The following events happend last weekend, as they are written, with very few embellishments. Some stuff you can't make up.
So, The Lovely Steph Leann and I are having dinner downtown, right? We were sitting with MZ and her family having some food at Chris Z's... its this restaurant down by St. Vincent's, and was recently voted to have the best burgers in the city by Birmingham Metro Magazine. And the Chris in Chris Z is the hubby of the Melanie in the MZ. And the burgers are outstanding.
First Friday of every month is Middle Eastern night, where you can get fish and kibbie and hummus and all kinds of other stuff that I usually don't eat much of.
Anyway, we are sitting at the table, about to enjoy our food, when The Lovely Steph Leann's phone rings. She answers, has a confused look on her face, then hangs up. Apparently, whoever they wanted wasn't The Lovely Steph Leann, and she couldn't hear them. Rings again, she tries to listen, and I hear her say, "I think you have the wrong number," and she hangs up.
The phone rang again, so she gets up and takes it outside. A minute or two later, she comes back to the table with a weird look on her face. I ask her who it was, and she just shakes her head like she doesn't know. She tells me it was a little weird. The phone rings again, and she picks it up and shows it to me. The screen says, "PRIVATE NUMBER."
The Lovely Steph Leann hands me the phone and asks me to please talk to whoever it is. I take it and flip it open and say, "Hello?" There is a gruff voice on the other end, probably ethnic (for all you libs, that's my politically incorrect way of saying though I cannot be sure, I'm strongly believing the guy was black based on his speech patterns, tones and voice influction) who says, "Yeah, I wanna speak to Stephanie."
I reply, "Well, she's not available right now. Can I ask who this is?"
Suddenly, the voice on the other end begins to yell at me, using foul language and such, calling me a few names, and tell me I'm not her G-D answering machine. I ask again who this might be, and again, I get called a few choice names and such. I hang up.
MZ is looking at me funny, The Lovely Steph Leann is shrugging to me "I dunno..." and I just put the phone down. The phone rings again, so I grab it and walk outside. I answer with a "Hello?" and again, HomeSlice on the other end asks me for Stephanie, not calling her Lovely nor using "Leann". Or "The" for that matter. I ask "Stephanie who?", hoping against hope that perhaps he's looking for a Stephanie Jackson or a Stephanie Wayans or a Stephanie Winan... but no, he asks for her by full name. I'm a little concerned by this turn of events in the conversation.
I hang up and immediately call AT&T, our service provider. I get someone on the phone soon, and ask about how to block a call, or how to unmask a private number. I am told that if the number itself is private, they cannot block it. And they are not able to unmask it, and I'd have to go to a third party to do so. I ask if they can recommend a third party that would be reputable, and she suggests "TrapCall".
In the meantime, HomeSlice has called The Lovely Steph Leann's phone two more times. I go back inside and sit down, asking The Lovely Steph Leann to send it to voicemail if HomeSlice called again. He does and she sends it on to voicemail. And that's it for the night.
The next day, I've got my first Saturday at home since like, late April or early May, and The Lovely Steph Leann and I head to a double feature... being avid movie goers, we were interested in "The Social Network" and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps", so we got tickets for both, and had a good ol' time being together for the day. It was the first full Saturday I had off, and was able to spend at home (and by "Home", I mean just around here, not out of town somewhere) and frankly, I really enjoyed it.
We arrived home late afternoon, and I plopped in my customary recliner, turned on the 47" Big Screen Television, and then turned on what I knew would be the debacle of a football game, aka, Florida at Alabama. The Lovely Steph Leann was unloading her purse, and she glanced at her phone. She looked up at me, held up her phone, frowned and said, "Another one."
"What?" I asked, incredulously. "HomeSlice called you again?"
"Did he just call?"
"Well..." she said slowly, "...they... they actually called twice in the movies and again a few minutes ago."
"Were you not going to tell me this?"
"I..." she stammered, "I... was going to tell you..."
"Alright, we are getting online, and we are going to block this call, and we are going to find out who this cat is."
I logged onto the website recommended by the spokeschick from AT&T, and looked around. TrapCall is a site that will allow you, for $4.95, to hook up with a system to "unmask"--that is, find out who private numbers are--and then you can turn around and block that number from calling you. According to the website, they call once, you send them to voice mail. They call twice, their number shows up on your phone as "unmasked".
