Tested and Found Lacking

Having attended a tiny rural high school, fearing I could never compete with those from large urban high schools, I was sensitive about my educational shortcomings. Expecting to be labeled a bumpkin and hustled back to the farm “with my own kind,” in my mind, I had gotten to college with little to recommend me but a good vocabulary, a love of literature, and motivation.  Not only this, my knowledge of profanity and vile language was unimaginative, another embarrassment when I met sophisticates who drank beer, smoked, ordered pizza, and cursed with abandon.  Drinking and smoking had never appealed to me.  I liked pizza but had absolutely no pocket money, so easily avoided that temptation.  Had I been inspired to curse a blue streak, it would have been an extremely short and awkward one, with my lack of knowledge and complete inexperience with profanity.

Back in the good days, before cell phones and caller identification put an end to it, the fascinating practice of obscene phone calls was available to perverts, whereby a caller dialed his “victim,” likely at random, and launched into a raunchy, heavy-breathing monologue, usually complete with a description of how he might be entertaining himself at the moment. The object, of course, was for the answering party to respond in some appropriately shocked manner, gratifying and rewarding the caller.

Well, one night about midnight, I got my call. He wasn’t much of conversationalist and got right down to business.  Unfortunately for my disappointed caller, his terminology was beyond me.

“Huh?” I asked.

Clearly frustrated, he repeated his message. It didn’t help a bit.

“Huh?” By now I realized I had been tested and come up short, just as I had feared from the day I first stepped foot on campus.  I was devastated.

I think my caller also knew the bitter taste of failure. “You don’t even know what that means do you?”

“No.” Without thinking, I acknowledged the humiliating truth.

“Oh, Hell!” He slammed the phone down in my ear.  We had both been tested and found lacking.

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27 thoughts on “Tested and Found Lacking

  1. Also, I just remembered. My mother got a call one day and the woman must have had the wrong number. Regardless, she got a tongue lashing from my mother who told her she should be ashamed of herself for calling the number of a married man. My mother was still angry when she told me. I left it alone. 🙂 — Suzanne

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    • That’s hilarious. We used to have a lady who called looking for Ella Bea Mason. One day she asks me to look Miss Ella Bea’s number up she she was bond. After that, we kept Miss Ella Bea’s number handy and passed it on to her. One day she called and asked me to get Miss Ella Bea a message. I did.

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  2. Ha, ha. That happened with a woman I worked with. She described the call seriously. In her case, it was a bad connection. After she asked the guy to repeat it several times he hung up in disgust. It was the funniest thing I’d heard in ages. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  3. This was great. We had a party line with those old wooden separate receiver and speaker parts when I was a freshman in high school. You had to crank the ringer on the side to ring someone. Everyone knew who was called and would listen in if interested.🙄😱😂

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  4. dave lewis says:

    There was a taxi company in our town years ago called UNEEDA CAB and us kids would call them up and they would say [ hello uneeda cab ] and we would say [ what the hell do you think I need a horse and buggy?] That’s as far as I got at prank calls and I still feel sorry for the lady who took my call.

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  5. In the land where payphones still exist prank calling can be done!

    I did a prank call ONCE but because I always laugh when I’m up to no good I was found out; A smarter person wouldn’t have called her neighbor to prank.

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  6. I especially like hearing you took him to task, because I used to live alone in college (my preference), and the obscene phone calls always freaked me out. Now that I look back, I’m sure it was probably guys from my workplace having a laugh at my expense. They knew I lived alone. As far as I’m concerned, caller ID was a great invention! Almost as good as texting. 🙂

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Much appreciated.

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