Sitting at the computer on a particularly slow day, just doing my MySpace thing, the phone rings. The caller is a female grad. student looking for a little help with citations on (something).
“Fine,” I say, “Great! Let’s get it done! I can make an appointment for you right now!” We go through the whole bureaucratic rigmarole and she asks my name for clarification purposes. “Dale,” I say. I say this because it’s my name.
Here, incredulity sets in on the writer’s part: “Not Dale…Eisinger?”
No big deal, I figure, as TONS of people have heard of me (cough). “Why yes of course! How many Dales do you know who don’t live in rustic shacks?”
“Dale,” she says “this is Ramona-Jo Pemberton [Names have been changed to protect the innocent.] Remember me? I used to baby sit you when your parents lived on the Mesa.”
Now, I have to interject in the tale, here, with an aside: I don’t really care what this woman knows about me. She probably has seen my privates in the changing of a diaper, has seen me fall of various tricycles, and knows of the displeasure I previously had in the presence of my brother (yeah, let’s say that). In fact, I remember one incident where this woman’s daughter and I put clothespins on each other’s noses and wailed bloody oblivion, unable to take them off. But, as always, WRITING IS PARAMOUNT! I’m totally down to help out dear old Ramona-Jo.
“Would it be weird if I came in to work with you?”
Here, I take on the affect of a British lord: “Not at all! We shall talk citations until the Celts clamber over the hills!”
She lets me make an appointment for her and I honestly can’t wait to see her. Back to MySpace. And then the phone again. To my pleasure, it is Ramona-Jo Pemberton, my dear old baby sitter!
“Dale,” she says, “I DON’T WANT TO DO A CONSULTATION WITH YOU.” She actually screams this (or so I remember). It’s all very upsetting.
“Well, do you want me to make another appointment for you?”
“No. I don’t. I really don’t.”
So there you have it, folks. I did something so psychologically damaging to this lady that she doesn’t want to come into the writing center at all. AT ALL. The mere possibility of my presence is enough for Ramona-Jo Pemberton’s citations to go un-reviewed. This is a tragedy, I say. A TRAGEDY! Have any of you had similar experiences? I mean, but a lot less surreal?