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Vignettes

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

When Frēda isn't writing professionally, she writes for fun. These are some of her short vignettes.


TOP SECRET


I'm training the new sales guy, and am sitting in on his second call out when someone answers the phone.


"Hello?" she says in almost a whisper.


"Hello Dr. Ferra," says the new sales guy and he launches into his pitch.


"Oh yes!" says the doctor. "I HAVE received your emails. But I'm not. in. a. position. to. act. on. that. now," she adds in a "do-you-understand-what-I'm-hinting-at" tone of voice.


The new sales guy looks at me, baffled. I shrug.


"Oh, uh, okay," he says hesitantly. "Do you want me to...?"


"You can keep sending me information," she says as mysteriously as if she was passing government secrets to the Russians.


"Well, OK, I will," he says, put off his stride at this point. "I, will, um, send you emails."


"Good," she breathes into the phone. "Until I'm in a different position, it will have to remain that way."


The sales guy gets off the phone and looks at me. "What was all THAT about?" he asks.


BEWARE OF MOM


So Mom and Dad show up on my doorstep this morning. "We were just making sure you're not dead," says Mom dramatically. "I've been calling and texting you for over a DAY and you haven't answered."


"Give me your phone," I say. Mom hands it over. "Well THERE'S your problem, Mom," I say. "You've been texting my old work cellphone."


Somewhere there's the man who replaced me, hiding under his desk in fear and trembling in the dark, trying to understand why he's getting death threats from someone he doesn't know.


A TRUE WORK OF ART


I look at the framed print at Salvation Army. I could use the frame. I ask the nearby worker "This says it's $35 but these ones here are similar and you're only asking $15. Can you come down a bit?"


The worker puffs out his chest. "Well now," he says, self importantly. "This here's a real work of art. I collect art, ya know. Why the matte alone is worth at least $100. I know because I had a similar one made for me recently. And it's acid-free, you can tell by looking at it. It prevents foxing. You know what foxing is?" Yes, I assure him, I know what foxing is. I also know you can't tell a matte is acid-free by looking at it, but I don't mention that.


"And it's in perfect condition," he adds.


I point out all the scratches that I'm planning on painting over.


"So," I say, ignoring everything he just said, "can you mark it down or not?"


"The manager will have to do that," he says.


"So could you get her for me?" I ask politely.


"Oh no, I'm wayyyy too busy for THAT," he says.


"OK, where is she?" I ask. He gestures to the woman at the counter, so off I go. I say to the woman "Can you come down on this at all?"


"How about $20?" she suggests.


"Perfect," I say. "By the way, that bald guy who works for you is pretty weird."


"TELL me about it," she says, rolling her eyes. "I can NEVER get him to SHUT UP."


"Duct tape works," I suggest.


OOPS


I take the gallon of "oops" paint up to the old man at the counter. "Do you..." I begin.


"Nope," he snaps.


Patiently, I start again. "Do you know what color this is?" I ask.


"Oh," he says. He looks at the can. He opens the the can for me, methodically, and shows me what's inside.


"Do you mind..." I start to say.


"Nope!" he snaps, assuming I'm going to ask him something that will force him to do more than what he wants to do.


"...putting a little bit more on the paint lid so I can get a good idea of what the color is?" I finish.


He glowers at me, but does so, finishing it with the blow dryer so that I can see what color it dries to.


And they say customer service is dead.


PONYTAIL


"How do you like my hair in a ponytail?" I ask my dad offhandedly. Dad studies me for a moment. "You know what's under a pony's tail, don't you?" he asks. My dad: Keeping it real.


SKYPE BLACKMAIL


My friend, John, called me to tell me a story about his friend, Tony. John and Tony go a long ways back and one day John got another Facebook friend request from Tony. John didn't think much of it: Sometimes people will open a second FB account for various reasons. He friended this new supposed Tony and was suddenly shown a series of ...shall we say... compromising photos of Tony, naked, in front of his lit computer screen.


Immediately John unfriended this new account, reported and blocked it. Then he called Tony.


"Yeah, I know," Tony answered resignedly, instead of his usual simple "hello."


Tony had been getting hot and heavy with a girl he'd met online, and during a mutual “encounter” on Skype, the girl had been secretly recording Tony. She later took screenshots and attempted to blackmail him. When Tony refused to pay the blackmail, she set out to "friend" everyone on his Facebook friends list in order to send them the photos.


"Yeah," said John. "So he was pretty resigned to it. I mean, what can you do? He's got a good sense of humor about it. I couldn’t help myself, though. I did post on his Facebook page that I'd seen a lot more of him lately. A WHOLE lot more."


TEEN ANGST


Listening to the latest rebellious teen angst heavy metal song, and reflecting upon how we all were, at one time, a generation that thought we were unique in our rebellion. We also had songs almost identical to these, screaming defiance at people that we thought were the authority figures keeping us down. Then we grew up, and found out that there really is no such establishment. What we all were, and are, rebelling against is life itself and there is no cure for that.


LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING


My friend, Ruth, tipped me off that a particular style of Christmas wrap was to be found at the Dollar Tree. So I braved the crowds that day to hunt through bins of wrapping paper.


As I was sifting through everything, an old woman toddled up next to me and started humming an off-key Christmas tune. All was well until she began talking to her imaginary friend, Roger, and squealed in excitement when she found what she was looking for.


"Look Roger, look," she cried out happily to absolutely no one.


Absolutely no one replied.


This is what last minute shopping will do to you.


LEEKS vs. ONIONS


I've been cooking with leeks a lot lately, and I've come to the conclusion that I don't like them. They're as weak as a wavering politician. Leeks lack the guts to be onions.




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