Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wrong Number

A story that should make Teebs feel a whole lot better about her hairy leg.

Before I owned my telephone number it belonged to a man named John Stewart. Don't get your panties in a bunch. I'm sure it wasn't the John Stewart, famous television/news host. This John had a landscaping business... and evidently a slew of overdue bills. It was kind of funny at first. I would get a call every day or so for a mowing job or a hedge trim. It was kind of like prank calling, only I didn't have to call anyone. Every time the phone would ring my roommate and I would topple over each other trying to reach the phone first.

"Hairy's Meat Market! We slice 'em and dice 'em."
"Charlotte's Whore House. Charlotte speaking."
"Bill's Pool Hall. More balls then you can handle!"

After a year it trickled down to one caller. She was old, and obviously hard of hearing. For eight months my answering message said, "Hi this is Tink. NOT JOHN STEWART. I don't own a lawn service. I never have owned a lawn service. I will never own a lawn service. So please stop calling me. Thanks!" She left a message three times. "Hello? This is Mrs. Such-n-Such. I need my lawn mowed next week." Maybe all she heard was "John Stewart...Lawn Service...Thanks!" I gave up.

Then the bill collectors started up. I explained the situation to the non-automated ones, and selected the "doesn't live here" option for the rest. And still, they persisted. One company went as far as to call every night at exactly 9:45 pm. So I waited for an operator. "Is John Stewart available?" the man on the line asked. I took a deep breath. Hoop held his.

"For three years I've been getting calls for John Stewart," I started off slowly. "I don't know a John Stewart. But apparently I did something to him in another life because I keep getting his calls! Now, could you please take me off your list?" "So... You don't know Mr. Stewart?" The man asked. I exhaled. "NO." "Ok. Sorry for the trouble. I'll have your contact information removed. But I have to ask, WHY did you keep the phone number if it's so much trouble?" "Because it's MINE, OK? I like the fucking numbers." "Oh," the guy stuttered. "Have a nice night."

Sunday I called the house looking for Hoop. I didn't get him, I got the answering machine instead. So I thought I'd be funny. "Hello? I'm looking for John Stewart. I need my bush whacked." Ha ha ha. Two nights later I was standing at the counter when I noticed the machine light blinking. So I hit the button. As soon as the recording started I groaned and yelled out to Hoop, "Oh my God! When will these stupid people ever stop calling?!" Then I realized... it was MY message. I was the stupid person calling.

In Other News: Things are nuts right now. More so than normal ;). I'll post updates soon, along with some "Daily Hoop Conversations." Stick with me guys. Pickled Beef will be back to normal soon!


At 25 October, 2006, Blogger Useless Man said...

I want more John Stewart stories. Like "the Life and Times of Lawn Mowing dead beats!"

Is Robin Leech still available?

At 25 October, 2006, Blogger Mignon said...

We used to be one digit away from Golden Crown Restaurant - a bad Chinese place. It wasn't that irritating, except for the rush of calls at 5:30. If we answered the phone at that time, we'd just take their order and go back to dinner. Eventually my brother went to work there and took orders over the phone for real. It didn't seem odd then, but neither did Ronald Reagan.

At 25 October, 2006, Blogger Jay said...

"Pickled Beef will be back to normal soon!" ... Well, not too normal, I hope. haha

If any other bill collectors call and ask for "John Stewart" just say "Hold on sec. Let me ask the guy we've tied up in the closet what his name is." Then put the phone on the counter for about 5 mins. If they are still on the line when you get back just say "No, he insists he isn't John Stewart" and hang up.

At 25 October, 2006, Blogger Betty said...

My phoe number used to be one digit away from a local donut shop. I got so tired of getting calls at 6 a.m. that I just started taking the orders and going back to sleep. Wonder what happened when all those people showed up for their donuts.

At 25 October, 2006, Blogger Newt said...

We have had collectors calling for an Amy with our last name. They have been trying for 8 years now. You'd think at some point maybe 3 or 4 years ago they would have quit. Isn't there a statue of limitaitons or anything? Sheesh.

And your posts as always are steller so if you think they aren't "normal" don't worry. I enjoy every one of them.

At 25 October, 2006, Anonymous susan said...

In my first apartment phone number we used to always get international phone calls for Rohr Industries (they did aircrafts of something like that...who cares when you are that young?)

I always felt bad and wouldn've found out the correct number if it weren't for the fact that so many of the callers were jerks about it!

Um...normal? LOL

At 26 October, 2006, Blogger Alien said...

LOL! You are such a dork. ;)


At 26 October, 2006, Blogger Chelle Y. said...

Tink, that is something I would have done.

I want to say, that is when you say the "f" word! (If you do not know what I mean, read my TT this week!) LOL!

At 26 October, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

Ha! I used to be one digit away from a taxi service. One old lady used to leave messages all the time - first the cab request, then increasingly upset messages asking where her cab was...

At 26 October, 2006, Blogger Arabella said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS. I would have gone insane every time I heard a commercial for Comedy Central.

I do get calls for someone other than myself, although not all the time. One day, though, I looked up this guy's name in the phone book, and found...MY PHONE NUMBER. That I pay extra to have unlisted.

Excuse me....PAID. It was definitely a factor in my decision to change phone service providers.

I hope things calm down for you soon. I'm nuts, too. Something in the air. The air that stretches from New York to Florida.

At 26 October, 2006, Blogger EE said... need your bush wacked. *snort*

So I have a new cell phone number and it used to obviously belong to someone quite popular....bc I get wrong numbers, pple looking for the guy who used to have my new number, all. the. freaking. time....UGH. BUT it took me over a month to memorize it, I don't want get a new number and have to start from scratch again! LOL

At 26 October, 2006, Anonymous Lily said...

Thats funny, Tink. I know, it never ends. I guess its better to laugh about some things, huh?

At 27 October, 2006, Blogger mrspao said...


At 27 October, 2006, Blogger FA said...

The phone number we had when I was a kid was close to a local hotel's number that must have had a killer buffet. When asked what was on the buffet that day, my mom would always replay peanut butter and jelly. It was funny then, now looking back, not so much.

At 30 October, 2006, Blogger Pix said...

What is it with phone numbers that they provide so much entertainment. I used to get calls for a "Shirley Jackson" who owed lots of medical bills and had many annoying, redneck men calling with vomit-inducing flirtations. No wonder she changed her number.

The next number was one number off from a dentist's office. The callers were usually lovely elderly people. I'd usually tell them the right number. One guy, I always three-way dialed for him. Nice guy, couldn't see the numbers on the phone very well. Once the dentist himself called...

A few years later, I met my pesimst. He told me about his dentist uncle (yes, you see where this is going). One afternoon, while cleaning the extra appt cards and things off the fridge, I found the uncle's card. I recognized the number before the name. (let's all sing a quick chorus of "It's a Small World")


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