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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Woman Screamed Hello

I have been on the receiving end, if you’ll excuse the expression, of a rash of butt-dialings.

You are aware of the term “butt-dialing”, yes? That accidental phone call one gets when someone inadvertently dials your number, usually by way of sitting on their phone?

Incredible design flaw.

I remember my first butt-dial like it was yesterday.

My phone rang. Not my cell phone, which was a device I had initially dismissed as a passing fad, but what we now refer to as the “land line”.

“Hello?”

A man was already talking. “… so pretty and all. Why don’t you reach back there, grab another one.”

There was the sound of movement, of a canned beverage being opened, followed by the sound of a woman’s drunken giggling.

I shouted into the phone: “Hello! Hello!”

“God but you look good. Come over here…”

It took a good 15 minutes of hard listening and intermittent screamings of “hello! hello!” before three things happened.

One: I recognized the voice of Duwayne. Duwayne, ex-childhood-trailer-park-neighbor, the man missing his front teeth, the guy who sometimes slept on friends’ couches, sometimes in his car. Why he had my number, I will never know as I’d not seen him since I was 16.

Two: I came to understand that Duwayne and “Pookie” were sitting at a lake in his car, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and enjoying the honeymoon period of a blossoming and alcohol-fueled relationship. Various items of clothing had been removed. Pookie was, as Duwayne put it, “stacked”.

Three: I hung up.

Funny thing about the land line, though. It wouldn’t hang up. Fifteen minutes later, when I needed to make a call, there was Duwayne and his paramour. From the sounds of it, he was doing a series of quick, heavy-lifting maneuvers.

That’s what I told myself, anyway.

I hung up again.

And for the rest of the night until I finally got in my car to go to visit the person I wanted to call, I picked up my phone to the sound of grunting, cans opening, and laughter.

I did not receive another butt-dialing for 10 years. And then…

My phone rang at work.

“Acme Napkins and Grommets. Pearl speaking.”

Nothing but the sound of country-western music playing. And then a woman’s voice: “Should we hit a drive-through? I’m hungry.”

I knew immediately. It was happening again.

A different woman’s voice: “Oh, I don’t know. What’re you thinking?”

And so I listened, for almost 5 minutes, interjecting a “hello! hello!” here and there, just to give them a fighting chance at not being caught saying anything they would regret later.

And unfortunately, they didn’t. For the most part, eavesdropping is quite dull; and so while I did some data entry and they discussed the merits of Burger King versus McDonald’s and sang along with songs I’d never heard before, it was re-affirmed for me how monotonous much of life can be.

I hung up.

The last event occurred just a couple weeks ago.

“Hello?”

This time it was my 25-year-old son and a group of his friends, heading north for the weekend.

“Hello! Hello!”

It was clear, from the shouting and laughter in his vehicle, that it had happened again.

And this time, I hung up immediately.

Because if there’s one thing that being butt-dialed has taught me, it's that, for the most part, if we’re not part of the conversation, we’re better off not knowing what was said.

39 comments:

Mandy said...

Oh. The. Horror!

The horror of listening to Duwayne's romantic shenanigans.

*Shudder*

P.S. Did you just say you have a 25-year-old son? Wha? You look like you're about 25-years-old in that photo of yours! Were you a child bride?

Molly Potter said...

I regularly go to work and my boss asks me strange questions like, 'did you have a game of scrabble this weekend?' or 'did you buy candyfloss?' I learned to give her the 'it wasn't me...again' look. Perhaps she doesn't know any other families but there is another one that is not mine out there butt dialling her with weird regularity (strange hand like butt?) and making her think I do things that I don't. I hate scrabble and make absolutely no noise if I buy candyfloss.

You take me places Pearl. x

Molly Potter said...

Oh and my dyslexia made me read that Duwayne slept on friends - which was in keeping with a post about body parts being in places they shouldn't.

la Brocanteuse said...

hie hie hie - this is so funny and true! I found you via A Broad and can see why she takes you in daily dose...that is a good subscription for all. I will HAVE to follow you!! warm wishes Colette x

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My husband butt-dials me ALL THE TIME. Like I CARE about his business meetings! Sheesh!
There should be a law about keeping phones by your butt to prevent this.

ellen abbott said...

Oh yeah. My installer butt-dialed me one time. I was yelling into the phone...Jon, Jon! He was talking to his helper, he says...I swear I can hear someone calling my name. He never did snap and I finally hung up.

Simply Suthern said...

My daughter and her friends pocket dial us all the time. The wife likes to listen. As for me ignorance is bliss.

I pocket dialed the Assistant DA's assistatant yesterday. No word back on that one yet.

The new I Phone 4 has a glitch that face dials someone else in the middle of a conversation.

Did you save the number? Pookie sounds really nice.

Charlotte Ann said...

and then there are those long voice messages left on our phones describing that pair of pants they just found on sale, and just your size and I'll pick them up for you..and this message went on 4EVER!
It must have been quite the surpise when whoever she was dialing received those pants and said "huh"...
Phones; ya can't live without em...and you can't shoot the caller.

Wynn said...

Especially when it's your son and his friends talking. Dudes in a group should not be overheard.

KaLynn said...

Especially when it is your kids! You may find out things you NEVER wanted to know!! =0)

Sweet Cheeks said...

The last time I was 'butt dialed' it was, in fact, my butt.

That wasn't a pretty conversation.

=]

Bossy Betty said...

Oh...a sick part of me really likes overhearing those conversations.....

Pearl said...

I must admit that I listened with interest to these calls for a while, but generally speaking, much of life is quite dull and specifically speaking there are some things you just don't want to know.

