: restore the busy signal :

receiverCome on, it’s time to return to our senses. Let’s show a little compassion, for once, instead of cold, ruthless insensitivity. Or do you like getting shot straight to voicemail?

I don’t — it’s a hijacking. You think you’re headed to a friendly conversation, but dark, unseen forces decide otherwise. Your call is seized and sent someplace you never intended to go. You weren’t consulted or asked, you had no choice in the matter. You’re already there. That seems presumptuous to me, so autocratic.

I’m always caught off guard, every time, then wind up stammering and tongue-tied. ‘Oh, uh, yeah, er, I was ca — I di — — whe — crap, never mi.’ That, boys and girls, is my standard message. It falls trippingly from my silver tongue at the end of the beep. I really and truly hate leaving voicemails. I hesitate to leave them, frankly, then hang up in a mild panic.

Busy signals were a better, more straightforward option. You could trust a busy signal. When you heard it, you knew the line was being used. Period. The unambiguous bzzt-bzzt-bzzt-bzzt, didn’t lead you to suspect your call was being screened or ignored or rejected. The sound didn’t trigger a personal crisis. It was a statement of fact, no hidden motive lurked behind the bzzt. Unless the phone had purposely been taken off the hook — which was possible, but very unlikely.

These days, you never know. Getting shanghaied by phone unleashes all kinds of anxieties and self-recriminations. What did I do? What did I say? Did I step out of line? Was it my body language? The look on my face? Stoopid face. Stoopid me. Should I apologize? Have plastic surgery? Take an etiquette class? My list is long and the questions are many. All for lack of a busy signal.

We must join together, people, and put a stop to this foolishness. It’s causing needless worry and distress among the socially awkward, like myself. I’m paranoid enough, thank you, I don’t need any encouragement from a phone call. Oh, and let’s get rid of *69 while we’re at it, eliminate that flipping disaster altogether. Caller I.D., too.

Jeez, don’t get me started.

stickmanCopyright © 2015 Publikworks

18 thoughts on “: restore the busy signal :

    1. Oh, I know they’re doing it. They don’t know I know they’re doing it. But, hooboy, I know. I’ll bet you’re one of those wildly popular types who never, ever gets screened. Am I right?


        1. This might be true, but I have a wicked and biting wit which all people don’t know how to take. I can be mean first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I am hyper critical regarding ignorance, which I find I am all to often surrounded by.

          See what I mean? There are many with good cause to screen me.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I know what you mean about voice mail, although I have to say I’m impressed by the clarity of your message. You at least get three or four words in the right order, including “crap” at one point. I never get beyond “Uhhhh” myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neither do I, actually. In fact, my message is one of stunned silence, then a quiet disconnect. I was just too embarrassed to admit it, so sshhhhh :o)

      I’m so glad I’m not alone. Thank you, BunKaryudo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounds as though between us we have a combined telephone vocabulary of about two grunts and an “um…”!

        Please feel free to call me Bun, by the way (pronounced Boon).

        Liked by 1 person

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