Ainslie Paton romance author

Mum Rides Again

A verbatim with my Mum about phone messages.

Phone rings:  I’m neck deep in deadline.  Answering machine picks up.  I listen.

Mum:    Hi only me.  Just letting you know Jack (my nephew) is home from school with concussion (from a rugby accident the previous day that I’m aware of).  No need to call back.

Me:       ( I hear that and keep on keeping on.  Hours later, I phone back).  Hi, how’s Jack?

Mum:    I called you six hours ago.

Me:       (Look at clock – yes maybe… does seem like a long time ago).  Yes, ok.

Mum:    Well, why did it take so long to call back?

Me:        You said there was no need to.

Mum:    Well I didn’t mean that.

Me:        All right, so how is Jack?

Mum:    What if it was serious?

Me:        Concussion is serious.

Mum:    No, what if I had bad news to tell you and it took you six hours to ring back.

Me:        But you left a message so I knew what the news was.

Mum:    What if your father was dead?

Me:        What?

Mum:    What if your father was dead and I didn’t want to leave a horrible message like that.  Would it take you six hours to return my call?

Me:        Um.

Mum:    Well would it?

Me:        I’m sure if it was something serious you’d say – ring me back urgently, not no need to call back.

Mum:    But I wanted you to call back.

Me:        And I have.

Mum:    But that was this morning and now it’s night.  Your father would’ve been dead a whole day.

Me:        Is there anything wrong with Dad?

Mum:    No.  Why are you asking that?

Me:        Oh I don’t know, perhaps because you keep going on about him being dead.

Mum:    Well he’s not.

Me:        Good to know.

Mum:    Don’t you think I’d tell you if he was?

Me:        I’m no longer sure of anything.

Mum:    What’s that supposed to mean?

Me:        Never mind.

Mum:    So I just want you to ring back quicker.  I can’t see why it had to take you so long.

Me:        You saying there was no need to call back might’ve had something to do with it.  Plus I’m working.  You know that thing I do to pay the bills.

Mum:    Well you can’t take what I say on a message as the only thing.

Me:        Are you trying to tell me Dad is dead in a really roundabout way so as not to upset me?

Mum:   (Laughing) No.

Me:        So what you’re saying is you’re annoyed that I didn’t ring back quickly enough even though you said there was no need and I was busy.

Mum:    What were you busy with?

Me:        Does it matter?

Mum:    No, you should’ve called me back quicker anyway.

Me:        Because what you say on the answering machine might not be the truth

Mum:    Well I’m hardly going to leave a message and lie am I?

Me:       (Silent)

Mum:    What if I don’t leave any message?

Me:        What do you mean?

Mum:    How long will it take you if I don’t leave any message?

Me:        On my home office phone?

Mum:    Yes.  Where I always leave messages.

Me:        Ok, so if you don’t leave a message I probably won’t call you back.

Mum:    I knew it.

Me:        What do you know?

Mum:    You’re awful.

Me:        Because if you don’t leave a message I won’t call you back.

Mum:    Yes.

Me:        Can you see anything odd with that?

Mum:    No, it’s typical you.

Me:        So now you’re upset because if you ring me and don’t leave a message I won’t call you back.

Mum:    Yes.

Me:        That’s a bit unfair.

Mum:    Why?

Me:        If you don’t leave a message how am I supposed to know you’ve called.  It’s not like my mobile.  It’s like your phone.  It doesn’t show numbers that have called and not left messages.

Mum:    Oh.  Well then, that’s stupid.

Me:        Yes it is.  When I next buy a phone I’ll make sure it shows missed calls so that you can ring me, not leave a message and I can ring you back.

Mum:    That sounds silly – why wouldn’t I just leave a message?

Me:        A message that might not be the actual real message.

Mum:   (Laughing) You think you’re so smart don’t you.

Me:        If I was so smart I’ve never have waited to ring you back.

Mum:    See, now you’ve got the message.

11 Responses to “Mum Rides Again

Hello, what are you thinking?

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