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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)

TITLE: Fahrvergnuegen!
By Marita Thelander


It’s been five years since we’ve had a landline. No more phone solicitors. That stupid no call list that never really existed had a quick painless solution…go land-line-less, although cell phone companies can be ruthless.

“If you have a life and don’t want to waste your time playing with your keypad, press THIRTEEN.” I grumbled under my breath.

Pfffft. I could hear the pressure of steam being released out my ears. The “please hold” music was about to push me over the comatose edge.

I just needed to tell them they should receive payment today so please don’t disrupt my cell service. But noooo…I have to be put on hold after pressing one for English, two for billing, one to discuss your account…mmgrrr. An involuntary growl simmered deep in my throat. I held the phone out and looked at it. Twenty minutes on hold. Are you kidding me?

I tried to cradle the sleek little phone in the crook of my neck and get some mac-n-cheese started before my hungry little varmints emerged from their rooms dying of starvation.

“Eww, Mom!” Alisa shrieked from the other end of the house.

“What?” I stuck the phone back in the stiff-necked position and heard the drone of the hold music.

“Mikey’s running around naked.”

“I had a accthident,” Mikey defended himself.

“Well, get dressed and cover yourself, you deformed creature.” Alisa stood with one hand on her hip with all the motherly umph she could muster and motioned towards Mikey’s malformation with the other.

I glanced down the hall to see my preschooler standing there in all his glory. “I twied to open the dwaw but it thtuck.”

“Alisa, can you just get him some clean underwear, please?”

“Boys are gross.” Alisa brushed past him.

“You just jealous ‘cuz you can’t pee standin’ up,” Mikey’s all-boy thought process made me laugh.

“I rest my case,” Alisa threw underwear at her little brother’s face and slammed her bedroom door.

I dumped the macaroni noodles into the boiling water just when I heard a knock at the door. I peeked at the phone… thirty-two minutes and ticking.

Two women dressed in skirts and blazers with brief cases greeted me and shoved religious literature towards me. Groan.

“Hello, we’d like to take the opportunity to share a few passages from the Bible with you.”

Who’s Bible? Stay calm, Sandy, stay calm. “No thank you, I…”

“It will only take a moment.”

Almost on cue, Mikey streaked through, in his ‘roos. He ran behind me, airplane in hand accompanied by the appropriate noises.

Okay, polite didn’t work. “Can you see that I’m busy?”

The ladies finally got the hint when they heard my pasta water boil over in the kitchen. “Mommy you have a ‘splosion in here.”

“Mmmgrr,” the low guttural growl couldn’t be suppressed this time. “And can you add me to your no-knock list,” I hollered after them before they got to their car. “You do have one don’t you? If not you should.”

Okay, maybe I pushed it on that one.

“Thank you for holding, how may I help you?”

“Finally,” I turned off the exploded noodle massacre. “You called and left a message that you were going to disrupt my cell service because of lack of payment and I needed to let you know that I paid online last week and it has already been deducted from my account.” Whew. I spat it out in rapid-fire style.

“Alright, Ma’am, can I get your phone number?”



“Hello?” I pulled the phone away to look at it. “Fahrvergnuegen! A dropped call now?"

I couldn’t wait for Bob to get off work. I needed some serious me time. When he came home, he tried to get all frisky on me, kissing my neck.

I spun around. “You get to take care of this,” I shoved the cell phone bill into his chest and headed to the bathtub. “The kids are watching a movie and I have a date with Calgon.”

From the tub I could hear Bob doling out the charm. “Mission accomplished, Baby,” Bob stood over me. “They’ll wait until the end of the week to assure time for the payment to be processed. We’re good to go.”

He paused. “Did you have a bad day?”

“Mmmmgrrrrrmmm.” I disappeared under the bubbles, stuck my hand out and abruptly pointed at the door dismissing him.

“Honey,” Bob leaned over the tub and whispered with sincerity. “When you’re done with Calgon, I’ll be here.”

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Laury Hubrich 02/05/10
Sounds like a typical day for a mom. Very funny story. I love your sound affects and especially love your Calgon moment. We can all use one of those from time to time:)
Lyn Churchyard02/06/10
Ahhh, the joys of motherhood. Good story, easy to visualise. Well done.
“And can you add me to your no-knock list,” I hollered after them before they got to their car. “You do have one don’t you? If not you should.”I must try and remember that one next time they come calling at my place :-)
Noel Mitaxa 02/07/10
A terrific take on domestic bliss, and proof that the worst part about patience is having to wait so long to experience it. I also enjoyed the "date with Calgon" and the "don't knock" register.
Kate Oliver Webb 02/09/10
Ah, yes -- life in the 'burbs. Well done. I could smell the macaroni boiling over, feel the steam coming out of your ears, and the sweet oblivion under the Calgon-scented bubbles. Thank you.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/09/10
Such a good real-to-life story.I have a knack for dealing with customer service when no one else in my family can get through to them. That made me smile even more. It's nice to know I'm the "Queen" of something others have difficulties with. Your story made me feel special. It was well-written and I giggled throughout.
Mona Purvis02/09/10
Great story. Having worked for telephone company, I know how great an urge it may be for readers to dial the number. Hope it's not yours? Or anyone's? Ever notice the 555-numbers used in movies? Safer.
Very good Grrr
Loren T. Lowery02/09/10
A segment for one of the reality shows for sure. Certainly not your "Leave it to Beaver" households. But, you made it so enjoyable to read. I agree with one of the commenter regarding using a number other than 555 for a telephone number. The use of a number that could be actual broke my train of thought for a moment.
Carol Slider 02/09/10
Ah, so true. Sometimes, everything seems to happen at once... and I hate being on hold. I enjoyed this--good job!
Barbara Lynn Culler02/10/10
Great story! But in reality, is the husband really going to be so understanding? (I am not married, only going on what I have observed)
Chely Roach02/11/10
This was "you must be stalking me" good. ROFL. Felt you pain, thoroughly. Btw~my friend has a bath pillow that reads 'Leave Me Alone'...I want one, too. Tee hee, awesome story.
Yvonne Blake 02/11/10
Ha ha ha...love your sound effects!
Brenda Shipman 02/11/10
Congratulations on your Highly Commended placing, Marita!! Three cheers!!!
Beth LaBuff 02/11/10
LOL, Mari! Terrific entry here. Congrats on your Editor's Choice placing!
Leah Nichols 02/11/10
Proving, once again, that you are an amazing writer, able to perfectly describe the craziness we go through on a daily basis. Congrats on your win. :)
Carol Slider 02/11/10
I absolutely love this story, and I'm so happy for you! Congratulations!!
Sharlyn Guthrie02/16/10
Congratulations on your EC! Cute story!