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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Let Your Fingers Do the Stalking?

There’s a stalker calling me at work. Only she’s not my stalker; she’s apparently stalking some other guy. Who gave her my office number. Possibly by accident, but very probably to prevent being stalked. The woman is very persistent. And possibly not quite right in the head.

(So it’s a shame she’s not stalking me. We sound perfect for each other.)

She first called my number on Tuesday. I very rarely get calls on my office phone because:

1. I don’t often give out that number.
B. I’m really not important enough to be called, anyway.

“I listened through the message once to see whether there might be any juicy blackmailing material, scandalous sex talk, or use of potentially intriguing words like ‘ransom’ or ‘getaway’ or ‘poledancers’.”

Most of the time my phone rings, it’s either the boss calling about another pay cut or some ‘code of conduct violation’, or it’s a wrong number. The vast majority of those wrong numbers, even now, are for the last guy who had my phone number — and he’s been gone for three years, so he must have been important enough to be called. Either that, or he was operating a crystal meth and granny porn distribution ring from his cubicle, and some of his humps haven’t gotten word of his absence yet.

(He was a quiet, skinny, sort of bookish kid. Kept to himself a lot. Never got in trouble with the boss. Always got to the office early.

So yeah — my money’s on the smack and wrinkle porn. Nobody keeps their nose that clean without some jumbo-sized skeletons in the closet. Trust me.)

Anyway, the lady called me on Tuesday. We had a brief conversation around two o’clock:

Me: Hello, this is Charlie.

Crazy Stalker Lady: Hi, is Michael Patterson there?

Me: No, sorry. I think you have the wrong nuimber.

Crazy Stalker Lady: Oh. Well… okay, then. *click*

Thirty seconds later, the phone rang again:

Me: Hello, this is Charlie.

Crazy Stalker Lady: Yes, Mike Patterson, please.

Me: I’m sorry. There’s no Mike Patterson here.

Crazy Stalker Lady: Harrumph. *click*

Thirty more seconds, and the phone rang again. I didn’t bother answering this time; I simply turned the ringer down as far as it would go, and tried to ignore it. Finally, it cut over to voice mail — where I clearly state my name and at no point claim to be Michael Patterson, to know Michael Patterson, or to take messages for Michael Patterson. None of these details seemed to daunt our intrepid stalker, who charged ahead and left a long and detailed personal message.

For Michael Patterson. Who isn’t me, as I believe we’ve established by now.

I listened through the message once to see whether there might be any juicy blackmailing material, scandalous sex talk, or use of potentially intriguing words like ‘ransom’ or ‘getaway’ or ‘poledancers’. Finding none of those, I deleted the message and assumed that was the end of it. Which it was.

Until this morning. At a quarter till noon, the phone rang. It was her again, asking for Mike Patterson. I told her she had the wrong number. She harrumphed, and and hung up.

Immediately, she called back. She asked for Michael Patterson again. I told her, again, that there’s no one here by that name. She told me the number she had dialed, and I confirmed that it was dialed correctly — but under no circumstances had I invaded Mike Patterson’s office, stashed him in a file folder, and begun answering his phone. She harrumphed again, and hung up.

And again, she called right back. I let it go to voice mail, thinking that maybe I should change my message to say something more along the lines of:

Hello, this is not Mike Patterson. I’ve never met Mike Patterson, and know nothing about Mike Patterson, but if Mike Patterson has given you this number to reach him, you’re out of luck. Probably, you’re also a whacked-out psycho nutjob who’s intent on hiding out in Mike Patterson’s bushes — euphemistically or otherwise — and he’s given you a wrong number on purpose. So I’m not telling you my name, either. But here’s a hint: it’s not MIke Patterson. Buh-bye, now.

Or even better:

Hi, you’ve reached the office of Mike Patterson. Sadly, Mike has recently been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, where he faces multiple charges of distributing treasonous information over the phone to various as-yet-unknown co-conspirators. As this line is currently being monitored by several federal agencies, you may safely expect the FBI to arrive soon at your doorstep to commence the grueling interrogations and excruciatingly thorough body cavity searches. Feel free to leave a feeble blubbering denial after the beep, or simply hold on the line until the unmarked vans appear in your driveway.

Possibly, that would get me into more ‘code of conduct’ hot water, should the boss ever decide to call again. But at least I could go back to ignoring the phone for a while. It’s a risk I might just have to take.

Permalink  |  6 Comments



6 Responses to “Let Your Fingers Do the Stalking?”

  1. Roofie Raccoon says:

    Nice! What a rube.

    Next time it’s an outside line just answer “Hello” and when she says “Mike?” say “How can I help you?” She’ll blather on for a minute and you can say something enjoyable like “You know, it’s better for everyone if you don’t ever call me. Ever. Otherwise I might snap and start hurting kittens again. You don’t want that, do you?”

    This is my proposed solution.

  2. adamg says:

    But isn’t Michael Patterson going to call you up and ask “any messages?”

  3. Steph says:

    Seems like if she was any kind of stalker at all she would be standing around the corner calling from a cell phone anyway.

    At least that’s what my stalkers have done for me.

    MUCH.LESS.CREEPY.THAT. WAY.

  4. kerry says:

    hubby had a similar problem a while back. some woman, apparently to keep the authorities off her back, was giving his cell phone number out as her home number. he was constantly getting calls from drunk people wanting her to pick them up from bars or debt collectors wanting her to pay up. and it didn’t matter that he was the one leaving the message. he even called someone back and told them that he didn’t know who this chick was, but they didn’t want to believe him.

    we also occassionally get a call at our house from some old woman who must forget to put her glasses on and put her hearing aid in before she uses the phone, because she’s always leaving messages for some person we don’t know and talking about uncle such-and-such.

    one of these days we may try to record these little gems to post on our blogs. maybe you should tell psycho-stalker chick you’re going to record the conversation and post it here…

  5. Morgan Bochan says:

    hmmm what to say?

    Hey Mike, yeah it’s me….about that blog…

    or

    ….This comment is for Michael Patterson….

    look on the bright side: she hasn’t contacted you here.

  6. NuggetMaven says:

    You are going about this ALL WRONG. It’s not your fault, really. If you had this telephone number, your problem with this stalker-wanna-be would be over (I’d hope!).

    617-861-3962

    I believe that’s the number closest to Boston. For more info on the Rejection Hotline, check out their website:

    http://www.rejectionhotline.com

    It’s a hoot. And perhaps it might get the point across!

    Give it a call. It’s a riot. I read about them a few years back in People magazine.

    I hope this helps!!

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