Monday, March 31, 2008

Caller ID

Caller ID has made phone pranks almost obsolete - they've gone the way of the 45 record. About a month ago, I got a call at 3 a.m from a couple of rocket surgeons who claimed to be the police. It seems there was an outstanding warrant for me. I became suspicious when I heard kids giggling in the background, but I played along. "What's the charge officer, I haven't done anything!" "Bad checks," came the reply...more snickering in the background. "Well, I didn't know I had bounced any checks but I'll be happy to settle up first thing in the morning," I pleaded. "No, now that we know you're home, we are sending the county sheriff after you right now!" More hilarity in the background as they hung up the phone.
I turned on the bedside lamp and looked at the caller ID - the name and number popped up pretty as you please. Now these kids were either dumber than rocks or they had never grasped the idea of caller ID. I dialed the number back and it was busy. I'm guessing they were menacing someone else who was half asleep. I hit redial a few times and bingo, the phone rang. The kid picked up the phone quickly and answered tentatively. I'm guessing he was wondering who would be calling at that hour and he had to snatch up the phone before it woke their parents.
"This is BellSouth Security and we recorded your conversation with Mr. Watson. He's a heart patient and your call frightened him so badly that he had "an episode". He is currently being rushed to the hospital as a result of your prank call. We're praying he makes it." Long silence, then I heard him clap his hand over the phone and hissed the situation to the accomplices.
"You need to go wake your parents right now and tell them to contact their lawyers - we are sending the county sheriff to you house right now to pick you all up!"
I smiled as I laid the phone back in the cradle, as imagined the scene at the prankster's house.
I am not without experience with phone pranks myself. Our pranks were a lot more innocent. "Do you have Prince Albert in a can? We'll you better let him out before he smothers to death." Another favorite was: is your refrigerator running? Well you better go stop it before it runs away!" Ha, ha, ha. We played one of these on an elderly neighbor when I was about twelve. It was in the early summer and everyone left their doors open to catch a little breeze in the evenings. I could tell our elderly neighbor was miffed at the prank but we hung up and laughed uncontrollably. What was unfortunate for us is that our elderly neighbor was a lot sharper than we anticipated. She not only heard our laughter on the phone, but she also heard it through our open door and hers.
We heard her screen door slap against the jam as she walked across the tracks. Elwander, Elwander - that's what she called my mother. I looked at my accomplice in horror. She ratted us out so quickly it gave me a head ache. That wasn't all that ached by the time my mother got through with us. She whipped me and my friend both with a hickory. I don't think I got to use the phone again until I was in college.
Yes, phone pranks can be fun, but with caller ID, I wouldn't advise it these days.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required