Personal mysteries make great blog fodder. Some people seem to have experienced enough of them to fill a book or two. Over the years, I have been annoyed by more than enough of my own, way too many of which involved anonymous phone calls.
Consider the shenanigans that made us wonder what the heck was going on when late Other Half (OH) and I lived in Arizona.
On January 26, 2000, while I was at work, a young woman called our home and asked to speak with OH. When he told her she was speaking with him, the woman hesitated. Not being the most patient person in the universe, OH didn’t wait for her response. “Well, okay, goodbye,” he said and hung up.
Later that afternoon, an older (according to OH) woman called and asked to speak to OH. When he replied that she was speaking to him, the woman giggled and hung up.
Tongue-tied Tess and Ms. Giggles were followed by the caller I dubbed Ms. Hello Hello. Beginning in the middle of February, that young lady intermittently called our home over a period of several months. Ms. Hello Hello never spoke with either of us. With the exception of her first call, “hello, hello” was the only message she ever left on the answering machine.
Oddly enough, during that same time period we also found other mystery messages on the machine once in a while. All the callers asked to speak with either OH or with me, but they never said who they were or what they wanted. And they never left a call-back number.
One caller was a woman who was carrying on a semi-interesting conversation with someone in the background. She seemed to have a preference for grape and mint lollipops (yes, really). The woman asked to speak with me. A week or two later she called again and asked to speak with OH. Another time, a man left a message asking to speak with OH. His voice sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place it. The man didn’t call back.
The most puzzling message was from a somewhat tearful little boy who asked to speak with OH. I estimated that the child was probably between four and six years old. Yes, it was a little boy, not a woman with a soft voice as someone suggested (I do know the difference).
I’ve often wondered if those other calls were simply coincidences. Then again, perhaps Ms. Hello Hello had friends.
[Note: In 2009, I wrote an essay about this phone fiasco and published it on another site. An excerpt from that essay is posted on the nonfiction page of this site. The excerpt has been modified somewhat, mainly to include the exact dates, as they were not included in the original version.]