Opinion – 1/20/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 20, 2006

The Panolian: OPINIONS

 From the 1/20/06 issue of The Panolian :                 

Prankish Sherry finds that wrong numbers can work
both ways

Number Please!

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Don and I get what we consider to be an inordinate amount of "wrong number" phone calls.

I know I’m probably setting us up for even more but we are very early risers even on the weekend. Most nights, especially during the work week, we are in bed by 8 p.m.

I put on my trusty headphones and watch TV until I fall asleep around 9:30 or so.

Don on the other hand is almost always asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow.

Once or twice each night, just as I turn off the TV and snuggle up in my most comfortable "I-can’t-hold-my-eyes-open-another second" position, the phone rings. It’s a little hard to hear at first. I will have turned the ringer as low as it will go and buried the receiver beneath a mound of pillows.

When I do realize that it is ringing it’s on the fifth ring and the answering machine has picked up. Then of course I hear myself loudly explaining who we are and why we aren’t answering the phone. All this is done in my effort to keep dear Don from awakening from his perfect slumber only to discover that he can’t get back to sleep for three hours.

After fumbling around looking through the pillow mound I find the phone push the talk button and the person on the other line is looking for Dorothy or Mr. Stiller or Jeanette or Smitty or someone else who is not (and never has been) at my house. I explain that they have the wrong number. Sometimes I get an "I’m sorry," but usually I just get dial tone.

On most weekends we get an average of 3-5 phone calls per night for the Pizza Hut. As you can probably guess our number is very similar to theirs. We have received so many Pizza Hut calls that I give out the correct number for them on my answering machine message.

How annoyed I become by the wrong number call depends on what’s going on in the Hopkins’ home at the time. If we are engaged in a really good flick the annoyance level might be 4 on a scale of 1-5. If we are both asleep the annoyance level rises sharply to a 10 on the same 1-5 scale.

Most of the pizza calls start off by the caller saying, " Is this the Pizza Hut?"

To which I want to answer, "Did I say Pizza Hut when I answered the phone noodlebrain?"

But my Mama taught me a modicum of manners as best she could, and therefore I always explain politely that no it’s not the Pizza Hut, that number is *** ****.

But on the off chance that we are just hanging around the house with no particular task at hand and you call wanting to order pizza, we just might help you along.

Years ago we were well known for taking orders and announcing outrageous specials for pizza enthusiasts. I can only imagine the ruckus we must of caused when less than nimble-fingered dialers got clever Don and prankish Sherry on the other end of the line.

The tomfoolery was mostly in response to boredom and no harm was intended. I certainly hope forgiveness is in order if you were ever the object of our devilment.

Most of the time we are just our usual gracious selves and offered the caller the correct number with as much politeness as we can muster.

This past weekend we returned home from an outing to find a message on our machine from Blockbuster telling us that we had two movies that were overdue. Well, not only had they been returned, but had been returned within 24 hours to get the one dollar each credit.

(I have told you before I’m frugal.) Anyway I looked up the number to Blockbuster and called to give them a piece of my mind. The phone rang a couple of times and a nice gentleman answered.

I responded with "Is this Blockbuster?"

"No," he replied politely, "that number starts with a 561 and you dialed 563."

"Excuse me," I replied and hung up. I didn’t believe him so I looked up the number again. Mr. Polite was correct. I had done exactly what he said I had done – the same thing everybody does when they get our number by mistake.

So I guess it boils down to having two roads to choose from. The one where I’m like everybody else, God forbid, or everybody else is like me, Heaven help you all!

(Editor’s note: In an unrelated matter, Hopkins, who last week in this space challenged herself to lose 20 pounds by June 1, said that she has lost nine pounds since she began her new regimen at the first of the year, "but (I) expect this honeymoon period to end just any day now.")



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