Thursday, February 19, 2009

Help! Help! I'm Being Oppressed!

As you well know, readers, I am generally not one to whinge about the hegemony of heteronormative values. I accept the fact that we live, for the most part, in a society of breeders, and I recognize that without the breeders we would soon run out of people to recruit to populate the planet. Typically here I would add a remark about how maybe the breeders are overpopulating the planet, but I have two kids of my own, so pot, kettle, black, and all that. On the other hand, my ex-wife and I only had two children, which is really just replacement value, and when you add to the mix the fact that she and her second husband didn't have any more children, and the fact that my ex-wife's second husband's ex-wife didn't reproduce either, maybe we're not doing so badly after all. And, truthfully, I mentioned that last bit just as a way to introduce a short anecdote that amuses me, when I remember it. Some years ago, I was singing with the Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Washington (lovely people, but more interested in their political agenda than their musical agenda, alas), and one of the sopranos came up to me and said, "We both know someone, and you'll never guess who!" To which I replied, "You're right, I'll never guess. Who?" "My ex-husband is dating your ex-wife!" That was a little bit surprising, but it shouldn't have been: the two of them met at a support group called something like Straight People Openly Mocking their Queer Ex-Spouses (SPOMQuES). Anyway, just a few days after this encounter, the ex called me to tell me that she was getting married again, so the next week at rehearsal, I found the soprano and said, "I hear we're going to be in-laws." It's a small world after all, people.

Anyway, where was I? Right, heteronormative hegemony (the Heteronormative Hegemonists would be a good name for a bad band). So, as you know the ball and chain (otherwise referred to in these pages as b&c, and it's an ironic nickname, ok?) is out of the country, and that means, among other things (Oh, wait, this is where you expect to hear about Tuesday night's romp with Judd, isn't it? It was an awesome romp. We played for about an hour, and I fucked him with extraordinary force and precision until he could take no more, something I never thought I'd see, and then we fell asleep for an hour, and then we smoked some weed he'd brought and canoodled for another ninety minutes, and then he left, and I tried to edge for a while, but I only managed to stay on the brink for about five minutes before I lost control and/or patience and shot. I know you want more of the pornographic details, but how many times can you read about fantastic Judd sex without getting bored?) that when I'm home at a reasonable hour (i.e., on nights when YFU is over), I have to answer the house phone. The calls are never for me, and when b&c is out of town, they're invariably solicitation calls for some charity or other.

I have some sympathy for anyone who has a job that involves calling people all day, so I try to be polite. In fact, I once had a conversation with a bill collector that went something like this:
TED: Hello?
Collector: Mr. Dude?
TED: Yes.
C: I'm calling about your credit card bill for the GAP. It's delinquent.
T: Oh crap. I forgot I got that thing, and then I only used it the once. Can I just pay you over the phone?
C: You want to pay the bill?
T: Yeah, I just forgot. I got the card to get a discount, and I'm not the most organized person in the world. You can take a payment over the phone, right?
C: Nobody ever wants to pay.
T: Well, I owe the money.
C: I've been making calls for almost eight hours, and you're the first person who's just offered to pay. Most of the people yell at me like it's my fault that they owe money.
T: Wow.

The poor woman was nearly in tears, overwhelmed by the simple fact that somebody who owed a bill wanted to pay it. It was a little embarrassing, but I managed to get her back on track and complete my transaction. Also, that's the last time I will ever get a store credit card for the one-time discount. Are we off topic again? Yes, I believe we are.

Anyway, back to the charitable solicitation telemarketers, who, alas, aren't required to respect the do not call list. What typically annoys me most about these calls is that when I pick them up, there's a delay while they route me to a telemarketer. It's like someone calling you and putting you on hold. But usually they're too quick for me to become annoyed enough to hang up on, so the conversation goes something like this:
TED: Hello?
[Short delay.]
Solicitor: Ball?
TED: I'm sorry, Ball's not here right now.
Solicitor: May I speak to Mrs. AndChain?
TED: There is no Mrs. AndChain. [Not entirely true: there is a Mrs. AndChain, but she's eighty-five and lives in New Jersey, and b&c likely wouldn't appreciate my referring solicitors to his mother.]
Solicitor: I'll call again later.

I guess that I'm notionally annoyed at the assumption that b&c would or should have a wife, but as long as I don't get more than two of those calls in an evening, they really don't deserve space in my brain.

Sometimes, though, the telephone solicitor's having a bad day or is just a jerk. Last night, for example, I received a call from someone with an attitude:
TED: Hello?
Solicitor: Hello, Ball?
TED: He isn't home right now?
Solicitor: Can I speak to Mrs. uh Ampers...
TED: There is no Mrs. AndChain.
Solicitor: Then how did you know what I was going to say?
TED: Because that's Ball's last name.
Solicitor: Then where is he?
TED: He's not here.
Solicitor: I'll call back later.
TED: He'll be home on Sunday, but he won't be interested in what you have to say.

Fucking breeders.


Will said...

Delightful young men all, but why, oh why did they all have to have their underwear ON?

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Don't worry, Will: it's not a trend, just a one-off nod to the white brief fetishists. The question that I always ask, when I'm staring at collections of pictures of men in their tighty-whities, is why, oh why are all the pictures taken from the front?

Blindman said...

I've been reading your blog for quite a while now, and notice the google premptive safety clicky thing warning of adult content......and this appears only after you yell "help I'm being oppressed!" HHHMMMMMMM.

Will said...

HHHMMMMMMMMM, indeed. First of all, congratulations on being thought hazardous to the public morality. That's my Ted!

However, I discover that sometimes I get the content warning but mostly I don't. It seems that some of those highly vulnerable and impressionable straight 20- and 30-somethings could still sneak in and find out what's really good in life!

PS. My verification word is outome.
Appropriate, n'est-ce pas?

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Yikes, Blindman, you're right. Suddenly I'm officially an adult blog. The man is keeping me down, man. I think I'll take Will's view on it and choose to see the designation as a badge of honor and an encouragement to post raunchier photos, but it's clearly another indication of excessive American prudishness. Alas.

Tork said...

Love that "Mr. Ball Andchain".