Don’t Make Me Hurt You

Standard

“Hello.”

“Hello.”

“Doug?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“Hi, I’m calling from the Town of Ipswich.”

“Uh, I’m answering from the Town of Ipswich. I live here.”

“Yes. Well. Of course. That’s why I’m calling you. From Town Hall, of course. Uh, I’m calling to advise you of a new way to pay your unpaid taxes.”

“I don’t have any unpaid taxes. I paid all my taxes back in April.”

“No, wait. I didn’t mean your unpaid taxes. I was looking at the wrong page of my notes. I meant your unpaid utility bill.”

“I paid my utility bill.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean your last utility bill. I meant your upcoming utility bill.”

“What about my utility bill?”

“We have a new way for you to pay it.”

“Really.”

“Yes, and I’m sorry, but you’ll need to pay it right away, or we’ll have to shut off your utilities.”

“What? I’m not even behind!”

“Well, this is the new system for the Town of — sorry, just a second — I spilled my, uh, coffee — Town of Ipswich.”

“So what do I have to do?”

“You have to pay your utility bill immediately. If you give me your email address, your Social Security number, and the account number on your personal checking account, I’ll be able to handle it all for you. Compliments of the Town of, uh, Ipswich.”

“I guess I’m reluctant to give you this kind of information over the phone.”

“Well, I would hate to cut off your electricity.”

“Yes, me too. I would hate for you to cut off anything of mine.”

“So, what is your Social Security number, please?”

“Where are you calling from, again?”

“The Town of Haverhill. Er, uh, Lawrence. Sorry, no. Ipswich. My mistake. Ipswich is right there between Haverhill and Lawrence.”

“Not geographically.”

“No, I meant on my list.”

“Actually, the only thing between Haverhill and Lawrence geographically is Methuen. Or a little slice of North Andover.”

“Uh….”

“So you must mean alphabetically.”

“Yes, alphabetically.”

“So you’re not really calling from the Town of Ipswich?”

“Yes! I’m absolutely calling from the Town of Ipswich! You must pay your — uh, utility bill. I’ll need your Social Security number, and your bank account.”

“I haven’t lived here long, but I’ve never known the Town of Ipswich to collect utility bill payments this way. Also, frankly, you don’t seem to have a New England accent.”

“Uh, the truth is, I’m with the IRS. You have some back taxes, and I need to collect them right away.”

“I see. Well, frankly, I’m current with the feds.”

“Uh, sorry, I’m just checking my records here, and it seems you have a cousin who was arrested today in, uh, Mexico City, and they need you to bail them out. If you give me your bank information—”

“Actually, I think I know which of my cousins you’re talking about, and I hope he rots in a Mexican prison.”

“Not arrested. My mistake. Kidnapped. They were kidnapped. In, uh, Guadalajara.”

“Same difference. He was always Grandma’s favorite. Let him die.”

“Doug! I’ve been on the wrong page all this time! Sorry! Actually you’ve won the Northeast Fantasy Sweepstakes! Isn’t that great! You have a payment of $10 million coming your way! You only need to confirm your residence in, uh, Ipswich, and pay the registration fee of $25, and the whole $10 million is yours! Isn’t that great!”

“Yes! Where should I pay my $25?”

“I’ll just take your bank account number right here on the phone.”

“Oh. Well. I don’t think I want to do that.”

“Wait. I just received a notice that your computer needs repair. I’ll connect to your computer and handle it all for you, no worries. Just give me your password.”

“Sorry, where did you say you’re calling from?”

“Uh, the Town of — Ipswich. Yes, Ipswich.”

“I’m so grateful our town offers this terrific service. You must be proud, working for such a fine town. I love this town. Even just looking out my window, it pleases me. The forsythia. The historic homes. Don’t you feel the same way?”

“Oh, yes. I’m looking out my window too. The rickshaws, the sewage in the gutter — it’s ‘home’!”

“Calcutta! I visited there once.”

“Really? Did you stay at the Bishnupur Hotel, by any chance? My brother works there.”

“No, sorry, but I remember having a drink there once.”

“I’m meeting a friend there tonight!”

“So, about my utility bill.”

“Yes, I’ll need your bank account number. Otherwise I’ll have to shut off your utilities.”

“Let me ask you something. Are you familiar with the term ‘scam’?”

“I think this is a type of meat, right? It comes in a can?”

 

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One thought on “Don’t Make Me Hurt You

  1. Brie Barrier Wetherbee

    I can’t stop laughing. Classic.

    Brie Barrier Wetherbee

    From: The Outsidah Reply-To: The Outsidah Date: Friday, May 25, 2018 at 4:18 AM To: Subject: [New post] Don’t Make Me Hurt You

    Doug Brendel posted: ““Hello.” “Hello.” “Doug?” “Yes, that’s me.” “Hi, I’m calling from the Town of Ipswich.” “Uh, I’m answering from the Town of Ipswich. I live here.” “Yes. Well. Of course. That’s why I’m calling you. From Town Hall, of course. Uh, I’m calling to advis”

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