Desperately Seeking Sherry

home
table of contents
personal
essays
email



When I lived in Cambridge in my madcap years I often answered the phone with disconcerting responses such as "Martian Embassy, Harter speaking" and "I'm sorry, you must have a wrong number. I don't have a telephone." This habit amused my friends and produced interesting reactions from strangers.

Once of an evening the phone rang and I answered it with one of my favorites. The other party sounded as though she were a female teenager. The conversation went like this:

Me:Center of the Universe, God Speaking. (In a deep voice, of course)
Femme:Is Sherry there?
Me:I'm sorry, no she is not. You must have a wrong number.
Femme:(Pause) Did you say this was the center of the Universe?
Me:Yes.
Femme:And did you say this was God speaking?
Me:Yes.
Femme:Oh. (click)

Shortly afterwards some friends of mine, a couple, arrived and I regaled them with the tale of the disconcerted teenager. In those days I had a mimeograph in my dining room. My friend and I were running off some stencils. The phone rang. Being occupied, I asked my friend's wife (she also was a friend) to answer the phone. She did. The same young lady was on the phone. The conversation went like this:

Friend:Center of the Universe, Virgin Mary speaking.
Femme:Hi, is Sherry there?
Friend:I'm sorry, no she is not.
Femme:(Pause) Did you say this was the Virgin Mary speaking?
Friend:Yes, I did.
Femme:(Pause) And did you say this was the center of the Universe?
Friend:Yes, I did.
Femme:(long pause) And is God there?
Friend:Yes, He is.
Femme:Oooh. (click)

It must have been a religious experience for her. I do hope she found Sherry.

This page was last updated March 15, 1998.