Actual Conversations Heard

Actual Conversations Heard from my Patio #86

SETTING: My patio, where I’m sitting as the wife emerges from our nearby workshop/outbuilding, a.k.a. “The Shop.”

THE WIFE– Hey, Poo, I got a request for you.
ME– Yeah?
THE WIFE– I’m gonna need you to not keep your grandfather’s bullwhip coiled up on the floor of the shop… right behind the door… right where I have to stand to turn on the light… looking an awful lot like a coiled up snake.
ME– Mm. Yeah, I saw that and thought it might be a problem. But I didn’t do it on purpose.
THE WIFE– Uh huh.
ME– I’d had the whip hanging above the door, wrapped around its wooden handle, but it fell, then got pushed behind the door the next time someone opened it.
THE WIFE– Falling on me from above the door would have been way worse.
ME– Yeah. Gotcha.

Actual Conversations Heard at My House #234

SETTING: My house, as my wife is seated in front of the TV, flipping through the viewing choices on Amazon Prime while me and the mother-in-law look on. I spy one of the choices as she flips past it, a movie with a poster that features a closeup of a brightly lit shot of the face of actor Florence Pugh, with pretty flowers in her hair, screaming in anguish.

ME– You should watch Midsommar.

THE WIFE– Really?

ME– Yeah.

(There is a pause as the wife scrolls back to it and starts to read the description.)

THE MOTHER-IN-LAW– What’s Midsommar?

ME– Ohhh… just an incredibly unsettling horror movie set entirely in bright sunlight.

THE WIFE– I don’t want to see that! Why would you tell me to watch that?

ME– I was gonna stop you.

THE WIFE– Yeah, right.

ME– I didn’t think you’d watch it to begin with. I figured you hear the evil mirth in my voice and know better.

THE WIFE– Uh huh.

(Long pause)

ME– You should watch Hereditary.

Actual Conversatinos Heard in Actual Doctor’s OFfices #83

NURSE—And has anything changed in your medications?

ME—No, I don’t think so. My doctor had me on an antibiotic recently, but other than that I don’t think anything has changed.

(The nurse goes down a list of my medications and supplements until she reaches…)

NURSE— And are you still taking the… Ninjacof?

ME—Um, Ninja Cough? That doesn’t ring any bells.

NURSE— Ninjacov… ninja cough… I guess that’s how this is pronounced.

ME—Well, if I was taking anything else, I would certainly hope it had “ninja” in the title, but that’s not one I’ve ever taken.

(Made her laugh. She then looked up Ninjacof, which turns out to be a cough and sneeze suppressant. I’ve indeed never taken it nor heard of it. Neither of us knew how it managed to get into my record. Must be ninjas.)

Actual Breakfast Table Conversations Heard at My House #117

(Setting: the breakfast table at my house as we’re polishing off the beautiful French toast my moms-in-law made for us. Having finished hers, the wife takes out her current knitting project–a fancy scarf knitted on the bias–to start a new row.)

THE WIFE– (to her mom) I think I figured out why I keep getting extra stitches in this…

ME– (interrupting) Have you been snitching?


ME– Have you been snitching? (beat) Cause snitches get stitches?

(Long pause)

THE WIFE– You are a dork.

Actual Semi-Paraphrased Telephone Conversations Heard at My House on Saturday #386


ME Hello?

AVA’S FLOWERS—Hi, I’m calling for Eric Frizzzoo?

ME—This is him.

AVA’S FLOWERS—Yes, I’m calling from Ava’s Flowers. We got your message requesting a refund and wanted to call and talk to you about this?

ME— Yes?

AVA’S FLOWERS— I understand there was a delay in the delivery of your flowers. Would it be all right if we made the delivery of the flowers tomorrow?

ME— No, it would not be. You see, the flowers were for my wife’s birthday, which was yesterday. And because the flowers were not delivered yesterday, I had to make other arrangements and buy flowers elsewhere. So, no, we have no use for flowers delivered tomorrow.

