Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Crabs Season 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comCrab season kicked off recently and inadvertent hilarity ensued when I called the Safeway seafood department to inquire if there were any in stock.

“Do you have crabs?” I asked the butcher.

I didn’t realize the implications of what I had said until E, who had overhead my question, began shrieking with laughter. “Didn’t you mean to ask if he had CRAB?” Then I started laughing myself and apologizing and insisting that this was not a prank call. I promised that I wasn’t going to ask him if his refrigerator were running or for him to page Mike Hunt or Amanda Hugginkiss. The butcher had a very thick Cantonese accent so I don’t think he got my accidental joke. In any case, I was very appreciative that he patiently waited for me to calm down so he could answer my question.

I’m not a big fan of prank phone calls or the television show Crank Yankers. I don’t think it’s right to harass good people who are just trying to do their jobs. I get enough outrageous and odd questions as it is when I work the phones from the genuinely mentally ill and other vulnerable members of the population so don’t burn up my patience, compassion, goodwill and time on jokes that are not as nearly as clever as the perpetrator likes to think.

The other day I had my first call from a woman on a bipolar manic upswing. I’ve heard the term ‘pressured speech,’ but this went way beyond that. She seemed helpless in the grip of this talking jag. I felt pummeled by her words to the point where I wanted cover my head protectively with my hands like a boxer. She kept going on and on about the reasons for her overdue books and how she had been mistreated by a branch manager until I finally had to wish her a good night and hang up on her. She kept calling back the rest of the evening to go over the same matter, even though her problem had been resolved and there was nothing more to do for her. I felt sorry for her because she acted like she needed an audience for her torrent of words like it was a matter of life or death, but there was just no way to accomodate her.

i was just having this prank-on-the-unsuspecting-public conversation with someone. what do you think of Borat, if anything?
You realize the reason your poor grocery store guy didn't laugh is because he actually did have crabs...not so funny now, is it?
I have a patron just like that too. I always feel sad to have to hang up on him, but there is really nothing else I can do.
Funny I remember when I was a kid calling stores and asking did they have Prince Albert in a can. I was such a dumb ass.
Where are you?? I need my regular dose of wit and insight.

I bought that germs book you like in the Las Vegas airport, which incidentally has the best airport bookstore I've seen in a long time. Southwest terminal.

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