Duane Scott Cerny

Please stay on the line. Your call is important to us– even though we didn’t feel like speaking with you today. This is also why we consider you like family.

Some of our operators may be assisting other more noteworthy callers, especially if they have an IMDb or a worthy Wiki page. We must draw the line somewhere, and often it’s a chalk outline around your body.

A representative will be with you shortly, eventually, when we get around to it. If you’d like to get the run-around, press nine at any time: it won’t take you anywhere, but we enjoy getting your hopes up. That’s nein.

If you’d rather not wait, we can call you back. Simply press seven and pronounce your name and phone number phonetically or spell it out using your phone but using no vowels. (Example: SX is the number six; SVN is the number seven.) Press asterisk, hashtag, zero, then hang up and turn yourself around Hokey Pokey like.

If you’re a physician, physician’s assistant or a medical provider, please call us back later as we are still in need of medical attention. The bleeding has almost stopped from yesterday’s punch in the nose from a disgruntled client who got past our superior customer service. My mother, always a problem.

If this is an emergency, please dial 911 and see if they answer. They no longer take our calls for religious and/or dietary reasons; it’s a long story.

If you’re still holding, please enjoy Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga loudly singing “The Lady Is a Tramp” for the sixth time while we try to find someone who thinks your call is important to us. It may be a while.

If you are calling about something we may have promised to do, not done, or never had any intention of ever doing, we’re sorry you’re disappointed beyond the saddest of emojis. We almost care.

If you’re calling about a lost phone, wallet, cat, or virginity, we weren’t there that day. For our records: What day was it again?

If you’re calling about those unfortunate and completely explainable photographs that have been recycling around the internet, please hang up and text us with better pics.

If you’re over 65 and on Medicare, we have no idea why you’d bother to make another disappointing call in your bewildering senior years. Haven’t you suffered enough? No one here has anything encouraging to say that they haven’t said to a thousand other clients who weren’t listening. You’re special? Especially not.

If you’re looking for the Fountain of Youth, it’s still in Florida but Ron DeSantis is using it as a bidet, Trump says he owns it, and Biden can’t find it.

Your call is important to us, as are the texts you’ve sent and the many others we’ve read. FYI: Your spouse is cheating on you with an erotic dancer/barista, your son told the subcommittee he doesn’t recall where he was on January 6, and you need to return the messages from your dentist: Nosferatu has a brighter set of choppers— we’re just saying.

If you’re calling about an overcharge or a refund due, please contact the billing department, which has no direct line and can be contacted only in writing. Latin, Sanskrit or hieroglyphs, preferred. Dial 1-800-0-CHANCE for the post office box address in Staten Island.

If you’re calling about that unfortunate incident when we laid into your doorbell for a good 30 minutes, screaming the name of your offspring who identifies as “they/them” and looks incredible in very tight jeans–in our defense, we were quite drunk that night. You can listen to the rest of our many excuses by pressing two.

If you’re calling about the Murder She Wrote channel now co-branding with H&R Block, April will now be known as the “Murder She Wrote Off Month.” As for May, it will now be known as “Maybe Not.” Et cetera.

If you’d like to take a brief survey after this call, please stay on the line and we’ll give you an opportunity to praise our faux empathy, telephonic corporate efficiency, and overall fabulousness. For all other reviews, see Yelp.

If we haven’t answered any of your silly questions by now, we can provide you an extra finger with which to dial. Guess which one?

Duane Scott Cerny is an American humorist and vintage dealer, and the author of the best-selling memoirs Vintage Confidential and Selling Dead People’s Things. He resides in Chicago, the West Village, and on uncomfortable seating between.