Where is Paul Harvey When You Need Him?

I’m sitting at my desk working away when my cell phone rings.  It is a blocked number, which should immediately ring alarm bells.  Instead, the only bell I hear is the “old fashioned telephone” ringtone I use as my default ringer.  I keep meaning to change that, because it used to be cool but then everyone started using it.  Anyway…

I answer the phone with my standard “Good morning.  Dan speaking.”

The voice on the other end sounds gruff.  It is a woman, her voice slightly raspy, likely from a lifetime of cigarettes.

“Who is this?”

I fight back my immediate impulse to become snarky.  With a “Perhaps I should be asking YOU that question.” in the back of my mind I politely respond with a simple “Dan.”

“What company do you work for?”

Hmm, I don’t like the direction this call is taking.  She has gone from gruff to downright snotty.

“University of Calgary”, I respond.  I figure I better stay consistent with my strategy of giving away as little information as possible until I see how this plays out.

There is a moment of silence.  Not long enough to be called awkward, but long enough to let me know I have not given her any of the answers she was expecting.  Just as I was about to say “I assume you have the wrong number.” the cigarette-ravaged voice derails my train of thought.  “You called my house in Fort Worth Saturday morning.”  Not a question, a statement.  And, a statement made in the sort of tone that clearly implied this Saturday morning phone call was not a welcome intrusion into her life.  Perhaps it interrupted her Saturday morning cigarette break?

I decide to respond to her statement with a question.  “Did I?”

Now it is her turn to start giving shorter and shorter answers.  “Yes.”

I decide to take a different tack.  I turn on my ‘sooth the angry client’ phone voice.  “I’m sorry, but there seems to be some confusion.  I do not recall making any calls at all on Saturday morning, let alone a long distance call to your home in Fort Worth.  Is it possible you have the wrong number?”  I read out my cell number, complete with area code hoping she will have misdialled a digit and get me out of this conversation.

No such luck.

She replies, “Yes.”  However, through the raspy voice I hear a slight weakening in her off-putting stance.  “You didn’t call and speak to my husband {name removed}?”  Finally!  She has moved from statements to questions, indicating that perhaps I am getting through to her.

“No, I didn’t.  Perhaps your number was dialled randomly when the phone was in my pocket or something?  I’m really sorry, that seems unlikely, but I don’t have any explanation for why you would think my number called your house.”

More silence.  Perhaps I have made my breakthrough?

The last thing I hear is a muttered “Whatever.” followed by dead air.  The call is over.

I want to know the rest of the story.  I want to know what the conversation with her husband was about.  What conversation took place in Fort Worth on Saturday morning that was so important she had to call back on behalf of her husband two days later?  Was it a prank call?  A collection agency?  A drug deal going bad?  Is her husband having an affair and he made up some false phone number to try and explain some odd conversation she caught him having? 

Just for kicks, I checked the call log on my cell phone and verified there were no outgoing calls on Saturday.  Heck, there were NO calls on Saturday, incoming or outgoing.  I wish Paul Harvey was still alive so he could use his grandfatherly voice to explain the situation to me, to make some random connection to something in my life and then assure me “Now you know…the rest of the story.”

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