,” but I don’t….”

“Oh sure,” I said. “He’s had girlfriends before. But, they’ve always disappeared.”

“No Ma’am. I don’t…. Did you say, disappeared?”

“Yes,” I said. “It’s the strangest thing. He will go out with one, and then he’ll come home alone.”

“Did you ever suspect foul play?” the creature asked.

“Oh no,” I said. “He hasn’t been around chickens in years.”

“Huh?” the creature huhhed. “No! I meant do you suspect something might have happened to the girls? You know.”

“You mean foul play?” I asked.

“Yes,” the creature said.

“No,” I replied. “I told you, he hasn’t been around chickens in years.”

“AHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGG!” the creature yelled. “You people are crazy!” and then she slammed down the phone.

I smiled as I hung up the phone. “I heard that yell from over here,” said a voice from behind me. I turned and there was my lovely wife Janet, arms folded, with that look on her face. You know the look. It’s the one that says, “They buried the wrong cousin in Branson.”

“What?” I said.

“Nothing,” she said. “I was just thinking that that poor girl will probably have to go to sessions to deal with the trauma of talking to you.”

“You think?” I smiled.

“Although, she is lucky,” said Janet.

“How so?” I asked.

“She only had to deal with you for just a few minutes. I, on the other hand, have to put up with you all the time.”

“Funny,” I said.

“Oh, by the way,” Janet said. “Just for your information; a cantaloupe does have more sense than you.”


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