When I saw this article in today’s paper, I immediately grabbed my phone and pressed the first button on the speed dial. Instead of a decent, American ringtone, my ears were blasted with a tinny instrumental version of “Free Bird;” the wonders of modern technology being what they are and all.
After what seemed like an eternity, my primary OxyContin supplier, Skynyrd Dave, finally answered.
“What’s up, O-Man? You looking to party or what?”
I grimaced tightly. “Goddammit,” I said. “How many times have I told you to not call me ‘O-Man?’”
“Shit, I dunno. Twenty? Thirty? I’ve lost count. You sing that sad song every time we talk.”
“And yet here we are, with you still calling me O-Man.”
“Yeah,” he said. “Look man, I’m kinda busy. Whaddya need, Big Daddy?”
“And don’t call me ‘Big Daddy’ either!”
“Look dude, you called me, not the other way around. Did you need something or did you mistake my number for the complaints department?”
I sighed and facepalmed as hard as I ever have—which is to say, considerably. “Yes, I’m sure you have far better things to do with your time, like stealing hubcaps or snorting Drano.”
“Well, now that you mention it…”
“Sweet Jesus. Look, did you read today’s paper?”
“Naw man. Why the fuck would I do that? Ain’t nothing in it but lies and old-lady coupons.”
“Well then, did you happen to watch any recent news reports?”
“Naw man. If I’m staring at a screen, you can bet your ass there’s titties plastered all over it.”
I found it hard to take umbrage with that particular position, but pressed on. “Fine. Then I suppose you didn’t hear that the President has called on pharmaceutical executives to cut prices?”
“What the fuck’s a pharmaceutical executive?”
“What the—? Listen, it’s quite simple: Trump is this close to issuing a new executive order calling for the immediate execution of all drug dealers if prices don’t start falling toot suite. Do you understand me now?”
“Toot suite? What the fuck does that mean?”
I could take no more. “Lower your prices, imbecile! Or else!”
With that, I ended the call, and wished not for the first time that landline phones were still a common thing so I could have slammed the receiver down for good measure. Instead, I prepared another bump of Oxy, loaded up some Internet porn, and let my secretary know I’d be busy for the rest of the day. Which I was. Selah.