The tiny voice came out of nowhere, distant and muffled, breaking a comfortable silence as I read at my desk. My door was nearly closed, only a crack exposed to the outside world, but I knew immediately that this minuscule voice was coming from somewhere inside my office.
“Hello?” And there it was again.
I did a quick scan of my surroundings. The radio wasn’t on. It wasn’t my computer and the telephone receiver was settled in its cradle. Maybe it was that bird that likes to sit outside my window. Had I finally completely lost my marbles? Was a bird talking to me? I must confess, a fleeting “that would be so cool” thought crossed my mind but when I leaned over and peered out the window I saw that my feathered friend wasn’t there. That could mean only one thing. Someone was in my closet.
Shhhh. Listen. Listen. Silence. Whew! It was just my imagina…
Lord help me, someone was in my closet and they wanted to say hello.
What should I do? Call for help? Run out the door? How did this person get in there and, more importantly, why didn’t they just push open the door and come out?
Wait just one gosh darn minute. Was this a joke, like the time I fell victim to the dreaded remote control device that simulates bodily gas escaping? I know, I know. It has a name. But I just hate that f-word so I’m not going to say it. Nor did I do it, either, the time I was innocently standing there talking to an acquaintance when suddenly, out of nowhere, came a rip roaring you-know-what. We both stopped talking. Dead silence. Did she do it? Did she think I did it? She had to do it because I didn’t do it. But she didn’t. But did she?
I didn’t know her well enough to ask or burst out laughing. Believe me, I wanted to. Instead we kept on talking like nothing had ever happened. It was the hardest minute of my life. Even though I later learned we had been victim to a remote controlled faux gas emitting sound machine (I know, I know. It has a name), I could never look at her the same again.
But this person in my closet wasn’t making, you know, sounds. They were talking.
Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, I stood up and pushed my chair back. My coat, which I had been sitting on, fell to the floor. Along with it… my cell phone.
I had been sitting on my cell phone. I had butt dialed someone. Not just anyone. I had butt dialed the office of the Governor of Georgia. My butt called the governor. By the time I realized it, the Hello woman had hung up.
Butt dialing the governor’s office wasn’t my proudest moment. Neither were the countless other times I have butt dialed and purse dialed various other numbers in my contact list – friends, family, business contacts. Reactions have been mixed.
“You called me last night and I heard you say something about spaghetti. What sauce do you use?”
“Were you singing or did you run over a dog?”
And my personal favorite - “Tell your butt to quit calling me,” my brother said. “It is not a very good conversationalist.”
The tables have been turned, mind you. I have been on the receiving end of many a misguided dial, myself – the most unfortunate being that of someone who had just flushed the toilet.
Lesson learned, I have tried harder than ever to remember to lock my keypad in an effort to prevent further mishaps. I can’t promise it won’t ever happen again. I’m only human.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.