AVA’S FLOWERS— I see. Well, again, we are very sorry for the late delivery of the flowers. But are you really certain that you would not want us to go ahead and deliver them tomorrow?


ME—Yes. I am really REALLY certain.

AVA’S FLOWERS— Very good, sir. If you would just stay on the line for a few moments, I will be right back.

(Five minutes pass before she returns to cheerfully tell me that I will be issued a full refund. Let this be a lesson to you all: Just because a florist is listed first in a Google search of “Rainelle WV Florist” does not mean they are A) actually located in Rainelle; and B) worth a flying %$#&. Ava’s, it seems, is some kind of fly-by-night internet outfit that allegedly coordinates florists nationwide to provide local delivery. But their site masquerades as a local florist that has allegedly been in business for 30 years. However, if you Google search “Ava’s Flowers complaints” you will see that actually getting flowers delivered to their customers on time is not really Ava’s bag. You will also be directed to the Better Business Bureau for many many more complaints concerning Ava’s Flowers. Next time, just do what I wound up having to do and go get a lovely arrangement from Kroger.)

Actual Telephone Conversations with Actual Insurance Companies Heard at My House #604

SETTING: My house as I speak to a USAA rep regarding my vehicle, which struck a deer 30 miles from home during my return trip from Mississippi.

INSURANCE REP— … and I understand the damage to the vehicle is along the left front corner, and along both door panels?

ME– Yes.

INSURANCE REP– And I understand the driver’s side door no longer opens?

ME– Yes. I had to climb out through the passenger door. But it still drives fine.

INSURANCE REP– Well, sir, we actually consider the car to be undriveable at this point. If you were to drive it and something were to happen to the passenger door, and it was not able to open either, how would you be able to get out of the vehicle?

ME– Dukes of Hazzard style!



(I was just glad she got the reference.)

Actual Conversations Heard at My House #87

(Setting:  My house, as the wife spots the now semi-empty steel can we’ve been using to collect bacon grease.)
THE WIFE–  What happened to all the bacon grease?
ME– I threw it away in the trash.
THE WIFE– Why didn’t you just throw away the whole can?
ME– So I could reuse the can for more bacon grease. And so I wouldn’t have to throw away a can.
(Long pause)
THE WIFE– You are officially the Recycling Nazi.
ME– I prefer “Recycling Fascist.”
THE WIFE– (Coming over to tickle me) More like “Recycling Fat-scist.”
(Pass the bacon, y’all.)

Actual Conversations Heard at My House #459

(Setting: our living room, as the end credits roll on our six-month-old DVRed copy of JUSTICE LEAGUE, a movie which I have only now finally got around to watching and which my wife has only now finally got around to reading a book during, punctuated by long stretches of looking over the edge of her iPad to stare at Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, a little drool running out of the edge of her mouth.)

ME—  Huh.  Well, as not great as that movie was, it was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be.

THE WIFE— (grinning) Isn’t there a movie with just Aquaman in it?

ME—Yes.  It’s called “Aquaman.”  And it is in theaters now.

THE WIFE— (Giggles)  I would go see that.  (Sly grin.)  Maybe they’ll have more scenes of him drinking and stomping around.

ME—(Stunned)  You liked that, huh?

THE WIFE—(Beaming) Uh huh!

ME—You are a puzzle I will never solve.  When I drink and stomp around you say I’m an alcoholic.

THE WIFE—Yeah, but I have to live with you.

(Cut to the following evening, as we emerge from the local cinemaplex having viewed all 2 hours and 22 minutes of Aquaman.)

THE WIFE— That was a terrible movie

ME— Indeed.

THE WIFE— But Jason Mamoa was pretty.

ME— He was prettier than Amber Heard and her clown wig.


Actual Conversations Heard at Bedtime at My House That Only People Who Watched a LOT of Saturday Morning TV in the Late `70s, but Whose Wife Did Not, Will Get #34

(SETTING: My house. I’m in the bathroom brushing my teeth like a good boy. The wife is climbing into bed, exhausted, teeth unbrushed.)

