Sunday, March 06, 2005

Is that a salami in your pocket or are you just glad to hear me?

Carol had a great post the other day that inspired me to tell you a tale of our young heroine, DM, and her crappy job working in a sub shop. This sub shop is no longer in existence but, as always, I will come up with a good fake name for it. Um, Slark's Sub Shoppe (hmm, if you're from Minnesota and remember the names of sub shops from years past, you may be able to come up with the name...Rhymes with Slark) seems to work here. If you want to skip to the meat (please forgive me but I couldn't resist) of the story, I have labeled the phone conversations and bolded them.


I took this job because, quite frankly, I was stupid. And a rebel. My mother wanted me to get a job working in a corporation but I didn't want to be a mindless drone working for "The Man." Y'know, actually making more than minimum wage and getting insurance and working in an office where there was comfortable seating and pretty computers and oh, for the love of God, working air conditioners. Yes, Rebel without a clue, that was me. Do you ever find yourself somedays looking back and going "Oh, God, my Mom was right. I'm such an idiot"? I did.

Anyway, I took this job as the assistant manager and was trained in by the former assistant manager who was getting married and no longer wanted the responsibilities of being the assistant manager anymore. She was getting married, by the way, on March 11th. Which just happened to be my birthday (well, I guess it still is) so that meant I had to work on my birthday. Not that big of a deal, right? Let me clue you in to some foreshadowing here as I laugh hysterically. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

My first night working nights, Sue (not really sure if that was her name but she kind of reminded me of my older sister Suz (hi, Suz! Are you still reading? Love you!) so Sue will work) was teaching me all the ins and outs of managing a small hole in the wall sub shop. Fairly simple, if you've ever worked in fast foods.

Now, before I go into the detail of the joy that was to be had by working here, I need to tell you a tale from my youth. When I was 15, before I met Dean and lost the big V, one day the phone rang. This was long before caller ID. I answered the phone. A seemingly nice man answered my "Hello" with a "Hi, what's your name?"

Here is our conversation. Now referred to as Obscene Phone Call #1.

DM: Hello?
Seemingly nice man (SNM): Hi, what's your name?
DM: Dana.
SNM: Hello, Dana, my name is SNM.
DM: Hello.
SNM: How old are you, Dana?
DM: 15 (Why not just say "Well, hello, Mr. Pervert, how are you today? Would you like to come ravish me? I'm very naive.").
SNM: Oh. Well, that's very interesting. I happen to be looking for a 15 year old.
DM: Oh. Okay.
SNM: I'm new to the neighborhood and I was wondering if I could ask you a question.
DM: Sure.
SNM: Are you interested in making some money?
DM: Why, yes (now, I did a lot of babysitting back then and assumed he was going to offer me a babysitting job).
SNM: Would you like to make 50 dollars?
DM: Oh, yes! Money is my friend (no, I did not really say that but 50 dollars was a huge amount to a 15 year old. I am assuming it still is but since I haven't been 15 in 23 years, things might have changed).
SNM: Are you ready to hear what I want you to do?
DM: Babysit, right?
SNM: Well, not exactly. I have something else in mind.
DM: Did you want me to mow your lawn?
SNM: (Evil chuckle) Well, you could say that there would be some lawn mowing involved but that's not quite what I had in mind.
DM: Oh. Then I guess I'm not sure what you want.
SNM: Well, what I want is for you to have sex with me. I'll come get you and you can come over to my place and then I'll fuck you and then I'll give you the money. Okay?
DM: Um, my mom is calling me. I have to go.

Click. I ran outside to where my mother was in the garden and told her all about this. I was seriously freaked out. Every time the phone rang for weeks after that, I was sure that it was this guy and he was watching me.

Back to Slark's now. The phone rang. I went to answer it. Slark's had this extremely stupid policy that if the phone rang, you dropped what you were doing and went to answer it immediately. Because it might be a customer calling to place an order. And a person calling to place an order was so much more important than the people who actually showed up in the store to place their orders.

This is the conversation. Obscene Phone Call #2.

