Monday, August 12, 2013

Wrong Number


It is humid. With the rain from yesterday and the clouds holding in the moisture, it feels like a jungle. Shoot, “Puppywoods” is a jungle. The bloodsuckers are having a field day, but the spray keeps them at bay. The boys are getting use to riding the faster pony, but the other one seems to have miraculously healed. Everything in the neighborhood is lush and green and because of the rain yesterday and today, no lawnmowers. A guy on a red motorcycle must make more noise leaving the intersection. It must be a guy thing because we seem to like loud noises. A few little branches have fallen with the big blow from yesterday, but on two wheels even they can cause hazard. A bobble head nod is made to a passing rider. It amazes me that someone who makes enough money to buy one of those big white Beamers can’t read the sign that says, “The city will be cleaning the street today so don’t park here or we will tow your ass”. Maybe they are rich enough or dumb enough or lazy enough to see their fancy ride hauled off. Then again maybe it is a repro man? Someone is parked in my space so I have to take the second spot. The mayor greats me at the door cleaning the floors and complaining as he always will do. The usual crowd appears in their wonderment of being directed down aisles clogged with continuous packaging or on a scavenger hunt for ingredients of a certain recipe. Slathered with spray, I cool off in front of the fan and gather my thoughts.
I could get into the discussion over low wages in restaurants, but I don’t go to restaurants. I know what happens in the kitchen and if these people aren’t making enough money to support their family or have any health benefits, do you want them to prepare food you will eat and pay for, one way or another. I could discuss the poor musicians or football players or watermelon merchants or whatever other festival that is being rained out this weekend, but no matter how hard your try and organize these monetary activities that the local residents so enjoy, you cannot control the weather. Sure the world is suffering, but there was a baby born yesterday to make a new grandmother. Saw her today and everyone is healthy and happy.
So today’s topic is “Wrong Number”. I’ve talked about this before, but I’ll take a different twist on the subject. I don’t make many calls and receive any fewer. I don’t know anyone’s phone number, but my dumb phone does. When the phone rings and vibrates I’m shocked. I don’t know what to do. I do check the number that is calling and if I don’t recognize the area code I don’t answer it. If it is somebody I know or who wants to talk to me, they can leave a voice message. Sometimes, out of confusion I open the phone and say, “Hello?”
Occasionally it is a voice I recognize, but then again sometimes it is a new adventure. If they say my name, I will continue the conversation. If they call me “Bob?” I will politely say, “Sorry, wrong number.” And close the phone. If they assume they have made the connection to the person they intended to call and start a conversation, I will listen. Sometimes they tell me stuff I don’t need to know or who they are with and relate a story I’ve never heard before. I’ll say, “Yes” and “Uh huh” until the caller realizes their mistake. I won’t lend them any money.
Sometimes, very rarely, there is a call that becomes a fantasy. Who is that intriguing sound on the other end of the phone? The voice may sound interesting or enticing or maybe curious. I have been know to call a random number in hopes to find a possible date, but when they call me, what do I do? Do I follow the mystery voice or say, “Sorry wrong number?”
Similar to surfing the Internet, we run into names and profiles that might seem interesting. They may be old friends or just have the same name. They may have gone to high school with your or could just be some high school kid trying to hack your email. They might be some stranger who appears interesting, like a dating service, or just a lonely prisoner.
There are enough “friends” I don’t know on Facebook. Some request “friendship” and other’s write interesting statuses so I request “friendship”. It is the social media game we all play. Much like walking into a bar in hopes of finding a connection, we bounce back and forth like pinball’s making a point now and then and feeling the rejection flipper throw us back into the game. If we are real good we know how to tilt the table.
So when I get one of those mysterious e-mails with exciting promises and unlimited possibilities, I say, “Sorry, wrong number”.

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