Rant & Rave

Tuesday, January 27, 1998

No, this is NOT
the Holiday Inn

By Warren Kaneshiro

RING! screams the phone at sunrise.

"Hello," I say, dazed.

"Dis da, uh, car-tinting shop?"

"No," I answer, a bit irate.

Click. Dial tone.

"What, no apology?" I yell, pitching the phone across the room.

I can put up with wrong-number callers once or twice in a blue moon. What I cannot put up with, however, are dozens of wrong-number callers every full moon.

But, sigh, I shouldn't think it absurd that callers mistake my home for businesses such as American Airlines, the Holiday Inn, HiTech Printing and a car-tinting shop. I live near those businesses and my home, like many in this highly wired age, has three separate lines.

Still, the guy in red sitting over my shoulder with a pitchfork roars, "Bottom line, Warren, don't get mad, get even!"

A magnificent philosophy. For the next Holiday Inn caller:

Caller: "Room No. 803, please."

Me: "Hold on ma'am."

I proceed to perform "on hold" music, a rendition of Don Ho's "Tiny Bubbles," sung off-key and very loud. No, make that the Spice Girls' "Wannabe."


Caller: "Since when does Beavis sing hold music?"

Me: "Thanks for holding ma'am but Room 803 doesn't exist. This building only has two stories."

Caller: "Uhhhh . . ."

Me: "And there's no room service or housekeeping either. I wish! Man, oh man, life would be so much easier."

Caller: "You're crazy!"

Me: "Thanks. But do I really sing like, Uhh-huh-huh-huh, Beavis?" Caller: "And your hotel's crazy too!" Click.

FOR the next American Airlines caller:

Caller: "Is this American Airlines?"

Me: In my best recorded message voice, "This is American Airlines. Currently, all agents are at the beach sunbathing, so don't bother to hold."

The caller, who has had similar encounters at other airlines, hangs up, deciding to swim to Madagascar.

FOR the next HiTech Printing Company caller:

Caller: "Is this HiTech?"

Me: "Yes, it could be."

Caller: "Huh? Well, how much do you charge for one laser copy?"

Me: "$500,000 . . . and 2 cents."

Caller: "What?"

Me: "Sir, a state-of-the-art Xerox Docu Color 70 costs $500,000, and a sheet of quality paper, 2 cents.

Caller: "Whaaa..."

Me: "I did say this could be a print shop, sir."

Caller: "Is this a joke?"

Me: "It depends. If you do cough up the cash, no: if you don't, yes.

Caller: "Idiot." Click.

Look who's irate now.

Warren Kaneshiro is a first-year student
at the University of Hawaii.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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