Voice from the grave, or was it the foxhole?


My wife Janet and I were fixin’ to go out to eat the other night and I wasn’t really too keen on goin, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet, so you don’t get shot with one.

Well, just as we were walkin’ out the door, the phone rang.

“Grab that,” said Janet. “It might be Michelle.” Michelle, who I call Gator, is our daughter and she and her mom talk just about every day.

“Yellow,” I said. Then I heard a click.

Ahhhh, a phone creature.

Phone creatures are what I call those pesky phone solicitors.

“Yellow,” I said again louder, this time in my old man voice.

“Mr. Mitchum?” the voice said.

“Speak up!” I yelled. “This blasted hearin’aid battery is shot!” Janet shot me a look that said, “We don’t have time for this?” It’s a look that I’m used to.

“Mr. Mitchum, this is Stephanie Sims with Master Card.”

“Lester Lard? I hadn’t thought of you in years. Heck, I thought you wuz killed when we stormed that hill back in 42 when you got shot.”

“No Mr. Mitchum…!”

“You weren’t killed? Well I’ll be. And all these years I thought you wuz dead.”

“Mr. Mitchum! I’m not…!”

“Of course you’re not,” I said. “You wouldn’t be talkin’ to me if’n you wuz, har har. Unless, of course, you’s a ghost. You ain’t no ghost is you, Lester?”

“No, you don’t understand…,” the creature whined.

“Good,” I said. “I’m not stupidstitious or anything, but I don’t want to be talkin’ to no ghost.”

“Please Mr. Mitchum,” the creature cried.

“Lester, would you quit callin’ me Mister. Call me Rusty. For Pete’s sake man, we shared a foxhole for three nights that time. Remember that? It wuz kinda cozy.”

“Look!” said the phone creature. “Let me start over!”

“Lester,” I interrupted. “What happened to your voice? You sound like a girl. Where did they shoot you, anyway? Well, it don’t matter. It’s just nice to talk to you.”

“Mr. Mitchum!” yelled the phone creature.

“I’m here Lester. Sounds like you’re havin’ trouble with your hearin’ too. I think it wuz them tanks that was shootin’ over our heads that done it. I ain’t heared good since.” About that time Janet yelled for me to come on.

“Lester,” I said. “Do you know who that is? Did you recognize the voice?” Janet rolled her eyes.

“No,” the creature sighed sarcastically. “Who is that?”

“That is that pretty little USO girl you met at that Bob Hope show, remember? Oh, I know you wuz in love with her and promised to marry her when you got out. But heck Lester, I thought you wuz dead, so I married her instead.”

“I said, come on!” yelled Janet.

“Did you hear that Lester?” I said into the phone while lookin’ at Janet. “Yep, she’s a feisty one alright. Come to think of it, now that you’re back, if you still want her, she’s all yours.” I smiled at Janet.

“If you don’t come on,” said Janet. “Lester’s not the only one who’ll be talkin’ like a girl.”

“Well, Lester,” I said quickly. “I gotta go. Let me know if’n you want to take me up on my offer. Call me back sometime.”

“You bet,” said the phone creature sarcastically, and she hung up.

I hung up the phone and looked at Janet. She was standin’ there with her teeth clenched tight.

“It wudn’t Gator,” I said. She just looked at me.

“What?” I said.

“I was just wondering,” she said. “How much life insurance do you have, and if I could get away with it? I’m pretty sure I can.”


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