New-found friends, please stop calling
My telephone has given me some new friends — whether I want them or not.
One must really be a very good friend, she calls me once a week or sometimes more often. I think her electronic soul is somehow connected to my stove, because she always calls at meal time. I have to turn off the stove and try to run to the phone, usually tripping over my cat that thinks he is my slippers wrapped around my feet. As I grab the phone she says: ”Hello, this is Rachel from Credit Card Holders!” I hang up the phone, before I might tell her where to go. I believe she only wants to make me have a low credit charge on my balances due (She doesn’t know that I know in the end I would never be caught up if I paid the minimum amount due.) I want so badly to tell her that I am old-fashioned and do not buy anything unless I am able to pay for it when the bill comes. I never paid anyone any interest, but I do not think she has real ears, so wouldn’t listen to my story anyway. Some of my friends say Rachel calls them frequently, so I wonder how much I should value her friendship.
I really do not need her, as I have many other friends in Jamaica, India, etc. They put a strain on my ears, trying to understand what they would be delighted to give me. One tried to tell me that he was a block within my home with great prizes from Publishers Clearing House. He wanted me to put on my best dress and slippers and run to Wal-Mart to get a money order made out to him, for taxes on my great winnings or something like that. I never have been able to run to Rockland, especially in slippers and I do not believe you can get a money order at Wal-Mart. Another instruction was not to hang up the phone while I running there. I told him that I really had to hang up the phone and make another call, because a friend of mine at Camden Police Station would be so happy to hear that I was winning all that money and a new car. He would be thrilled. His tone of voice changed and said, ”You cannot do that!” I replied, ”Why? Would you be in trouble? ”He then yelled at me and said, “No, but you would!” At that point I decided to hang up the phone, as he was no friend.
Another one wanted to give me a FREE cruise. Why would I, who lives in the most beautiful spot in the world, want to go on any cruise? Especially today when all those cruise ships making the evening news that sounds like people aboard are having a “carnival” that includes: sinking, no electricity, no food nor water or marooned at sea with a crowd of very upset people. It would probably only cost me my credit card number. Well, I have a great idea — why don’t I invite him on a trip to Camden, if he will give me his credit card number and/or Social Security number and I will give him a trip. Maybe a trip to the moon would be better choice.
When I had a call from my “grandson” with a thick accent, I told him I was so happy to hear from him, as it had been a long time. So long, in fact, that I did not remember I had a grandson but I didn’t tell him that because he would think I was getting senile. So I said, ”What is going on?’ With that, he told me he had been in an accident and needed money . I said, “You need money? That is easy, grandson. Just go out and find an honest living and stop scamming people.” With that we both hung up.
Well, I do have one more thought, while I am in this mood. “Joe Seagull” sits on the roof of the wonderful what-used-to-be The Elm Street School. He tells me he is just fascinated by all the automobiles that whiz by the “Go-Through- Anyway- Stop- Sign” by First Congregational Church. Many do stop, but continue to proceed even when cars are coming over School Street and have the right of way. Even “Joe” knows that "stop" means stop and not to go until no cars are coming across their path. Not all the offenders have out-of-state license plates either.
People say it must be the Maine Department of Transportation’s fault because there should not be a stop sign on Route 1, even if everyone seems to be in a hurry. With good intentions, they probably just wanted to slow down the traffic that enters into Camden Village. “Joe Seagull” gets dizzy watching that spot and moves down on some of the tall brick buildings on Main Street to watch the U-turns. He sees a pretty young thing in her convertible make a U-turn in the middle of the business district. Joe believes that if she continues that driving trick, she may never see her Social Security or have to choose some day between medicine and food.
As the saying goes, ”Have a nice day!”
Barbara Dyer is a resident of Camden and the official town historian; this week she turned to present-day issues.