Sunday, December 9, 2012

Prince Albert In A Can

I was home by myself for the majority of the day yesterday; the arrangement worked out splendidly, as I needed to take a final exam. Despite making arrangements with everybody I knew by telling them not to call me while I was busy, I still got a number of strange phone calls in the afternoon. And we all remember how much I love telephones, right?

At around 1:30 -- just as I had started the timer on my exam -- the phone rang.

Me: Hello?
Phone: *silence*
M: Hello.
P: *static, fuzz-fuzz* Is this the lady of the house?
M: Yes. (We all know I'm not, but he wasn't to know that.)
P: This is Mike from the National Committee of We-Still-Want-Your-Political-Funding, how are you today?
M: I'm sorry, Mike, but I really don't have time to take your call. Thank you so much.

Why are we still getting political calls? The election was a month ago. It's over.

The two hour exam went by quickly; I decided to take a small break before moving on to the next task. Just as I was fixing my lunch, the phone rang again; the line was merely static, so I thought nothing of it, and moved on. That is, until it happened again a bit later; I was a little peeved at being met with silence on the other end, but it does happen. I figured it was just some bored kids on a Saturday afternoon looking for a good time.
When the phone rang for the third time within the same hour, I was about ready to blow a gasket. I picked up with a curt "hello", and was met on the other end by a high pitched voice saying "oooo", as though hearing someone on the other end of their line was the most fascinating thing that could ever have happened to them -- or, to put it another way, it was similar to the noise I made when Katharine Hepburn bought those fabulous red shoes in "Summertime".

The "oooo" continued until they hung up. Yes, we were definitely dealing with kids on this one. I contemplated whether it had been the same kid each time, or if the other incidents had just been a technological failing in some part; we live in a small town, with limited telephone/Internet services, so it was possible. When the phone rang less than a minute later, I had prepared my most stern, "grown-up" voice. As I gruffly alerted the other end of the line that I was there, I heard a quick expression of kiddy babble. "I can't scold a kid that little," I told myself, so I quickly changed course.
"I think you have the wrong number," I told the kid in a dripping-yet-highly-annoyed tone, hoping they would just hang up, and not dial my number again.
"No, Aunt B! It's Quincy!" came the surprised voice of my niece. She said it hurriedly, like the fate of the Universe and Everything hung in the balance of my grasping that she had called me.
"It's Quincy?" I asked, genuinely puzzled. I was so shocked, I may as well have been saying "they took a llama surfing?" My groggy brain searched for a comeback. The best I could come up with was "well, how are you, then?"
She laughed maniacally, and the line went dead.
As I hung up, I thought long and hard about the previous calls, and determined they were not connected to a surprise conversation with my niece. I also tried to piece together the possible ways that she could have gotten hold of her mother's or dad's phone. That was when it suddenly dawned on me that I had just been prank called by a three year old.
At least she didn't ask if I had Prince Albert in a can...

...but, I suppose, stranger things have happened.

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