We don’t have a land line phone anymore. A few years ago my wife and I got cell phones and started keeping track of what calls we got on our land line. Most of the calls were telemarketers and wrong numbers. Once a little old lady who sounded like my grandmother called.
Little old lady: This is Agnes. Is Margaret there?
Me: I think you have the wrong number.
Agnes: Oh… Sorry. (click)
Two minutes later the phone rings again.
Me: No. You have the wrong number again.
Agnes: I’m sure I dialed Margaret’s number.
Me: Well, there is no Margaret here.
Agnes: Margaret’s always had this number.
Me: You must have dialed something wrong. Try again and do it slowly this time.
Two minutes later.
Me: Hi, Agnes.
Agnes: How did you know it was me?
Me: Lucky guess.
Agnes: What did you do with Margaret?
Me: I don’t know Margaret.
Agnes: Then what are you doing answering her phone?
Me: This isn’t her phone.
Agnes: What are you trying to pull, A$$#@&E.
Me: What kind of language is that, Agnes?!
Agnes: Don’t sass me. I‘ve got a nine millimeter and a Rottweiler and I’m not afraid to use either of them.
I let the answering machine pickup after that.
So we got rid of our land line. We figured there were already enough numbers for telemarketers with Indian accents to call, and I was afraid someday Agnes would show up at my door and kick the snot out of me.
We only have our cell phones now. My wife has one of those smart phones where she can get on the internet and even text people just by talking into the phone. There are about sixteen gazillion aps on her phone that do everything from keeping her informed about weather conditions to making her bacon and eggs for breakfast if she’s running late in the morning. She’s on her phone all the time. If we’re walking the dog she’s on her phone finding out how far we’ve walked and how many calories we’ve burned. If I’m driving us someplace, she’s finding out where we are and how long it’s going to be until we get to where we’re going. If she’s not using one of her aps, she’s texting. By the way, when you’re with someone who’s texting someone else, it’s like being with two people who are speaking a language you don’t understand; you’re always sure they’re talking about you.
The phone I have is an old word-burning flip-up phone. It was capable of sending and receiving texts when I got it, but people had the annoying habit of sending me texts, so I had that feature disabled. When it rings it sounds like a phone ringing. There’s no Grateful Dead song or police sirens for a ring tone. My wife is always trying to get me to upgrade to a smart phone, but I like the one I have. Well actually I don’t like it. I’d just as soon not have a phone at all, but sometimes you have to live with technology.
By the way, in two days my novel County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald goes off sale. So if you want it for 99 cents, you have two days left, and if you see Margaret tell her Agnes is looking for her.