Home > Humor, only slightly ranty > Dear Unknown Caller*

Dear Unknown Caller*

Dear Unknown Caller,

Look, I know you think you’re pretty clever — blocking your number, so that I can’t see where the call is coming from, or who you are. I must admit, you’ve piqued my curiosity, because you’ve added a little mystery to usual telephone-dance. Do you know I screen my calls? Are you keenly aware of the fact that I can hardly resist temptation–the temptation to know. Is your name some kind of forbidden knowledge? Surely, you realize that I am rather fond of seizing that proverbial apple and taking a big chunk out of it. And so, your strategy was born, and I acknowledge the brilliance in your theory. You block your number, attempting to entice me with your continuous barrage of calls, each one more perplexing than the last. Sometimes, you hang up when you get my machine; other times, you wait until the beep before pushing ‘end.’ Really, now, it’s like you’re playing with my emotions.

Pushing ‘end’ is such a cruel fate; it’s potential brutally cut short just before revelation. You’re withholding, really, and that’s just not nice. Sometimes, though, you leave me little clues. A couple of times my answering machine catches just a little bit of what’s playing on your radio, and some song’s stuck on a proverbial loop on the recording. But no matter how much I pump up the volume and play that cryptic message, I can never figure out what song it is, because there’s too much static. There’s too much static on the line, Unknown Caller. Surely you mean to give me a better hint than that.

I’ll tell you a secret, though: every time I see it’s you, I almost pick up the phone. You’re getting to me, you know that? Really getting under my skin. A woman can only stand a good mystery for so long. You’re calling once or twice a day, now. Along with those strange calls from Canada. I don’t know anyone in Manitoba. Not that I know of, anyway. Plus, there’s also those bizarre calls I’ve been getting from California, Nevada, Maryland, and Indiana. I’ve picked up those calls, before, and either I’m on the receiving end of a dial tone, or I’m met with someone trying to see me a cruise, or who wants to give me a discount on industrial strength foot cream. Of course, I don’t want to go on a cruise (because I don’t want food poisoning, thank you)–and I don’t even want to know what the hell industrial strength foot cream is. Okay?

There was a time where I used to pick up the phone to avoid those weird silent messages on my machine. Because no one likes silence on a machine, especially when you know someone is sitting there, on the other end, almost daring you to pick up. Just to see if you’ve, you know, won a yacht, or Publisher’s Clearing House. Everyone is just dying to talk to Ed McMahon, right?

So, Unknown Caller, you’re not the first to play these machine-games with me. I’m wise to your tricks, and I’ve seen all your wiles before. (And, you know, if we were comparing–my wiles are much better than yours. Trust me.) You can flaunt your mystery in front of me, like a cup of coffee in front of an insomniac. I just might be thirsting for a good jolt, you never know, because I’ve been down this road before. I’ve picked up the phone under similar circumstances. And it’s never been worth my time. Usually, you turn out to be some guy who doesn’t speak English, trying to convince me that I need to refinance my mortgage, or buy a satellite dish–because it’ll change my world. Or, you end up being the annoying guy who wants me to answer a few questions about a product I never used, or about a survey that I never actually filled out.

But, Unknown Caller, I just can’t trust myself with you. Because as much as I know I shouldn’t, I just want to pick up the phone. I just want to know. So, maybe you’ve caught me. Maybe you’re wearing me down. Maybe next time you call, I’ll pick up. Maybe I don’t really want you to stop calling me, because I’m curious. Perhaps I like the anticipation. The wonder. The building tension. Maybe I’m scared of finding out the truth. But you’ll never know, will you? Unless you somehow convince me to pick up that phone.

Call me, baby.

*This is a repost from an old blog from years back. I’ve gotten a lot of unknown calls lately, so it seemed like a good time to drag this one out of the archives.

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Categories: Humor, only slightly ranty
  1. November 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I go one better. Complete subterfuge. For some reason the phone company can not erase the previous owner’s name from my phone number in their caller ID system. So if you ever get a call from Jerry Wabeke, assume it’s me.

    • November 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      That is mind-boggling! I’ve seen that happen once before (to my cousin). It became a running gag in my family, whenever her not-name popped up on the caller ID. There were lot of jokes about her being in the witness protection program. But, in all seriousness, I don’t understand how the phone company is unable to fix something like that. It seems like such a simple thing, and yet….

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Kari!! 🙂

  2. November 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Belinda Williams isn’t paying her student loans. She also, apparently, had my phone number before I did. I’ve had this phone number since 1998. The collection agencies coming after her don’t seem to know that.

    • November 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Oh, man — what a hassle! You’d think that they’d have a more current number than the one she was using in 1998! Sheesh! (I’ve had the same cell number since 2000, btw.) Thanks for reading and commenting, Bill! 🙂

  3. November 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Don’t answer. They want you to sign up for credit card insurance, donate to their worthy charity, or mail letters to your neighbors asking THEM to donate to the worthy charity. I get dialtones on my machine. I don’t know why. I don’t answer UNAVAILABLE, UNKNOWN, or PRIVATE NUMBER. If your number is that private, first of all, if we’re friends, I should have it. Secondly, if you really want to chat, leave me a message.

    • November 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      There is one person I currently know who has a private number, but that person leaves a message if I don’t pick up. For a telemarketer et al, I think they shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind UNAVAILABLE, UNKNOWN, or PRIVATE. It’s irritating!!!

  4. November 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    maybe it’s a fax machine…

  5. Lola
    December 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Unknown calls from California, Nevada, Maryland, and Indiana are Skype calls (most likely).
    I tried sending myself several messages from Skype and every time I get a different US number.

    Unknown numbers are irritating, I’m dealing with these myself.

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