I remember seeing pictures of the President’s oval office when I was growing up, and there was a red phone on his desk. This was during the Cold War when Russia (the USSR then) was perceived to be our biggest threat. The red phone was the President’s direct line to Moscow, the theory being that the President of the US and the President of the USSR (who must have had a red phone too) could pick up the phone and talk about something before a missle was launched and an all-out war was started.
So, when I was shopping in the grocery section of the super store yesterday and glanced over to the non-grocery section and saw my old friend Cheryl standing in the aquarium aisle talking on a bright red wall phone, my first thought was, Why is Cheryl calling Moscow?
Naturally, I immediately lost all thought of which low-fat cheese to buy and wandered over to ask Cheryl what Moscow had to say!
Me: as she hung up the phone “Hi! I couldn’t help but notice you standing here talking on a red wall phone?”
Cheryl: “Yeah, I want to buy some more fish for my aquarium and that phone is there so that you can call for a clerk to get them for you.”
I quickly overcame my disappointment that it was a store clerk on the other end of the line and not Moscow, and we went on to discuss the different kinds of tropical fish we could see in the tanks. I told her I remember when we had an aquarium when I was little that we had a blind cave fish that ate all the other fish! Apparently his “blind” was made up for by some other keen senses!
The clerk arrived and asked if one of us needed help with fish.
Me: “Yes, she (pointing to the unsuspecting Cheryl) was wondering how many of these, after they’re fileted, of course, it would take to make a meal.”
The clerk just looked back and forth at us, dumbfounded.
Cheryl’s quick, I’ll give her that.
She immediately said, “Yes, I’m going on a diet, so I need to eat smaller portions.”
Chery and I laughed, because we think we’re really funny.
And I thought the clerk looked relieved that she wasn’t going to have to report us to PETA.
Then I excused myself so that they could talk guppies and neon tetras and I could go back to comparing calories, fat and fiber on the various brands of low-fat cheese.
A fun few minutes in aisle twelve with an old friend.
Cheryl, have your people call my people — we’ll do lunch — fish, of course.