Just don’t call me collect

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Hey Ma – it’s me.

             Ma? Yeah, stop screaming. Yeah, I know, I know – I missed our Christmas call. April? Really? Yeah, well anyways, I got great news. I’m out? Yeah, on New Year’s – well, actually the 31st. They don’t let you out on New Year’s Day no more. Something about budget cuts. Anyhow, the party was awesome. Yeah – I even joined the Liberals – can you believe it? Oh yeah, Ma, I met him. Well, he’s pretty cool. And his chick is smokin’ hot. Yeah, I think she’s into yoga or something.

             Anyhow, I need some help. No Ma – not that. I’m not into that stuff no more. Ma? Stop screaming, Ma. Yeah, don’t worry, I’m going to pay it back. Yes, I know it was grandma’s pension. But hey, at least she’s still getting one, right? Which reminds me, is she still smoking? Really? Well I got this friend – he just quit – and he uh, he gave me a few cases of smokes. Menthol? Yeah, maybe. I’ll ask him.

             Anyway, you don’t got to worry about me, Ma. I do that methadone now. No Ma, METH-A-DON. Yeah, it’s legal – you know, like Oxycontin. Yeah, they started me on it in the joint. Jeez, I don’t know Ma. Maybe try your doctor. I’m sure he can hook you up.

             Anyhow, I need some help with my ID, Ma. Yeah, they let me out without any. Can you believe it? How’s a guy supposed to – you know – do the whole reintegration thing? I can’t even get a welfare cheque. No Ma, I’m OK for money. I got a job.

             Ma? Please – stop screaming. You’re going to have another heart attack. I said I got a job, not did a job. Yeah, I’m working at uh… a greenhouse. Right – exactly – flowers. No, it’s great. Very healthy. The people I work for are, uh – well, I met them at the Liberal thing in January. And they’ve got a huge dog, but he’s super friendly. No, no, night, Ma. No, seven days a week. Where? Uh, well, it’s new. I don’t think you never heard of it. No Ma, seriously, it’s totally legit. We’re even training some Americans – sort of branching out, you know.

             So I need some help with these forms, Ma. First, how did my dad spell his name? Really? You mean like yeast, four and water? Oh – right. Well, I guess that makes sense. Maybe I’ll just put down Jones. And what about place of birth? No, Ma – place – like a town. I can’t put down Lollapalooza. C’mon Ma, I’m trying to get my life together – help me out here. I even got a new girlfriend. No, no, that one didn’t work out. Well, she doesn’t come up for parole for another year, so… Anyhow, her name is Candy – she’s a therapist. Yeah, like a nurse. Well, she helps people with – uh – intimacy issues. No, no, she’s uh – independent. Aw c’mon Ma, don’t be like that. Really, I’m on the straight and narrow now. Yeah, methadone – exactly. Massage? I don’t know Ma, I’ll ask her.

             Hey Ma, I almost forgot – I got you something for your birthday. Which one? Hell, all of them! Yeah. What size are you? OK – good. And you’re not allergic – to like, animal hair – are you? Good, good. No, don’t worry about it, Ma. And brown is still your favourite colour? Right – blue – that’s what I meant. Great. But brown is nice too, right?

             Well, let me see. This month we’re in a condo, downtown. Oh, yeah – everything is expensive here, Ma – that’s why I need some help from welfare, you know? But we’re just house-sitting right now. Yeah, we’ve got to be out of here in another week. No, these are really nice people, Ma. They even gave us a car. Yeah, can you believe it? The thing really sucks gas though. Yeah – horrible for the environment, so I’ll probably trade it in next week. Well, we all go to do our part, right?

             Anyhow Ma, I gotta get going. Thanks for the help with my ID. And when the bill comes, just pay it for me, will you? Yeah, I’ll pay you back in cash. And I’ll send those smokes over for grandma with your birthday present, right? No, Ma – I’ll just send a cab. Work is too crazy right now – I can’t get any time off. Yeah, maybe next month. I think we’ll be at the Meridian until we find another housesitting gig comes up. Which reminds me Ma, if anybody calls looking for me, just tell them you thought I was in jail, OK? No, Ma it’s just bill collectors – you know, the Bay. But sometimes they use cops for that – budget cuts, you know. Ma – please – you’re going to have a stroke. I told you, I’m done. No more fooling around for me. After four federal sentences, I’ve learned my lesson. Really. And hey – Merry Christmas. Yeah, I know Ma. But just in case.

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