Not knowing is a sign that something has either passed us by or not taught at all in our struggle for education, or, on a third side, maybe we just do not care to know. But, what of the things that people do not want to teach or share with us as we grow older. Certainly this vast world has a teacher for everything from aardvark to sex (since all conversation stops at sex the other 7 letters are pretty much lost) except one small very important thing. The telephone advisory gambit. Through our entire youth no one has sat us down to give us "the real talk," The talk about the facts and fantasies of making a telephone call to ask for instructions. If, perchance, you are one of the lucky one's who has a set of parents or grandparents who did the deed, even the talk was useless because the rules apparently change on a day to day basis. Insurance issues are at the top of the list for it's total depravity and ruthlessness. Do not, under any circumstances,as a senior, attempt to make a call to your insurance company to ask a question without having "the talk" with someone you deeply admire and trust. I do know that I am not that person so I will just give some pointers, based on experience, until that special loving personality comes along. 1. Making the call. First you must decide on a location to make the call. I recommend the bathroom, especially for those who are on Furosemide or something similar. (the reason should be evident) With you, you must locate your I.D. card and re-write the numbers on a large piece of paper so you can see them when they ask for it. Not doing so will result in constant badgering from the talking computer. It will ask for your number and then within a split second will say it does not understand and please type it in on the phone keyboard. When the signal is given, you then might attempt to punch in the numbers but if you listen closely the computer is laughing and telling you to try again before you get in the 3rd digit. As a senior, you stand a better chance transposing the numbers in LARGE numbers so you do not have to squint while getting the numbers on the keyboard. I digress. Also, you might take a thermos of your favorite beverage. Coffee is recommended, but if you are so inclined a jug of moonshine might be more appropriate and compatable with phone irritation that even preparation H cannot shrink. Do NOT, take with you any tobacco. When and if within the period of 4 or 5 hours on hold, you do talk with a human and inadvertently cough they will ask you if you have a cold or are a smoker. This information will be dealt with in number 2. 2. This is part of the talk that I might just gently suggest. The insurance company knows who you are. They know everything about you and dearly wish for our expiration date to come up as soon as possible after the premium has been paid. If you happen to be on blood pressure medicine and or are medicated for depression, you will notice that your hold time will be longer and longer with each call. If you have disobeyed my warning and cough while talking to a live person they will put you on the smokers list and a much longer hold time will ensue. They have surmised that a smoker lessens his life expectancy by 1 year for every carton his smokes. (I should have passed in circa 1779 if that were totally true.) So, they are waiting for your time to be up during the call so they can hand you over to the Life Insurance Company who will negate your policy you have paid into for the last 50 years for lying to them about your smoking habit even if it has been determined that you had pneumonia. It is a fact, that no one except those on Prozac, xanex, valium or illegal drugs can possibly take on the full abuse of the information call. If you, after spending 4 or 5 hours in the bathroom with a phone glued to your ear and do decide to end it all over the frustion, please do dial 911. Do not forget that number! If you do forget and dial 411 to get the number for 911 they will undoubtedly have to put you on hold while waiting for the connection to India to complete in order to talk with someone in charge which will be a Chinese computer (assembled in Mexico) in lieu of talking to a person who speaks understandable English. Please Hold.............Your call cannot be completed as dialed! I didn't dial anything, you did. Click. Operator? Hello? Wish they would please stop that tinned up music or whatever it is. Should I try an overdose or just bang my head on the wall?