And Mandy? The picture up there is two years old. :-) What can I say? I like it. I was 22 when I had The Boy, so not exactly a child but certainly childISH...

SeaD said...

I was driving with a friend when she butt dialed her hubby, during a conversation confessing to me that she had never been in love or attracted to him! It went down hill from there. Unbelievably, they are still together.

Herding Cats said...

You are a good mom for hanging up. I'd be tempted to listen! ;)

Sarah said...

If only my butt dialing calls were half as interesting as yours...

Sam Liu said...

This is brilliant, Pearl, you never fail to make me laugh :D

And this has happened to me before. I feel so rude eavesdropping on someone else's conversation. I know I should hang up, but...well...Anyway, the talk is usually very boring (if there is any talk at all, usually just sound of the TV and the odd grunt) so, in the end, all hopes of some good drama quashed, I give up. Oh well.

Your last paragraph sums it up perfectly, "If we’re not part of the conversation, we’re better off not knowing what was said." Very, very true :D

Susan Deborah said...

Ah! another laugh riot! Butt-dialing, I seem to like this term. I am hearing this for the first time. I have never heard conversations, only muffled noises of the background which are absolutely unintelligible. But when these calls disrupt some important activity, it is SO annoying.

You have a way with funny incidents :)

Have a lovely remainder of the day!

Joy always,
Susan

Happy Frog and I said...

This is the first post I have read on this subject, but it happens to me and my other half all the time! My name begins with an A and his with a Z so we are first and last in everyone's mobile phones. Nightmare! It's when they let out a 'stealth fart' you need to really worry!

f8hasit said...

My ex-husbands phone has called me unbeknownst to him many, many times over the years. That is why he is my EX husband.

:-)

a Broad said...

I am bummed, this has never happened to me.
Someone used to call my house all the time and ask for this person. They always called, never took my word that he did not live there.
So I started making up stories about where he was when they called.
I personally thought that the circus clown and his wife story was the best.

I kinda miss those calls now. I can't understand what anyone says when they call here anyway ...

mrwriteon said...

Butt-dialing. What a bummer. But seriously, you've got plot lines for a salacious teen flick or a turgid C&W song. Take advantage, and use the name Duwayne, it's so perfect.

jo.irish.rose said...

pearl....hilarious as usual! butt...since i have done this a few too many times, i have bought a case to put my phone in...i have dialed china i presume....or sri lanka....or duwayne....lol! i have also received some of those calls too. not quite as good as yours. and never anyone i have known! hope that is the last for you!

Gigi said...

My son butt dials me all the time when he's at school. I try really hard to hear the conversation, since whenever I ask him what happened at school he says, "Nothing." Unfortunately, since he's sitting on the phone I can't hear anything.

Then there was the time I got a call from hubby and when I answered all I heard was Elvis singing some love song. I thought "how sweet! He's serenading me!" Nope, turns out he hip dialed me.

Douglas said...

This is why I use a flip phone.

Fred Miller said...

I was in a room full of social services advocates listening to the Kansas Secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services when I leaned on a table in the back of the room and ass-dailed a conference phone that was supposed to be disconnected. The entire room and the ten other sites around the state heard the dial tone and digits that my talented butt had coded in. The guy sitting next to me leaned over and punched "OFF". The Secretary was nice about it and just smiled. That's class.

Lisa said...

You are so right! Especially with our kids. I'd rather not know or hear.

Casey Freeland said...

I wouldn't be bald go help it. I would either listen until a) I confirm that I cannot understand anything being said or b) I get too bored.

Casey

家唐銘 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

家唐銘 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份..................................................

Cheeseboy said...

I'm thinking that Duwayne thought your "hellos" was actually his butt speaking to him.

Kelley said...

I love the Chinese comments! OH, butt-dialing. I love the term! I hate when I push the BUTTons that way. And, you're right, for the most part eavesdropping is boring. I'm actually going to go home now. I've been leaning my ear against the neighbors front door while looking at blogs on my iPhone, but I'm hearing nothing. Maybe they're asleep? Nah. It's 12:39 a.m. Surely they are making dinner and gossiping... Maybe I'll wait out here for a few hours more.

IndigoWrath said...

I keep a whistle and a foghorn next to the phone. They usually hear one of them, even from their butt. But a 25-year-old son? I believe not a word of it, ma'am.

Tempo said...

Ive had a couple of handbag dials and one small child who called me to have a chat while mum was in the shower. Ive no idea who she was or where she called from, but she was a nice sounding kid of about 6 or 7...apparently it was snowing where she was,which ruled out Australia so I told her I had to go before it cost a fortune.

Saimi said...

Our land line is long gone, but I have to admit when I've received the butt end of a call, I usually listen..I guess I'm nosy like that.

Happened to cross your way, hope you don't mind me stopping by!

Sausage Fingers said...

You mean to tell me that by working out, monitoring my diet aka staying away from fast food, and having all of my teeth is not enough to score two chickies in one night????
Then knock out my smile box and call me Duwayne, I am off to the drive thu.

Symdaddy said...

Smart arse phone calls! Wonder what a d%&* could do?

Bass said...

Excellent
I was not only entertained but educated. I think I need to buy a new dictionary that includes butt dialling.

Although I think I could develop a new genre with my fat butt dialling which probably means I can multi- task and take a video of bum fluff aswell as disclosing my whereabouts to some innocent.

Youtube fame awaits.

Bass said...

Excellent and educational. I will now use "butt dialling" in a future conversation to show I am hip and cool. Although I may need to adopt it to big butt dialling in my case, which probably means I can multi task. Expect a video on bum fluff on YouTube soon