by Patrick Hanifin
Now get this. I was sitting at my desk, when I remembered a phone
call I had to make. I found the number and dialed it. A man answered
nicely saying, "Hello," I politely said, "This is Patrick Hanifin and could I
please speak to Robin Carter?" Suddenly the phone was slammed down
on me! I couldn't believe that anyone could be that rude. I tracked down
Robin's correct number and called her. She had transposed the last two
digits. After I hung up with Robin, I spotted the wrong number still lying
there on my desk. I decided to call it again. When the same person once
more answered, I yelled "You're a jerk!" and hung up. Next to his phone
number I wrote the word "Jerk," and put it in my desk drawer. Every
couple of weeks, when I was paying bills, or had a really bad day, I'd call
him up. He'd answer, and then I'd yell, 'You're a jerk!" It would always
cheer me up.
Later in the year the phone company introduced caller ID. This was
a real disappointment for me, I would have to stop calling the jerk. Then
one day I had an idea. I dialed his number, then heard his voice, "Hello."
I made up a name. "Hi. This is Herman with the telephone company
and I'm just calling to see if you're familiar with our caller ID program?"
He went, "No!" and slammed the phone down.
I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're a jerk!"
And the reason I took the time to tell you this story, is to show you
how if there's ever anything really bothering you, you can do something
about it. Just dial 722-4822.
The old lady at the mall really took her time pulling out of the parking
space. I didn't think she was ever going to leave. Finally her car began
to move and she started to very slowly back out of the stall. I backed up
a little more to give her plenty of room to pull out. Great, I thought, she's
All of a sudden this black Camaro come flying up the parking isle in the
wrong direction and pulls into her space. I started honking my horn and
yelling, "You can't just do that, Buddy. I was here first!" The guy climbed
out of his Camaro completely ignoring me. He walked toward the mall as
if he didn't even hear me.
I thought to myself, this guy's a jerk, there's sure a lot of jerks in this
world. I noticed he had a For Sale sign in the back window of his car. I
wrote down the number. Then I hunted for another place to park.
A couple of days later, I'm at home sitting at my desk. I had just gotten
off the phone after calling 722-4822 and yelling, "You're a jerk!" (It's
really easy to call him now since I have his number on speed dial). I
noticed the phone number of the guy with the black Camaro lying on my
desk and thought I'd better call this guy, too.
After a couple rings someone answered the phone and said, "Hello."
I said, "Is this the man with the black Camaro for sale?"
"Yes it is."
"Can you tell me where I can see it?"
"Yes, I live at 1802 West 34th street. It's a yellow house and the car's
parked right out front.
I said, "What's your name?"
"My name is Don Hansen."
"When's a good time to catch you, Don?"
"I'm home in the evenings."
"Listen Don, can I tell you something?"
"Don, you're a jerk!" And I slammed the phone down. After I hung up I
added Don Hansen's number to my speed dialer.
For a while things seemed to be going better for me. Now when I had
a problem I had two jerks to call. Then after several months of calling the
jerks and hanging up on them, the whole thing started to seem like an
obligation. It just wasn't as enjoyable as it used to be.
I gave the problem some serious thought and came up with a solution.
First, I had my phone dial Jerk #1.
A man answered nicely saying, "Hello."
I yelled "You're a jerk!" But I didn't hang up.
The jerk said, "Are you still there?"
I said, "Yeah..."
He said, "Stop calling me."
I said, "No."
He said, "What's your name, Pal?"
I said, "Don Hansen."
"Where do you live?"
"1802 West 34th Street. It's a yellow house and my black Camaro's
parked out front."
"I'm coming over right now, Don. You'd better start saying your
"Yeah, like I'm really scared, Jerk!" and I hung up.
Then I called Jerk #2.
He answered, "Hello."
I said, "Hello, Jerk!"
He said, "If I ever find out who you are..."
"I'll kick your butt."
"Well, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now Jerk!" And I hung up.
Then I picked up the phone and called the police. I told them a big
gang fight was going down at 1802 West 34th Street. After that I
climbed into my car and headed over to 34th Street to watch the whole
I turned onto 34th Street and parked my car under the shade of a tree
half a block from Jerk #2's house. There were two guys fighting out
front. Suddenly there were about 12 police cars and a helicopter. The
police wrestled the two men to the ground and took them away.
A couple of months go by and I get a call for jury duty. I was picked
to be on a trial of two guys charged with disorderly conduct. As luck
would have it, it happened to be the same two guys. I might have
influenced the jury, because when they announced the verdict, they
"We the jury find the defendants to be guilty, and a couple of jerks!"
Last modified July 29, 1997
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