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My father hasn’t lived with us in years. But lately, the way this collection agency has been calling my house about his credit card debt, you’d swear he still did. And boy, this guy who’s been calling lately is sneaky. He just assumes that I’m my father, calling me by his first name as soon as I pick up. Like I’m his long lost pal or something. He’s probably testing out some new tactic down at the call center.

Right off the bat, I tell him that I’m the son and that my father hasn’t lived here in years. He always acts like I’m lying, like he’s some telephone detective sniffing out my line of bull. After about five minutes of explaining to him that I didn’t have my father’s current number and that it’s impossible for me to relay this message, he assures me that my number would be removed from his list. He still calls the very next day. After that, I just stopped answering the phone all together. Let the machine deal with it.

To be honest wit you, I actually do know where my father is and I do have his current number, but something inside of me just can’t blow the whistle. I guess I can be sneaky too. I can play the game as well. Still, the guy keeps calling, still leaving messages for my father to return his calls, still believing he lives here. I guess it means my father’s debt still hasn’t been paid. I hate the guy from the agency, but at least he knows how much my father owes him.


Christopher J. Campion is a freelance writer pursuing a MFA from Wilkes University.

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