Most of you know by now that I live in the Land That Time Forgot, a place where adventurous people move to, some still believing in invisibility. This is the kind of place where people go when they
Now, really, that's ok with me, because we all have dreams, right? I understand. I understand so completely that I smother a laugh when I hear plans that include "acres" of land, sustainable living and more than a few chickens. No really, different strokes for different folks, man. I'm not really into living amongst the zombies after the apocalypse, (or anytime, really) but if that's your thing, well then, more power to ya. And so on. And so on, and Scooby dooby dooby.
Now, a small portion of these Back to The Garden people have another reason for wanting to move in a place where they can fall through the cracks and adopt hobo names, but honestly I don't want to know the details, and so I usually change the subject when it veers dangerously close to this edge. Really, I am not kidding - there is some weird shit that people will talk about if given even 1/8th of a chance and for some reason my face says I am really interested in your weird shit, even though I. AM. SO. NOT. No, really I'M. NOT. See, I have a face that reflects a much nicer inside of me than is really there. I have no idea why. Ask God, or the wolves who raised me. But the point is, as if I have one, I don't want to know, and more importantly, I'm not all that interested, or even interested at all, really. I mean, Dr. Phil's on in five. Gimme a break.
Now I'm sure you have already formed a visual to go along with my description of these types of people, and for the most part you are absolutely correct right down to the costume like clothing and the lack of shaving. But there are also those who look almost normal but who are also running away from something that is of the legal, yet still not good variety. And even though there is no real reason for trying to remain anonymous, they do, in the only way they have any power.
They block their phone numbers.
Once upon a time, in a far away land, people never knew who was calling. Yes, it's true. And yet, they took a chance and picked up the phone because back then you could be pretty sure that the person who called would be someone you know, or a wrong number. In those days there was no staring at the phone intently trying to read the number on the display without your glasses on. The only challenge back then was making sure you were strong enough to pick up the very very heavy receiver in order to answer your call. (They don't make things like THAT anymore and if they did I'd never have to go to the gym,) (oh wait, I don't. nevermind.)
Anyway, suddenly caller display and voicemail was invented and if I find the little bastard who invented these things, oh am I going to punch him in the head - hard. These two inventions have prevented me forever more from doing what I love to do best - ignore people. Oh, and remain anonymous. I mean, let's think about the children, shall we? No longer can they call random people and, in a sexy voice, ask an unspecting woman if her husband is home or, for those not so creative kids, ask for Prince Albert in a can.
No, now when you call, everyone knows it is you and that is why no one answers your calls anymore and the world is full of lonely people on the verge of suicide. All because of caller display and voicemail, so thanks a lot, inventor of these Satanic inventions and I hope you have a fun trying to sleep at night.
But. Anyway. The solution was clear. Someone had to come up with a block for this caller id, and thankfully, this someone did. Unfortunately, along with the sad people that no one wants to talk to, others used this feature, and those people are the ones who work for companies who want to sell you shit over the phone, collect money you owe them, or people from India who tell you that something is wrong with your computer and that you must give them your password. So, now we have no choice but to refuse to answer ALL calls that have a blocked caller id. Because that would be risky and there is no insurance for this yet. And sometimes it turns out to be a call you might have accepted happily, but you won't know unless the caller leaves a voice mail message, which of course, he probably won't because he is mad, knowing full well that you are standing inches away from the phone, staring at it, but simply will not pick up and he has something he really wants to tell you.
So, what's a person who doesn't want to block his caller id, but still doesn't want his real name to show because no one would answer do? Well, simply use another name. I know, I know, it seems like that wouldn't work, but you know what? People simply CANNOT resist finding out who it is when it's a name they don't recognize and before you know it, it's too late and you're already talking to one of the people you absolutely didn't want to talk to ever and desperately trying to make up somewhere you were just going to go when he called. And then you swear you will remember his false identity but of course, you promptly forget and so when you see this name on your display again, you will sense something not-right but ignore the warning signs and pick up the phone again and again and again, until you smarten up and begin keeping a little book by the phone filled with real names matched to their phone alias, until someone invents a more handy way of dealing with this modern day dilemma.
Anyway. And so on and on and on. And now, in my life, there are more than a few people who call under another person's name and then maybe from another phone under even another person's name, and there are several people who call under someone else's name or their wives or pet guinea pigs name and it gets to the point that you start to suspect that you have been transported back in time to 1995 in a chatroom somewhere on Yahoo, talking to someone named Bubba 45634.
So, obviously, I cannot keep track of all these "user names." Every time the phone rings, I hesitate. I mean, I just want to live an honest life. I want to be able to hear the phone and like a mindless robot, walk over, pick it up, and say hello ? with a question mark because I really do not know who is calling. But now, when the phone rings, I hyperventilate and then I walk slowly and quietly over to the phone as if the person on the other end knows what I'm up to, and then I swear - because I don't have my glasses on, find my glasses and then ask Dave who Sandra Fellini is, because Sandra Fellini is not someone we know but is the great Aunt of Joe Sullivan, who inherited her caller display in her will.
And the other thing about places like this is that its inhabitants are also apparently of the variety of people who time forgot, because they use old school tricks when trying to make me pick up the phone, like using various calling locations. I laughed aloud at this one.
Dude. Get your ass out of the wayback machine. I've got two words for you. Google search, man. Google. Search.