No, I'm not trying to illustrate a new poetic foot in my headline today. Actually, I think you'd call that a trochee, punctuated by a trocheeeeeee. Or, is it a dactyl punctuated by a dactyllllllllll? Who cares! My intention was to suggest something really weird. You know that sound they make when outside forces seem to be invading our normal daytime routine.
Well, it happened here the other night at 6:03 p.m. PST. The phone rang. I answered. I could hear rustling sounds like people gathered around the phone. Since there was no telltale computer click immediately after pickup, I said a second hello. The rustling continued for about 15 seconds; then I heard a click. Surely there were humans at the other end, I surmised.
I looked at the caller ID and then looked up the 916 area code. Sacramento. Hmmm. The only person I know who would call us from Sacramento is Bill's sister Margaret. The number did not look familiar, and usually she says something when she calls. So, I forgot about it, figuring it was some phony humanitarian organization wanting to sell lightbulbs only to chicken out at the end.
The next morning, I was working at my computer and the same number flashed up on the Call Wave. Figuring they'd say something this time, I just kept on working. This time, instead of voices, I could hear a continuous whirring sound. Hmmm. "Maybe George Bush or Dick Cheney are calling to see what I'm up to and taping my response," I thought to myself as I kept on working. Finally, after 20 or so seconds, I heard a click.
Two minutes later, the same number called. The click came immediately this time. "Oops, I've already called to spy on her; she's clean---just checking her email for the 15th time today," at least that's what I surmised this time the call came. I continued reading email and checking out my daily blog rolls.
Almost forgot about the calls when along came a third. This time, I stopped, listened and watched as whoever/whatever this was stayed on the line. I sadistically let 'em rack up 124 seconds until Catholic guilt implored me to finally disconnect my computer and break off the call. Later, not wanting to spend Bill's Verizon nickels, I went to my Cingular cell phone and punched in the number. Lo and behold, my cell phone voicemail box answered. Dadahdadahdadahdadahhhhhhhhhh!
"This IS weird," I thought, hoping the number would not call me again. How could I call that number and get my voicemail? Anyone? Anyone?
In a later planned and normal phone conversation I told my mother about the strange calls and suggested once again it was more than likely telemarketers with lightbulbs. Less than an hour later, while getting ready to go to town, I picked up my cell phone. Its window read, "One missed call."
Hadn't heard the cell phone ring, but I figured this must be Annie calling cuz she's one of the few who calls me on my cell phone. I punched the missed call and a few seconds later, someone who did not sound like Annie answered.
"Who is this?" I asked.
"This is Margaret," the voice answered. Sure enough it was Bill's sister. She wondered why I was calling her on her cell phone, which she seldom uses. Sure enough, the number that had been calling me was Margaret's cell phone. Okay, case solved!
Not exactly. Only problem was Margaret had NOT called me or Bill or anyone else in our house, but her cell phone did. I gave her the times that the calls occurred. She had her phone with her at both times but had not used it. Furthermore, she did not even know my cell phone number, but her phone did. Dahdadahdadahdadahhhhhhhhhhhhh!
She was happy with the unexpected telephone visit from me that day, but she was also wondering how the heck her cell phone called both our house and my cell phone without her fingers doing the walking. We're still wondering about this freak of cybernature and we'd like explanations. Annie says that it could be old calls that never got answered that simply sat in cyberspace waiting for a good wave to ride to our house.
We have no answers and will welcome any suggestions. In the meantime, we'll wonder if George and Dick are up to their slimy surveillance methods. And speaking of slimy surveillance, I'll point you to my website to read this month's "Love Notes," which deals with none other than spying on one's neighbor. Check it out www.mariannelove.com