Letters to Holly

Thursday, March 15

Cranky People

I got an email this morning that I didn't get cast in the show. My first unsuccessful audition. It's a blow to the ego, I admit, but seeing the style they leaned to, it's probably best I didn't get it. I don't know if I could listen to the comedy team for three months. I'm not sure what I could have done differently, and it's possible nothing I did would have mattered. This may be my first example of a "closed shop," a theatre reluctant to cast new people. Ironically, I heard that label applied to at least two companies that cast me in my first try (including the Hot Tin Roof group) but hadn't heard that at all about Montford. This gives me time to work on the painting and mini-comics instead, and maybe, if my optimism returns, I could try for Montford's Much Ado About Nothing in a few months.

And you know, I was offered a non-speaking role (read: filler) that, what the hell, I'm gonna accept. I won't have to be there for the rehearsals, and perhaps I can pick up tricks to get in the next show. I think it would be unprofessional to shrug off an invitation, and maybe I can impress them with my professionalism.

I grilled steaks and baked potatoes before "Lost" aired, but right before the show we got a wrong-number call. An older lady was trying to call someone she met at a casino a few weeks back. She claimed she had the number in her purse but it was too far away to reach. She also claimed she dialed correctly and asked if I could help her reach this person. I assured her we had been at this number for years, there was no person by that name, and suggested she check her purse for the number. She didn't want to. She called again. And again. She was desperate to reach this lady. Now, I suspected she was a prank early on, but she kept in character. No punchline arrived. She seemed genuinely addled, even asking if she should use her Life Alert bracelet to get help from them. I steered her away from that.

When she did retrieve the number, she said she couldn't read it because it was dark. You have to picture an old woman (81, by her account) sitting in the dark trying to call someone who she doesn't know nor does she know where the intended callee lives. I suggest she wait 'til tomorrow when it's daylight so she can read the number. Then Your Sister, thinking a prank or a whackjob, adopts a nag character and demands to know which hoochie mama I'm talking to. I, play along and excuse myself quickly ("oh, crap, the wife's mad. I gotta go."). The woman calls back, indignant that someone was screaming in the background at her. And now, finally, my patience is gone. I tell her I can't help her anymore and relay the stupidity of the situation (old, in the dark, insistant that a stranger make her magic talking machine work). She gets mad. She asks if she being insulted. I confirm this. She then says, "well, I never," to which I say, "you will probably never will" and hang up. She calls back, but I hang up immediately. She doesn't call again. I expected her to call back at the crack of dawn, but I heard nothing. And the local phone company says they can only block collect calls. Maybe she'll call again tonight when she's drunk, bored, and sitting in the dark.

I've suspected similar odd calls are the work of students, but they seem sincere in their mindlessness. We live amid old people with waning grasps on reality, and the assumption that they will be rescued by anyone for any reason. Remember when we took the books to the post office? A lady in a fogey scooter came in and asked me to grab the package she slid under her seat so she could mail it. Now what if no one was around? She planned to require help. Earlier this week, that same woman took up the entire sidewalk while I was running toward her. She could see me from a half-mile away, and she never moved aside. Maybe it was she that called. That woman is trying to become my nemesis, and only a steel cage match can end this feud.

Picture of the Day

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