February 19, 2008
By Cameron Bither, Dumfries, VA

Sundays. Everyone loves Sundays. A day of rest and relaxation before the beginning of a new week. A day to simply do nothing at all. At least, that’s what my Sundays are like. All for this last Sunday, however. This most recent Sunday, I met a new enemy. One who has no physical being. One who does not understand the words “rest” and “relaxation”. One who destroys Sundays. He is known only as… telemarketing.

The day began perfectly. The sun was shining outside my window, and the birds chirped happily as they bathed in its light. However, I had just woken up, and this did not matter. I yawned and stumbled sleepily to the kitchen. Taking a single glance around the empty room, I realized none of my family was present. My father and mother were out for the day, and my sister had apparently left to visit her friends. The house was all mine, and there was only one thing I could think to do: lie on the couch and hope that an episode of “How It’s Made” was on, so I may slip back to sleep. My dreams were not to be realized that day, however. For moments later, I would be assailed by horrors which most could not fathom.

A sharp chirp came from the nearby phone. I muttered to myself as I lifted it to my ear. “Hello?” I spoke into the phone.

“Is the man of the house there?” an unfamiliar voice asked.

“No, he’s not,” I responded briskly, promptly following the short conversation with a press of the “Off” button.
I sighed and returned the phone to its charging station, believing that I would not be disturbed. Oh, what a fool I was! It was only an hour later that the device rang out again. I brought it back to its previous position at my ear, resisting the urge to shout “You will not claim me!” Another request for my father. “No,” was my reply, and to avoid the exchange of more words, I clicked it off.
Surely, this was the end, was it not? It was not, quite frankly. I received another call. Snatching up the phone, I growled quietly prior to switching it on. Another stranger, another asks for my father. I did not justify the caller with an answer; I simply turned the device off. My urge to hurl the infernal contraption across the room rose, yet I had to remain calm and keep my temperament. I would not let them best me.
The final interruption was a true test of my patience. Prepared for the worst, I spoke into the phone yet again. Not a stranger, however. My father was on the other line. He would be coming home shortly, and just wanted to talk with me. My patience had won the day. Hopefully, he would be spared from the onslaught which I had braved.

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