THE PHONE CALL (A Fictionalized Account)

August 9, 2001

[Lausanne, 7:30am]

*BRRRRNG*

DAVE: Mmmmphht?

LYN: Hey, that's the phone! [Answers] Hello?

RANDI'S VOICE: Hi. I'm sorry to hit you with this so early, but...

LYN: Which of the cats is dead?

RANDI: No dead cats. We're all OK, but the house is flooded.

LYN: Oh. [Pause.] But the cats are OK?

RANDI: Yes. Well, maybe a little upset.

LYN: Raaga upset. What a concept.

RANDI: Actually, Raaga's fine. She was in the bedroom and didn't see anything. But Prasada and Mickey(*) are a little annoyed.

[LYN spends a few moments trying to wrap her mind around the idea of Raaga as the only calm cat in the house. It's too early for surrealism, though, so she shifts her attention to an easier concept.]

LYN: Flooded?

RANDI: Yup.

LYN: Isn't our house on high ground? I'm almost sure it was on high ground when we left.

RANDI: It is. Unfortunately, the pipe that burst was on even higher ground, being on the second floor.

LYN: Oh.

RANDI: I shut the water off immediately, of course...

LYN: Oh, good.

RANDI: ...right after I got home from work...

LYN: Uh-oh.

RANDI: ...and found water flowing out from under the front door.

LYN: Ouch. I think that's listed in the homeowner's manual under Not A Good Thing.

RANDI: Yeah. I'll call the insurance company in the morning. I'm really sorry this has happened while you're thousands of miles away and can't deal with it directly. It must be really frustrating.

LYN: (Thank God this has happened while I'm thousands of miles away and can't deal with it directly.) Uh, I didn't say that out loud, did I?

RANDI: No.

LYN: Good. [Covering the receiver] Hey, Dave! It's Randi!

DAVE: Which of the cats is dead?

LYN: No cats. House is flooded.

DAVE: Oh.... Isn't our house on high ground?

(*) Randi's cat.

[Dedicated with grateful appreciation to my sister Randi, who has heroically shouldered the job of running interference with insurance agents, plumbers and restoration contractors while her sister continues enjoying herself, uh, I mean, working, halfway around the world.]

Copyright 2001 Lyn Pierce