Well, the Cemans are going to drive the Pearces into bankruptcy. Both Dick and George have embarrassed me into getting a second phone line. I checked it out to see if I could get SSI, but you have to have less than $3,000.00 in assets. I guess I just have to bite the bullet, and live on $18.00 less each month.

It was very traumatic. I checked out the cost, and they said $11.25 a month. Then, when I agreed to go ahead, they said there would be a connection charge of $34.75 plus $80.00 to connect the phone jack. While I was silently crying, I remembered that Debbie’s’ jack is still in place, and I could save the $80.00 charge for the jack. Debbie is my youngest daughter, now married with three children of her own. I felt a lot better once I realized that I had just saved $80.00. (I’m sure there is something wrong here, but I felt better anyway.) They agreed and to my amazement, told me Debbie’s old phone number. She still has that number! About this time, I remembered that Debbie paid for that phone herself while she was in high school. (I never could have afforded to pay for it myself.) Just when I was settling into being OK with the whole thing, I remembered "taxes." I asked the lady about taxes. "Oh, yes, there are taxes of about $5.00 or $6.00 per month on top of the $11.25." I was going to say something about taxes of 50%, but I realized that the lady I was talking to probably would be sympathetic, but that I wouldn’t escape the taxes. By this time I knew I couldn’t turn back. Men are far too embarrassed to back out of such a situation. Besides, if Debbie could afford it, I was sure my wife Cheryl could figure out a way to pay for the darn thing. Then I remembered that Cheryl pays the bills anyway, and, at my age, I would soon forget all about the $11.25 plus taxes anyway. There is something to be said for having a poor memory.

Anyway, the upshot of the whole deal is that we will have a new phone to call the office, and connect to the internet. I will also try to remember to call out on the new number, so that all those real estate people (plus Dick & George) can get through.

And, if you call us and our old number is busy, try the new number. (I’m sure I will forget to call out on the new number.) The new number should be working on October 28.

The new number is 310 833-3479 (long gone since Barry and Cheryl have moved to Reno). Give it out to anyone you want. I wouldn’t want any of those realtors to not be able to reach us. Besides, it will be listed in the phone book. They wanted to gouge me another $0.30 per month to keep it out of the phone book, but I didn’t bite on that one.

Thanks for listening. Like I said, "This has been very traumatic."

E-mail: barry