Thursday, January 31, 2008
I've Just Been Party to The Strangest Conversation Ever
I don't really know where to begin. I've just had the most bizarre conversation ever and you need to read all about it because I need to share the madness.

Phone Rings.

I pick it up and spout the accepted greeting, identifying myself to the caller.

"You have a beautiful voice," the man says to me. Actually, I get this a lot so this particular statement isn't all that alarming.

"Thank you," I say.

"You are a insert job title here, right?" the unidentified mall caller asked.

"Yes, that's right." I affirm.

"Great. I'm a permanent resident alien in this country - originally I'm from Canada - and when I was growing up I just loved this particular brand of syrup. And you know what? You can't get it here in the United States. I would like to import it."

"okay..." I say, trying to draw the guy out on how I can help him.

He continues, "I want to import it, make a lot of money, keep a million or two for me, and then give the rest to the Governor - because that's the right thing to do. Right?"


"This syrup is so amazing! It's like the best thing you've ever tasted! And you can't get it here. So, I need help importing it. Can you help me with that?"

"Umm, that's not exactly what we do. We handle commodities from the financial side - not the physicals."

"Oh, I see. So you would suggest...?"

"Contacting the manufacturer directly."

"Okay. That syrup is really something and I could use the money."

"okay then..."

"So, wait, let me ask you one more question."

"Okay. Go ahead."

"As I've told you, I am a Canadian and grew up in Canada. My father, who I haven't spoken to in over 20 years, signed my name to some document back when I was 19. He signed this here in the US when I was in Canada. Right? Right? So that's fraud, right? And now, there are all these documents with my signature, all this money in my name, that I can't touch. That's fraud, right? It's not all about me, of course. I'd give most of the money away - do the Christian thing - but my wife she doesn't want any money. Hates it. That's fraud, right?"

"I'd suggest you get an attorney."

"Oh, we've had one. They just blah blah blah and nothing changes. That's financial fraud, right?"

"It is something, alright."

"I tell you, I'm gonna go on the Dr. Phil show and expose the whole Mennonite community. This is ridiculous! This is fraud!"

"Wow." I really don't know what to say at this point, clearly.

"Okay, then, I'll let you go. Thanks for your help."


This conversation was so...random. And, I'm not entirely sure all his legos were correctly snapped into place ifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo. The entire conversation on his end was of consciousness. It may not read that way, but that's how it happened. He kept asking me to agree with him. The conversation actually went on for about 10 minutes, I've merely hit the high points. But the thing that bothers me is that even though I'd made it clear that I was not going to be able to provide him with the help he was seeking, he kept dishing me all of this personal information. Odd. And, as he continued talking, I couldn't help seeing him with my mind's eye.

You know, some guy in green utility scrub-type garb, leaning over the nurse's station while she was at the bathroom, dialing some number at random as he ate his pancakes with a plastic spoon.

See how ungenerous I am? The man was perfectly delightful, perfectly polite and pleasant, and yet...I think he's picking the salt off of crackers and trying to lick the back of his ear.

I'm a horrible person.


posted by Phoenix | 10:13 AM


At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I think I just laughed half my butt off!


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