Thursday, April 05, 2007

Calling All Pumpkins

*The name has been changed to protect Kim.

*Janice* was my room mate in college, and we were pretty close. We spent almost every day together for three years straight. Even with all of this contact we managed to stay friends, mainly because we had an unspoken “space” rule (when you’re getting on my nerves, you need to give me SPACE), and we both had a love for good practical jokes.

She and I endured the dating scene together, dorm life, and all of the fun that comes with college life, including nicknames. One night, Janice went out on a blind date with a sumo-wrestler kind of guy. He was just a big and husky person. So when he looked at her and told her that her head was too big for her body, she didn’t know what to say. “You’re a freakin’ Pumkinhead!” he said, then he head-butted her. She spent all night with a red dot on her forehead. The dot went away. The name stuck. You can imagine the fun we had with that one. Barbie dolls with pumpkins where their heads used to be…Halloween took on a much different tone.

One summer Janice didn’t want to go home, and I did, so she came home with me. We decided to get a job at a local department store to save money for school, and so that we could buy all of the frozen yogurts our hearts desired. We both interviewed and started working immediately, Janice in the jewelry department (she has always been able to talk her way into cushy jobs!) and me in the ladies fitting room.

Part of my job description (besides keeping little guys from peeking under dressing room doors and reminding women that they cannot try on underwear) was answering the phones. People would call, ask for an item, then I sent their call via intercom to the correct department. Having only been on the job for a couple of days, Janice had not learned to listen for the intercom. I received a call for jewelry.

“Jewelry, you have a phone call on line four. Jewelry, line four.”

Then I sat and watched the blinking “hold” button to make sure she answered. She didn’t.

“Jewelry, you have a phone call on line four. Jew-e-l-r-y, line f-o-u-r,” I enunciated as clearly as my Texas accent would allow.

The phone rang back and the lady on the other end was getting rude.

“Jewelry,” I said in a you-better-pick-up-NOW tone, “pick up line four. Jewelry, line four!”


Finally, I was desperate. I was at the end of my rope. I had tried all of my options short of…..then the thought hit me.


People stopped in the aisles and looked up. Crickets chirped in the background. The whole world was silent as I watched Pumpkinhead walking toward me.

“You’re dead meat,” she said.

And I was. But it’s a great story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I laugh so hard every time I hear that story. But she did answer the phone, didn't she? Love you and miss you 'Janice'.

Mama Boo