The worried housewife sprang to the telephone when it rang and listened with relief to the kindly voice in her ear.
“How are you, darling?” it said. “What kind of a day are you having?”
“Oh, mother,” said the housewife, breaking into bitter tears,
“I’ve had such a bad day. The baby won’t eat and the washing machine broke down.
I haven’t had a chance to go shopping, and besides,
I’ve just sprained my ankle and I have to hobble around.
On top of that, the house is a mess and I’m supposed to have two couples over for dinner tonight.”
The mother was shocked and was at once all sympathy.
“Oh, darling,” she said,
“sit down, relax, and close your eyes. I’ll be over in half an hour.
I’ll do your shopping, clean up the house, and cook your dinner for you.
I’ll feed the baby and I’ll call a repairman I know who’ll be at your house to fix the washing machine promptly.
Now stop crying. I’ll do everything.
In fact, I’ll even call George at the office and tell him he ought to come home and help out for once.”
“George?” said the housewife. “Who’s George?”
“Why, George! Your husband!… Isn’t this 223-1374?”
“No, this is 232-1374.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I guess I have the wrong number.”
There was a short pause and the housewife said,
“Does this mean you’re not coming over?”