"Help?" I said.
"What was that?" replied a beautiful, slightly confused, female voice.
"I said 'hello'. It's a standard form of grating in this county when answering the phony."
"I'm not quite following you."
I took a deep breath and focused my awareness. The cobwebs cleared from my mind. "Fine. Let me start over then. Brrinngg brrinngg. Hello, this is Charles Xavier of the Xavier School for Gifted Children. How can I be of service today?"
There was a bit of a pause and then the woman said, "Hello Professor. My name is Ana Ishikawa and I run the Oike Gallery in Manhattan."
"How wonderful for you! Is there some reason why you're calling me?"
"As a matter of fact, yes. I'm calling to complain about that smelly Neanderthal thug of yours."
"Ahh, you mean Wolverine."
"Yes, that's right."
"I get complaints about him on an almost daily basis. So what has our vertically challenged star done now?"
"First of all, his boorish, obnoxious and totally inappropriate behavior chased away several potential customers from the gallery today and cost us perhaps millions of dollars in sales."
"Well he does have a habit of doing that. He doesn't bathe much, you know."
"I noticed," she replied, with noticeable perturbance. "He also damaged a very important and very expensive piece of artwork from the Ming Dynasty. I've had to send it out for restoration. I will be sending you the bill."
"I am sorry Miss Ishikawa, but the school accepts no liability for damages caused by Wolverine when he is operating on solo missions."
"But didn't you send him to slay Vlad and free Vampirella, Professor?"
"Er, um, perhaps. I mean, I might have mentioned something about Dracula at some point. How are you using the word 'slay' here exactly?"
"You can play whatever games you want, but if I see that barbarian at my gallery again, I will slay him. Do you understand how I'm using the word?"
"Heh, heh. You should know my dear that Wolverine is a fearsome warrior."
"Warrior? If you consider a water buffalo to be a warrior, then perhaps you are right. He has all the subtlety of Simon Cowell critiquing Ace Young."
"Come now. I think you're being a little harsh."
"Professor, his whole idea of doing a stealth operation is charging in screaming and flailing his arms about. Vlad saw him coming a mile away, smelled him coming, and captured him quite easily. If it weren't for his healing factor, I have a feeling Wolverine would have been killed long ago."
"Well, you might have a point there. I have noticed that myself."
"Good. Now then, in lieu of my suing you and your school for the millions of dollars in business that I lost, not to mention the violation of my personal space, what I want you to do is rein your 'warrior' in. Teach him some manners. You do run a school, right?"
" . . you're offer seems rather fair, under the circumstances, Miss Ishikawa. I will institute a sensitivity class for Wolverine, and perhaps a couple of the others, first thing tomorrow."
"Glad to hear it." And then the line went dead.