Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Telephone Is Ringing

My phone is ringing.

Every weeknight night, between five and nine in the evening, the phone rings at least once.  Most nights it rings at least twice, occasionally three times.  Whoever is calling waits for the answering machine to pick up. Then they hang up.  

The only people who ever call us on our land line are people reminding us of appointments, the pest control company, and the random survey person.   The pest control company and the people calling about appointments always leave a message.  Even the wrong numbers sometimes leave messages.  Somebody named Gloria used to drunk dial a guy named Carlos a few years ago, for instance. I guess that she sobered up enough to realize that she was calling us with her tale of woe.

But these guys?  Never leave a message.  They. Just. Keep. Calling.

Who the heck is it? 

Is it a bill collector gone bad?  We've paid everything this year, but I've read that sometimes these guys will just randomly call people to see if they owe somebody money. 

Could it be a salesperson?  What the heck could they be selling over the phone?  Aluminum siding?  Not really a good idea, particularly in a place where the temperatures during the summer hit 100. 

Maybe it's the NSA.  They've mined some important data from my phone records, and they want to ask me about a particular call back in the summer of 1986. The fate of the world might hang in the balance! Or not.

Could it be Publisher's Clearing House, telling me I've won a bazillion dollars, paid in installments every year until the sun explodes.  Nah--those guys show up at the door.

Maybe it's people doing phone scams. If I answer, maybe they'll try to sell me a life insurance policy for my cats.  Maybe they'll ask me about what happens when I fall and can't get up.  Maybe they'll try to con me into loaning some Nigerian prince some money. 

We just don't know.

So we don't answer the phone.  We decided that, if it was someone important, they would leave a message on our land line.  No message equals not important.  

We probably should just get rid of the land line; that would solve our problem.  But I'm old fashioned.  I grew up with a land line, attached to the wall in the kitchen.  When I was a teen, I was attached to that phone, even when I had to pull that cord and earpiece around the corner "for privacy". I don't want to let go of that invisible cord just yet. 

Besides, land lines might come back into fashion some day.  And then we'll be the cool kids on the block.  The cool kids who won't answer their phone.

Mama’s Losin’ It

4.) Who was the last person to call you…what did they want this time?


  1. I love it! I never answer my phone either. I will only answer if it's my kid's school, my husband, or my sister. I'm with you. Everyone else can just leave a message.

  2. I don't answer the phone unless I know the number calling. Otherwise, leave me a message or you're out of luck!

  3. We are toying with the landline debate too. But being retro s cool! The cord in my house growing up was stretched with no coil from all the pulling. My parents put in "call waiting" because of me.

  4. I have a landline but no machine....they can never leave a message. I love the 1 ring phone calls.

  5. I always thought they were automatic dial... junk calls that always disconnect when the answering machine answers.....but when I answer it to tell them I am on the DO NOT Call List. It is disconnected. The auto dialer machines call several numbers at once and if they get a hold of someone, the others are disconnected. I just don't answer any thing unless caller ID says it is someone I want to talk to.

  6. Let go of the landline! It is sooooo liberating. You can always plug your cell into the wall and pretend it is permanently attached.

    The cat life insurance scam artists wont know what hit them. Great post. M

  7. Hello? Nigerian princess in the house, lol! No, seriously. I always screen my calls. If it's an unknown number I wait till he/she leaves a message. Or you could block the number because I can imagine how annoying that would be!

  8. Well now I know why you've been avoiding my call all week! We have a land line too and it's the main phone I chat on. I never use my cell for talking unless I'm actually out of the house. So...that makes two of us. ;)


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