So, something weird happened to me last night. The phone rang at 7:43 p.m.. Privacy director listed "Private Name, Private Number". Usually, I ignore calls like this, but against my better judgment, I answered.
Woman: "Hello, may I speak to Brian?"
Me: "This is he."
Me: "Who's this?"
Woman: (laughingly, as if we know each other well) "This is Kristin." (A trashy southern accent.)
Me: (pause, as I wrack my brain for Kristins I've known. I come up with nothing.) "Kristin who?"
Woman: (as though I'm being dense) "Kristin!"
Me: "Are you sure you have the right number?"
Woman: "This is Brian, right?"
Me: "Yes, but..."
Woman: "We met the other day. You gave me your number, said we should go out some time."
Woman: "Honey, is this a bad time?" (in the background, a small child is saying, "Mommy.")
Me: "What's my last name?"
Woman: "Hon, do you want me to call another time?"
Me: "No, no. I have no idea who you are, and you're not saying."
Woman: "We met the other day."
Me: "Where at?"
Woman: "At the grocery store."
Me: "Which one?"
Me: "Which Kroger?"
Woman: "Oh, I don't remember, the one down in Decatur. Sweetie, if I called at a bad time, I can call back..." (again, the child in the background says, "Mommy.")
Me: "Oh no, don't call here again."
Woman: "Honey, I'll just call back."
Me: (yelling) "No! Do not call back here again!"
I hang up.
Now, that's just a rough transcript from memory. Reading over it, it comes across as shorter than it actually was.
As you can probably tell, I was very freaked out by this conversation. By the end, my heart was racing and I was shaking a little. I think what was most strange about the conversation was how goddamn certain she was that she knew me. Even though I hadn't been inside a Kroger since early last week (which would have been a stretch to include in her vague "the other day" time frame), and even though I was pretty sure I would have remembered something like giving a woman named Kristin my number (or any woman for that matter), her casual certitude made me question my own hold on reality. "Did I hit on some redneck woman at the grocery store and give her my number?" I wondered. It didn't sound like me (to which the wife agreed when I told her about it), but her certainty was, at least during our brief chat, compelling evidence that I was in fact a cheating bastard. Clearly, it doesn't take much to make me doubt my sanity.
After I settled down and remembered I haven't ever tried to start up an affair, much less one in the fruits and vegetables section of my local grocery store, the question became what had Kristin been after? How had she gotten my name and address? The phone book was the simple answer to this question, as my name, number and address are listed there for all the world to see. So what was she doing? Running her finger down the Yellow Pages and calling random Metro Atlanta men by alphabetical order? And all just so she could try and convince them she'd caught their eye at the grocery store in whichever city they lived?
So what if the conversation had gone a different way? What if I'd been the kind of guy looking to score some "alone time" with a random trailer park single mother? What would have happened to me when Kristin and I finally went "out"? Would it have been her and two hillbilly thugs waiting behind trailer #14 ready to drive me and my bank card around to a bunch of ATMs? Would they figure I might not say anything given the circumstances surrounding my kidnapping, thus leaving their crime unreported and them free to run the same scam again? I'm not sure. Though it's possible that Kristin's out-of-the-blue evening call was just a weird prank or maybe the wishful delusions of a mentally ill woman, I think it was likely some kind of scam. Any of you have any theories?
Anyway, you heard it here first. The weirdest, most ineffectual telephone scam you can imagine may be coming to a city near you! Watch for it! But don't hang up like I did! See where it leads!
Also: for more fun telephone hijinx from the Inanities Archives, click here and here.