I want my ears back! What's next, my nose? When you call someone and they put you "on hold," they are in control of you. Maybe it's because I was raised in "the land of the free" that this irks everything irkable in me. Would you allow a clerk in a store to grab you by the ears as soon as you walked in and hold you in place until they were ready to talk to you? While they talked to someone else? At the very least, that might be temporary involuntary imprisonment or some kind of mild kidnapping. I think you could almost go to jail for that. Why then, do we allow, indeed, make it legal, on the phone? As angry as I got, I couldn't continue yelling at innocent furniture while I was "on hold." I'm sure it's bad for me, and it can't be good for my furniture. In an effort to turn my aggravating conundrum into something possibly positive, I conducted, and funded with loose change, an independent experimental stress- release study. When I was put "on hold," I would write. Whatever came to mind. Just let my head roam range-free. Short stories that I might come back to, quick thoughts, poems, blurps, ideas, frustrations -- whatever popped into my head was in-bounds. My phone and my computer would become my laboratory. My pants would remain my pants. Therefore, this book is a diary, if you will, of my time spent "on hold" during Phase One of my amateur mental-health experiment, designed to turn frustrating hostility into an unfettered, rumpled voice. A little taste of ON HOLD: It was 892 and everyone was playing "Smack The Lout" invented by Dylan Puddler. "Tag, Your It" was his. So was "Ring Around The Rosey." His unsuccessful efforts include "Lick the Oaf and Make Him Cry," Hide The Fish" and "No, You Kiss It."
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