Monday, January 2, 2012

The Whistler

I was talking with my dad the other day. He was telling about the home phone ringing off the hook. He does have a cell but has a problem disconnecting from a land line.  Daily there is a steady flow of sales calls. I guess my mom was the one fielding the calls before he retired.   He retired 7 years ago but this is a pretty consistent topic of conversation.  It seems the time his spends answering the phone is disproportionate to the amount of time he spends doing things he planned to do when he retired. He does manage to get in a nap or two. 


 He spends a good portion of this time speaking with/listening to both English speaking, and those who do not speak so that he can understand, salespeople. "Why doesn't he just hang up?" you ask. The thing about my dad is that he is nice. He is nice to a fault. He will be nice no matter what. He might be upset, as those around him find out later, but he will remain nice to the person on the other end of the conversation. He is the nicest man I know. I'm not just saying that. Ask anyone. He is also honest. Just thought I'd throw that in.


 When he gets these phone calls to extend a warranty, to subscribe to a paper, to vote for a certain political person, he actually listens to them. He just cannot bring himself to hang up. He lets them get through their spiel and then tries to politely say he isn't interested. Yeah,  right. 


 Not too long ago he received a call from a very rude salesman. Dad decided enough was enough. He put the phone down for a few seconds to gain his composure and then told the salesman he wasn't interested. He further told the guy to put his phone number on the "Do not call" list.  As you could imagine, this was a big step for my dad. The salesman proceeded to tell my dad that he wasn't going to do that and there nothing my dad could do about it. He further said he would continue to call him.


 My dad asked to speak to this guy's supervisor.  The guy on the other end said "You're speaking to him."  The guy kept going on and on. My mom happens to be in the kitchen listening to the conversation, trying to keep her composure.  I'm sure it's difficult because when my Dad gets frustrated you know it.  You might not get verbal cues, but the facial expressions give him away. My mom could take no more.  She's a good "go to" when things begin to go haywire.  On the fly, she can come up with a solution. 


My mom walks over to the junk drawer.  You know the one.  She gets the whistle.  She walks over to my dad and motions for him to blow the whistle into the phone. Not knowing what else to do, my dad puts the whistle to his lips.   Using all of the lung capacity he can muster, he blows the whistle as fiercely as he can into the mouthpiece. He sucks in more air and blows again and again.  Finally his lungs are empty of air.  He hears the salesman's voice on the other end ask, "Are you finished now?" My dad responded with a hard and fast click.

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