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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)

TITLE: Hello, Joe!
By Beth Muehlhausen
07/19/08


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Hello, Joe!


(riiiiingÖ)

Hello?

(pause - then the other party picks up)

Hello? Is Mr. Lucas at home?

Iím sorry, heís not, but I can take a message for you.

Are you the lady of the house?

(pause)

Actually, Iíd be happy to take a message.

Well, I just bet youíre Mrs. Lucas (chuckle); thereís no message, míam. My nameís Joe, by the way. But Iím sure sorry to have missed Mr. Lucas. You see, heís been buying our light bulbs and air freshener for quite a while and Ö

Hello, Joe. Iím sorry to interrupt, but we have a closet full of light bulbs and air freshener Ö enough for an army Ö

But míam, you know we have some special new products this time, and every item you buy goes to benefit the blind workers who have no other way to make an income. Let me tell you about our t-shirts.

Joe, Iím really not interested in t-shirts. You see, our financial situation has changed and weíre really cutting back on our contributions Ö

Iím not asking for a handout, míam. Do you buy Christmas gifts for your children? These t-shirts make really nice Christmas gifts.

(pause)

Now Joe, I donít want to sound rude, but Iím just not interested in buying anything from you today.

(pause)

Does Mr. Lucas still like to go fishing, míam? He told me once heíd spend all his time on the water if he could. Well, we blind folks canít really fish too well, but donít you think Mr. Lucas might like one of our t-shirts with a custom logo about fishing for Fatherís Day, míam?

Youíre a great salesman, Joe, Iíll give you that! Iím afraid Iím going to have to hang up on you Ö I simply am not going to buy anything today.

Ah shucks, Mrs. Lucas, donít do that! Mr. Lucas and I always have such nice conversations. I mean it gets lonely when youíre blind Ė I love talking with my customers. How are those grandkids, anyway?

(pause)

You know about my husbandís interest in fishing Ö AND you know about our grandchildren? HOW Ö um Ö WHAT do you know about our grandchildren?

Why, Mr. Lucas told me all about that young sports star and the new baby girls Ö

He did WHAT?

Weíre just friends, míam.

How do you know my husband?

I sell him air freshener and light bulbs, just like I said, míam.

(pause)

Joe, I donít know who you really are or what you really want, but it is time for us to say good-bye.

Well míam, I didnít mean to upset you or anything.

What company do you represent? Just in case I want to investigate?

(pause)

I know itís not usual for people who know each other only on the phone to care about each other, míam, but your husband always seemed to like me and be interested in my life so I just returned the favor. Iím sorry youíve been offended today Ė really sorry. My company is ďHelping HandsĒ Ė you can find us online if you want. There are phone numbers there and everything.

(pause)

Well Ö I donít know what to think Ö I mean these days you just donít know whom you can trust.

Of course, míam, I understand. I always depend on my guide dog to growl if he thinks someone ornery is about to take advantage of me Ė ha! But then you donít have a guide dog now do you, míam Ö

Well no, of course not Ö

Of course not.

I think Iíd better let you go, Joe. Iíll tell my husband you called.

If you decide you need any light bulbs or air freshener or our new t-shirts with the custom logos Ė remember they make great Christmas gifts Ė just give me a call, okay?

Sure.

My number is 598-490-1793. Or toll free is 1-800-483-6482.

Thank you, Joe.

And thereís just one more thing, Mrs. Lucas.

Whatís that, Joe?

I donít blame you for not wanting to do business with me. Itís all right Ė so after we hang up, donít feel bad you didnít buy any of my stuff this time. Mr. Lucas has already helped us out so much Ö heís such a great guy.

Okay Ö thanks, Joe.

Talk to you later, míam.

Goodbye, Joe. It was Ö well Ö very nice Ö to meet you Ö

Thanks Ö nice to meet you as well. Bye now!

(click)


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This article has been read 696 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 07/24/08
Oh, very creative! It's amazing how much you conveyed in a telephone conversation, and even with one of the "main characters" not present. Great job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/27/08
And now I feel guilty for not buying those lightbulbs!
Good story.
Holly Westefeld07/28/08
Perhaps I was dense, taking the story at face value at first, and hope I have it straight now that I've done some research. I do hope this story is just intended to play out a common scam of which I was heretofore unaware, which uses outdated stereotypes of the blind to play upon people's sympathies. I wish you had provided a footnote about the scam so that I would not have initially been concerned about the demeaning stereotypes used in this scam.
Holly Westefeld07/29/08
Lest you or others think that I did not appreciate the craft of this story, I would like to add that I agree wholeheartedly with Joanne. You successfully took on the challenge of developing characters and a story line solely via a telephone conversation, and did it very effectively.