I reached the phone a microsecond before the machine picked up. As if on cue, my toddler whined to be picked up, and my older son ceased scratching at his viola in the other room and ran for the Xbox.
I read the Caller ID. "Tracy. What's up?"
"Oh my God, Cathy, the Supermoms have to do something. A guy knocked on my door selling magazines, and I swear I didn't want any more magazines--"
"You bought some anyway," I guessed.
"Hunting and Fishing," she said.
"Why not Cosmo?"
"And Golf Digest," she gulped.
"How'd he talk you into that?"
"I don't know. I'm a vegetarian, and I don't even play golf. Then he went next door to Erika's house and sold her Christian Life."
"What? Erika is Buddhist."
"I know! You have to do something."
"Just a minute." I covered the mouthpiece and yelled, "Josh! Viola!"
"Why, mom?" he whined.
"You know what your teacher said. Twenty minutes a day!"
"But why now?"
"Because I said so!" After a moment, the scratching resumed. I turned back to the phone. "It sounds like this magazine seller has an unusual talent for persuasion. We'll look into it. Did you see which way he went?"
"Toward Lazell Street."
"Sit tight. I'll call Luanne; she'll know what to do."
Cathy hung up on Tracy and frantically started dialing another of the Supermoms. Luanne, a devout Southern Baptist, could put the fear of God into anyone, and had no truck with deceitful salesmen, sinners all of them.
"Luanne!" Cathy burst out as her friend answered, "I've got a job for you! This is bad! There's a--"
"Hold on there, honey," Luanne interrupted. "I'd love to chat and all, but not till I'm done readin' this month's Big Boobied Babes..."
Opening: Amy.....Continuation: anon.