'Phone Manners'

One of my retirement hobbies is trying to teach a little telephone etiquette to some of our many wrong-number callers. Results are sometimes inconclusive. For example, a boy phoned asking for Susie. When I told him he had the wrong number, he said, "Oh, OK."

"You're not supposed to say 'Oh, OK,' you should say you're sorry for disturbing me."

But my most effective technique involves persistent adult callers who phone right back to insist that ours is the right number and what's my problem? In a nauseating, plaintive petulant, whining voice (learned from the phone company) I say, "You have reached a wrong number. P u l lease, Dummy, check your directory or call your guardian for assistance." I gently hang up. Haven't had a third call yet.

WILLIAM J. LODGE Reseda

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