hello?

pondering over prank phone calls

Just fifteen minutes ago. The phone rings.

[scripty]
PAMIE
Hello?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
Hey.

PAMIE
Hey.

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
Hey, what are you doing?

PAMIE
Who is this?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
How come you’re not hmphm-mmm-miff?

PAMIE
What?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
Huh?

PAMIE
Who is this?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
You don’t know who this is?

PAMIE
No. Who is it?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
Guess.

PAMIE
How come I’m not where?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
Guess who it is.

PAMIE
No. Who is this?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
I’m one of your cousins.

PAMIE
Who?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
This is Pamela, right?

PAMIE
Yeah.

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
I’m one of your cousins.

PAMIE
Who?

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
Guess.

PAMIE
No.

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
Why not?

PAMIE
Because you don’t sound like any of my cousins.

MALE VOICE ON PHONE
Fine.
[/scripty]

Click.

And I was left listening to on-hold music on the phone. Now I thought, “On hold music? That must mean this call is from a business. Someone will take me off-hold and I can find out who is bothering me.” It was the one time in my life I wished I had caller ID. After about five minutes I got tired of it, and decided to *69 the number. I did.. and it rang… for a long time. No one picked up.

I hate that. Someone called me who knew my name, but didn’t identify himself, and when I wouldn’t play his game he put me on hold. What the hell is that?

When I was eleven my friend and I thought it was fun to prank call people. This was before the days of caller ID, so you could get away with it. We would call random numbers and pretend that we were little kids trying to call their mothers at work and cry when they said that they were not our mothers… we would try and order pizzas from resident phone numbers…

And one time we found someone willing to play the game.

He talked to us. He asked us our names. We gave him fake ones, of course. He wanted to meet us. He asked us to have lunch with him. He would have us call him every day. For about a week we called him every afternoon just to talk. I started getting really creeped out about it, since he was always wanting to meet us. My friend fell in love with him, and wanted to meet him. I threw away his phone number so we couldn’t call him again. My friend was livid, but I felt that I saved her twelve year old life.

There are some very strange people out there.

The same thing happens on my cell phone lately. Someone calls and asks for someone who I don’t know and when I tell them they have the wrong number they start yelling at me like I’m lying. “Where the fuck is he, bitch?”

About three years ago I got a phone call at nine in the morning. I picked up the phone and it said, “You have a collect call. Press one to accept the charges.” Now I had a roommate at the time, so I thought the call was for her. I got connected through.

“Hello?”

“Hey, baby. You ready for me?”

“What?”

“I’m your fantasy call.”

“Excuse me? Do you want to talk to Jennifer?”

“Honey, I’m here to give you everything you want and make you all wet.”

“It’s nine in the morning. I’d like to go back to bed.”

“You don’t want a fantasy?”

“I think you have the wrong number.”

I called the phone company. The call was collect… from Indonesia. It was one of those International 900 number things where you set up a time for her to call you collect and you pay for the charges. I tried to get the call taken off.

“So you didn’t ask for this call?”

“Well, let’s look at it this way… if I wanted the Indonesian woman of my dreams to give me phone sex, do you think I’d schedule it for 9:00 Sunday morning?”

“I guess not.”

“No, I guess not.”

And the thirty-five dollar charges were taken off. But who scheduled me to have that call? Why do people want to interfere with other people’s lives so much? Why do you call someone you don’t know and then try and get them to talk to you? How lonely do you have to be?

And the worst part of it all is I’m home alone right now, and I keep wondering if that guy is going to call back. I’ve seen Scream and When A Stranger Calls and Halloween and all those other films that prey on a woman alone with a phone. Right now as I type I’m listening for someone to drop down onto the porch behind me. I just freak myself out, and I know that I’m going to be here for a few more hours all by myself.

My mother still showers with a razor strategically placed in case Norman Bates happens to enter her house when she’s alone.

I still run to my bed when I turn off the light so nothing can jump out from under the bed at me.

I think perhaps I shall go change out of my nightgown and put some ass-kicking clothes on.

And maybe order Caller ID.

Leave a Reply