Take An Aspirin and Call PakistanPosted: July 4, 2012
I was getting a little worried about Bill. He’d been acting strange for a couple of days and I didn’t know what was wrong. It all seemed to start after we got back from our first real vacation in over five years, which was a 5-day trip to the mountains last month. Unfortunately, after we got back, I got instructions from Mom that we could never, ever leave her alone again. It didn’t matter that our next-door neighbor was kind enough (and paid enough) to come over twice a day to check on Mom. Or that, according to Mom, Mandy was great. She was always here by 7:00 a.m. with the morning paper and would be back right after dinner time to sit and chat for awhile. Nevertheless, Mom still didn’t want us going on any more overnight trips again. Anyway, this edict seemed to put poor Bill into a tailspin.
Early this morning, I caught him looking up phone numbers on the Internet for mental health providers. I gave him a hug and words of encouragement, then I held my breath when he went to the Arizona room for some privacy while he called. A few minutes later, I exhaled with relief when he came back into the office and sat down, a big smile on his face.
“How’d it go, sweetie?” I asked.
“Pretty good,” he replied. “It really helped a lot.”
“It did? How?”
“I called the number and it was a suicide hotline. I had to press 1 for English, and then I was connected to a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was depressed and maybe suicidal and they got all excited and asked me if I knew how to drive a truck.”
I sat there, pretty much dumbstruck before I whispered, “Seriously?”
“April Fools!” he shouted, cracking up as he rocked back and forth in his chair. “I read the Pakistan thing in the Independent’s Opinion section a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was really funny and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to use it. Pretty good, huh? ”
“But it isn’t April Fool’s Day,” I exclaimed. “It’s the Fourth of July!”
“I know,” he said, laughing even harder. “That’s what makes it such a great joke.”