Maybe if I had more pockets, I’d do better about keeping track of my cellphone. More often than not, it’s in the bottom of my handbag amongst sticks of sugar-free peppermint gum and wrinkled old sales receipts. It’s generally off or muted. That means that I’m a bit hard to reach.
Actually, my most frequent callers are people I don’t even know. They leave messages, sometimes several a day, and I have not a clue as to the identity of the caller or the callee. Since the message on my voicemail greeting is my own, you’d think they might realize that the grandma they call is not the grandma they know. Alas, no..
The Missed Call list shows that it’s a Wadesboro, NC, phone number. I’ve had messages from various members of the family, phoning to leave a long message for “Grandma.” Whoever the caller is, she’ll leave a message, then shout, “Does anybody else want to talk to Grandma?” A child will then add her own message, chattering away as if she doesn’t expect a response.
I had this problem years ago when I bought my first cellphone in North Carolina. The cellphone company claimed they retired numbers for a year before reassigning them. Hogwash. That number was so fresh that even the guy’s own mother didn’t know he’d changed it. She was leaving messages along with dozens of other callers, most related to the guy’s work. He was in the entertainment business, so the messages involved changing bookings, giving him party dates, etc. I felt too guilty to ignore them, so I’d call his mother and leave the messages with her, figuring she’d track him down if they were important.
After a couple of weeks of that, I called the phone company and requested a different number. They gave me the one I’m still using, which has worked fine until the Wadesboro family began calling.
One day, after turning on my phone and finding four long messages from them, including one from the woman telling Grandma that she didn’t know whether Jerome was going to try to make it to Charlotte because of the bad weather. I called the Wadesboro number and left them a message, saying that Granny wasn’t getting any of their messages and she’d probably appreciate knowing that Jerome wasn’t coming before she started fixing dinner for him.
And yet, the messages continued. Sometimes I found my phone in time to answer and each time I’d say they had dialed the wrong number.
They continued to phone.
Once I called them and reached a member of the family, the mother I think. I told her that I knew that Granny’s number must be very close to mine because I was receiving her messages. She laughed and said, “Yes, very close!” I replied that they were leaving very nice messages and that I felt sure that Grandma would have enjoyed hearing them.
Didn’t help. The messages still piled up.
One night last week, after watching a late movie in bed, I turned off the light and settled under the covers. I was nearly asleep when I realized that I’d left my phone on. Since I hate the little beeps that sound to let me know of messages, I fumbled around in the dark to locate my phone and switch it to Off. Somehow, I hit Redial and a voice answered with a sleepy, “Hello.”
It was a little after 1 AM.
I quickly turned on the bedside light and saw, to my horror, that I’d redialed the last call received, which happened to be the people in Wadesboro. I apologized, saying that I had hit Redial and called them by accident.
Would you believe that I haven’t had a single call from them since? I don’t know the reason. Perhaps Granny has gone to that great phone booth in the sky, or perhaps they decided that it would behoove them to dial more carefully in order to prevent any further late-night calls.
I’m knocking on wood, however. I realize that the calls could resume at any time.
It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have granny’s number. I’d be inclined to call to make sure she’s okay. She might want to talk awhile and complain about her children never calling.
Some one invented the telephone,
And interrupted a nation’s slumbers,
Ringing wrong but similar numbers.
~Ogden Nash, Look What You Did, Christopher
Anytime I see someone blocking the aisle in the supermarket while talking on a phone, I want to ram that person with my shopping cart. ~Richard Turner