Tales Of The Golden Xylophone

Like many people, Judy and I have several email addresses. We learned to do that a long time ago so that we could have a place to point all the spam that might come our way. If you have an email account, you know of which I speak.

Additionally, like many people, we each have our own cellular telephone, and most of our family and friends who would like to call us have our numbers so they can get us at any time they want. (If you don’t have our phone numbers, and you are a friend or relative, or would like to be, just ask us for them and we’ll give them to you.)

Also, like many people, we have a phone in our house. Just one. In a 3,000 square foot house. One phone. Really. It’s conveniently located on the breakfast bar, and as long as you are not at one end of the house or the other, you can usually get there before the fourth ring. If you can hear it. And if you want to. Usually, we don’t want to…

Why don’t we want to? Because it’s our “spam” phone. 95% of the calls that come in on that phone are “junk mail”. Maybe more. So if you call us on that phone, you will most likely go to voice mail. And if you are not a spam caller, you will leave a message and we will return your call at some point. (Yes, we are on the national do not call list.)

I say “at some point” because we don’t regularly check that number for messages – probably once a week, and usually not on the same day of the week. 

On the rare occasion that I do pick up the phone, I am not disappointed. Ever. You can always tell what’s coming when you pick up the phone and say “Hello”. A second or two of dead silence and then “Hello! Is William or Judith Kammerer available?”

Often I will say “He’s my dad and he’s not here.” This, strictly speaking, is not a lie – it’s good to be a Jr..

But sometimes, depending on the time of day, what my mood is and what I’m in the middle of, I will just own up to it and say “speaking.” This has led to several interesting conversations – some of which I wish I could have recorded.

Last night was just such an event…

Ring… Ring… Ring… R-

Hesitantly, “Hello.”

The expected two seconds of nothing, followed by Hello! Is this William Kammerer?”

I think “Why did I pick up the phone? Should I admit to being me? Am I doing anything right now that I’m particularly excited about doing? Maybe this will be fun?”

I decide that I can spare a minute to see if this is might, at least, be entertaining. I respond in the affirmative.

“Sigh… Yyeess, this is William Kammerer.”

“Mr. Kammerer, I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected, along with forty-four other people in the Coarsegold area, to receive a free Golden Xylophone!”

I’m not sure I heard the man right…

“What?!,” incredulously, “A free what?”

“A free Golden Xylophone,” came the confirmation.

“A xylo – a xylophone?”

“A Golden Xylophone!”

I can’t think of anything to say… I’m completely speechless, though I marvel at this man’s ability to keep a straight “face” saying this because I’m starting to begin to lose my composure.

After a brief moment (the shortest measurement of time, by the way), he continues, “Where would you like to have your xylophone shipped, Mr. Kammerer?”

I’m thinking “Seriously? Maybe this is real and the guy needs a break. He sounds serious. Why isn’t he breaking up laughing right now? How long can I go without cracking up? This has to be a joke.”

I finally answer, “Who is this really?”

“Mr. Kammerer, I represent Xylocorp.”

Have you ever had the giggles and couldn’t stop? No matter how inappropriate the situation? Like at a funeral? This is me, at this point of the conversation – really trying not to laugh and only able to smother it to the point of mild snickers.

“Well, I –  snicker – really don’t need – snicker – another xylophone right now. I have too many laying around the house as it is.”

He lets go a sigh and, with great disappointment, says “You’re the fourteenth  person to say that in the last hour…”

At this point I can’t hold it in any longer and, hurt his feelings or not, I completely fall apart and bust up laughing! 

And at THIS point, he can’t hold it in any longer either and he busts up laughing!

Waaaaiiiitttt a minute…  I recognize this laugh…  

They say that insanity is genetic – you inherit it from your kids. Well, people sometimes wonder where I get my sense of humor… I inherited it from my kids..

All of my kids have a great sense of humor, but one has always stood out among the many… Steve really should be a stand up comedian – seriously.. I cannot tell you how many tears of laughter he has caused the whole family over the past twenty-six years! The kid is hilarious! The best part is that he makes it up as he goes along – some people think I’m good at that, but I’m a complete downer compared to this guy.

In our family, you just have to mention the word “Bustafoo” or the name “Super Water Bottle Rocket Man” and his side-kick “Super Water Baby Bottle Rocket Boy” to elicit a complete tailspin into total chaotic writhing on the floor laughter.


So, Steve, thanks for the laugh last night, all night, this morning and up to and including right now..