I received the telephone number for my cell phone when I first moved to Los Angeles in February of 2003. That’s nine years ago and yet I still get calls for Dennis Ingersal (at least that’s how I think you spell his name).
Sometimes I would politely explain they have the wrong number. Other times I would rudely explain they had the wrong number. Sometimes when in a playful mood I would pretend I was Dennis. I had some guy named Boris going for five minutes. At one point he told me, “God, Dennis you sound terrible.”
I told him, “I have a head cold. What’s your excuse?”
But I stopped playing that trick on a Saturday night. I was at a party and had downed a couple libations. When I heard my phone ring from a number I didn’t recognize I picked up the call with a bounce to my step.
“What’s up!!!!” I said trying to keep the party going on her side of the line.
“Hey, this is Brenda, Sam’s sister.”
“Brenda, what’s up? How are you doing?”
“Um, Dennis are you free to talk right now.”
“Yeah, I’m at a party. You should come by.”
“Well, um, I’m not in the mood for a party.”
“Aw, come on how could a pretty girl like you not be in the mood to party.”
“I have some bad news. Sam died.”
Like a kid with his face caught in a cooling pie I quickly hung up the phone. I didn’t give her a chance to explain further. My friend who I had been talking to when the phone rang and witnessed the entire conversation noticed the shellshocked look on my face.
“What was that about?”
I explained the entire mix up and conversation when my phone started ringing again. The call was coming from the same number.
“You’ve got to pick that up.” I was told. It stopped ringing. Then it rang again. “You’ve got pick up or she’s going to be worried about you or whoever she thinks you are.”
So I picked up the phone. Without giving her a chance to speak or me to breathe I said in rapid succession, “Thisisn’tDennis. Hechangedhisnumber.IwasjustjokingaroundpretendingtobeDennis. I’mreallysorryaboutyourbrother.” and I hung up the phone.
She didn’t call back and since then I don’t pick up calls from numbers I don’t recognize.