Thursday, November 13, 2008

Look, you OBVIOUSLY are aware of who you're calling.

Sometime last month, I started receiving calls on my cell phone from a specific number. It comes from the 913 area code, so I know it's somewhere local to the Kansas City, Kansas locale. Ordinarily, I don't answer calls from numbers I don't know, so for weeks I've been watching this same number pop up on my "missed" call list on my cell phone.

My cell phone is registered to a 314 area code, so it would need to be a pretty distant coincidence that someone from the area code I live in now would randomly call another area code, to reach my cell phone (also living in the first area code with me). It's just unlikely.

The many times I've been called by this number, I have never answered. So too, the caller has NEVER left a message. Ever. It's rung enough times that the caller could definitely have gone to my voice mail and heard "Hi, you've reached Andy Schwartz. Etc. etc." So if they wanted to find out who the number belonged to, or to confirm that it belonged to me specifically, mission accomplished.

But they've kept calling. In fact, my phone's missed call list goes back 10 numbers. That's the last ten times that the phone has started and stopped ringing without me interacting with it. Of those 10 since November 5 (the most distant entry), 7 are from this number. The most recent three calls are all from that number, and all since yesterday!

Finally, I'd had enough. Earlier this afternoon, on what would be the fourth time in 24 hours, I picked up the phone.

"Hello?"

There is generic office sounds on the other end as well as distant breathing. I have enough time to say "Hello?" once more before there is an intake of breath as though about to say something....

... and then they hang up.

If I were on 24, this would be the terrorists verifying my voice through electronic means, or my daughter struggling to wiggle the gag out of her mouth. Right before she screams, "Daddy! I'm at the old sugar mill!", the head terrorist's foot crashes down on the phone. Which, strangely enough, always seems to hang up the phone. In real life, gadgets are much more resilient than that, and would still transmit sounds even as the case cracks and the microphone is dislodged. But that's the movies.

And I am not in the movies. I have no idea what the story is. This person was so desperate to talk to me that they would call over and over, but on the verge of contact, they hang up? Perhaps it's a woman who's been suffering an unbearable attraction to me, but just cannot speak it out loud. That adds an element of romance to what is probably just a very persistant autodialer for a credit card company.

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