Hermits Rock

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Even though I have Caller ID and therefore knew you called, I assumed that, because you didn’t leave a message, I didn’t need to call you back. You ran out of gas and wanted me to give you a lift to the station? You should have left a message. You were home alone and wanted to get together to jam? You should have left a message. Your man did you wrong and you wanted to me to talk you out of shooting him dead? Frankie, you should have left a message. You wanted to confront me about why I stopped darkening the threshold of your church? You, too, should have left a message. Because you didn’t, it was as if you never called.

I realize my insistence upon the privacy of unmessaged calls is unusual, but I insist that it is a good policy to maintain.



you know i called. you know i only wanted to chat. there’s no need for me to leave a message and say, hey g, i just wanted to chat. had i been stranded in a snowstorm with no gas, no blankets, surrounded by a pack of wild dogs, and 2 miles from your house, i would’ve left a message. otherwise, why just leave a message to say… hey, i just called to see how you are. you know i called… do you really have to hear my voice saying that? the phone number should suffice.

I almost added, but left out, that there are a few exceptions to this rule: K and my parents, obviously, and you.

I feel some guilt in your post. Wanna talk about it?

Whatever can you mean?

“You wanted to schedule another testicle-tickling appointment? You definitely should have left a message.”

I talked to one of the inspirations for this post today. “I would hope that your doctrinal positions haven’t slipped into apostasy,” he said. “It’s unusual for a noninstrumental person like you to leave the doctrines! But, you’re a smart fellow and you know what the scriptures say, so I hope your thinking hasn’t become too liberal. I wish you the best of luck and hope that you find a church where you can fit in.”

FWIW, he regularly sends me forwards that lament the fact that the U.S. isn’t killing more Muslims.

Ooh. I didn’t know about that last part.

What did you say?

I said thanks, and it’s nice to talk to you, and say hey to Judy for me. I was vague and pleasant.