DM: Thank you for calling Slark's Submarine Shoppe. This is Dana. How may I help you?
Ham Guy (HG): Hi. What kind of ham sandwiches do you have?
DM: I'd be happy to help you with that. We have a cold ham submarine sandwich, a ham salad submarine sandwich (barf on bread in other words) and a Hot Ham and Cheese (Note, do not use the word Hot when describing sandwich products. If the person you are talking to is a pervert, they will take it the wrong way. Since most of the people who call sub shops are perverts, you may find yourself in an unintentional porn dialog).
HG: Oh. That sounds good. I think I'll have to come down there and get a sandwich.
DM: Well, we'd be happy to help you (she says cheerfully, pretending her soul is not being sucked out of her body more and more every minute she stays in this dead end job)!
HG: Okay. Oh, before I come up there, I must know. Do any of the women working there have long hair?
DM: Um, what? Why, yes. We all do.
HG: Oh. That is a quandry. I am afraid of women with long hair.
DM: Ohhh-kay.
HG: But you described that sandwich so well, I really want one (yes, because I used the words cold and hot. Wow, I'm such a wordsmith!). Maybe I can come in. Okay. I will.
DM: Great! You're a freak! We'd be happy to help you! Well, goodbye, then.
HG: Wait (Dude, I was just going to hang up on your freaky ass)! Before I come in, I must know (Dana, the fate of the world rests in the answer to this question. Do I cut the blue wire or the red one?)! Are these women with the long hair wearing sweaters?
DM: It's February. In Minnesota. Of course we're wearing sweaters because our boss is too cheap to pay for working air or heat (Can you tell I was losing just a bit of my precious patience? (in short supply before I started talking to this moron)).
HG: Oh. That's too bad. Because while I'm afraid of women with long hair, I'm even more afraid of women with long hair in sweaters. I guess I won't be able to come in after all.
DM: Oh. That is too bad. Quickly, let me go and shave my head so you can confront your fears and get your Hot Ham and Cheese.

I hang up the phone and turn and look at Sue. She sees the deer in the headlight glare in my eyes and asks what happened. "There was this guy," I say. "He wanted ham sandwiches and..." She starts laughing. "Oh, God. I forgot to worn you about the Ham Guy! Yeah, he's a freak." I ask her "Has he ever come in here?" "Oh, Lord, no. He's just a freak. But he's fairly harmless." I forget to ask her if there are any other freaks that are not so harmless. She wisely does not tell me about the rest of them.

That same night, as I was handing a sandwich to the short, drunken man in front of me (unlike White Castle, our neighbors, we did not have a cop moonlighting as security in the wee hours so we got a lot of drunks. What a great job!), Sue stopped me. "Get his money first," she said. I ask him for his money. I was not expecting to be told that I was a bitch. He left the store and then came back in, dropping his pants and telling me that I was a lesbian who needed to get laid and he was just the man to do it.

On the night of my birthday, I was working with a girl named Meggylynn (well, I did change her name a little but not by much). For my birthday present, she sang Happy Birthday to me in French and taught me how to ask someone to go to bed with me in French. That was the highlight of the evening. Well, that and the hot guy that Meggylynn told me I should tell him the new phrase I had learned. The rest of the evening was filled with ever so much fun including not one but two drunk guys offering to give me a good screwing because it was my birthday and as a fat chick I should be thankful for the offer. Oh, gosh, thanks. This started a new birthday tradition known as "As God is my witness, I will never ever work on my birthday again!" You could scream this in front of Tara while clutching a turnip if you wanted to (which reminds me, some day I will write about why I really, really hate Gone with the Wind).

To make a long story short (too late!), I will now entertain you with some of the obscene phone calls that I seemed to always end up getting. Besides Ham Guy, who actually was quite benign compared to the rest, there was this guy.

Obscene Phone Call #3.

DM: Thank you for calling Slark's Submarine Shoppe. This is Dana. How may I help you?
Dirty Boy (DB): Click (no, he didn't say click. He hung up).

Phone rings again five seconds later.

DM: Thank you for calling Slark's Submarine Shoppe. This is Dana. How may I help you?
DB: Click.

And again, maybe ten seconds later, the phone rings.

DM: Thank you for calling Slark's Submarine Shoppe. This is Dana. How may I help you?
DB: Oooooh. Ooooooh. I'm coming. I'm coming. I'm a dirty boy. I'm coming.

The phone disconnects. I go and wash my hands repeatedly, hoping that some of the sleaze will wash off. May I just say eww?

