The telephone in Ma's room while she vacationed in the hospital, was a modern wonder. No longer the bulky desk phone that would crash to the floor when the patient went to answer the phone. The telephone was just a sleek handset. There was a round earpiece that tapered to the mic like a lollipop shape. A light flashed on the handset to let one know a call was coming in. Press the flashing light and the call is connected. The handset also controlled the bed and the television.
I was heading to the hospital for a visit and decided to call to see if there was anything Ma wanted me to bring. I also wanted to let the Happy Wanderer know I would take him home after I visited with Ma.
The telephone rang a couple of times and I heard Dad answer though his voice sounded far away.
"Dad? DAD! It's me!"
I could hear Ma in the background faintly ask "Who is it?"
"I don't know. There's no one there."
"DAD! DAD IT's ME!"
I tried again.
"Hi Dad, it's..."
"Hello? Hello? There's no one..."
"DAD! It's ME. DON'T HANG..."
Dad must have been holding the handset upside down with the mic to his ear and the rounded part near his mouth. I could hear him, albeit faintly, so he must have pressed the flashing light.
From the sun room came the sound of laughter. No, not laughter. Chortling. Himself was comfortably ensconced in his lounge chair, feet up, and he was dying of laughter.
The phone converstation with Dad, or rather the lack of a conversation had annoyed me. I didn't want to get up to the hospital to find Ma wanted a certain nightgown, or lotion, or any number of things I could have easily picked up as I sailed by their house on the way to the hospital. I did not find Himself's guffawing the least bit endearing.
"What the hell are you laughing at?"
"Oh," Himself wiped tears from his eyes. "It was such a classic routine! The timing was perfect. You really should take that act on the road."
"I just live to amuse you."