Who’s Calling?

Last weekend was high co-pay, medically speaking, for my extended family.  Pregnant Sister C had a fever of 102 degrees and had to go to the hospital.  Long story made short… she must have caught a virus, but mama and the baby are doing very well now.  Meanwhile, in New Jersey my dad apparently started exhibiting symptoms of a partially detached retina (floaters, flashes of light, heaviness of the eye, a sudden urge to come out of retirement and fight Marvelous Marvin Hagler) and had to go up to Wills Eye Emergency Room in Philadelphia to get it lasered.  He ended up having to go back for problems and follow-ups several times over this past week.  But you don’t screw around with a medical emergency that can leave you blind, so back and forth he and my mom went.

My dad is kind of a hard man to reach (both literally and figuratively, but that’s a whole different story…).  He does not like to talk on the phone.  He doesn’t even carry his cell with him; he leaves it in his car for emergencies.  When he is at the office he is usually all business, so I hesitate to call him there for fear of interrupting.  But when I haven’t spoken to him in a while and I want to check in with him on the phone in person (and not third party through my mom while he yells stuff in the background), I call him at work.  So the other day while I was driving the Mom Shuttle around town I decided to take my chances so I put on my bluetooth and I dialed his office number.

Receptionist:  Good afternoon, Weiss & Paarz, how may I help you?

Me:  Hi.  May I speak to Bob Paarz, please?

Receptionist:  May I ask who’s calling?

Me:  Sure.  This is Stacy, his daughter.  No, wait!  I’m actually his favorite daughter.  Don’t tell him my name.  Would you please just announce me as “your favorite daughter?”  That would be really fun.

Receptionist: (either scared to death for fear of pissing off her boss or suppressing giggles because she likes my idea, I can’t tell which) Sigh.  Please hold.

My dad:  (tentatively) Hello?

Me: (using a fabulously disguised voice)  Hello!  How are you?

My dad (still tentative, but laughing at me) I’m good.  How are you? (he still obviously has no idea which daughter I am)

Me: (ramping up the fabulousness of my disguised voice and having to suppress my own fits of laughter at the same time) I’m good, but I was worried about you.  Sounds like you had a rough week.

My dad: (continuing to make small talk to figure out who his “favorite” daughter is) Blah. blah, blah.

Me: (escalating the voice to a cartoonish level and decibel, at which point I break character and can’t stop laughing) That was fun!  Sometimes I crack myself up.

My dad:  You’re an idiot.

Jack Bauer: Chloe, I need those schematics now! Bart: Who is this? Jack: I'm Jack Bauer - who the hell are you? Bart: Me? I'm, uh, Ahmed Adoudi. Jack: Chloe, find out all you can about Ahmed Adoudi. Does anyone there know "I made a doodie"? Chloe: Ahmed Adoudi - wealthy Saudi financier. Disappeared into Afghanistan in the late '90s. Jack: Really? Chloe: No, Jack, it's a joke name. You're being set up! Jack: Damn it!

At least I got to talk to my daddy.  So it was a very good day.

Wish me luck for the weekend…