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11 December 1996

I'm Not In Right Now

When I'm out walking around town or visiting friends I like to call my answering machine and leave short messages. This inexpensive practice is a source of great comfort and satisfaction.

When I get back it's nice to hear "I'm fine, I hope everything's well with you too" or "make yourself at home; feel free to help yourself to all the beer in the refrigerator." I find these messages both comforting and reassuring.

These brief missives are also somewhat mysterious, even though I'm the person who left them. For example, after "I like your new project" the answering machine intones in its soulless machine voice that the message was left "Saturday, five forty-three." I know this is almost impossible. I'm sure I left the message within the last couple days, and I'm rarely awake after five or before six in the morning. The misleading dates and times are attributable to my inability to set the time on the answering machine. I did it once, but after the power went out once I never bothered to do it again.

I wonder how people without answering machines get by?

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©1996 David Glenn Rinehart