Harold and Martha: A Phone Conversation

By Austin B. Hahn

(Harold as the narrator.)

I was on the phone with my wife telling her about the new mattress our grandson had bought.

“It’s a futon,” I said.

“A what?” she asked.

“A futon, dear.”

“Spell it.”




“What the hell is wrong with you? I ask you to spell it, and all you can tell me is F me!? Don’t F me. Go F yourself!”

I said, “Martha, I’m not telling you to go F yourself. I’m telling you how to spell it. I’ve been married to you for thirty-nine years now. If I wanted to tell you ‘F you,’ I would’ve done it a long time ago. It’s a little too late for that now.” She tells me to go on, and I say “F-U-T-O-N,” and then she tells me to slow down, so then I say, “F … U … T …” and then she calls me a jackass for treating her like a moron. I said, “Well, whaattt? Here I am tryin’ to fuckin’ spell it for you, and you’re over here bitchin’ that I’m goin’ too fast, so then I slow down, and now you’re saying that I’m treating you like you’re stupid.” I can’t win with my wife. She’s exhausting!

I finally spell it for her, and then she asks, “Who has a futon???”

Meet Harold and Martha

By Austin B. Hahn

Harold and Martha are an elderly married couple who often bicker and fight with each other over trivial matters. They’re hilarious and have been a God-given gift sent to my imagination. I am ecstatic to be introducing you to them; I’m sure we all know a couple like this. Here’s a scene from a typical day with them.

(Harold as the narrator.)

So one time, my grandson left his phone at our house. I figured, “Oh! Well he must’ve forgot it.” I picked it up and accidentally opened up a text message. I said, “Oh what’s this?” and the next thing I know, I see some girl messaging my grandson something about a butt plug.

I went to my wife, and I asked, “Martha, what’s a butt plug?”

She goes, “Harold, why do you want to know what a butt plug is?” and so I told her, “Because some girl is texting our grandson something about a butt plug.” She started to nag and lecture me.

“Harold, you shouldn’t even be prying into our grandson’s personal life anyway. Why do you have his phone?”

I explained to her that he forgot it, and when I went to pick it up I accidentally opened up a text message, so then she finally turns to me, annoyed as usual, and says, “Fine. You wanna know what it is, Harold? It’s what I would put in your mouth to shut you up so I could forget that I even married you. Ugh!”


By Austin B. Hahn

I’ve decided that when I retire, I want to be a phone sex operator. How great would that be? Just imagine all the conversations you could have with a seventy-five-year-old man on the other line.

*The phone rings.

27-year-old guy who can’t get laid: Hey there … how’s a goin’?

Me: Pretty good. Me teeth just fell out of my mouth.

*Hangs up.

*The phone rings again.

30-year-old Virgin Mary calls.

Excuse me … what’s the best part about sex when you get older?

Me: No teeth. Well … at least that’s what my husband tells me.

*Hangs up.

*The phone rings once more.

38-year-old nymphomaniac: Hey stud … what’s getting you hot?

Me: Well, for starters  …  the tightness of my pantyhose is definitely giving me a heat rash!

*Hangs up.

Me: Okay. That’s all for today. Time to take a nap.

Donate to Meals on Wheels America

By Austin B. Hahn

In December of last year, I received a letter from Meals on Wheels America asking for a donation. The national organization delivers meals to senior citizens who are unable to grocery shop or cook for themselves. The statistics I learned were shocking!

  • 1.9 million seniors must choose between buying food and buying needed medicine.
  • 4.8 million older Americans worry about not having enough to eat.
  • At least 80% of older Americans are living with at least one chronic condition, and 50% have at least two.

In addition, according to the letter I received, 50% of the seniors they serve are low income. All are chronically disabled, and almost all live alone.

Please donate to Meals on Wheels America. Hundreds of seniors without family or friends are struggling to live in their own homes. Many have developed debilitating conditions such as a broken hip, blindness, or severe arthritis. This program is so cost-effective that “home delivered meals for a year are less than the cost of a single day of intensive care in the hospital” (Peppones).

We are all going to be old someday. I couldn’t imagine being left alone and afraid to open packaged food because of arthritis or to walk down the stairs in my own home because of poor eyesight or osteoporosis.

Many of these seniors have expressed their gratitude. Here are some letters the organization has received:

I am a widow. [I have] no children and [have] lived here with my sister. She did the cooking, and she passed away 5 years ago. I am so happy to have a hot meal.


At times it is hard for me to go shopping, and at my income, (social security), buying goodies is not on the shopping list. Thank you for being so thoughtful and considerate to people who need to be remembered. 



Donate today at: https://www.mowaa.org/donatejoy. Your kindness will contribute to the nourishment and well-being of our elderly. Thank you!


Peppones, Martha. Letter to author. n.d. T.S.