Saturday, April 30, 2011

One strange call

About a week ago, I was working in my home office when its phone rang. The number wasn't one I recognized, and the caller ID showed only clipped parts of a name that I also did not know. This call was, though, the seventh or eighth I'd received from that same number in the previous few days. Each time, the caller had left no message.

Curiosity got the better of me. I answered the phone.

The caller was a man with a very strong Southern accent. With XX and YY in place of a few names that might give away someone's identity, this is what followed.

Him: Marcus!

Me: You have the wrong number.

Him: Aren't you Marcus XX?

Me: No. You have the wrong number.

Him: Are you sure?

Me: Yes.

Him: (pause) So you're not Marcus XX.

Me: No, I'm not.

Him: Well, I'm looking for him.

Me: Good luck.

Him: You're not him?

Me: No, I'm not.

Him: A good ole boy from YY county? You sure you don't know him?

Me: I don't know him.

Him: Uh-huh. I see. (pause) Well, if you were to see him, would you give him a message for me?

Me: I won't see him. I don't know him.

Him: Yeah. Right. (pause) You're sure you're not Marcus.

Me: Completely sure.

Him: (pause) You're not a tax assessor, are you?

Me: No.

Him: Cuz if you are, I'm just lookin' for him, that's all.

Me: I'm not.

Him: And you're not Marcus?

Me: No, I'm not.

Him: And you don't know him?

Me: Correct.

Him: Well, what should I do now?

Me: I have no idea. I do, though, know what you should not do.

Him: What's that?

Me: Call me again or keep talking to me.

Him: No need to be that way, Marcus.

Me: I'm not Marcus.

Him: And you're not a tax assessor?

Me: No, I'm not.

Him: Okay, well then, I guess I better go.

Me: Yes.

He hung up.

I wondered for a moment why I stayed on the line, but then I had to admit the answer to myself: It was just weird enough that I wanted to see where it would go.

Kinda makes you want to become a tax assessor, doesn't it?

5 comments:

J. Griffin Barber said...

That's the type of call that kicks off a tale of adventure.

How did those fools track me down?

Mark said...

Indeed!

Ticia said...

You could have started a whole Abbott and Costello "Who's on First" riff if you'd just told them your name was Name... Van Name...

Jef Poskanzer said...

No, Name's the name of the guy on first.

Todd said...

When he calls back, be Marcus, answer his question, and he'll never call again. Probably.

Because that's what worked for me when some guy kept calling for "Steve". I was finally "Steve" - took a message for someone else, and that was the end of it. Bizarre I know but the guy was relentless, and it seemed to make him happy.

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