THE WIFE– I’m going to bed. I don’t think I have the energy to even brush my teeth tonight.

ME– (Through toothpaste) Better watch out, or you’ll get a visit from the Cavity Creeps.

THE WIFE– The Cavity Creeps? What do they do?

ME– (Adopts Cavity Creep voice) “They MAKE holes in TEETH! They MAKE holes in TEETH!”

(Laughs maniacally at own joke.)

THE WIFE– You are officially an idiot.

Actual Bedtime Conversations Heard at My House #283

SETTING: It’s 10 p.m., time for be’bye nite nites and the dogs are dragging tail doing their business outside. Being sleepy, I mistakenly yell at our eldest and whitest dog, Sadie, to get her “brown butt” in the house instead of yelling the same at middle dog Moose, whose butt is genuinely brown. The wife, back in the house, thinks I’m saying something to her.

THE WIFE– Did you say something?

ME– (Entering bedroom) I was telling Sadie to get her brown butt in the house.

THE WIFE– Sadie’s butt is not brown. She doesn’t have any brown on her anywhere. Except her eyes. They’re brown. But they have cloudy gray cataracts.

ME– That’s the worst Lucky Charm ever.


ME– Cloudy Gray Cataracts are the worst Lucky Charm ever.


THE WIFE– What are you talking about?

ME– Y’know…. Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, Green Clovers, Cloudy Gray Cataracts, Blue Diamonds…

(long pause)

THE WIFE– You are an idiot.

ME– Come on, that was a nice piece of business.

THE WIFE– You’re a bad piece of business.

What I should have said…

WHAT I *SHOULD* HAVE SAID TO THE TELEPHONE CENSUS WORKER WHO’S BEEN TELEPHONICALLY HOUNDING OUR HOUSEHOLD FOR THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS WHEN HE FINALLY CAUGHT ME AT HOME YESTERDAY: “I’m sorry, but I’m currently in the throes of some as-yet-undiagnosed anger management issues and am therefore incapable of conducting this call in anything approaching a non-sarcastic tone, at best, and which will in all likelihood grow into naked belligerence and assholitry as the call progresses. And let me be clear that the reason for my anger is due entirely to the realization of how the next half hour of my life is going to be spent–which is to say, talkin’ ta you. Now, I realize it is our civic and legal duty to conduct census interviews, even the inconvenient and time-consuming ones such as your American Community Survey– a census survey, I might add, which asks more pressing and detailed questions about our personal financial data than are even required by the IRS. And given that civic and legal duty, I would normally like to be of assistance, especially since you have now assured me that this is to be our penultimate interview in the seven, count `em, SEVEN, semi-consecutive monthly interviews for this survey. (To your credit, you did take eight months off after the first four.) However, my suspicion that, as in the previous six interviews, the same questions will be repeated on multiple occasions during this interview session (beyond just asking the same questions about me and additionally about my wife, meaning multiples of two) will cause me to become further enraged at having to participate, as will the fact that our answers have essentially remained unchanged throughout our aforementioned six previous monthly interviews. Add to this the fact that the very specific financial information you seek to gather from us is of the sort that can be quite difficult to determine off the top of one’s head if you’re a freelancer as I am (such as the fact that I don’t always know how many hours I spent working on a freelance job if I am not being paid by the hour for it; and even if I was working by the hour, I don’t have that information on my person at all times). I fear therefore that this interview will only further fuel my ire at having to conduct it in the first place. This being the case, it’s probably best for all of us that you call back on another day, preferably one when my wife is home. I’m not saying she won’t be as irritated by your interview as I am, but she is at least able to mask it more skillfully than I am currently able. Thanks so much. Buh bye.”

WHAT I *ACTUALLY* SAID WAS: “How long will this call take?”

