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The Telemarketer Extraordinaire
and the Would-Be Strumpet

by Channie Greenberg

Max felt inclined to look away from Alana. The latter was hard to ignore given her four-inch heels, her bright red lipstick, her chemically pigmented hair and her six-inch wide, pseudosequin-enhanced belt.

More lacquer glistened from her fingers than from Max’s father’s Chinese snuff box. Alana’s eye shadow was more opaque than the whitewash with which Max annually repainted his mother’s dining room. What’s more, Alana’s skirt — what little there was of that lacy, racy material — covered just the upper third of her thighs. Beneath that tight fabric, the shape of her private parts was clearly delineated.

What fascinated Max, however, was not Alana’s fingertips, was not Alana’s makeup and was not Alana’s nether region; Max was mesmerized by Alana’s bosom. Though Alana’s shirt revealed no cleavage, its display being limited to the vast swath of Alana’s abdomen, which glistened with manufactured fairy powder, and which stuck out beneath the shirt’s bottom-most edge and though Alana’s blouse was neither transparent nor sewn from filigree, it was Alana’s chest, nonetheless, that demanded Max’s attention. Alana’s shirt was brimming.

Max could not lift his mind from deliberating as to whether Alana’s chemise was stuffed with flesh or with fiber. There was no doubt that Alana’s frontmost portion was unnaturally abundant. That aspect of her physique stuck out five times further than did the small mound which was her belly. What’s more, that segment of her body protruded at a seemingly perverted angle. Although Max was not the sort of man who was inordinately fixated with ogling females, he could not help but be fascinated by Alana’s paranormal breasts.

Worse, he found himself comparing Alana’s portions to those of all of the other women flitting about the exercise club’s front desk. One gal, her face painted like a Bunraku puppet, seemed otherwise the natural type. Her shirt, like the tops of most of the rest of the staff, left little skin uncovered. Yet her endowment, though small, did not give the impression of being enhanced by pulleys or by any other devices.

A different female, likely a gym member, wore a slightly less revealing uniform, which showed sweat, a little adipose tissue and a very natural set of curves. She, too, was no candidate for poster child of artifice.

Yet another woman, one who was a head taller than Max, likewise seemed made of flesh, not plastic. That woman, a probable descendant of Amazons, had not indulged in “improved” beauty. To the contrary, her itty-bitty tank top, which revealed just an itty-bitty share of typecast femininity, also revealed a great quantity of bulging biceps, triceps, deltoids, and latissimuses as well as expansive pectorals.

As for Alana, who was spouting off about her exercise palace’s daily special on yearly rates, Max could not be sure. He remained bothered through his tour of the aerobic studios, the weight machine room, the lounge separating the men’s and women’s locker areas, the lap pool, and the space devoted to elliptical machines and treadmills as to why Alana had made mountains out of hills and as to whether or not her landscaping was genuine.

Max supposed that Alana’s get-up was intentional, rather than a mistake. Even so, she seemed too vapid to be articulating a visual joke about cultural stereotypes. Rather, Max supposed, that because Alana’s pay, as a saleswoman, was largely based on successfully attracting new clients, her costuming was purposeful. Max was not put off by that sort of missing scruples.

Max understood commissions. By day, he slept. By night, he transformed into Phillip Standish, telemarketer extraordinaire, and allegedly retired schoolteacher, based in Tallahassee, Florida. Max’s boss prohibited Max from revealing that a twenty-something year-old expatriate was calling them from a suburb of Brisbane. The supervisor needed Max to optimize his sales of insurance, of vacation time rentals and of dog food since his own salary was partially based on the earnings of his subordinates. In his esteem, rent beat moral excellence.

As for the gym membership, that had been Max’s sister’s idea. She had pushed an index finger into Max’s gut when they last parted.

Sandra, who spent her days working as a hygienist in an urban dental clinic in Milwaukee and her nights chauffeuring her children to arts and crafts clubs and to sporting events, was no lean machine, but had at least managed to snag Jarred. She possessed a diamond ring and a townhouse in an enviable neighborhood as proof.

Likely, Sandra had never been confronted with an unidentifiable bosom. Sandra could spot tissue-based stuffing at one hundred yards. Besides, she usually earned herself a perfect score when discerning plastic surgery-enhanced glands when she and her brother were poolside.

Mark mumbled an answer to Alana. He really hadn’t liked the dirty shower stalls, the dimly-lit dietician’s office or the way in which members had to wait several minutes to check in. All four of the other gyms, which he intended to visit before he logged in at work, had publicized “special offers.”

“But this price is outstanding,” Alana whined.

“Yah,” muttered Max. At least she’d given him something else to think about beyond strategies for defrauding North American codgers of their Social Security monies.

“You’ll come back tomorrow on a free, guest pass, right?”

“Ah, don’t think so.”

“In two days?”

“Maybe... maybe two weeks.” The doorway, through which a slice of sunlight could be seen, was looking increasingly appealing.

“What did you say your name was?”


“Your name. Need it for my records. Boss says.”

“Oh, that. Phillip Standish.”

Copyright © 2011 by Channie Greenberg

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