Bitchin’ Excuses: I honestly thought I would be phone-murdered by ghosts.

by Cooper Young

Now, any of my regular readers know that I make a lot of excuses for not writing, or doing anything else I’m supposed to, for that matter. A LOT. My personal favorites are generally “I can’t write because I have to (insert housewife duty)”, “I can’t (insert housewife duty) because I have to write”, and the old standby “Shut up, I’m watching my shows.” Because of this, I recently imposed a moratorium on excuses on this blog. I’ve decided to change my rule, however, from “No excuses, period” to “No excuses…unless I could write a mildly interesting anecdote about them. Also, they must be the legitimate reason I didn’t do X.”

Thus I present to you the Bitchin’ Excuses series, beginning with the following:

I didn’t post anything on this blog on Monday because I got some freaky phone calls and thus came to the logical conclusion that I was about to die.

Monday night I was settling down to write at about nine o’clock. I was planning on slapping together either a new bit of microfiction or a short piece on how characters can be subtly defined by their favorite alcoholic beverage; I wasn’t sure which just then. As I was deciding, I browsed my favorite comedy website, where I found this article. It was pounced upon with an “Ooo!”, as I enjoy creepy things.

About two sections in I got a phone call. The number came up as restricted, but I decided to answer anyway for some reason, probably a reflex conditioned by ten months of looking for a job. I was greeted with silence. I informed the caller that I couldn’t hear them, hung up, and went back to reading.

They called back immediately. I answered again, thinking they might have resolved their technical issues. Again, silence. I repeated what I had said before. They hung up, and I considered the matter resolved, if rather odd and unsettling.

Five minutes later, a third call.

This time I could hear choppy, distant voices, like a crowd chatting in the room where the caller was. Whoever actually held the phone, however, didn’t respond to my attempts to engage them. After a solid minute of listening to me try to keep calm while repeating “Hello? Is anyone there? I can’t hear you” over and over, they hung up.

At this point, I should probably mention that my favorite horror movie (i.e. the one I’ve seen 152,969 times) is the Japanese “Chakushin Ari”, or the original “One Missed Call”, and that I have such a strong tendency to avoid phones in general (caused by unrelated things; it’s a long story) that I use the following system with my best friend:

One call=pocket dial

One voice mail=pocket dial

Two calls in a row with no voicemail=”Call me back quickly, as it’s an emergency and I’m more than likely badly injured because there is literally no other reason I would call you.”

I don’t like phones.

So, I finished reading, went to the basement to tell my husband about the calls, and returned with a hatchet he bought at the local Renaissance Faire. I then seated myself on the couch where I could see both the front and back doors, turned on Code Monkeys to help myself relax, and waited for the phone demons/ghosts/serial killer to come for me. Blogging thoughts tend to take a back seat to “I hope it’s an ax-murderer, so we’ll be evenly matched”.

As discussed before, I have a habit of flipping the fuck out over nothing. However, when I freak out it usually involves hatchets, and it’s hard to type while holding one. I’ll not even go into the fact that my desk is less than strategically placed for not being ninja-murdered.

I promise I’ll have a real post for you next week, or sooner. In the meantime, what was your all-time best/most ridiculous excuse for slacking off?