Mr. Rumply is Hearing Things

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Being alone during the Covid 19 pandemic can have it's problems.

As we open this scene, we see an elderly man talking on his cordless house phone.

He has been given a referral by his primary-care physician to consult with a psychiatrist; the man has been hearing voices and other odd sounds.

Let's listen in, shall we?


Mr. Rumply is saying, "This is day 349 of my Covid experience and unfortunately, Doctor, it has not been without Death-tri-mental problems."

"Death-tri-mental?" the Psychiatrist questioned.

Mr. Rumply replied, "Yes, I said "Death-tri-mental," not detrimental.

You see, Doc, I am over 65 years old, I have a mild heart condition, high blood pressure is the reason for that, I am 40 pounds overweight, and I have a moderate Asthma condition.

Quiet frankly, I'm ripe for CSF!"

The Doctor questioned, "I'm not familiar with that Acronym. What's it mean?"

Mr. Rumply quickly replied, "CSF, Covid Survival Failure.

You see, Doc, I don't leave the house.

Oh, I go out onto the back porch and walk around the back yard. And a couple of times a day I ride my Stationary Fitness Cycle, but I don't go anywhere else.

All my food, medications, and other supplies are delivered, so I don't really have to go anywhere. And maybe that is why I'm hearing things, you know, maybe I'm hallucinating for lack of human contact."

"I see," the Psychiatrist stated, you're hearing voices."

Mr. Rumply chuckled just a little, and then he replied, "Not just voices, Doc, I hear the Looney-Tune Song and then I hear the voices. It's like they are way off in the distance, and in a closet, maybe."

"The Looney-Tune Song?" the Doctor questioned.

"Yeah, Doc, you know the song that comes on at the start and end of Looney-Tune Cartoons, then the voices start right after that."

So the Psychiatrist asked, "When did you first recall hearing these sounds?"

Mr. Rumply replied, "Oh, I guess it was about a month ago." Then he went on to say, "Yes, yes, it must have been January because I remember it was just after Christmas.

My kids came by my place with the grand-kids. They rang the doorbell, then they stood at the end of the walkway, waving and blowing kisses.

They left me a small box next to the front door and told me all I had to do was plug-in the phone that was inside box. Then they said they would call me and we'd do Face-Time; whatever that is. Oh, and they said something about Texting, like I would know what that means."

All of them were talking at once, so I really didn't get what they were talking about. It was all, "Blah-Blah Blah Blah, Face-Time, and "Blah-Blah Blah, we'll call you. Text us."

The Doctor stated, "Well that was a good first step to alleviate separation anxieties and possible depression. Didn't you like Face-Time?"

"Hell, Doc, I don't know. I plugged the phone in, closed the box, and it hasn't rang once. What good is it if they don't call?"

The Psychiatrist could be heard shuffling her phone around, then she asked, "Did you asked your children what the Ring-tone would be on your i-Phone?"

There was a pause, a brief silence, then Mr. Rumply asked, "What's a Ring-tone?"

After that question, the Psychiatrist touched the screen of her i-Phone and a song started playing, it was an alternate Ring-tone, it was "The Looney-Tunes Cartoon theme song."

Originally named, "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down."



D. Thurmond / JEF



Submitted: February 11, 2021

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Serge Wlodarski

If you live long enough technology will outrun you.

Fri, February 12th, 2021 4:30pm


True. ... Or maybe a cordless house phone could save the Mr. Rumply's of the world over $1,200 a year. Hell, just a flip phone with service will save him almost that much, if he doesn't text. --- But, alas, society is hooked on their new drug, their new White Bread. It is not a phone, it's an addiction. --- Don't believe me? Try taking one away from anyone and watch the withdraw systems begin; anger, irritability, feelings of loneliness and separation, even paranoia. LOL

Fri, February 12th, 2021 1:32pm

Ann Sepino

When I saw 'CSF,' my scientific butt automatically spelled out 'cerebrospinal fluid,' lol. And not gonna lie, I miss watching Looney-Tunes.

On another note, this story reminds me of my mom. She didn't have access to computers growing up. When we finally had one at home, she did her best to learn how to use it by herself, because sometimes we'd be too busy to help her. (Mom passed away in 2018.)

The memory of her sitting in front of the PC, determined to remember what each key was used for, is what pushes me to learn all I can about the things I need to know.

Thanks for posting another interesting short!

Mon, February 15th, 2021 1:20am


Thanks Ann, and sorry for your loss. I know that those words seem shallow because everyone is using the phrase, "sorry for your loss," so often now days, but I know how hard it is. So please accept my condolences.
This story was partly me and partly fiction, so that is how it came about. --- Thanks for reading and the comments; comments are a good thing.

Mon, February 15th, 2021 11:06am

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