There's a special place in Hell for people who take advantage of children or the elderly. This morning we got a call, clearly from Nigeria, and the, ah-hem, "gentleman" asked if my dad was home. Not in the way like that he thought I was a little girl, but he specifically asked for him by name. When I hesitated he asked whether he had the wrong number or he had just called at the wrong time. I told him my dad just wasn't there (he was sitting at the table looking right at me). Since I couldn't make out his name, I'll just call him Shaka Zulu for our purposes here:
Shaka Zulu: "Well, I'm calling from the cancellation department. Mr. Watkins did not return our call in the allotted time, so we are going to proceed with the cancelling of his check."
Me: "His CHECK? WHAT check?"
Zulu: "His five million dollar check. When we spoke to him last, he promised to return our call. He has not done that, so the IRS is forcing us by their regulations to cancel the check, unless he would like us not to cancel the check."
Me: "So you were going to send him a five million dollar check but since he didn't call you back now you're going to cancel it?"
Zulu: "That is correct, unless you can speak on his behalf to reverse our cancellation. It was VERY important that he return our call and he did not."
Me: "Oh, that's because he's got so much money he doesn't know what to do with it all. Yeah, just go ahead and rip that check up. He doesn't need it."
Zulu: "Uhhhhhh.....okaaaaay? Well please let him know he will receive one additional call this day from the cancellation processing department so he will have one more chance to change his mind."
Me: "Oh, don't bother, he won't be here, he's out on the yacht."
I told my mom about it, and she just laughed it off. She's tired of them too, so I told her I was going to start telling them that mom and dad are both dead. That's the only way to get off the list. She didn't even flinch, she just said she's going to start telling them the same thing, pretending she's someone else.
The irony of the whole thing? My mom has been humped over her sewing machine for weeks pounding out school bags to fill with supplies. She has spent every Saturday at yard sales scooping up baby clothes by the bag full, dragging them home and gently bleaching out the squash stains. She has dulled the blades of her scissors cutting endless hourglass shapes out of flannel sheets and run her serger ragged to make cloth diapers. Every Thursday she unlocks the church door for the quilting ladies and stays until the last one leaves. I will be helping her count out the cases of notebooks she'll haul home from Walmart when they're 10 cents a piece. All this work to send these things to Zulu's country to make life a little easier. Zulu's cousin has pencils and her own bag for school. Zulu's brother's kid doesn't have his little wienerschnitzel hanging out anymore in the "Save the Children" commercials. Zulu's grandma has a warm blanket at night.
Screw you, Zulu. We're done. You don't need one of my mom's quilts where you're going.