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December 31st, 1999
The Mojave Phone Booth
Operation: Hang It Up

I've figured it out! The answer to my problem is to quit trying so damned hard! From here on out, I resolve not to try. That's my resolution for the New Year.

I did a bit of Web surveying yesterday. Okay, truth be told I was blooming bored and was looking to compare my lackluster life with the lives of others in the vague glimmering hope I'd feel better about myself. It worked.

As a result, I perused many a site but none of the online journals tickled me the way
Chuck's did. He writes it as it is and -- in a move befitting of a bold, new Millennium -- I want to be like CHUCK!

Thanks to Chuck, all future entries will be toned down. I do seriously need to do a lot of freelancing for cash but I am convinced I can still be entertaining without creating cleverly drafted little pieces each day. So convinced am I, I've stocked up on the tequila just in case I should lose my artistic edge. From here on out, it's cute little vignettes about family, friends, and the plethora of things that amuse me.

I'm starting with this.

THE MOJAVE PHONE BOOTH - Operation: Hang It Up

I have no idea how I ended up here. I was wading through reams of online journals and found myself trapped deep within the sappy mire of pages chock full of "Arts and Crafts - The reason I love them!" and "My Dog Boo - He's so cute!" I was also subjected to personal journeys no weightier than the Charmin I delight in squeezing during every shopping visit. I then tripped over Chuck and he introduced me to The Mojave Phone Booth. One good introduction deserves another. So here it is.

The Mojave Phone Booth is a public booth set out way in the middle of nowhere. Somewhere off of I-15 in Southern California at the side of a dirt road that spreads on for eternity to nowhere else, you can find this telecommunication icon keeping the fine company of brambles, weeds and an occasional sunburned lizard. One might wonder how a booth like this could leap into the spotlight. Well, wonder no more!

If you ask Chuck -- since he seems to be a nice, honest man -- he'll tell you someone else found it first. Now ask me and I might be inclined to tell you the same. Problem is, the fellow who originally "found" it has been making a clever ass of himself at everyone else's expense since Chuck mounted his Operation so I'm not even going to mention him here. In fact, I thumb my nose at him! How does that feel? Thumb thumb thumb. If you really want to know who he was, go see Chuck. It's on his pages.

What makes Chuck so integral to this story is that it was his "Operation: Hang It Up" that vaulted this now ever-ringing box into the national spotlight.

A fellow journalist friend of Chuck's,
Steven Amaya featured the Booth in his journal one day and Chuck -- just as I did -- called the number.

Now, the difference between Chuck and I is that I actually dialed it and got a ring. No one answered, but I do imagine I succeeded in pissing off a few lizards. I feel glorious about that. However, when Chuck called, it was busy. So, he called again. And again. And yet again. Could it be that the Mighty Mojave Phone Booth was off the hook? Chuck thought so, and thus a road trip was born. Together he and Steve decided that a jaunt to the desert was in order. Someone had to hang up the blasted phone, didn't they? With this, "Operation: Hang It Up" came into creation. You can read the whole amusing story in the link above or, if you are LinkPhobic but would still like a chance to piss off a few lizards of your own, call it yourself at (760) 733-9969.
Let me know what you get.

I also stumbled across one of Chuck's online questionnaires. The Questionnaire. It's the superbly smart online journalist's answer to the "Oh my God, I have nothing to talk about!" calamity that allows you to fill space and still appease the masses. Thanks to this questionnaire, now all ten of my readers will have something to do today. Let's face it, if I ever hope to get masses in here, I imagine I'll need to drag my sorry ass out to a desert and answer that ringing phone. But we all can't be as brave as Chuck was.

Putting the Mojave behind us, here is Chuck's questionnaire plus my answers. I've provided this, not because I am creatively spent and have nothing of merit to offer you, but just so you can get to know a little more about me. Did that sound sincere? I thought not. Please, pretend you care.

1. The world is made up of two kinds of people: those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. What kind of person are you?

a) I like him. I liked him even better when David Spade did him in Lost and Found. Now that was clever.

2. Have you ever had sex in a car?

a) No, because I don't think a Pinto really qualifies as an automobile. Now had you asked "Have you ever had sex in something just a wee bit bigger than a Matchbox," I'd have answered "yes."

