9.30.2021 – phone home ask for self

phone home ask for self
fortunately discover
relief you are out

When in need of a reality check, I call myself and it a relief to learn I am busy.

Or that my phone is busy.

Or that I am too busy to answer the phone.

Or that I am not there to answer my call at all.

It is a trick I learned from James Thurber.

In the preface to My Life and Welcome to It, Mr. Thurber writes, “I have known writers at this dangerous and tricky age to phone their homes from their offices, or their offices from their homes, ask for themselves in a low tone, and then, having fortunately discovered that they were “out”, to collapse in hard-breathing relief.“‘

THe columnist Alistair Cooke wrote about being out with Groucho Marx.

Waiting to be seated in a restaurant, a lady stopped Mr. Marx and said, “Might you be Groucho Marx?”

Waddya mean, would I be Groucho Marx? I am Groucho Marx. Who would you be if you weren’t yourself? Marilyn Monroe, no doubt.

I phone myself.

Neither Groucho or Marilyn answer.

Nor do I.

I must be somewhere.

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