Log on, block their number and if and when they call back, they get a message that your number has been disconnected. I entered the information, did what I needed to do, sat back and though I didn't want HomeSlice to call again, I kinda wanted HomeSlice to call again, so I could learn the identity of a one Mr. Slice.
Not that I would know what to do if I did learn any numbers or names, but at least I'd know if my $4.95 investment paid off.
Sleepysleepysleepysleepy (noise) sleepysleepysleepy (what's that noise?) sleepy sleep sleep drowsy drowsy (why is that noise noisy?) drowsy drowsy waking waking waking wake awake
"Wha..." I mumbled, eyes half open, arm hanging off the side of the bed.
"hmphpaahhaaaa..." came the voice of The Sleepy Steph Leann a foot or so away from me.
The clock said 5:29am, and since my clock is ten minutes fast (yes, I'm one of those people), its five twenty o'clock in the blessed blue morning. I sense movement, sluggish and slow, but movement nonethless. The Groggy Steph Leann reaches for her phone, which is going off.
I am only slightly aware of it when the phone rings again, but become more alert as The Drowsy Steph Leann says, "Its our friend..." I lay there wondering who in the world would call at 5am. Is this a running joke? Is it some get-high weekend where you have to prank call pasty white chicks a dozen times with tales of lurid fantasies and delusions of grandeur? Would this guy even know what "granduer" meant? Probably not.
Either way, I was slightly worried. A little while went by before I could fall asleep again, and it felt all too soon when the alarm went off at 730. The Lovely Steph Leann was already up and moving around--I had KidStuff at 830, and she was coming along. She went to the bathroom to get into the shower, and I reached over for the iPhone.
I pulled up TrapCall on the mobile interweb and saw one name and number...
ANDREA WEATHERS (205) 567-0471
I pulled up the Blocked Number tag and set it up.
One of our baristas and his boo are having a baby.
So, Sunday night The Lovely Steph Leann and I are sitting in the home of MZ and her family, having some good laughs, eating some good food and just having those party, baby shower type conversations that you have at parties and baby showers.
The Lovely Steph Leann's phone rings. She reaches down amongst all the loud chatter, looks at it, frowns and hands it to me. "PRIVATE NUMBER." I just snatch it out of her hand, walk out of the room and answer it.
"Yeah, I need to talk to Stephanay..."
"She is unavailable. Can I ask who is calling?"
"Naw, I need me some Stephanay..."
When I ask again who it is, he says his name is "Dang-a-lang". He asks who I am. I let him know that he's talking to "Stephanay's" husband, to which he says, "Aw, you the one she be callin' when she done with me..."
Then he proceeds to fill in the next minute or so with a Cinemax'esque type description of how he and my own wife spend their time together. I say Cinemax, but at least Cinemax has the decency to pipe in Herman Beeftink music while the goings-on are going on.
Rather than the belligerent tone that HomeSlice had carried in earlier conversations, he was actually rather pleasant... well, his voice was, discounting the vulgarity of every word. Out of nowhere, there was a female voice in the background.
"Hey, HomeSlice... is that Andrea in the background? Andrea Weathers?" I asked politely.
"Uh..." for the first time, he stammered a bit, seemingly a bit off guard. "Is that... Andrea? Uh... naw, that ain't no Andrea..."
"And is this (205) 567-0741 you are calling from?"
"Um, naw, this is... this is a pre-payin' phone..." HomeSlice said.
"Tell you what, HomeSlice, since you obviously think that Stephanie and yourself have some sort of relationship, then she probably has your phone number. Which means, if she likes you, and wants to, she'll call you, okay?"
"Give Andrea my best. Have a great evening, HomeSlice."
I hung up, a little worried and nervous. I mean, seriously, this guy knows The Lovely Steph Leann's full name, and hopefully that's all--but what else might he know? I hopped on the iPhone and texted my buddy Moderate Brad, the Official Clouds in My Coffee Ombudsman. We chatted for a few minutes about legalities, what is considered harassement, and what can be done.
And if it happens again, we'll deal with it.
Five days later, it hasn't happened. And I figured I would write about it, as the more time passes, it becomes more humorous than anything.
So, HomeSlice, if you are out there, please don't call again. And Andrea Weathers, phone number 205-567-0474, please tell your brother/father/son/cousin/baby daddy/etc to not call. Thanks.