I Hear Old People
You will be happy to know that my long running streak of receiving accidental phone calls from the elderly is now at two. Last October, if you’ll recall, I received a wrong number voice mail from an old man named Ben who hails from Canada and is the most insanely polite person I’ve ever talked to. He was so over-the-top polite that after a while I started to suspect that maybe it was all a smokescreen and that he was overcompensating to hide some terrible secret. “All right, Ben,” I felt like yelling into the phone, “knock off the horseshit politeness act. We both know that you’ve got a basement cemetery full of hobos and drifters!” But knowing Ben, he’d deny it and then apologize for being so contrary.
The other night, I got another wrong number voice mail from an old man, this one of the Mexican Granddad variety. “Hello, little one! It’s abuelo! I was thinking about you! We were watching the… uhhh… The D-Backs! And, oh, little one, I miss you and love you SO much! Ok, good bye little one!”
Is that sweet or what? So once again, I decided to return the call and inform the guy that he’d misdialed, because I had this mental image of an old Hispanic man sitting alone in a dimly lit room, sadly wondering what he had done to be ignored by his little one. And I just… I mean… I couldn’t stand to… EXCUSE ME! I HAVE SOMETHING IN MY EYE!
Anyway, things did NOT go as planned. (Incidentally, imagine Cheech Marin was playing the part of Some Guy, and you won’t be far from the truth. He sounded almost exactly like him.)
Some Guy: ¿Bueno?
Me: Hi, I got a call from this number a few minutes ago, someone looking for Little One…
Some Guy: What?
Me: Someone just called me from this phone and I…
Some Guy: Ayyyyy, chinga tu madre, pendejo!
Me: Wait… what?
Some Guy: You heard me.
Me: What the fuck, asshole?
Some Guy: Hahahaha!
Me: Listen here, motherfucker…
(loud noises in the background, rapid Spanish being spoken)
Some Guy: Hahahaha! Hey, you called a bar, pendejo. This a pay phone.
Me: Oh. Well, fuck.
Some Guy: Yeah, so who you looking for?
Me: I dunno, some old guy wanting to talk to Little One.
Some Guy: They’re all old over here, man. This place is like a morgue.
Me: And this is a pay phone? I didn’t know they still had those things.
Some Guy: This is Safford, man. We’re lucky we have TV!
Me: All right…
Some Guy: Hey, you should come down and have a few beers with us, esé!
Me: Man, I’m in Phoenix.
Some Guy: Phoenix? What the fuck you doing talking to me? You should be out chasing putas, esé!
Some Guy: That’s what I’d do!
Me: What, they don’t have putas in Safford?
Some Guy: Nahhh, we used ’em all up!
Me: That so?
Some Guy: Yeah, and they got diseases and shit, too.
Me: Wait, let me write that down: Stay out of Safford.
Some Guy: Hahaha! You got that right!
Me: Ok, hey, thanks for the tip. Go have five or six for me, would you?
Some Guy: You’re the boss!
Me: All right, take it easy.
SHIT, there are yous all over the states.
I was actually kinda proud of the guy.
My dad, who is not very old at all, called me at home to discuss something. Or so he thought.
A man answered the phone, so my dad assumed it was Sifu. Amazingly, the guy was also named “Sifu”. My dad had a lengthy discussion with “Sifu” who must have been partly brain damaged because at no point did he tell my dad, “I don’t think I’m the Sifu you’re looking for.”
My dad came over a few days later and was shocked that Sifu had no recollection of the conversation that my dad had with some guy we’ll never know.
The alternate universe Sifu has probably got a blog and is posting a profane and humorous write up of the incident as we speak.
That sounds almost exactly like a conversation I just had with my mother last weekend.
Especially the part about the putas.
Also, I like the way you call people back. It’s the Good Cop thing to do. 🙂
Well, it’s the nice thing to do, sure. But I kinda get a kick out of it. And after that last call, you had better believe I’m going to continue the practice.
Some Guy was just full of good advice for you. Lucky you called a bar, not a library or a morgue.
I agree. I’m going to hang on to that number so that the next time I need advice, it will be readily available.