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strange visitor

Yesterday there was an unexpected knock at our door, and when I answered it, I saw a woman with a clipboard. I asked what I could do for her, and she said she was there to give us a phone.

I didn't recall having ordered or requested a phone, and neither did C, so I asked why we were getting one. She explained that some branch of state government was delivering phones to people in economic need, such as people who received Medi-Cal or Social Security.

Well, I said, we do both receive Social Security, but we already have two cell phones and a landline, and we really have no use for any more.

She started telling us about things we could do with a phone, including making emergency calls and playing music. But everything she named was something we already had devices for—often several of them, as with playing music, where we have half a dozen or so. I asked C if she had any use for another phone, and when she said no, I said that we really had no use for another phone and didn't want one. Give it to someone who actually doesn't have a phone, I said.

The woman seemed quite baffled that we would turn down something free, whether or not we had a use for it.

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