The telephone tortures lonely souls

The telephone bothers me. It just sits there, laughing at me. It even laughs at me to my face. When it just sits there in silence, the telephone taunts me. And when it finally rings, but the call is for someone else, the telephone mocks me. I don’t deserve this kind of torture. None of us do. It’s not fair that life commands us to bow down to the telephone.
But we have to. It’s because of the telephone conspiracy.
Seriously. Telephones around the world have united to make sure they have to do as little work as possible. They take pleasure in making our lives miserable, and then they let people take the blame and get away with their dastardly deeds, scot-free.
You know it’s true, because people always say they’ll call you.
“I’ll call you,” they’ll say. But they don’t. They don’t call. I don’t think it’s that they personally don’t want to call. It’s the telephone’s decision. The people want to call, but the telephone itself is saying, “Yeah, right, buddy. You ain’t callin’ nobody. Just sit down and shut up and pay my bills, fleshling.” So they do, like the obedient little telephone servants they are.
Sometimes, the shoe is on the other foot; it’s you telling someone you’ll call, and then you don’t. Maybe you forget or don’t have time or something lame like that. If you’ve been frustrated with yourself because of this, don’t be. It’s the telephones.
One could argue that I’m stupid. And yes, that’s a valid argument. But when it comes to the telephone, I think my theory is the only valid one. I truly believe people want to call me, so it has to be the telephone’s fault that they aren’t. Think of how many times someone has told you they’re going to call and then don’t. It’s too consistent. It’s so consistent that either…
1) No one likes you. Which is sad, because that means you can’t even call anyone to talk to about it. Or…
2) Telephones unite! Which is also sad, because while it’s great they may rally together and unite for a cause, it’s not a very good one.
What did I ever do to the telephone? Oh, sure, I’ve maybe dropped one or two times in my lifetime, but certainly never on purpose. That couldn’t possibly make telephones fear for their lives when I’m in the room. Well, it’s possible a telephone has seen me abuse another device of technology and decided they’d better do something before they were next. One time I threw the VCR remote control at my sister and it crashed into the door and broke, so it’s conceivable my telephone at the time saw this happen, began to fear for its life and made calls to other phones in the area. Then they call two phones, and they call two phones, and so on, and so on…
You’ve probably received one of those calls before. You know, the call where the telephone rings like once, and then it goes silent? And even though it’s been silent for a longer duration of time than the standard time between rings, you still pick it up anyway to see if anyone’s there. If you’ve received one of those calls, I apologize; it’s the telephones calling each other to warn their fellow brethren about me. It’s my fault, my bad, my goodness — I don’t know what the right phrase is — whatever the kids are saying these days, it’s “mine.”
But I do apologize. Especially if you’ve received more than one of these calls. If you’ve received more than one of these, it’s probably just the telephones going down their list and calling the same number twice by accident. Hey, even a telephone is going to get a wrong number every once in a while.
Which reminds me, when you dial a wrong number, or have to be put on hold for a really long time, or for some reason the switch has gone from “tone” to “pulse,” it’s the telephone’s fault. Oh, it all is. The telephone system truly thinks it’s funny to mess with our heads because they know they can. Have you ever met some beautiful, smart, funny, “all that” kind of man or woman that drives you wild and easily allows fantasies of spending the rest of your life with them come to you at the sheer sight of them, only to find when they ask you for your home number, you can’t remember it? It’s the telephone. It can do whatever it wants.
You see, it has to be the telephone, simply because I refuse to accept the responsibility of it possibly being me.
“I didn’t call you back? Well, I meant to, really. It’s not my fault.”
“I’ve reached the wrong number? Oh, well, obviously it’s not my fault.”
“Hmm, what was that phone number again? I can’t remember. But it sure as hell isn’t my fault!”
See how much easier it is to blame the telephone? Directing your anger toward the telephone rather than at yourself or perhaps other people is easy. Hey, I don’t want to get all worked up and angry with someone because they’re not calling me back. That’s not productive. I know they would call me, but it’s that blasted telephone! And then they get together with those bastard clocks to make sure that not only do people forget to call, they also wouldn’t have time to, anyway! Stupid inanimate objects, thinkin’ they’re better than me! Just who do they think they are, wasting my time like this?! I don’t have all day to sit by the telephone and wait for it to stinkin’ ring!!! …There, I feel much better, and I didn’t have to direct my anger toward anyone. It has to be the telephone. It just has to be.
Ring, dammit, ring…

Nate Melcher is a Daily illustrator and cartoonist. He welcomes comments at [email protected].