You know, here lately I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to any phone creatures.
As many of you know, phone creatures are what I call those pesky phone solicitors that call wantin’ to sell you somethin’ that you either don’t want or need.
My wife Janet put us on one of those do not call lists, but every once in a while one of the little buggers gets through. They don’t bother me like they do Janet, though. In fact, I get a kick out of havin’ fun with them.
Anywho, the other day I had just gotten home, pulled off my boots, and grabbed the button pusher (that’s the TV remote control for all of y’all city slickers out there), and was goin’ through all the channels tryin’ to find somethin’ to watch. I finally settled on some mindless comedy, when the phone rang.
“I’ll get it,” I said, thinkin’ it might be one of my buddies callin’.
“Yellow,” I said into the receiver. There was silence on the other end. “Yellow!” I said louder, then I heard that faint click, and I knew I had a phone creature on the other end.
“Hello, Mr. Mitchum?” the female creature asked.
“That’s me,” I said.
“Ah, Mr. Mitchum,” she started. “Uh, yes. Uh, Mr. Mitchum, the reason I’m calling….”
“Y’all ain’t sellin’ carpet are you?” I interrupted.
“Carpet? Oh, no, I ‘m not selling carpet. I’m calling to offer….”
“Well, that’s good,” I said. “‘Cause I ain’t interested in no carpet.”
“That’s good,” she said. “The reason…”
“My wife’s afraid of carpet, you know.”
“Uh no, I didn’t know that. Mr. Mitchum...”
“Yeah, she sees carpet and she starts throwin’ a fit. I mean a real fit. Starts tryin’ to swaller her tongue and everythang.”
“Really,” the creature said.
“Yeah. It ain’t pretty neither. We got invited to a party one time and we walked in the house, and low and behold, there was carpet on the floor.”
“Uh, Mr. Mitchum,” the creature tried.
“I seen it first and tried to herd her out the door, but I was too late. She’d done seen it.”
“Her eyes got real big and she started slobberin’, and the next thing I know’d, she was tryin’ to chew up her tongue. Most people who have them kind of fits try to swaller their tongue whole, but when she was little she was taught to chew her food before she swallered it.”
“Well, I couldn’t just stand there, so I jumped on her and tried to pry her mouth open. I finally got it open, grabbed her tongue, and that was when she bit off two of my fingers.”
“She bit off your fingers?”
“Yep, she bit ‘em off right at the second knuckle, then swallered ‘em. I guess they was too hard to chew up.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“No I ain’t kiddin’. You think I’d kid about somethin’ like that. The doctor said he could’ve reattached ‘em, ifin’ I could have got ‘em back. But to tell you the truth, I didn’t want to go in there after ‘em.”
“This is unbelievable.”
“Ain’t it though? It ain’t too bad though. I entertain kids by stickin’ the nubs up to my nostrils, and it looks like I got my fingers crammed up my nose. It’s a real knee-slapper.”
“Oh my,” said the creature.
“Yep, you don’t want her near no carpet. Throw rugs are OK. Are you sellin’ throw rugs?”
“Throw rugs? Oh, no. No, Mr. Mitchum,” then she laughed. “I’m sorry; I almost forgot what I called you for.”
“No throw rugs, huh?” I said. “Well, call back when you got some. We need ‘em. This ol’ floor’ll get cold come winter.”
“Mr. Mitchum, I really want to talk to you about….”
“Ain’t got no time,” I said. “There’s a carpet commercial comin’ on TV and I got to get it turned off ‘fore the wife sees it.” Then I held the phone away from my mouth and yelled: “Don’t look at the TV Sugar Booger! I said don’t look at the TV! OH NO! JUNIOR! GRAB THE WATER HOSE, AND HOSE YOUR MOMMA DOWN. I’LL BE THERE IN A MINUTE.” “Look lady,” I said back into the phone. “I’ve gotta go,” and I hung up, and then started chucklin’.
Yep, you guessed it, as I turned around; there standin’ in the doorway, was my dearly beloved. She had her arms crossed, and her lips puckered like she’d been eatin’ green persimmons.
“What?” I asked innocently.
“How do you come up with this stuff? Wait, let me rephrase that. Why do you come up with this stuff?”
“What can I say?” I replied. “It’s a gift.”
“A Gift? It’s not a gift. It’s a curse. It’s a curse on me, that’s what it is.”
“Look!” I exclaimed. “Look at your feet! Oh no, you’re standin’ on carpet!”
Her eyes narrowed as they bore a hole through my head. “Oh you’d like me to swallow my tongue, wouldn’t you?”
I looked up, like I was thinkin’ about it and then I smiled.
I don’t remember much after that, but I do remember the first thing I saw when I came to -- Carpet.