Mama’s blank wall makes a brief return
For years, I've espoused the use of plain ol' common sense. My basic premises have been simple: avoid being stupid, act like you've got some sense and listen to what your Mama says.
Tried and true tips for anything life can throw at you.
So, would someone please tell me what happened to me the other night.
Not only could I have served as the textbook example of stupidity, but I didn't have an inkling of sense in my whole body, and Mama might as well have been talking to the wall.
Part of the trouble, though, is that when Mama was talkin' to this blank wall, aka Yours Truly, the identify theft crisis hadn't been invented. That's because there was no such thing as credit cards, credit card numbers or organized efforts by industry to stick it to the consumers.
It was a simpler world then where most Dads brought home the bacon, Moms stayed home with the average family's two and one-half kids, and when you telephoned a store, you didn't have to talk to a computer.
I was sitting home further warping my mind with another evening of mindless television garbage when a billing service called to advise us that we had a bill from one of their accounts that was undeliverable because they didn't have our correct mailing address.
A bill in excess of $600. From a business with whom we hadn't done business in years. For a service we received last November.
Still, the lady with the very sweet and patient voice steadfastly insisted that, indeed, we had received in excess of $600 in services barely two months ago.
“But just to make certain I'm talking to the correct person, why don't you give me your Social Security number?”
By then, I was so confused about how I would have unknowingly created a bill for $600-plus that, had I known any, I would have revealed national intelligence to North Korea in exchange for a single Kewpie Doll.
My brain switched off as my mouth engaged full throttle ahead with amazing articulation.
“Let me read that back to you,” she said as she read my personal information with amazing articulation.
“Oh, yes! That's absolutely correct,” I said as if I were saying, “And if you would like to put that number on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Ning and any other social network, please be my guest.”
I couldn't have been more stupid had I been standing naked out in the freezing rain while reciting Mother Goose nursery rhymes and holding four and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie..
It wasn't until about 2 o'clock the next morning – some six hours after the actual event – that I suddenly awakened with the grim realization that I may have been played for a fool.
“Do you reckon I've been scammed?”
“How could I be so stupid?”
For the next four hours, I wondered how this harbinger of good ol' common sense had acted so foolishly.
“Not me! Anyone else, but I couldn't have been that stupid!”
To make a long story short, a phone call the next morning brought welcomed clarification and, most importantly, confirmation that I had not been scammed.
The lady was on the up-and-up.
Any way you cut it, though, I was stupid, had absolutely no sense and continued in my role as my Mama's blank wall.