3. Beer or Michelob?

a) Beer is vile, nasty, horrid, foamy, hallucinogen inducing crap. I cannot imagine anyone finds that tasty. I'd rather lick the bottom of a dirty Nike.

4. Michelob or Lisa Loeb?

a) Lisa Loeb, cause I think I'd look quite fancy in her glasses.

5. What was your happiest moment?

a) Now I have to be honest or people will accuse me of being flippant. I've had lots of happy moments. These run a scale from "finding the match to my black leather boot" clear up to "giving birth to my children." How can I possibly qualify just one as the best? Oh, wait. Here we go. It was the day my brother read my online journal and sent me a bunch of money and chocolate just cause he loves me and can sense my depression.

6. Your saddest?

a) My saddest to date has been scrolling down this list of entertaining questions and finding these "thought provoking ones" cleverly wedged within them. Let's see. Sad. Nobody I have loved has died -- yet. I imagine that would be sad. I think I need to bow out on this question. Oh, wait. Here we go. It was the day I realized my brother wasn't sending me money or chocolates in an effort to cheer me up because he sensed my depression. He just likes to read my journal and give nothing in return. FREELOADER!

7. Did the Tooth Fairy ever bring you money?

a) If she still exists I am so financially in distress right now I'd be willing to amass the office workers in the building next door and start whacking out teeth with a stapler.

8. What world-changing event occurred on October 29, 1962?

a) I'm imagining this might be the day when Chuck was born, but being three years pre-utero at that time, I can't be sure. It was pretty dark in there and I didn't have a calendar.

9. When did you learn the truth about Santa Claus?

a) What truth about Santa Claus?

10. What was your first paying job?

a) I made POPCORN! And not at a theater, either. Really good gourmet stuff and we made chocolate, too. This was also the summer I gained ten pounds which resulted in my not going to the prom and impromptu therapy for low self esteem. Work has not been good to me. Then or now.

11. Mighty Mouse or Underdog?

a) Mighty Mouse. No qualification necessary.

12. What's your favorite smell? What memory does it evoke?

a) Cinnamon Toast. My mom used to make me tea and toast every morning before I went to school. It's the closest I ever came to being "proper," It evokes to me the desire to don my pajamas and go back to bed. Wait a minute. EVERYTHING evokes that desire.

13. Have you ever lied on a resume or job application?

a) Egads, yes! I live a rich fantasy life. I can't truly be this boring, can I? And I really don't think they called the Queen of England to check me out, anyway.

14. Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

a) We did, yes. My friends and I at a slumber party. I could regale you with terrifying tales about spooks and bumps in the night but it's been so long and -- because of my previously mentioned rich fantasy life - I couldn't be sure what was real and what I've made up about it since then.

15. How much sleep do you need each night? How much do you get?

a) I need 8 hours. I get about 8 minutes.

16. Morning wake-up with a clock radio: music, beeping, or music with beeping?

a) Beeping all the way. Clowns frighten me; the sound is reminiscent of their horns. I shriek all the way to the closet.

17. Admit it: you know all the songs from Grease, don't you?

We go together like ramma lamma lamma, kading itty dinky dong. Now excuse me while I hang my head in shame.

18. Do you, uh, Yahoo?

a) Only when you sneak up on me uninvited.

19. Call The Booth right now: (760) 733-9969. (Go on, ya big cheapskate, do it. It'll cost you, what, about a dollar, tops?) Did anyone answer?

a) I did call

20. You're MacGyver. You have a stick of gum, two marbles, a skateboard wheel and a bong, and you're trapped in an elevator with a pregnant woman in labor. Now what?

a) Well, being I'm female and can't be MacGyver, I'll play labor victim. No bong; it's bad for the baby. Bite down on the marbles for pain, whack MacGyver with the skateboard wheel for the stress, and save the gum for later cause labor makes me cranky and sugar cheers me up.

That's my poll! Wow, a whole journal entry devoted to nothing at all. I feel remarkably cleansed!

In closing, if you so desire, answer the questions above and
email your answers to me if you have nothing better to do. Or call that damned phone booth and post your results somewhere. Lord knows Annie and Mike have 8 billion message boards on here! Put them to use! After all, insanity is better shared.

See you in the new Millennium on MONDAY!

This is 1999's Maji......signing out.


Unless otherwise specified, all material
Copyright 1999 by
Marijke Hildreth



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