“Hello?” Francine said as she answered the phone.
“This is the Bartlett Insurance Agency, were you aware that your vehicle’s warrantee is about to expire?” The automated message replied, “Press ‘2’ to speak with a representative.”
“I hate these things.” She said to Henrietta, who was sitting across from her, as she pressed 2 on the screen. “Watch this!”
The recorded message put her on hold and asked her to wait for the next available representative. Francine waited patiently for someone to pick up.
“What year is your car?” A voice said the moment the hold music stopped.
“I’m not sure, dear.” Francine replied, mimicking a much older woman’s voice. “Where can I find that information?”
“Do you have a car insurance card in your vehicle, ma’am?” The representative asked.
“Oh, I know I do. Would you mind holding while I go get it? You see my grandson is the nicest boy, he got me that car a few years ago.” Francine started, without giving the representative a chance to respond. “It has all kinds of bells and whistless. It even has electric windows! Do you have electric windows in your car? Probably not. I hear that Indians don’t own cars.”
“I’m not from India, ma’am. I only need to know-” The representitive replied.
“I’m sorry, young man. People are so sensitive these days. Everyone is getting worked up over the smallest thing. It’s outrageous! Just the other day I was on my computer, god knows why I own one, I can’t ever seem to get the damn thing to do what I want, and Jackie was telling me that she had mad some young woman very upset because she had made reference to her belief in a woman’s place in the home. Do you have a belief about a woman’s place? It’s okay if you do, I won’t tell anyone.” She continued.
Over the next forty-five minutes the representative tried to get the year of the car out of her before finally giving up and simply hanging up. Henrietta was laughing harder than she had in a long time.
“That’ll teach that little bastard!” Francine said, setting her phone on the table.
“Who the hell is Jackie?” Henrietta asked through her tears.
“No idea. Just sounded right.” Francine replied as she went back to sipping on her coffee and discussing the weather.