I got a call, answered the phone, and heard a feminine voice on the other end sounding officious, bureaucratic, soulless and heartless.

“Is this Mr. John W. Sammon?” She asked matter-of-factly.


“This is the Acme Intersteller Microbiology Laboratory in San Francisco.”

She sounded as though she was reading a prepared statement from a piece of paper.


“We wanted to inform you that you have tested positive for gonorrhea and chlamydia.”

She went silent.

I paused. I couldn’t resist—–the temptation.

“Well………nobody’s perfect,” I said. “So, I had a bad day.”

There was silence from the other end. Bureaucrats rarely laugh.

It turned out there was someone else with my same name who had tested positive, a person who is evidently living life to the fullest, burning the candle at both ends as they say. Though I was amused by this call, I was in my rights to be indignant. After all, I hadn’t had the clap for 30 years, not since I went on a youthful, lustful three-day junket to Mexico.

This is a crazy country.

I had this job recently that I worked for one week, where I attempted to sell a product to businesses from a list of prepared calls my boss worked up for me. She seemed reasonable in our job interview, but as soon as I started the job, she turned into a werewolf.

In her greed, she had overscheduled sales calls to the point it became impossible for me to keep up with them.

I’m one of the few people who refuse to carry a cell phone, but I still had to call in and report to her on the status of these sales calls about every two hours via pay phone.

I was running late for my next appointment, and this angered her.

“You can’t do that John!” She shouted at me from her office, as I talked to her over a pay phone. I had fed that pay phone six quarters before the call finally went through.

I was paying to be yelled at. I thought, this isn’t fair. I shouldn’t have to pay to be yelled at. I should be yelled at for free.

I quit the job.

If Bronze Age Greece was the Age of Heroes, this is truly the Age of Gutless Yellow Cowards. I’m living in the wrong age.

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