Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gerbils on my Mind


The Gabriel/Gerbil mix up last week reminded me of another Gerbil story.

Many years ago I was taking a writing class through the local community center. One of the guys in the class was an aspiring novelist. His day job, while he waited for his big break, was answering phones at the state income tax office. This was about a decade before the internet and clickable FAQs. He basically spent his day answering the same dozen or so common questions most people called that office about. If anyone asked a really complicated question he was supposed to transfer them to the specialist upstairs. He was one of about half a dozen people working the phones. It would have been deadly except that the most of them were also creative types who had taken that particular job while on the way, they hoped, to dazzling careers in print, theater, academia or whatever.

As they anticipated their busy season between January and April, they decided to liven things up with a little competition. A fabulous prize would go to the member of their team who was able to work the word "gerbil" into their conversations with callers most frequently during a particular work day.

"Hello, New York State Income Tax bureau. I'll have to put you on hold--we're busier than gerbils around here."

"You'd better get that form turned in faster than a speeding gerbil!"

"No, you can't deduct veterinary medical costs--not even for gerbils."

Well you get the picture. Apparently it raised moral exceptionally.

So--as we come into a busy time of year for most clergy, I propose a contest. Best use of the word "gerbil" in a blog during the coming week. You can't mention the contest. Leave a link in the comments so we can all enjoy.
Winner announced next Saturday.

10 comments:

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Oh that is funny! I like how your mind thinks!

Presbyterian Gal said...

You're on!

Presbyterian Gal said...

Here you go.

SpookyRach said...

Love it!

Kathryn said...

I'll do my best to squeeze one in somewhere....I rather miss them about the place. They used to help me write my sermons (and eat the less successful ones)

zorra said...

I got nothin'. But I love the idea.

Rev Dave said...

Great. Given the title of this post, I now have Ray Charles crooning in my head, "Gerbils, Gerbils, Gerbils the whole day through..."

And the backup signers are doing their thing as well.

Thanks a lot!

SpookyRach said...

I played!!! Do I get bonus points for the first letter of each paragraph?

Kathryn said...

Right, my gerbils are running free right here

Presbyterian Gal said...

I think Rachel won. That bonus did it!