Can You Dance?

dance

I love it when I get unsolicited phone calls from people who want to sell me something.

Most folks don’t appreciate those phone calls. The instant they realize the call is from somebody they don’t know, a perfect stranger who wants to sell them a service or product, so they slam down the receiver or threaten the solicitor with police or the FBI.

Not me. Nope. I listen to the pitch like I did today. A woman called me from a 417 Area Code, which is where we live. She was from an insurance agency and began a little pitch about how she could save me money on my insurance and was getting into the details when I interrupted. Respectfully, of course.

I said, “Do you dance?”

Stone cold silence greeted me.  “Pardon me?”, she said.

“Are you a dancer?  The way you said pardon’ sounds French. I want to go to this singles dance Friday night at the American Legion, and I don’t have a dance partner.  If you’re not attached and like to dance…well, do you think you might be interested?”

There was another long silence. Then she laughed. And laughed. I joined her.

“Not really,” she said. “I mean, I dance. Of course I dance.  But…you’re a perfect stranger.”

“Yes,” I sighed. “And so are you. Like ships passing in the day. I just thought I would ask. Now what are you trying to sell me?”

Relaxed, she explained that she was from an national insurance agency in a town about 30 miles from Springfield, MO. where I lived with my daughter and grandchildren. I asked her how their rates compared with some of the insurance companies I had seen advertised on television, like the one with the quacking duck or the two crazy guys with the banjos who always have something to say.

“Oh,” she said laughing again. “You mean Aflac and Geico.”

“Yeah, those ones. Do your rates compare with theirs?”

“Sometimes. It depends on a lot of factors. But we’re in the ballpark. We do provide good service, though, in case you have an accident.”

I hesitated. “Well, that could prove a problem.”

“What could prove a problem?”

“Having an accident. I don’t own a car and I let my driver’s license expire while I was in the Caribbean. Down there, you can just buy a driver’s license at the police station, you know. For $50, they just stamp a paper, hand it to you and you can go drive to your heart’s content.”

‘Wow! Why did you leave there and come to Missouri?”

“Paradise bores me,” I said. “I wanted to come back to challenges, nasty weather, etc.  All the stuff that makes life worthwhile. Are you sure you don’t want to go dancing Friday night?”

When she hung up, Annie and I had become friends. She didn’t promise to meet me at the American Legion, but she said she’d give it her serious consideration. Really. And I told her I would do my best to renew my driver’s license and buy a car.

Really.

Geno Laurenzi Jr. About Geno Laurenzi Jr.

I grew up in coal mining country in Western Pennsylvania. My father was a coal miner and steel worker. I told stories to my two younger brothers and sisters as well as to the neighborhood kids from the time I was old enough to play baseball and chase the neighborhood girls.

I sold my first short story when I won a national fiction writing contest at age 16 and decided to become a newspaper reporter. I was 19 when I became sports editor of the Tucumcari Daily News, a small daily newspaper in Tucumcari, N.M., the heart of ‘Billy the Kid Country.’

I have worked for dozens of newspapers in many parts of the United States and the Caribbean, including the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Phoenix Gazette. I served as Arizona Correspondent for both the Wall Street Journal and People Weekly Magazine for six years, and have written for everything from the pulp magazines — Argosy, True, Saga, etc. — to the tabloids like the Star and National Enquirer. I also have been published by the general lcirculatlion magazines — Life, Reader’s Digest, Western Horseman and quite a few more. I have been a ghostwriter and have published three books for other people, and recently completed my first novel, a Christian Western that is in the hands of my agent, Trish Beaty, who is headquartered in New York. I have interviewed many celebrities over the years, from Johnny Cash to Ronald Reagan, Willie Nelson and Richard Nixon. Heck, I even spent six months covering the Charles Manson ‘Family’ murder trial in Los Angeles for the Herald-Examiner where I was a reporter for four glorious years.

Humor appeals to me because I like to make people smile. You can contact me at laurenzigeno@gmail.com.

Geno Laurenzi Jr. About Geno Laurenzi Jr.

I grew up in coal mining country in Western Pennsylvania. My father was a coal miner and steel worker. I told stories to my two younger brothers and sisters as well as to the neighborhood kids from the time I was old enough to play baseball and chase the neighborhood girls.

I sold my first short story when I won a national fiction writing contest at age 16 and decided to become a newspaper reporter. I was 19 when I became sports editor of the Tucumcari Daily News, a small daily newspaper in Tucumcari, N.M., the heart of ‘Billy the Kid Country.’

I have worked for dozens of newspapers in many parts of the United States and the Caribbean, including the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Phoenix Gazette. I served as Arizona Correspondent for both the Wall Street Journal and People Weekly Magazine for six years, and have written for everything from the pulp magazines — Argosy, True, Saga, etc. — to the tabloids like the Star and National Enquirer. I also have been published by the general lcirculatlion magazines — Life, Reader’s Digest, Western Horseman and quite a few more. I have been a ghostwriter and have published three books for other people, and recently completed my first novel, a Christian Western that is in the hands of my agent, Trish Beaty, who is headquartered in New York. I have interviewed many celebrities over the years, from Johnny Cash to Ronald Reagan, Willie Nelson and Richard Nixon. Heck, I even spent six months covering the Charles Manson ‘Family’ murder trial in Los Angeles for the Herald-Examiner where I was a reporter for four glorious years.

Humor appeals to me because I like to make people smile. You can contact me at laurenzigeno@gmail.com.

  • Nati S.

    Funny that I’ve been there and done that.

  • Jerry Goldberg

    Geno. love your stories. You really have the magic touch

Smiles For All