Prank calls

I loved making prank phone calls when I was a pre-teen.   When my mother would leave the house, I’d frantically call Linda and tell her to come over.  “Come over and play Kooky Calls”, I’d say.  She’d do the same for me, of course.  We had hours of fun at the expense of teachers, schoolmates and random strangers.

What with caller ID and well, being somewhat of a mature adult, I don’t have the opportunity for Kooky Calls any longer.  The only outlet I have for my phone creativity is to mess with solicitors.  I didn’t answer calls from unknown numbers for a long time, but they will call and call forever.  Maybe I should waste their time for a while and they will leave me alone, I think.

Unfortunately for my pranking instincts, most of the harassing calls I get are robocalls.  They’ve perfected the art of annoyance by hiring actors to record a reasonable facsimile of an actual call. There are spots for you, the victim, to respond and even leave a credit card number.

“Hi, this is Steve from the customer service department! Can you hear me okay?”

I say nothing.

“That’s great!, RoboSteve continues, breathless, like he can’t wait to give me some wonderful news.  “I wanted to let you know about an incredible deal you’re qualified for.  FREE airfare, all food and drink covered, hotel, FREE tickets to DisneyWorld and other attractions.  First, we need to get a couple of things from you.”

Of course.  I say nothing.

“You need to be over 18 to receive your FREE trip”, — here he gives a knowing chuckle — “and we’ll need to get a valid credit or debit card number from you to secure your place.”

Naturally, Steve.

“Are you over 18?”

Now’s the time for me to enter the game.  “I’m twelve”, I say.



“Now we’ll need that credit or debit card number”.

I’m tempted to give RoboSteve the number of a gift card that has $2.53 on it, but decide I’d rather use it for a cup of Caribou Coffee.

Instead, “Can I give it to you after I get my allowance?”, I wonder.

“Well, thanks for your time.  Sorry to bother you!” Click.

Getting the bum’s rush from a thief.  Kooky Calls aren’t as much fun as they used to be.


NaNoWriMo, an update. Day 3. On the path.

Writing this year’s story has been so easy.  The words flow from my fingers and I find myself thinking of the next installment between writing sessions.  I think the problem for me in the past is that I would pick a random idea out of the ether on the morning of November 1.  After a short while (1 hour to 10 days) I would get bored with the concept I’d chosen.  And quit.  I couldn’t make myself push through it.  To be truthful, I didn’t try.  But you get the idea.  I stopped writing.

This year, I started thinking about my NaNoWriMo story ahead of time, in mid-October.  I tossed a few ideas around until the idea I am working with jumped into my head.  It gave me the first line and told me to run with it.  To put it in more graphic terms, the opening line came to me while I was soaking in the tub.  I wasn’t  thinking of NaNoWriMo right at that moment.  My mind was blank except for noticing how lovely the hot, scented water felt on my skin.  Maybe that’s the key: being open and receptive to whatever ideas come, not trying to manipulate thoughts with my Monkey Mind.

This year, I’m loving my story, am enjoying the process of writing it.   Words rush out and I type them.  The occasional roadblock that pops up – I go around it. Pfft, I say.  You can’t stop me!

The content of the story is deeply personal, so much so that I can’t predict that anyone but me will ever read  it. It’s probably why it is flowing so easily.  Just change a couple of names and bang! Fiction!   I may be able to use parts of it in other work; maybe after I’m done, I can do a fine tooth comb edit and let it out into the world.

We’re only three days into the process, my story and me.  It’s a new relationship and we’re in the giddy “Oh, but we have so much in common!” phase.   Later it may degenerate to the point we can barely stand one other, merely tolerating one another’s presence in our respective corners.  For now, though,  we’re off to an exhilarating start.  We’ll enjoy our  honeymoon period while it lasts.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep walking the path and see where it takes us.