It was a dark and stormy night.

The phone rang. I answered.

"(something unintelligible)," the (heavily accented) voice on the other side asked me.

"I beg your pardon?" I asked.

"Is Rose Green there?" he asked me.

"No, I'm sorry, she isn't," I replied.

"May I ask when she'll be back?" he asked.

"Not too soon, I'm afraid," I answered.

"Oh, really?" (this man was full of questions!).

"She passed away about a month ago." (I barely stifle a laugh- he mistakes it for weeping)

"Oh really? I'm so sorry, ma'am... I mean sir." (at least he didn't ask a question)

"Well, yes, so were we," I told him.

"Oh. Are you a remghuit?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Are you a relative- an uncle, nephew, or cousin?"

"Yes, I'm her nephew. That is, I was her nephew."

"Well, do you have Barry's phone number."

"Yes, of course! Barry! Hold on one minute while I find it." I set the phone down and pull out my IT Honors phone directory, with the intention of giving the man the number of Noel (the man downstairs)(out of some bread a sandwich. Mmm. Sand.....wich.)(Sorry inside joke. Where the hell was I? Oh yeah), but Bill (my roomie) flips through the book and points at Tim Ross's name (a friend from comp. sci.). "Okay, here it is." I give him Tim's number.

"This is her husband Barry's phone number?"

'Ex-husband,' I almost say, but my conscience overrules me (about time). "Yes, it is."

"Excellent. Just in case I can't get a hold of him, let me give you my name and phone number. Are you ready to write this down?"

"Just one moment... okay."

"My name is Marcos. I'm calling from Columbus, Ohio..." I start to think: I'm wasting this guy's money: he's calling long distance. Oh well, you've stuck with it this long, you might as well finish it off. "...and I work for Discover Card..." He goes on to tell me something about needing a death certificate, and some other stuff. I've stopped paying attention: I'm sitting there thinking: What have I done? I've created a monster: like that guy, Dr. Frankenstein, in the book _Little Women_ by Laura Ingalls Wilder "... thank you very much for your time, and I'm sorry about your aunt."

"No problem."

"Thank you, good-bye."

"'bye." The first phone call is over, and I let out a sigh of relief. I'm safe for now. But what about the future? Some day I may be getting ready to pull out of my driveway when my car explodes. 'I shouldn't have lied to that Marcos guy,' will be my last thoughts on this beautiful world. But it will be too late.

I fill in Bill on what he wasn't able to pick up just by listening. He starts laughing even harder. He thought the guy had hung up after I said that my dear Aunt Rose died.

Now I'm starting to worry: I probably just messed this woman and her credit card company over hard core. What should I do? Call Marcos back and say 'I'm sorry- Rose isn't dead. It was all just a sick joke. Please don't blow up my car.'?

Fortunately, my time of agony is soon over. Not three minutes after I hang up the phone, but the phone rings again.

"Hello?" I ask tentatively.

"Yes, this is Marcos from Discover Card, and I just called about your Aunt Rose. I just called the number you gave me for Barry, and it was the wrong number. You didn't by any chance make a mistake giving me the number, did you?"

"Look, I'm sorry Marcos (why the hell am I calling you Marcos? What are we, best buddies?), I have a confession to make. I don't really know who the hell Rose is or was. I'm just a college kid with a sick sense of humor. I'm really, really, sorry. I... hello? Hello? I'm sorry. Hello?" The man had hung up. I only had one more call to make. I dial Tim's number.


"Hi. Is Rose Green there?"

"What the.. Look pal, I told you she isn't here. You've got the wrong number..."

I start to laugh. "I'm sorry Tim. This is Mike Wade."

"This isn't Tim, this is Eric. What the hell is going on?" I fill him in. He sort of laughs. "I'll tell Tim you called. Good-bye."


And I hang up the phone for the third time this night. I thought my night of excitement was over. But I was wrong.

Dead wrong.

10 minutes later, the phone rings again.


"Hi this is Matt with MCI. We just got a complaint about your phone usage. Until you learn proper phone etiquette, we have no choice but to disconnect for phone. Some really big guys will be up in a few minutes to disconnect your phone. If you don't give them any trouble, they might not break you knee caps."

"Look here, I didn't mean nothing by it. It was just a really bad joke." "Focus, Mr. Wade. The phone is not a toy. And until you learn that, you will never hold a phone again. Good bye Mr. Wade."

Things looked pretty bleak. They knew everything about me. What options do I have? I decide to fight fire with fire.

I still had Marcos' phone number. I gave him a call.


"Hi, Marcos? My name is Mike Wade. You just called me about a Rose Green."

"Yes, I remember."

"And you realize it was a joke, don't you?"

"It was a very sick joke. I've heard about people getting there phones disconnected for less."

"Funny you should mention that. You see, I just got a call from MCI, and they said my phone is going to be disconnected. You had better tell them to stop, or I'll say that you were harassing me. Once people hear that, they'll take away your phone priveleges and ship yer ass back to Haiti. We don't want that, now do we?"

"No, Sir."

"Good. Very good. It's good to see that we can be reasonable about this, isn't it Marcos (we really were getting to be best buddies). I scratch my back, and you scratch yours."


"Would you let me finish!?"

"I'm sorry, Sir."

"It's all right. Now get your ass off this phone and give those people at MCI a call and tell them you didn't want my phone disconnected. Got it?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Excellent. I'm a reasonable guy, Marcos. I like to think of myself as being pretty open minded. But believe me, you don't want to get me pissed off."

"Yes, Sir."

"I'm glad we had this little chat. Maybe we could talk again sometime, when this whole funny business is over."

"I'd like that, Sir."

"Me too, Marcos. Now do exactly what I told you."

"Yes, Sir."

"Have a good night, Marcos."

"You too, Sir."

And we hung up. Nobody has come to disconnect my phone (yet). I'm assuming that Marcos did what I told him. But he hasn't called me back- so I can't be sure.

And the thunder rolled.

Pretty bitchin' story, eh? And every word is true. Okay, I might have exaggerated the last part a teeny bit. Actually, everything after the part where I hang up with Eric is pure fabrication. The rest of it really did happen. More or less. I may have plugged in a few words here and there, but the story line is mostly correct.

The good news is, I think I may have found a major: mob boss. After the little chat I had with Marcos at the very end, I think that I could see myself doing this. And I've heard wonderful things about the mob boss program. So pretty soon I'll be transferring out of IT and into the college that offers the mob boss courses. Lets see, what's the name of that college? Oh yeah. Here it is: Carlson School of Legitimate Business...

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The views and opinions were expressed on this page only after being coerced by the University of Minnesota. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Mike Wade.

(I'm lying)