The Hellhole

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I mentioned my friend Joy yesterday and that reminded me of a funny story involving her (now ex) husband. I had been gifted an entire suite of hockey tickets and Joy, Barry (her then-husband) and their daughter Clarissa were among the friends I invited to the game. I needed to get their tickets to them as everyone was meeting up at the arena later. It happened that Barry's office building was right across the street from mine, so I called him to see when it would be convenient for me to drop by with the tickets, meet down on the street, whatever might work. I got his voice mail.

"Hi, Barry, this is Joy's friend Helly. I've got these hockey tickets I need to get to you blah blah blah..."

Time passed and Barry didn't call me back. After a few hours, I decided to phone him again because I had a couple of meetings and stuff that afternoon around which I needed to work the ticket errand. Again I got voice mail.

"Hi, Barry, this is Joy's friend Helly again, calling about the hockey tickets blah blah blah..."

No phone call from Barry but at some point in the afternoon Sheila wandered in to my office and was telling me - we often swapped stories of this nature - about the weird phone calls and odd requests she'd fielded that day. Among her anecdotes was, "Oh, and there's this guy who keeps calling. He has our number correct, says that's the number he's trying to reach but he keeps asking for Joyce Frantelli. Joyce Frantelli, that's a new one!"

It took me a couple of seconds but then the penny dropped. Joy's friend Helly = Joyce Frantelli.

We got the tickets sorted and it became a joke between us. Whenever Barry and I ran into each other, he'd greet me with, "Joyce! How ya been?" or I'd approach, hand extended and say, "Hi, I don't know if you remember me but I'm Joyce - Joyce Frantelli."

Joyce Frantelli became an alter ego for Sheila and I. Lunch orders being placed? Joyce was the contact person. Annoying telemarketers or persistent salespeople? Sorry, you need to talk to Ms. Frantelli who's not in right now. I think at one point Sheila even set up a voice mail box for her, where we sent those deserving of the fifth circle of hell, those who refused to believe that we didn't rent baby strollers (we didn't get that one either), we weren't a currency exchange (we got a lot of Thomas Cook calls for some reason) and LeQuint, an inmate unknown to anyone at the company who nevertheless called often from the Fulton County lockup.


  • I've always been very fond of Joyce, myself....


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:13 AM  

  • Hehe, funny story.

    We get letters from prisoners here at our office all the time, but we've never gotten phone calls.

    By Blogger A Margarita, at 8:54 AM  

  • Hilarious, as usual!

    By Blogger basil, at 2:13 PM  

  • I'm naming my first born son LeQuint.

    By Anonymous Heather, at 11:26 PM  

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