Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This has been one of those days that can be labeled “absurd.” I usually don’t call a day “absurd” but save that classification for individual events. However, enough has happened that I shall call this entire day ABSURD.

Can anyone explain this absurdity? Bellsouth has had problems with its emails since yesterday. Supposedly the problem is fixed. However, now I can’t download emails using MS Outlook—which is what I prefer—but can download emails using Outlook Express. Why? I wish I knew!

My major objective for the day was an afternoon job interview. I gave myself plenty of time to get there, dressed in my best suit with highly polished shoes. I gave myself 15 minutes more time than I estimated I would need to drive to the appointment. Of course, there was new construction on the highway and I was 3 minutes late. No big deal: the manager was busy doing something else. The good news is: it’s a job I would like to do. The pay is about less than 60% of what I made as a pastor, but when one has had no “regular” income in over two years, that’s more than acceptable.

The real absurdities began when I returned home. I had received a FAX, which is unusual. I send many more faxes than I receive. The thing about this fax was that it wasn’t meant for me. Whoever dialed the fax number to where it was supposed to go evidently dialed a “7” rather than a “3” and so I received it.

The fax was a medical request for radiology for a woman to determine if she has cancer. That it came to my residence instead of the radiological facility disturbs me. The second thing that disturbs me is that it has all sorts of personal information in it: name, date of birth, social security number, insurance ID, etc. If I were unethical or of a criminal bent, I certainly could make dishonest use of that information.

What I did do was to telephone the medical facility that sent the fax. It took 20 minutes of calling, but I reached them. I told the woman who answered the phone that the fax had come to my number by mistake. She said thank you and was about to hang up when I suggested she might want to know the patient's name so that the fax could be sent to the correct facility. It was as if she hadn’t though of that—no, she hadn’t though of that. After I gave her the necessary indentifying information, I shredded the fax I’d received.

That the type of confidential information contained in that fax can show up on one’s home fax machine is frightening to me. If I were the person whose personal information was so misdirected, I would be most angry.

The next absurd situation also concerns by telephone. According to my caller ID, I received eight calls from people I don’t know and none left a message on the answering machine. On a normal day I may receive one or two like that, but eight? Who are these people and why did they all call during the two hours I wasn’t at home? Why did none of them leave a message?

The last absurd incident (thus far) took place at my mother’s house. I learned about it when I telephoned her to tell her about the job interview. Mom’s housekeeper is one of those types who always have all of the answers, even when you don’t have a question. About once a week my mother withdraws cash from the bank. Her housekeeper told her she needed to hide that cash and a good place to hide it was in her freezer. Thus Mom put a $100.00 in a Tupperware container and stashed it in the back of the freezer.

This afternoon Mom decided to withdraw some of her frozen bucks. Unfortunately, she couldn’t get the frozen top off the container. Her known-it-all housekeeper suggested she put it in her microwave, which is exactly what Mom did. Well, it did unfreeze the top but it also set fire to the money! Mom has collected the remnants of those five $20 bills and put them in a Ziploc bag. She plans to take them to the bank tomorrow where, she was told, if they can identify the serial numbers she may be able to exchange the charred remains for spendible cash.

It has been an absurd day. And the day is far from over. So I am going to post this and add an addendum if/when anything else absurd happens.


  1. I love that your mom torched money. That is funny shit right there.

  2. I had to laugh at some of this--sorry! I'm sure it wasn't so funny at the time, but don't you think in retrospect, some of it is? Burned her money in the microwave? That's priceless.

    (The bit with that faxed report, tho, was terrible. I can't believe they weren't more appalled that such a mistake occurred. That's a little alarming, to say the least.)

    But absurd is right. After several of those events (not to mention all of them) I might have started feeling a little funny, might've been looking over my shoulder. Maybe the planets are aligned just so and things were all off-kilter for the day.

    Hope tomorrow all is back to normal!

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  4. Southern Fried Girl: I am happy to report that the burned money was replaced by the bank with 5 new $20 bills.

    Jay Are: The absurdities continue, but some are too painful for words.