I use Google Voice for a consolidated phone number. It is really handy. I give out one number for people to call, and it rings my office phone, my home phone, and my cell phone. Wherever I am, the people who have the number can reach me.
However, I recently have had several wrong numbers. The most recent was a drunk young man who called me 3 or 4 times in one evening, and each time I told him he had the wrong number. He then called back within 10 minutes, grunted an apology, and hung up. Rinse, lather, repeat. The next few times, I saw the caller ID and ignored his call. I got another apology on voice mail, and some hang-ups. Grrrrrrr.
Tonight, I was working late at the office. I was tired. I was a little grumpy. I was trying to get a mailing finished to remind Purdue people to register for the CERIAS Symposium. A few more minutes and I could leave to go home.
It’s 9:30pm and my office phone and cell phone both ring simultaneously. It is a call to my GV number. I don’t recognize the number. I answer.
“Hey there!” from the receiver came a breezy, perky female voice. I would have guessed her as early-mid 20s.
I didn’t know if this was someone who I met at RSA a week or so ago (I had run out of my Purdue cards at one point, and gave out a few of my personal, non-work cards), or maybe it was one of my students?
“Hullo” I stated back.
Miss Perky came right back with “Whatcha doing?”
I now suspected that it was a wrong number, but answered “I’m online.”
Without missing a beat, she responded “I miss you.”
So, this confirms it is either a wrong number or a crank call — no woman actually calls me and says she misses me.
She immediately follows up with a question: “What are you wearing?”
Now, at this point, I could politely respond that she has obviously misdialed the number. I could observe I’m not who she thinks I am. But that runs the danger that she would hang up, then call me right back again because she has gotten the wrong number somewhere. And in her pursuit of sartorial information (or maybe it was an odd booty call) she might end up calling me several times like the drunk kid last week.
This was all running through my mind. And, as I said, I was a little tired and grumpy. I’m dangerous in those situations.
So, I paused a moment, then slowly replied “I’m wearing sandals. And silver body paint. And a purple fez with a veil. And an extra-large diaper.” I could have added more, but figured that was sufficient.
It was. There was a long pause at the other end. Then a much meeker, somewhat sheepish voice “I think I have the wrong number.”
I responded with “Damnit! That’s what all the women tell me!” Then hung up.
I think I gauged it correctly. There was no second call. She may still be sitting there, hugging her knees and rocking back and forth, hoping that the guy with the diaper and silver paint didn’t do a reverse lookup on the caller ID and is on his way to visit her. Or so I imagine.
Me? I got the letter done and headed home.
Sometimes, the crazy just takes over.