The Social Secretary

So John and I had thought about going to the movies that night, so I call him. “We going out tonight?”

“Sure,” says he. “You mind if Larry comes along?”

“Not at all. Just give him a call and let him know what time we’re going.”

“Look, you mind calling him for me? I dont feel comfortable calling him myself.”

“I guess not,” says I. So I call Larry. “You wanna go to the movies tonight with John and me?”

“… I suppose,” he says hesitantly. “What time you wanna go?”

“Call John and ask him. I’m easy.”

“Look, you mind calling him and asking him?”

“Well, I guess not,” I says. So I call John. “What time you want to go?”

“What time does Larry want to go?”

“I dunno. Ask him.”

“You mind asking?”

“Yes,” I say, as I’m starting to get a little steamed. “Just call him and ask him.”

“Fine,” he says a little curtly. “I’ll call him after I have lunch.”

“Good.” So I hang up. A couple of hours pass, and I havent heard anything from anyone. So I call Larry. “You heard from John?”

“Am I supposed to?”

“Yes,” I grouse. “He was gonna call you about what time tonight.”

“Look, just call him and tell him any time he wants. You know that unless he sets the time, he’s not gonna be happy. So just call him and ask him.”

So I call John. “What time you wanna go?”

“What time you guys wanna go?”

“I dont care! Anytime!”

“Hey, no reason to shout. I’m just asking.”

I took three very patient breaths. “Just tell me what time.”

“Fine.” His voice was getting equally short. “Seven.”


“You calling Larry?”

I resisted the urge to throttle him through the phone. “Of course.” So I call Larry. “Seven.”

“Sounds good to me. What’re we seeing?”

“I was thinking Mamma Mia. Over at the Art House. Sing a Long version.”

“Oh.” There was a long pause. “I guess that’ll do.”

“Is there something else you’d like to see?”

“No! No! Mamma Mia’s fine.”

“You’re sure?”

“Well, look, run it by John, okay?”

So I call John. “Which movie?”

“What do *you* want to see?”

“Mamma Mia. That okay?”

“… I guess. What’d Larry say?”

“He said to ask you. So I’m asking you.”

“Well, not my first choice, but I guess it’s okay.”

“Fine. What do *you* want to see?”

“Anything, really.”

“… as long as it’s not Mamma Mia, right?”

“Well, yeah, I guess so.”

“Fine. What *do* you want to see?”

“Look, I dont care. Call Larry; ask him what he’d like to see.”

I stared at the ceiling for help and guidance. “Do you have any preferences?”

“No. Well, maybe Onward.”

“Fine. We’ll see that.”

“Well, ask Larry first, see if it’s okay with him.”

“How about I just put him on three-way conversation?”

“I dont think that’s necessary. Just call him and ask him.”

” — then call you, right?”


So I call Larry. “Okay, what do you want to see tonight?”

“I thought you wanted to see <i>Mamma Mia</i>.”

“I do, but I’m in the minority on that. So what would you like to see?”

“I dont care, really. What’s John want to see?”

“We could conference call this, you know. I pay for three-way calling, and I might as well put it to use.”

“No, no reason to do that. Just call him and ask him, and then give me a shout back, okay?”


I hung up, then stared at the phone for one very long minute. Then I took a sip of a very nice white wine, then called the Indian restaurant and made a reservation this evening for one. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time before the seven o’clock showing.

And I plan on singing my little head off during “Money Money”.

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