He called fairly often. Finally, I had had it and when, a few nights later, he calls again, I decide to try and change things up a bit. After the first two times he called and hung up, I knew he would call back and tell me about being a dirty boy.

DM: Saint Paul Police Department. Is this an emergency?
DB: (Not missing a beat. Can't fool those perverts!) Ooooh. Yeah. Hot cop. I'm a dirty boy. I need to be punished. Oooh. I'm coming.

Okay. Now I've had it.

I was ready for him the next time he called. We went through the usual call twice and hang up. And then, I hit him with everything I got.

DM: Thank you for calling Slark's Submarine Shoppe. This is Dana. How may I help you?
DB: Oooooh...
DM: I have a question for you.
DB: Ooh...what (Obviously shocked that one of his victims was talking to him)?
DM: I'm just wondering why you picked us to call. Is there a special Pervert Phone Book? Do you and your friends put us on speaker phone and have huge circle jerks? Do you think you deserve a medal because you can have an orgasm? Really. I want to know.
DB: Dead silence.
DM: Oh, don't stop now. Please, please tell me about how you're coming. I feel so gratified to have you call me. It makes me feel so special that you have picked me to visit with, you pathetic, dirty boy, you. Oh, baby, I'm so hot right now.
DB: You bitch! You ruined a perfectly good orgasm!

He hangs up. I smile at the phone. Yep. I'm a bitch, folks. Take it from the perverts. They know.

Obscene Phone Call #4

Saving the best for last, I bring you this call. Not because this guy was so great at what he did or anything but because this is quite possibly the most witty that I have ever been under pressure (doo doo doodoo. Doo doo doo do. Under pressure. Ah, David Bowie, if you want to call me, I'd be okay with that).

Remember when I said Slark's had the rule about answering the phone right away when someone called? On this day, I had six customers in the store, all wanting their sandwiches right then. My employee had called in sick and I was trying to not rip my hair out or stick a knife in the next person who complained about how slow I was since I could not, using the speed of light, whip out their 10 sandwiches in five seconds. And the phone rings. You would have thought that I could hear the Jaws music playing in the background but no, I didn't.

DM: Thank you for calling blah blah blah blah blah.
Meat Lover (ML): What kind of hot sandwiches do you have?
DM: We have a Hot Ham and Cheese, the French Muffeletta (There's a porn movie title if I've ever heard one), The Italian Meatball and some other thing that I've completely forgotten.
ML: Those sound nummy.
DM: Yes, yes, they're quite good. Would you like to place an order?
ML: No. But I have a hot and juicy Italian sausage. Would you like to taste it?
DM: I'm sorry, sir, but corporate does all of the ordering. Their number is (651) 555-1212. Maybe they would be interested in your hot and juicy sausage. Thanks for calling.

I hang up the phone, walk back to the counter and have six people staring at me. I stop, turn back to the phone and say "Did I just say that he should call corporate?"

They all nod.

One brave gentleman asks "Why was he calling?"

"Oh, he wanted me to taste his hot and juicy Italian sausage."

To this day, I do not know why I felt I should be so open with the customers. But it worked. They all lost it, holding on to each other as they laughed hysterically. The complaints stopped, the brave gentleman asked if I got calls like that a lot. I explained that yes, we did and gosh, they were so much fun.

As he was leaving, wiping tears from his eyes from laughing so hard, the brave gentleman says to me that he has never heard a better comeback for an obscene phone call. "Brilliant," he says as he walks out the door.

There were other calls, of course, but none of them ever came even close to the funniness of calls 2, 3 & 4. Notice I don't list 1. 1 was not funny, it was very, very creepy.

Anyway, soon to come will be a story about poop. Inspired by Beth and her story about her mom and poop.

Previous Comments:

At 4:56 AM, Weary Hag said...
haha ... this was a fun post! Okay, so the first call WAS creepy, but the others were quite funny. What is it about sub-shops and obscene callers? I remember once asking a caller who ordered a tuna sub what he wanted on it and of course, his answer, for the 3,000th time I'd heard it was "you." Ugh... I told him how original he was and I think the jerk believed me. Good post Dana! (and thanks for the plug)from a member of the "Sub Shop Sistahood"
At 2:37 PM, brooksba said...
DM,I'm sorry you had to deal with these people at all, but at least calls 2, 3, & 4 made for a funny story! Great post. Beth