A few weeks ago a new voicemail system downloaded to my phone. It was some kind of deal that would turn voice messages into text messages, and it wasn’t free. I think it cost $4.95 per month. However, it was forced upon me and the only way to get out of it was to call Verizon and tell them. It’s a slimy way of doing business… but that’s another conversation for another day.
They removed the service from our phones, and returned us to a “free” version. It bothers me to call it free, since we back a Brinks truck up to Verizon world headquarters every month. But it’s included at no additional cost. You know what I’m saying.
And now… we have the most annoying voicemail on the planet. It’s different than it was before. Whenever you check a message it takes FOREVER to get to the recording. It’s a woman’s voice, speaking super-slow, providing far too much information:
“You have a new message. Received today at 2:58 pm. From 888-888-8888. The tone of the message is generally cordial, with a slight undercurrent of curtness. I don’t care for that. Your weather conditions when the message arrived was partly cloudy, with a light breeze from the north. Weather conditions for the sender was cold and rainy. I am eating a sandwich right now, ham and Swiss. It’s goddamn delicious. I think the secret of a good sandwich is in the bread, wouldn’t you agree? Yes, to me, bread is the key. Duration of the message: 27 seconds…”
That might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. It’s maddening. It goes on and on and on. I could start it, put my phone down, go take a leak, and it would almost be finished when I returned. It’s insane. Has this happened to you? There’s probably a button I can push to go straight to the message, right? The problem? I don’t know what it is.
Yes, I know people lived through The Blitz in WWII. What of it? That means I can’t bitch about things? I reject that notion. Power to the bitchers! Pass the beer nuts.
I was talking with my brother a few days ago, and I asked him if he remembers our aunt using a phrase when we were young that I found both bizarre and fairly disgusting. She was a teenager at the time, in high school. I was a little kid, maybe five years old. So, we’re talking about 1968 or thereabouts.
And she used to say “Oh, suck my nose!” all the time. Whenever she’d get the least bit exasperated, she’d shout that phrase. WTF? I can’t remember hearing anybody else say it, at any time during my long, ridiculous life. I assume it was the in-thing at the time, and she was the only teenager I was around.
Are you familiar with that unsettling exclamation? I’m also surprised my grandmother allowed such a thing to be shouted underneath her roof on a regular basis. My grandfather couldn’t even get away with an occasional “shit.” I find “suck my nose” to be worse, far worse. Blecch.
Speaking of taking things far too literally, that same grandfather used to shout, “I’m going to set you on fire!” whenever he’d get mad at my aunt, his daughter. Again… not familiar with that phraseology. I’d sit there thinking about people sucking the snot out of noses, and dousing each other in gasoline. It was a very confusing time for your corpulent correspondent.
Can you remember phrases spoken by adults that confused you as a kid? Or maybe it was phrases spoken by other, more-worldly kids? If so, please tell us about them in the comments. I’m also interested in phrases that were once common, and have gone out of style. When I was in high school the stoners used to say “Suck a rod” all the time. I haven’t heard that one in a while. Thankfully.
The reason I thought about this was because Toney and I were in Sears a few days ago, and woman yelled at her kid, “If you don’t shut up, I’m going to beat you to a pulp!” A very classy lady, probably educated at one of the finer finishing schools in New England… But I wondered if the kid was taking it literally, like I used to do. Doubtful, because the little bastard didn’t seem to alter his behavior, whatsoever.
What kind of questionable crap have you heard people say to kids in public? That can be part B of the Question o’ the Day.
And I have to go now. Another workday awaits. I’m going to try to update this site on Monday and Thursday every week. It’s gotten off-track again, and I need to make a public proclamation to hold myself accountable.
So, I’ll see you guys again on Monday.
Have yourselves a great weekend!