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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Can You Hold, Please? I’ve Got a Primal Scream on Line Two I Need to Take

I’ve found a cool new relaxation technique. Given that a lot of my readers are a bit on the… um, edgy side, I thought I’d share it with you. I know how tired you get of the deep breathing and counting to ten. So maybe this will help.

It doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment or anything like that. You don’t need a mat to kneel on, or little tinkly metal balls to work in your hand to help you relax.

(And dude, if you’re working any non-metal ‘tinkly balls’, just stop. That’s not relaxation, man — that’s just gross. Clean yourself off and join the rest of the class, hmm?)

Anyway, all you need is a pair of old ‘ear bud’ headphones.

(Sorry, I can’t help but put that term in quotes. ‘Ear bud’. Sounds like some disease the creepy old guy down the street would get.

Hmmm. Well, Mr. McHitchypants, this is very interesting. It seems you have a bad case of ear buds. Have you been using those uranium batteries in your hearing aid again?

Okay, it’s probably just me. Sorry.)

So, back to the story. Just grab the dinky little earphone thingies from an old Walkman, or that MP3 player you meant to load up with songs and never got around to.

(Look, you couldn’t program your damned VCR. The help screens on your cell phone are in Yiddish because you accidentally set it that way and don’t know how to change it. What the hell made you think you’d be able to figure out how to copy songs off of CD and onto those little matchbook-sized electronic doohickeys, anyway? Stick to your Betamax and 8-track tapes, okay? Leave the technology to the kiddies. You’re not part of the solution, Skippy.)

Now, all you need to do is this: insert one of the ‘ear buds’ (still don’t like that…) into your ear. Snake the cord down your shirt and hide the end that’s supposed to attach to the stereo. Stick it in your pocket, if you want. Hell, shove it down your underpants — I don’t really care.

(Just be careful of the prongy thing on the end. If you ‘zig’ and it ‘zags’, you might be very, very sorry. On the other hand, if it ‘zags’ just the right way, you could be very, very happy. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into. Or rather, what’s getting into you. Eep.)

So now you’re all set. You have an earphone in place, and no one knows that it’s hooked to a big bunch of nothing. (Or a big bunch of nethers, if you’ve gone that route. You sick little monkey, you.) Either way, doesn’t matter. What you’ve done is give people the appearance — that is, the suggestion — that you just might be on the phone with someone. Maybe the phone’s in the jacket you’re wearing, or maybe there’s a phone in your pocket.

(And maybe you’re just happy to see me. I get that all the time.)

In any case, any passersby will be led to believe that you’re on a phone call. Or that you’re about to be. Or that one could come in at any moment. This is where the relaxation technique comes in.

You see, if you think about it, what you’ve really accomplished is to give yourself free license to scream in public, any time and anywhere you like. Think about that for a second. Let the power of that concept sink in. Liberating, isn’t it?

You could be walking down the street, for instance. Pent-up agression and frustration boiling in your veins like Papa Bear porridge. Or an accidental piss in the sauna room. Whichever image you prefer. (I’m all about the choices, folks. Fairy tale goodness, or a sick, disgusting mess at your local YMCA. It doesn’t matter, really. You’ll all end up reading the same shit from here on out.) But there’s no need to let that porridge / piss boil over! Not with your patented Hands-Free Hollerin’ system in place. Pissed off? Just let out a roar. ‘Shiiiiiiiit!‘ Annoyed? Feel better with an ‘Ooooooohh! Damn it!‘ The ‘man’ got you down? Fight back with an ear-splitting ‘Fuuuuuuck, no!

Now, normally such behavior would brand you as a loony. An outcast, a loose cannon, a nutcase waiting to happen. A freakbag.

(Man, I don’t know what the hell is going on with me and ‘-bag’ lately. Seems like every term I use ends in the word bag. ‘Freakbag’, ‘assbag’, ‘fuckbag’, ‘tittybag’… honestly, I don’t know where this shit’s coming from.

I could be the spokesman for the ‘Society for People Who Want All Words to End in -Bag‘.

Try new, improved -bag! It’s not just for ‘flea’ and ‘douche’ any more!

Somebody shoot me.)

Ah, but if folks think you’re reacting to a phone call — well, that’s different. If you get any funny looks after your little tantrum, just point to the ‘ear bud’ and make that ‘phone call talky talky’ gesture that everyone seems to understand. Sure, you might have to mumble a few more things, or pretend you’re hanging up, to extend the charade in these cases, but you can still get away with it. Trust me — enough real profanity-laced, grandma-startling telephone tirades are going to happen to cover your story. Just the bastards constantly calling people up to hawk the frigging New York Times — or around here, the Boston Globe — would do it. Nobody’s gonna bat an eyelash. Really.

So bellow in that elevator, if it makes you feel better. Cuss like a sailor as you make your daily commute, or wait in line at the bank, or deke and duck your way through the crowd of slack-jawed yokels at your local mall. Just be sure to have your earpiece in place, and you can justify almost any tirade, no matter how long or rude or profane.

Sorry — it’s a telemarketer on the phone. You know how it is.

And we do. We all know how it is. So use this technique wisely, folks — it may just keep you sane. (Or at least keep the length of your rap sheet down.) But remember one thing — don’t ever let them see the end of your cord. If they ever figure out that you’re not on the phone, you’re stone cold busted. And that’s trouble. It’s bad enough to be the guy who yells for no reason. But if you yell for no reason and scheme to get away with it, well, that’s just not tolerated. You might be kicked out of the country. Or worse, to Indiana, or somewhere equally mind-numbingly dull.

I suppose there’s a silver lining, even in that. If you just can’t take any more and let out a big ‘Fuuuuck!‘ in the middle of Gary, or Duluth, or Des Moines, at least no one will give you any funny looks. They’re all in the same boat, man. They feel just the same way. You won’t have any fun, but you’ll definitely have some company to share your misery. Not so relaxing after all, is it?

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One Response to “Can You Hold, Please? I’ve Got a Primal Scream on Line Two I Need to Take”

  1. Jeff A says:

    Hey, I live in Indiana, it doesn’t suck… oh wait yes it does, never mind.

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