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introducing Phil

Two minutes here while I'm waiting for coffee. No, the underpriced under-the-counter laptops didn't come. When I texted Bill I got no reply. When I phoned him I got the out of service lady (what a nasty voice she has, hey? Do you think they chose her because the message -- the number you have reached is out of service -- is bound to be disappointing? The let me connect you lady, on the other hand, sounds quite charming, almost sexy) . Bill has folded his tents and fled in the night. He has moved on to the next sucker. Sigh. I knew it, of course. In my heart I'm not surprised the the deal turned out to be a scam. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

So why then am I disappointed? I knew the deal wouldn't work, went ahead anyway, and, now that it turns out I was right all along, I am upset and angry. I am thrashing around here looking for someone to blame. This whole fiasco -- several dollars of my money are gone forever -- must be someone's fault. But whose? Bill's, of course, the lying weasel. But I can't find him without going to a lot of work. I want someone else -- someone I can lay my hands on.

I have decided to blame Phil.

No he's not a figment of my imagination. I wish he were. Phil is a real person, a pleasant seeming guy who lives down the hall from Sam at Queens'. I think he's in engineering. You'd never believe, meeting Phil, that he's made of pure evil. But he is. Phil is the one who saw the ad for the ridiculously cheap laptops in the first place. That's what Phil does -- trolls through Craigslist looking for frauds he can pass on to other people. If it weren't for Phil, my son Sam wouldn't have found out about the scam, wouldn't have told me, and I wouldn't have become interested. Yup, Phil is the fons et origo here. The whole mess is clearly his fault.

Curse you Phil! May you finish in the bottom half of your class, and get a horrible head cold at your graduation so that you sneeze all over whoever is handing out diplomas and pinky rings! May your drafting tables always have one leg shorter than the others. May the dedication plaques fall off all your bridges! Hah! That'll teach you to point out scams to innocent people.

You know, I feel cleaner, somehow, now that I've rid myself of that black bile. Blaming others is therapeutic. Didn't they used to whip a goat to make everyone in the village feel better? I can understand. Take that, Phil!

Next time -- what has happened to the subjunctive mood?


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