And this is the point at which the census worker tipped the scales of assholity for me by blatantly lying in his reply of, “A couple of minutes.” For he then proceeded to put questions to me at the speed, though not the level of annunciation, of the Micro Machines guy for the next 25 minutes. This speedy delivery required me to keep interrupting him, every third question, to ask for him to repeat said question. And despite his own timetable of “a couple of minutes” he somehow seemed annoyed with me when I interrupted at seven minute intervals to point out that my stopwatch was proving his “couple of minutes” woefully more inaccurate as the seconds ticked by. I eventually suggested that he should get around to looking up the definition of the word “couple” before tossing it about so freely, as some of us actually know that definition (“two people or things of the same sort considered together”), and even by the standards of its loosest and most idiomatic meaning (“more than two but still very few”) fourteen minutes does not fall within that range. At my next stopdown, 21 minutes in, he suggested that if I hadn’t kept interrupting him so much then the interview really would have been over in a couple of minutes. He actually said that. And this was the point at which I was compelled to suggest further that he may not know how words or time work.

Should have gone with option #1.

Actual Conversations I Personally Witnessed On a Cruise Ship Last Week

Dressed in our casual formal finest, my wife and I approached the host station of the ship’s main dining room hoping to get a table for dinner.  In line ahead of us, however, was an older man on a Rascal Scooter, who was clad in a formal dinner jacket and what appeared to be loose, baggy, white pajama shorts, from which were sticking his knobby-kneed pale bird legs.
MAN– You mean I have to go all the way back upstairs just to put on pants?! Aw, come on!!!
The maître d tried gamely to inform the man and his wife that the restaurant could indeed find a table for them if they insisted, but he suggested it would really be for the best if the man simply went and put on pants. The bird-legged man then attempted a three point turn on the Rascal, in an effort to beat a snail-crawl retreat, while his wife loudly defended her husband’s attire and good name.
WIFE–  What’s the matter with what he’s wearing?!  I’ve seen people in there wearing rags! Rags!!
We saw the man return later wearing pants, sans scooter.

Actual Conversations Heard in my Bed #5

SETTING:  My bed as the wife and I are preparing for sleep, both reading our devices.

THE WIFE–  Hey, will you turn off your big light? I don’t want it messing with my circadian rhythms.

ME–  (Turns off bedside lamp)  The rhythm is going to get you.

THE WIFE–  (BEAT)  Well, that was mean.

ME–  What?

THE WIFE–  Why do you want to start me off to sleep with an ear worm like that?

ME–  You mean to-NIGHT?


ME–  Uhn UHN,un-un-UN?


Actual Telephone Conversations Heard at My House #7 (a.k.a.: Marriage Shorthand Theatre 3000)


ME– Hello?

WIFE– (CALLING FROM WORKHey. I need to access my knowledge repository of all things moviewise.

ME– Okay. Lemme get my hat.

WIFE– I need to know the movie with the baby with the red curly hair. It was sort of a sci fi thing. Early 90s. Kind of with the dwarves. Sort of like Time Bandits…

ME– Willow?

WIFE– Yeah, that’s it. Thank you. Bye.

Actual Telephone Conversations Heard at My House #6




ME– Hello?



ME– Hello?


ME– That’s me.


ME– Uh huh.

MATT THE STONER TELEMARKETER– We just wanted to call to tell you we’d like to send you a $1000 online gift certificate.

ME– I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I have a strict policy here of accepting no solicitation over the phone.

MATT THE STONER TELEMARKETER– (PAUSEUm… This isn’t soliciting. (ANOTHER PAUSEUm… what’s soliciting?

ME– Selling things over the phone.

MATT THE STONER TELEMARKETER– Oh, no. We’re not selling anything. I thought for a minute there you meant soliciting, like on TV shows… you know, like, with hookers.



ME– Yeah, um, listen, this still sounds like something I’m not going to be interested in.

MATT THE STONER TELEMARKETER– Oh, no, it’s really great! It’s…

ME– You have a nice day, Matt.


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