HOLDING: Blinking Lights By Terry Rainey

Word Count 499

Blinking Lights
By Terry Rainey

Celebrating our expansion to China, I have two martinis with lunch. I’m Rolfe Togan, founder of
Rolfe’s. We make Rolfe’s Neuticles — dog balls. Not the balls you throw around for fetching, but
testicular implants for pets. That’s right, silicone implants for male dogs to replace testicles after
neutering, so that a dog's appearance back there doesn't change. I birthed a special company. In 20 years,
we’ve sold over 500,000 sets of Neuticles. The average pair costs $300, but once we did a $2,800 custom
set for a zoo elephant…watermelon-sized.
When I saunter back into the office, Malcolm, the new receptionist, says he needs to use the
bathroom and could I cover the phones. I say “No problem.” No task is too small for Rolfe. I answered
the horn when Neuticles was nothing but a man and his big dreams.
While Malcolm totters down the hall, I sit down at the main desk. Thoughts of Chinese Neuticles
make me tingle, along with maybe the martinis. For five minutes, the main console’s four lines are quiet.
Well, this isn’t so hard. So I decide to call Harry with a joke, the one about three hookers in a
Winnebago. He picks up on the first ring.
“Harry? Rolfe! Got a joke for you.” Just then line 2 lights up, so I put Harry on hold and pick it
up. “RolfRolf’s” I answer. Then line 3 lights up. Line 1, Harry, is blinking, waiting for the hooker joke; I
pick up line 3, bark “RolfRolf’s, hold please”; then I go back to line 2 and say “Rrrrrrolfe’s, can I help
It’s a reporter. He’s attended some symposium in Bucharest or Budapest. They’d analyzed
macho feelings of Neuticles dogs compared to fully-equipped dogs – the so-called swinging Fidos. There
was no significant swagger correspondence. The only definitive trait of Neuticled dogs was an attraction
to mirrors. The reporter wants a comment. I put him on hold.
I’m sweating under my collar. When is Malcolm coming out of the bathroom? Is he having
issues with his vasectomy, which he’d gotten with Rolfe’s “You and Your Dog” package deal?
And then line 4 lights up! The long number tells me it’s the Chinese. I panic, knowing they’d be
suspicious of a company where the leader answers the phone. So I assume a voice, but in my momentary
alarm and a two-martini haze, I do a Charlie Chan accent. I hear myself saying “Haarro? So velly please
conneck you to honorable Mr. Togan,” which sounds awful, but I do transfer them correctly.
Lines 1-2-3, still holding, blink angrily. I need to get to my office phone and do the Chinese deal,
all those huskies and Pekinese proudly prancing around Shanghai neighborhoods with a chip under their
The whole phone console flares…then Malcolm appears. I could kiss him. He asks how it was.
I say “No problem.” I scurry away, ignoring the flashing lights, my mind on three hookers, two martinis
and one Chinese Neuticles Empire.

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