I'm too insanely-busy to write much…So I'll just present you with yet another Stupid Phone Call.
Caller: Hi, is this MAL-tiss-EE? I saw your ad in The Stranger.
I'm already stressed and edgy today, and this beginning doesn't dispose me kindly to the guy. How people can mangle my name so badly is really beyond me. It's one thing to mispronounce it, but adding in letters that aren't even there? Jesus. It's in 18-point type, for god's sake. And I know he can see - he got the phone number right, didn't he?
Me: My name is Mah-teece.
Caller: Oh, I was calling for Mal-tiss-ee, is she there?
Good Christ. I seriously toy with saying, "Yeah, hold on a minute" and just putting the phone down and leaving it.
Me: No, you're saying my name wrong. It's Mah-teece.
Caller: Oh! Oh, well…So, that's you in the picture, huh? You're really pretty.
The picture is about one and one-fourth inches long and three-fourths of an inch high, and while it is me, the fact is that it's so small that it could, actually, be Adam Sandler in drag, or a computer-generated avatar, or one of the Bush twins. So complimenting it is not an effective way to flatter me. Strike two, buddy.
Me: What is it that you're calling about?
Caller: Oh, I, uh, had a question.
Me: Okay. What is it?
Caller: Do you ever, like, uh, just go out on dates?
Now, I seriously doubt that this guy's just conducting a survey for the American Dating Council. But he doesn't even have the balls to ask me straightforwardly, and his use of oblique approach has set him up for the classic reply: "Yes. But not with you!"
Or I could say, "Why, yes I do, handsome! Why don't you meet me in the men's bathroom at Volunteer Park tonight about ten? Get in one of the stalls, take off all your clothes and wait for me!" …And then just let whatever adventures that might befall him unfold. Charming thought. It's the kind of object lesson that might give him a tiny glimmering of how excruciatingly asinine it is to call up random sex workers and ask them to date you.
But no - it's not really fair to the gentlemen who are there with sincere intentions. So instead I say...
Me: Why are you asking me this?
Caller: Oh, I don't know, I was just bored.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, has got to be the worst answer I have ever heard to such a question. I realize I am helpless in the face of such penetratingly gauche cluelessness, and thus, I do the only thing I can do.
Click. I hang up.