‘Oyster City’ by Yannick Murphy
Giant Telephone, Stephanie Reynolds, 2008
I would get a lot of phone calls for my boss from men who said they were Deep Throat. Usually I assumed they were really the boyfriend I was seeing at the time so I would say, “Hugh, is this you? Hugh, I have work to do,” and hang up.
My boss was having work done on his apartment and the two construction workers wanted to know what I knew about him, him being famous, and since I worked out of his apartment I showed them a pair of alligator boots he kept under his bed. The workmen, covered in sawdust, put down their hammers and saws and handled the alligator boots, whistling while they did, letting me know they knew the cost of things like boots made of exotic animal hide. When I put the boots back under the bed, I turned them over first, to shake out any wood chips or sawdust that may have fallen inside them.
Sometimes when the phone rang and the caller said he was Deep Throat, I would crack the workmen up by screaming into the phone, “Is this Deep Throat really? Well this is Mary Fucking Poppins!” They would get a kick out of that. Other days I was Little Bo Fucking Peep, or Little Red Fucking Riding Hood, but I think the day they laughed the loudest was when I yelled into the phone, “Well this is Aretha Fucking Franklin!” All that afternoon we sang all the Aretha we knew while I paid my boss’ utility bills, balanced his check book, booked him a flight, and made sure the dry cleaners were going to deliver his clothes on time.