Saturday 19 September 2020

I called her back ... what a back!


Hello aunt Elma ... this is Vic ... I just got your two calls yesterday and the day before ... I've been very busy at work and got home very late to phone you back ... ... ...

No auntie ... it was not a woman who answered the phone ... it was a machine ... 

Yes a machine ... no ... not a female doll ... ... ... an answering machine with a woman's voice ... Have you never seen a telephone-answering machine?

No auntie ... I did not insinuate you are backwards or old fashioned ... I know you don't like gadgets and modern things at home ... auntie ... auntie ... just listen ... you were speaking to a machine ... you know ... like that CD player I bought you for Christmas to listen to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra ... 
It is a bit like the old wound-up record player you used to have. Remember? You wound it with a handle and it had a big cone like thing for the sound to come out? Well ... the CD player is the same but more modern.

What do you mean you never used it? What do you mean it doesn't work ... ... ...

No auntie ... you got it wrong ... for the machine to work you have to put a CD in the machine ... a Bing Crosby or Sinatra CD or whatever ...

I don't know what a CD stands for ... it's a disc ... you know, those two boxes I gave you with the photos of Bing Crosby and Sinatra on them. Yes ... the one where he is wearing a Christmas hat ... that's the one.

What do you mean you never used them? How do you expect the CD player to play Sinatra if you've not put the CD in it? 

What? Of course the box is wrapped in very tight cellophane material. It's for security reasons. Yes it can be difficult to unwrap ... I see ... so you ignored both boxes of CDs and expected the CD player to play you the music just by reading your thoughts? ... Or perhaps by you asking it to play your songs for you ... thank Heavens I didn't get you one of those ... the machine would not have understood a word you're saying and would have probably committed suicide!


Look aunt ... Listen ... Forget about the answering machine and the CD player ... 
Listen ... aunt Elma ... you have nothing to worry about ...

Of course I love my wife ... and the children too ... yes we are happy and our marriage is very happy ... 
You don't understand auntie ... we've just bought an answering machine to answer the phone for us when we are out ... You must have seen the adverts on TV ... some modern phones have an in-built answering machine service ... and she has a woman's voice ...

Yes ... I can assure you we are very happily married and have a very healthy marriage relationship ... yes ... healthy in every respect ...
Well ... apart from your sister ...

Sorry ... perhaps I shouldn't have said that ... your sister ... my mother-in-law ... well she worries too much ... a bit like you really ...  Only with her living so close to us she is here worrying all the time ... I wish she was more like you aunt Elma ... worrying from afar!

Well ... you know what she's like ... always finding fault and suggesting things we don't need suggesting at ... 

Like I drink too much ... I only have a can or a bottle of Guinness a day ... or every other day ... apparently that is too much. I should have half the bottle and leave the rest to go flat and tasteless for a day or two ... 

I know she means well ... but perhaps she means too much too well ... she should hold back a little. 
Always suggesting things we should do better ... like the kind of toilet disinfectant we should use ... we are happy with the brand we are using ... It kills 99.99% of all household germs leaving the rest a chance to survive and breed again so we buy more disinfectant ...

Yes of course I love my mother-in-law ... yes I know Jesus said we should love everybody ... but He did not have my family did He?

Sorry ... I did not mean that ... it was a joke ... an aside joke I made to myself. No ... I was not taking the Lord's name in vain ... yes, I'll confess it to Father Barnaby if I must. I'll ask him first if it is worth confessing.

Of course I go to confession regularly ... I can't remember the last time I went ... Father Smithson was the priest then ... twenty years ago? Is it that long? Doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself and not confessing it ...

Sorry auntie ... another joke. No I am not being facetious. Or flippant. Yes I am still a Christian ... yes I love the Good Lord ... I am not a heathen, aunt Elma ... aunt Elma ... stop crying ... aunt Elma ...

Don't be upset aunt Elma ... yes ... I'll speak to uncle Jim ... he'll put me right ... yes ...


Hello uncle Jim ... yes I'm keeping well ... did you see the football match last night on TV? Didn't Henderson do well ... it was a good match ... Saunders is settling in and playing well too ... ... ... 


  1. ...have you always had this much trouble with women?

  2. Yes Tom ... I have one aunt who is from Athens. When she talks it's all Greek to me. Another cousin is from Amsterdam. Her father was a florist - Two Lips From Amsterdam. An ex-girlfriend left me to become a heavy weight wrestler. Here is her photo:

    God bless, Tom.

  3. For sure, trying to unwrap those CD's tests one's sanity. Perhaps an Alexa would be better suited? Imagine the conversations your Auntie could enjoy!

    1. Yes I wondered about that, Mevely. My aunt would drive Alexa mad. I don't think the people who make Alexas would have catered for aunt's questions and conversations. But at least it would stop her phoning me!

      God bless, Mevely.

  4. Reminds me of discussions I've had with my mother and mother-in-law. Both suffered from dementia and soon we had to take away their phones. The calls at 2:00 a.m. were the clincher. Have a great weekend!

    1. Dementia can be so sad, for all concerned.

      God bless Cathy.

  5. Jim is sure easier to talk to than your poor Aunt Elma! For some older folks, you actually have to show them how modern gadgets work, and write down instructions for them to follow once you're not around to ask. I know I've had to do that for my mother many times. And I do think Aunt Elma would enjoy Frank and Bing!
    Blessings, Victor!

    1. All these new gadgets are too difficult for old people. I had an aunt who just would not use a computer. I offered to get her a laptop so she could talk to relatives on Skype or Teams. I was prepared to spend time teaching her. But to no avail.

      Some folks like Bing and Sinatra on old vinyl records. The scratches and clicks add to the atmosphere. No doubt the original singers sounded just like that!

      God bless, Martha.

  6. Thank goodness for Jim, at least you could have a meaningful conversation. :)

    1. Yes ... he knows a thing or two about football.

      God bless you, Bill.

  7. Shame on you for having a "woman" sitting on your phone taking calls!!! Great Story.

  8. Glad you got to talk to Jim, you were just digging yourself in deeper and deeper with Aunt Elma. :)

    1. He is a long suffering uncle. More adventures yet to come.

      God bless Happyone.

  9. Dearest Victor,
    Oh, it is hilarious in a way and also so much of truth for some older people. It makes you tired and dizzy for 'trying' to explain things to them!
    Love this kind of writings and most male are plain and far less complicated!
    Hugs and happy weekend,

  10. Poor Aunt Elma. Maybe you should just send her postcards (and have your wife edit before you mail them).

    1. I leave all the writings to my wife. You should see the letters we receive from aunt Elma!!!

      God bless you, Mimi.

  11. Next time you call aunt Elma, disguise your voice and pretend you're taking a survey. Ask her if she has any nephews and on a scale of 1 to 10 how fond she is of him. Then you'll know if she's giving you are hard time because she's daft or because she's just rying to give you a hard time. ;)

    1. It's great to see you here again, Manny. I hope and pray you and yours are all well.

      I daren't disguise my voice. Not to her. She's totally confused as it is. I'm due to phone her tomorrow; join us here then.

      God bless always.



God bless you.