A short Monday afternoon skit. This actually happened to me today and was recorded on my answering machine.
Caller ID displays the number of uncouth neighbor #1 (yes, there are multiple). He is a man who has talked at me in depth about his friend who "hates Arabs," told me that "for all I know, you could be a raging dyke" and insists on compensating for every minor neighborly favor with a case of iced tea from the dollar store. When we met, he said, looking at my college degree, "I'm going to assume by your last name and your alma mater that you are Jewish." He assumed wrongly and rather closed-mindedly. He could have just asked about my religion. Anyway, he has a tendency to get under my skin.
MELANIE delays picking up the phone, fearing the ensuing conversation. She recalls previous conversations and seriously considers letting the answering machine pick up, but realizes that he can see that she is home by looking into the kitchen window.
NEIGHBOR: Oh, hello. (Sighs)
ANSWERING MACHINE: Hi, you've reached Joe and Melanie...
MELANIE: Oh, sorry.
ANSWERING MACHINE: Please leave a message and we'll get right back to you.
MELANIE: OK, sorry about that.
NEIGHBOR: I see. This is Bob.
MELANIE: I know. (rolls eyes) What's up?
NEIGHBOR: Well, I was scrolling through the address book in my phone, and I meant to call the entry below yours, but my finger must have slipped and...
MELANIE: (Interrupting) That's okay, I'll let you go.
NEIGHBOR: ...we're going tonight to the Meadowlands for the fair tonight. You know, my daughter has seven children and doesn't get to take them all to very many places. But it's only six dollars apiece, and that includes parking, so with her fifteen person van, it's a...
ANSWERING MACHINE: Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
NEIGHBOR: What was that in the background?
MELANIE: The answering machine must have been taping us this whole time.
NEIGHBOR: Well then it's a good thing we didn't say anything incriminating.
MELANIE: (Trying not to engage him.) Yup.
NEIGHBOR: So, do you have any interest in going to the fair?
MELANIE: Honestly, no. (Subtext: Please let me go on with my life)
NEIGHBOR: You probably don't believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy either. You would shoot the Easter Bunny and
NEIGHBOR: Let me guess, you don't like the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.
MELANIE: (Who honestly thinks that Disney is scary in its constant cheeriness) I plead the fifth.
NEIGHBOR: Okay, goodbye.
MELANIE: Bye. (Hangs up as quickly as possible.)