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Aluminum Siding and Guilt

Short story By: Mike Stevens

Another Guiltiest Man Tale!

Submitted:May 6, 2012    Reads: 24    Comments: 4    Likes: 1   

Aluminum Siding and Guilt

By Mike Stevens

A Guiltiest Man Tale

Danny Pretest's eyes shot open; he was suddenly wide awake. Oh no, not again! He knew what he was doing; he was driving himself crazy, worrying about whether he had said something inappropriate to someone. The rational part of his brain told him he was being ridiculous, but the non-rational part was telling him no, shouting at him to call and make sure. The non-rational part won. He just couldn't sleep without checking. Earlier today, he had had a conversation with an aluminum siding salesman who had phoned his apartment. He remembered it going something like this:


"Yes, I'd like to speak to Mr. Pretest, please?"

"This is Danny Pretest; to what is this pertaining?"

"Hi, Mr. Pretest, my name is Fred Lawler, and I work for Hard-Siding, a new aluminum siding company, and I'm calling you today to tell you about our practically-indestructible aluminum siding. How would you like to be able to just use soap and water to clean your house when it gets dirty, instead of having to repaint?"

"I'm sorry, I live in an apartment building."

"Oh, I'm very sorry to bother you, Mr. Pretest; our records show you as owning your own home."

"Well, I'm sorry you wasted your time."

"Oh, that's quite alright, Mr. Pretest; once again, we're sorry to have troubled you; goodbye."


That's the way he was almost certain the conversation had gone, but what if he was remembering it wrong, and it had actually gone something like this?


"Yes, I'd like to speak to Mr. Pretest, please?"


"I'd like to tell him about our practically-indestructible aluminum siding."

"Oh, no, he's away, whaling in Antarctica."

"Oh, well, to whom am I speaking? Maybe you'd be interested?"

"Oh, yeah, this is his houseboy, Pep; and seeing as how we live in an apartment, Danny has no houseboy named Pep, and seeing as how Mr. Pretest is a whopper-b*****d, you'd be well advised to f**k off and go bother someone else!"

"I'm sorry to have troubled you."

"Oh, a lot of good your being sorry does; now I'm late giving Grandma her medication, and if she doesn't get her medication..."

"Once again, I'm sorr--"

"GRANDMA, PLEASE, PUT THE SCISSORS DOWN; GRANDMA DON'T!; AHHH!" and then he had slammed the phone down.

No, nothing like that happened, or did it? He probably never would have said something like that, but he couldn't go back to sleep until he was sure. He called information to get the number for Hard Siding, and once he had the number, gave it a call. They would be closed at this late hour, but he'd leave a message on their machine. The phone rang several times, and then a recorded message came on.

"You have reached Hard Siding; unfortunately, we're closed. Please leave a message, and we'll return your call during regular business hours." Then there was a beep, and Danny said,

"Yes, this is Danny Pretest calling, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't rude to your salesman, Fred Lawler, because you have a winner there! He was friendly, and almost had me ready to buy a s**t-load of aluminum siding, even though I'd have about as much use for that crap as a blind man would need eyeglasses. I just wanted to make sure I didn't call him a leach-b****d, annoying little velvet-voiced son-of-a-b***h, and hang up on his a**, even though I was thinking it."

Three days had passed, and no one from Hard Siding had called him back, so Danny must not have said anything offensive. Thank goodness; now he could relax!

The End


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