It was a dark and stormy mid-morning.
Caroline was at the corner of 14th and Broadway. And it was raining. It was raining so hard and Caroline had no umbrella. She didn’t want to buy another five dollar umbrella; she felt it could literally kill her! She had like seventeen of the same umbrellas at home! Life was an outrage!
That was when Caroline’s cell phone rang. It was a number she didn’t recognize–potentially terrifying. Normally she would have pressed ignore, except she just met this GUY. An out of town GUY! Who bought her drinks last weekend! Then came over to her place and some stuff happened! Maybe even in her pants! Which she could only sort of remember because she was drunk-o!
“Maybe it’s him!” said Caroline out loud to anyone. But it wasn’t the GUY from last weekend with the blurry features who may have been from Chicago or Chernobyl.
It was an old man.
“Hello, operator?” he croaked.
It was a dead old man.
“I think I’m dead,” he went on, sounding confused, dropping the phone.
Caroline got really freaked out–she was scared of dead old men because one time, her Grandpa bit her on the leg.
And this dead old man wanted to speak to Sylvia.
“Hello? I want to speak to Sylvia! Rah!” croaked the dead old man.
Caroline yelled back: “Wrong number!” and she ended the call and then told the audience: “This is the worst day of my life!”
Caroline stumbled bravely through the rain and went into an Earth-conscious coffee shop around the corner and ordered a gluten-free latte. The barista didn’t even blink.
She tried to calm down by tweeting about the whole incident, but there were not enough characters for the horror she truly felt.
THEN! she saw Steve Buscemi having a coffee. Steve Buscemi of film and teevee. He was like her third favorite actor! She wondered if this was her destiny. Yes, she was being victimized by a dead old man, but she could find herself in the arms of Steve Buscemi, who would protect her, soothe her. She stared at him, waiting for their eyes to meet, for the music to start.
But Steve Buscemi got up and left.
And Caroline’s cell phone rang again.
Caroline definitely pressed ignore but somehow the dead old man was on the phone, on speaker, yelling:
“I NEED TO SPEAK TO SYLVIA!” he screeched through her iphone. Caroline slapped the face of her iphone to make it stop but the dead old man went on and on about his deadly coal mining accident and that he was dead and he loves Sylvia and he meant to tell her!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Caroline was beyond upset at this point and was going to make an appointment at the Apple store like tomorrow and get the geniuses there to fix her iphone so that dead old people would stop calling her and maybe just give her the new iphone instead–the one that can read your horoscope and find the nearest Parisian Macaroons, omg.
It was just a few hours later when Caroline was drinking two-for-one fruity margaritas in the East Village, that her cell phone rang yet again.
Dead old man, line one.
DRUNK Caroline answered the phone…
And she chatted with the dead old man for quite some time. She told him she WAS Sylvia and that she loved him too, and that he should get some rest.
He told her when you die you don’t need any rest and there is a loud buzzing sound when you’re dead. And also, some mail came when you’re dead. And that he was in the wars.
The dead old man got really boring and Caroline pretended to put him on hold but really she hung up on him and switched her iphone to silent. Then she drank more melon margaritas, and left her iphone on the pool table because she barfed green on the pool table. She went home with a chubby guy who smelled like burrito.
Then Caroline died. Yup. She pulled a weird muscle in Pilates class and died. Everyone says that Pilates is such a good workout. Well, not if you ask Caroline.
ON YOUR CELL PHONE! WHEN SHE CALLS YOU!! DEAD!!!
Mary Crosbie is a comedy writer and performer. She studied at the University of Toronto. She now lives in Brooklyn and it’s so scary!