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… this one was a doozy. Doozy, of course being a technical term for, in this case, phone challenged.

The day started as many do with me writing in my private online journal. Don’t bother to try to find it. Its hidden. And boring. But it helps me.

Then I came downstairs to look at my front porch to see how the newly patched leaky roof fared in last nights thunderstorms. Success. Only a tiny wet spot … and that could be attributed to the open windows. So I called My Friend Ann to share the good news.

No answer.

So I called Texas Linda to share the good news. For the record her local number is 944-xxxx. You didn’t really think I was going to give you her number, did you?

Dialing as I walked out to the porch, I was greeting with this cheerful answer:

Hello, 911  … What is your emergency?

Which I answered with an eloquent “Huh?”, wondering why Linda’s phone had gone directly to the local 911 Emergency number. After repeating their question, I answered “Oh I am sorry, I must have dialed the wrong number.” and quickly thinking, realized that the number 1 (what I dialed) is directly above the number 4 (what I wanted).

Pulling the phone back from my ear, I saw on caller ID that I had indeed dialed 911-xxxx instead of 944-xxxx. Oh great.

I have lived in this town since the late 1970’s and have never dialed 911 instead of 944.

I apologized profusely, explained my misdialing, assured her that I really was fine and hung up the phone. And called Ann again. This time I got through. And we talked at length about my nimble fingered error, the not really leaking roof and many other things.

At which point a car pulled up and stopped in front of my house. And backed up. And slowly drove forward. And backed up. And parked.

A police car.

Wonderful. So police come to my house once a month/year whether I need it or not. And that is a story for another day. But I digress.

So I sat on my newly painted porch talking with My Friend Ann as the Friendly Local Police walked up to my now open porch door. After feigning surprise at their arrival, I assured them that I was fine. They assured me that this was standard operating procedure for a 911 misdial. And all was well.

Crazy. But well.

Then at lunch I shared my mornings adventures … this could only happen to me, right? And out came our various phone misdial stories of ages past. So I thought I would share a few with you here … in addition to todays experience above. All of them are true.

First there is the story from the other day, in which a friend called me, not recognizing my cell phone number … and talked for several minutes before saying “Do I know you?”

Then there is the story of how one of my old phone numbers was very similar to a local pharmacy … and I got several calls for them. The temptation was great …

But one story involved a person whose phone number was almost identical to a Children’s Doctor’s office in town. After getting more than several calls for the doctor, and saying “Oh you must want Dr. So-and-so at xxx-xxxx” my friend was frustrated after having gone for a whole morning answering all the calls.

Then she started telling all the concerned parents “Why yes. I understand. Doctor is very interested. And he would like you to come to his office with your child today … at 1:30 this afternoon. Thank you for calling.”

The calls diminished greatly after that.

I shared a story about talking for a while with a wrong number and, on us realizing that it was a wrong number, continued to talk for a while anyway because he was so charming. That seems to happen to my friends as well. We are a friendly lot.

Texas Linda told the story of how she had gotten a call from a wrong number back when she was married to Joe, her ex-husband.

“Hello, Linda?” he asked.

“Yes?” she replied.

“Is Joe there?” he asked.

“No, he isn’t here right now. He is at work” she replied.

“Well I was just wondering about how he was doing” he asked.

“Pretty good, all things considered.” she replied.

“I was wondering if you two were going to go up-country this weekend” he asked.

“No, he didn’t mention anything about that” she replied.

“But we have been planning it for a while” he said.

“Well, he hasn’t mentioned it to me yet”she said. “Maybe he is waiting to tell me.”

At this point there was a long pause on the other end of the line. And after a beat, he said “Is this Linda Schmidlap? Married to Joe Schmidlap?”

“Well, no” she said “This is Linda Smith, married to Joe Smith.”

True story.

At this point I shared a story of a few months back in which I had decided to call my hairdresser … the one who colors my hair. Yes, years after I decided to grey gracefully I changed my mind. So I called my friend Carol the Hairdresser … calling the number from memory … xxx-3015. Here is how it went.

“Hello, Carol?” I said.

“Yes” she answered.

“Long time, no see” I said.

“Well that’s true” she answered.

“And how have you been doing?” I asked cordially.

“Well, not bad … all things considered.” she answered.

“I was thinking that I hadn’t been out to see you for quite a while” I said.

“Well, no you haven’t” she said.

“And I was wondering if I could make an appointment.” I said.

At this point there was a long pause on the other end. I wondered if perhaps the connection had been broken.

Then she said in a hesitating but almost laughing voice “Do you realize who this is?”

“Of course. This is Carol, right?” I said.

“Yes. This is Carol Xxxxx. Your ex-es sister”

Now it was my turn to be stunned into silence. The relationship with her brother had not ended on a conciliatory note. Police were involved. Again. A story for another day.

Her phone number was xxx-5013, not xxx-3015, And I’m not even dyslexic.

I apologized quickly and hung up. And yes, this is a true story.

But the award for funniest, most bizarre wrong number story goes to this one.

The phone rang. She recognized the number. She answered.

“Hello?” she said.

“Hello, Hun?” he said.

“Yes?” she replied.

“Its Mike” he said.

“Yes, I saw it on Caller ID”

“Hey what’s up?” he asked.

“Not much. What about you?”

“Well, it’s just about lunch. And you know I love you so very much. I want you so very much. And I want to do to you what we did last night. And I was thinking I could take a long lunch break and come home and we could …”

“Mike, this is your sister. Not your wife.” she said.

He dialed xxx-8228 instead of xxx-8282.

Phones were hung up. It was never mentioned again.

We phone challenged people really have to be careful, you know?