Calling Mort Deadguy and Survival Horror
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Receptionist: Thank you for calling Little Company You Never Hearda, Inc. This is Doris, how may I help yeeoo?
Me: Hello, Dorie.
Me: Dormouse. May I please speak to Mort Deadguy?
Receptionist: Mr. Deadguy passed away a year ago.
Me: I beg your pardon. He’s my contact. May I speak to his replacement? I never thought I’d be able to so cavalierly brush off the news of a man’s death, but I’ve gotten to be an expert at it. “Receptionist” is a gross misnomer for that position. A receptionist would receive, or assist in receiving. It sounds like a welcoming thing. But their welcome has a lot in common with that of a mousetrap. How professional is it to say, “Oh, he’s dead” when someone calls? What sort of dementia has a hold of a profession that uses a man’s passing to stonewall a phonecall? Whatever kind of psychosis, it’s viral. It’s spawned a similar madness in Yours Truly: The ability to hear “sorry, he’s kaput” and respond with nothing more compassionate or effected than “I beg your pardon.” I didn’t say it was a funny thing. “Mort Deadguy” is a good name for a deceased person, sort of. It would be an unfortunate name for him to have had in life. Unidentified male corpses in the morgue should be Mort Deadguy. Free up that most-popular-give-name for Mike and Sue Doe to give their new baby. I once heard my sister say, back when Olivia was new to The Cosby Show, “’Raven’ is a cool name. If I could be sure my kid was going to have jet black hair, I would name her Raven, too.” That particular Raven being totally lame – and my stance that “Jet” is a cooler and more appropriate name given those circumstances – notwithstanding, I think you’d want a child to have more to aspire to in a namesake. You know a person will one day be dead, but that doesn’t make “Mort” a good name. LaReina is something to be aspired toward. Dave has the legacy of a billion Daves to live up to. Dangling prepositions. Why would my character in Silent Hill 3 think the best thing to do, now that killing the big worm-monster has turned the shopping mall back to normal, is to go down into the subway? Wouldn’t the recent harrowing, psyche-shattering ordeal call for a splurge on a cab ride? Maybe get the cabbie to swing through a Wendy’s drive thru for a frosty? No! I’m going home via the underground, ill-lit, dangerous-even-in-non-alternate-dimensions subway. If she really thought it was a good idea, she wouldn’t still be carrying that steel pipe we yanked from that fetid fleshmound an hour ago. Sorta useless unless you’re gonna either a.) fight more undead or b.) do some impromptu plumbing on the way home. Crazy teenagers.
Dave Przybysz is a telemarketer in a mid-sized tech firm. He also likes to play scary videogames with the lights off.