September 17, 2011 in Features

The Slice: Answer is in the question

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The phone rings at home.

Caller ID just says “Private number” or something like that.

A robo-call from a politician? The ninth reminder from your pharmacy that your prescription is ready?

Your first inclination is to not answer it. Then it occurs to you that the caller might keep phoning, maybe right after you go to bed. So you pick it up. You say “Hello.”

The voice you hear is so heavily accented that you can’t understand what is being said. Or maybe it’s just brutally lazy pronunciation. In any case, since you don’t have teenagers who might be getting calls from low-spark acquaintances who don’t know your kid’s cell number, you realize that you have answered a wrong-number call.

So why then do some of us insist on saying, “I’m sorry, who is it you are trying to reach?”

Why not just go right to “You have misdialed”?

Maybe we don’t want to appear rude or dismissive. Perhaps we just want to make doubly sure that the call is not for us.

Or maybe it’s so we can answer the inevitable question after hanging up.

“Who called?”

“Someone trying to reach Bao.”

“Bao?”

“Bao.”

“Well, she’s not here.”

“That’s what I told him.”

Just wondering: Spokane has long prided itself on being a place where most drivers don’t lay on the horn if someone ahead of them fails to start through the intersection .000001 of a second after the light turns green.

Oh, sure. We have a few charmers who do that. But they remain the exception.

And most would agree that a light tap on the horn is OK if it really does appear that the driver ahead of you is not looking up.

But have you ever ridden with someone who is incapable of sounding the horn in a light, gentle way? You know, instead of a little toot they give it a full blast each and every time.

Embarrassing, isn’t it?

Today’s Slice question: Are you one of those who mistakenly believe that flu shots given at grocery stores aren’t as powerful as those administered at medical offices?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Study and memorize The Slice Blog at spokesman. com. A local woman who corresponds with several people in England was asked by one of them this week to confirm that she lives in Spookane.


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