I used to do temp work for a company that processed Medicare and Medicaid claims. I was in a big room with a bunch of African-American ladies who liked to listen to All My Children on their Walkmans while working. They were also taping the episodes at home and would watch them after getting off work. They’d get excited and start whooping and shout “Oh no she di-int!” when the stories got racy.
I sat at the same table with Belinda, the most vocal of them. One time she started crying. I said “Belinda, what’s wrong?” “It’s Mary,” she said. “She gonna lose her kidneys.”
I decided to have a little fun with this. When I got home, I typed up a letter and put CBS Studios in the letterhead. I pasted a picture I found online of the actress playing Mary and wrote: “Dearest Belinda, thanks for being my number one fan! I can assure you I’ll be all right. The doctors were able to replace my kidneys with pig kidneys and they work great! Now except for an occasional desire to eat slop and wallow in my own filth, I’m doing fine.”
I put the letter in her desk drawer while she was away. I didn’t hear anything from her for days. I kept waiting for her to mention it, but she didn’t.
A few days later, she was listening to her stories and started to tear up again. I said “What’s the matter? Mary’s kidneys still bothering her?” She immediately slapped the table, looked at me with hate in her eyes, pointed at me and shouted “Did you leave me that note?”
I said I didn’t know what she was talking about. She took the letter out of her desk drawer and read it aloud. I feigned ignorance. I don’t know if she bought it, but she didn’t slash my tires or anything.