Don’t pick up the phone… – By @isabellelj1

By Isabelle Johnson



Don’t pick up the phone


After my final interview, I feared that it would be bad news from Marc.

My phone rang. ‘SCA’ – I read on the screen. I couldn’t bring myself to pick up.


I was filled with terror (I watch too many films).


The fear of rejection played out in my mind, spurring the visualisation of worst case scenarios. Those moments that you may have seen that tell us that sometimes, you really shouldn’t pick up the phone …


‘Hello, Issy. You don’t know me, but I know you. I want to play a game. Here’s what happens if you lose. The device you are wearing is hooked into your upper and lower jaw. When the timer in the back goes off, your mouth will be permanently ripped open. Think of it like a reverse bear trap. There is only one key to open the device. It’s in the stomach of your dead cell mate. Look around, Issy. Know that I’m not lying. You better hurry up. Live or die. Make your choice.’

(Saw, 2004)


Or maybe the message would be short and to the point:


‘You will die in seven days’. 

(The Ring, 2002)


You get the picture – answering the phone is not always a good idea.


– What are you doing?

What am I doing? I’m talking to an empty telephone.

I don’t understand.

– ‘Cause there is a dead man on the other end of this f*ckin’ line

(Heat, 1995)


And once your imagination takes hold there are no limits to where it can go:


Perhaps Freddy Krueger’s voice would come menacingly from the telephone like in Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). ‘I’m Your Boyfriend Now.’


Or may be more of an X factor moment, like when a judge rings a contestant:


“I’m really sorry.. you haven’t made my final ten. You’re going home.” 

(Simon Cowell, X Factor)


Or downright rude:


‘”Now, why don’t you take a step back and literally f*ck your own face!’

(Tropic Thunder, 2008).


Perhaps he would have posed a riddle or a brainteaser, getting into SCA is full of mind bending tests:


‘Now, do I have your attention? As I was going to St-Ives, I meet a man with 7 wives, every wife had 7 sacks, every sack had 7 cats, every cat had 7 kittens. Kittens, cats, sacks and wives, how many were going to St-Ives? My phone number is 555-… 

Call me back in 30 seconds or you’ll die.’

(Die Hard with a Vengeance, 1995, John McTiernan)


Or just an insult:


“Boo, you whore.”

(Mean Girls, Waters, 2004)


But after Marc called for the 7th time, and I had not picked up for the 7th time, it crossed my mind, could it actually be good news? 


My phone buzzed again. It was a text… “You’ve won a place at SCA. Congratulations.”


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