12 August 2010

Germany calling

I have been getting the weirdest phone calls. And text messages!

Early in the summer, I started getting texts with an international phone number. I assumed they were a scam and didn't respond, reasoning that even if it wasn't a scam, the texts were clearly not for me.

So, the texts stopped at some point, and on June 29, I started getting phone calls from what appears to be a German mobile number. D. and I were walking back up to the car in Albuquerque when I got the first one. I generally just ignore numbers I don't recognize, again assuming one of several possibilities: wrong number, scam, or telemarketer. I don't worry too much, especially if no one leaves a message.

(Also, I don't even have my cell phone turned on about half the time. Also, it's never set to ring. I'm not one of those folks who has to announce my cell phone prowess to the world by having the ring tone set to the highest setting with some really obnoxious noise. Mine just sort of vibrates insistently. I'll be working along and hear some buzzing noise that I can never quite place and by the time I realize it's my cell ringing, I've either got a missed call or a voicemail. This actually works quite well for me: If it's a friend, I return the call, and if it's not, no problem. I know, weird. I have this idea that my telephones are for MY convenience, not for the convenience of someone trying to sell me something.)

So...Germany keeps calling at odd moments, but with the exception of Albuquerque, when I ignored the call, they are always missed calls, no message.

Yesterday, I was working along, and it suddenly sounded like a beehive in my purse, and I yanked out the phone because AT has been calling a lot lately (the son is invited to her daughter's 16th birthday party in a few weeks).

But it was Germany, according to the display. So, I dived in and answered.

"Hello?" I barked. "Hello?"

Dead air. Hung up and went back to work.

The buzzing started again. I answered.

It was a man. Whatever he said was incomprehensible (and didn't sound like German), so I said, "Sorry?" and he repeated himself, equally incomprehensibly. I told him I thought he had the wrong number. He replied with what sounded like an interrogative, and I repeated that I believed he'd dialed the wrong number.

At which point came very clearly, in perfect English: "Oh. I'm sorry. Bye."


I'm half tempted to call the number back and just to see if I can get an explanation. I don't mind a good mystery, but I always like to know the answer.


So, today and tomorrow, the son is tearing around the parking lot at Irvine Meadows (also known at that Cell Phone Place, and even though they are my cell phone provider: GRRR! ARGH! It will always be Irvine Meadows), learning how to destroy drive my car. My car. I paid the earth for this course (teen defensive driving skills), so I hope they teach him something worthwhile over the next two days. I guess I'll find out, since I have to appear at his "graduation" tomorrow afternoon.

Today, however, I'm taking the daughter bowling, which hopefully will help me to concentrate on something other than frustration and destruction anxiety.

And blessedly, today the SWAT team seems to be elsewhere.

Go listen to some good music, with apologies to The Clash: "London Calling" from the album London Calling by The Clash.

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