23 November 2009

Wrong Number

A few weeks ago I was awoken at about 7 in the morning by a call on my cell phone. If my cell phone didn't serve as my alarm, rest assured (play on words!) I would silence it at night. You can see my dilemma, I'm sure. I do not wake up at 7. Oh no. On a good day I am out of bed at 8:20. Most days it's about twenty minutes after that. Thus, I was rather shocked that my phone was ringing so very, very early.

I answered the phone, and on the other end I heard a whole lot of gibberish. That is, the language did not sound like English. Naturally, I figured the caller was speaking Spanish. Now, let me explain that my brain always goes into default Spanish mode when I hear a language that isn't English. I guess this is because Spanish is the only language besides English that I have any ability to speak. My knowledge of French is limited to a few phrases from Beauty and the Beast. My knowledge of German is limited to what I've heard in WWII movies, and the little of what Eric remembers from his three years of German in high school. (I have a headache. I have the hunger of a bear. I love you.) (Eric also knows, "I have no idea. I'm a foreigner," and "How much does the calculator cost? The calculator costs 10 marks.")

As I was saying. Spanish. Only, as you may recall, my Spanish is rusty at best. So, here I am at 7 a.m. wondering who the heck is speaking Spanish to me and what they want. In my sleepy stupor I start saying things like, "Usted tiene el numero... wrong. Mi espanol is muy malo. Lo siento. No soy Catherine. Soy Sherry. Me llama Sherry. Lo siento. No intiendo. Yo Soy Sherry." (Translation: You have the number... wrong. My Spanish is very bad. I'm sorry. I'm not Catherine. I'm Sherry. My name is Sherry. I'm sorry. I don't understand. I am Sherry."

Then I heard, "Wrong number? Sorry." And gone.

That afternoon, the same number called again. Only, this time, I was awake. Awake enough to realize the caller was not speaking Spanish after all. Oh no. She was speaking ENGLISH. Yes, my own language, but she had a rather thick accent. My guess is Ghanaian. This is because in this second phone call I realized she was saying something to the effect of "This is Catherine somethinngsomethingsomething from Ghana." Oooooooohhhh. You're Catherine. Yes, that makes a little sense, I guess. And you are from Ghana, thus me not being able to determine what the heck you were saying. Now I get it. Except, I'm still pretty sure she had the wrong number. I told her that, and she hung up.

A few days later, she called again in the morning.

And again a few days after that. Fourth time, it was on a Saturday, and once I was awake, I couldn't go back to sleep. My wrath was kindled, I blocked her number from my phone. It was mostly to preserve my sleep, but also because I was concerned about the amount of money she must be spending to make these calls from Ghana. And, I must insist that she is, in fact, calling from Ghana because the phone number matched with the country code.

I was done with Catherine from Ghana. Until today.

At 5:30 in the MORNING. THE MORNING. Grumblegrumblegrumble. Ruiner of dreams. (After she hung up I had bad dreams about being roped into some sort of Ghanaian prince email scheme. I hate stressful dreams.) This time, she called from an unknown number.

Assuming that Catherine doesn't call me at some unheavenly hour next time, I'm going to my darndest to keep her on the line and try to help her find the person she is looking for. My friend, Trish, mentioned that maybe Catherine is looking for a family member or loved one in America from whom she is expecting money, and if that is the case, I feel rather badly for her. Whatever her deal is, I hope she stops calling me early in the morning, and I hope she finds the person she is looking for.


AmiZOOKey said...

Could it perchance be someone hoping to rope you into some kind of ludicrous scam? If so, they're not very good at it. They should find another job. Ticketing people who can't park in Supermarket and mall parking lots for instance - no shortage of work there I'm sure. OR..."Catherine" could come up with some sort of gadget that instantly reduces an entire packet of bikkies to a fine bikkie dust in seconds - perfect for making into fudge cake and/or cheese cake bases. I'm convinced there's serious dosh to be made in this particular area.

John said...

A few weeks ago I got a call at 2 am or so from some guy in Arizona. He said I had called him; I hadn't. But even if I did, why in the world are you calling me back at 2 in the morning. If I hadn't been concerned that it was an emergency and/or letting it ring would wake up the entire household, I wouldn't have answered. The worst part was having to argue with the guy. "Well you called me, " he said. "No I didn't I don't even know who you are, " I responded. It was easily the stupidest conversation I have ever had...and that's saying something.

Erin said...

Man, I remember the last time I was in Germany and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how much this one calculator cost...

Angela Noelle said...

Who is paying for these calls?

Doesn't the cellphone-OWNER pick up the tab in the U.S.?

Oh my, I have enjoyed parts 1 and 2 of this tale. Very muchly.