I’ve been getting a lot of wrong numbers lately. Not “Is Bob there” wrong numbers, but ones that go like this:
“Hi, is Nancy there? Yes? This is Nancy? OK, I’m wondering if it’s too late to get my 9-year-old registered for the indoor soccer league.”
When I told this person I had no idea what she was talking about, she asked again if she had Nancy, read me back my number, and then threw the ball into my court — you’re Nancy, this is your number, now what about the soccer league? It took a minute to convince her she really had the wrong person.
Two days later, someone else called, asked for me by name and asked where she was supposed to drop off the boxes for the book sale.
I suspect much of this comes from my other website, GrossePointeToday.com, which I am all but severed from — other than killing spam out of the comments and doing what I can here and there for Sheila, my partner, who is using it in her editing class at Wayne State. We link to various community pages, run an events calendar, and people get confused which one sent them there. At least, this is my theory.
Today someone called, asked for Nancy, and started into a description of a vintage jukebox. When I realized he wasn’t asking for a story to be written about this jukebox, but rather wanted a professional appraisal, I cut him off and told him I didn’t do that.
Again, “But this is Nancy, right? And this is (my phone number)? You don’t do antique appraisals?”
No, sorry. But I gave him a name and number of someone nearby who did. He seemed grateful.
Yesterday was the best of all, though:
“Yeah, this is Jerry.” African-American man’s voice, someone who’s either seen a few dozen summers or works regularly as a blues singer. Hi, Jerry. Who are you calling?
“Well, I’m wondering if you’re open. The dispensary, that is.”
I did some reporting recently on medical marijuana, and that word — dispensary — is one you don’t hear much outside of the green-cross world.
“The dispensary? What?”
“Yeah, for, you know, marijuana.”
“Sorry, but you have the wrong number. This is a private residence, and I don’t have any pot.”
Again! He’s incredulous, and reads back my number. “I was told this is the dispensary.”
“It’s my house, Jerry. And I don’t sell marijuana. You’ve been misled.”
Something strange is going on. We’re talking about severing our land line soon, and I was hoping to get it done before robocall season really ramps up. So far, we haven’t gotten any robocalls, but if we keep getting asked whether we have weed for sale, I might keep it around a little longer. Jerry sounded like he really needed something to take the edge off.
So. It’s Wednesday night, the Tigers are rain-delayed (even though it’s not raining, and hasn’t rained all evening) and will probably be rained out (because the rain is coming, and it looks pretty wet).
Let’s pop over to the bloggage, then, eh?
A tale of two rudenesses. Which is worse — tying up a table in a busy restaurant for 2.5 hours, or bitching about it to the diners’ faces? The confrontation and the thrown LIVESTRONG bracelet — which followed the playing of the cancer card — are the whipped-cream topping on this particular schadenfreude pie.
And speaking of yellow rubber bracelets, how Lance Armstrong is like Lehman Brothers:
In both cases, a culture of excess and risk led to record-breaking performances, and then to catastrophe. In both cases, the behavior in question was driven by a distinct set of social forces, including a win-at-all-costs culture, lack of regulation, and the credulousness of journalists and the public.
In many ways, the structure of professional cycling resembles a trading floor: small, tightly knit teams competing daily, with great intensity and effort, for marginal rewards. … (And) just as Wall Street firms hired Ivy League PhDs to invent new financial instruments, so did cycling teams hire doctors to perfect new pharmacological instruments.
Sounds about right.
Rain, rain, rain, ring, ring, ring. I’ll let you know if anyone interesting calls tomorrow.