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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dial M for Random

Ring-ring!  Ring-Ring!

“Good morning, this is Pearl.”

“Who is this?  Where are you?”

I blink at my phone. 

It doesn’t help, but it doesn’t hurt.

“This is Pearl,” I say.  “And where are you?”

“Well I’m – I’m Barbara,” she says crossly.  “And I’m not going to tell you where I am.”

I blink again.  There is a short silence before Barbara continues. 

“Why did you call me?”

I sigh, quietly.  Perhaps this is a test of some kind…

“I believe you called me,” I say.

“Not now,” she snaps.  “This morning.”

Barbara appears to be a bit peevish.

A light bulb goes off.  “Oh,” I say.  “I think I know what you’re talking about.  Is your number similar to –“  and here I rattle off the number I had mis-dialed earlier in the morning.

There is a silence, long enough that I begin to worry about ol’ Babs.

“Barbara?”

“Yes,” she cranks.  “Yes, it is, and you called me at 7:04.  Who calls anyone at 7:04?”

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I say.  “I start work at 7:00.  I’m sorry if I woke you.”

She sniffs.  “I was up at 5:00.”  I am certain that this woman is frowning.  “I saw that you called but I was out in my garden, and then you didn’t leave a number, and I’ve been worried about it all day!”

“Oh,” I say. 

There is another silence.

“It’s so nice in the morning,” she says.

I close my eyes, then shrug.  Why not.  “Yes,” I say, “but I rarely get a chance to be out in it.”

Barbara cannot contain herself.  “What?!” she says.  “Well, you should!  You should get out.  Today is going to be nice at 4:00!”

This Barbara!  She’s a bit crabby, but she seems okay.  I laugh.  “Why at 4:00?  I don’t get off until –“

And just like that, there is a click and I am listening to the dial tone.

Barbara has hung up on me.

It haunts me, that conversation.


What made her think it was going to be nice at 4:00?

33 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i am wondering if i should go out at 4 pm today...hoping it is not malicious you know...maybe that is when the ice cream truck comes by...if i believe that i might go out at 4 pm. what an interesting misdial...hmm...i might have to dial a random number to see what i can come up with....smiles.

Buttons said...

I hope Barbara was right:) It is not nice at 10:) Hug B

Pearl said...

Brian, I almost feel that something cosmic is about to happen. At 4:00.

Yes. Definitely at 4:00. :-D

Pearl said...

Buttons, I worry about Barbara.

Daisy said...

Hmm. 4:00. Well, now I'm going to have to go out then to see what's going on. I think Barbara should sleep in a little later. 5:00 is much too early for anyone to be up and around. I think she needs more sleep. :D

Should Fish More said...

Perhaps she meant 4:20, if you get the reference.

vanilla said...

Excuse me for saying so, but if you start work at 7:00, you surely as green apples in July should be off by 4:00.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
...seven minutes to four of the arvo right here right now - and the sun just appeared after three days of pretending it was dead. She could be right, that Babs.

Or just getting her own back... YAM xx

Delores said...

Sounds like you've had a little visit from the Twilight Zone.

Silliyak said...

I think it's 4 am. I'm awake a lot at 4 am, it often seems nice.

Joanne Noragon said...

Existential surrealism.

jenny_o said...

"What made her think it was going to be nice at 4:00?" Well, I think the bigger question here is what made her think it was acceptable to hang up on you just when you were beginning to trust that she wasn't 100% cranky? The nerve.

Launna said...

What an odd phone conversation... some people get worked up about unimportant things... :-/

savannah said...

did you call back to find out why she hung up, sugar? ;) xoxox

Chicken said...

I was thinking of going out today at 4 but now I'm definitely going. Babs doesn't seem to realize she's been called by a friend she hasn't met yet. Some people just can't see the roses for the thorns. You are the opposite of those people.

Geo. said...

Probably some really fast-paced new apocalyptic sect: Garden at sun-up; fall from grace before breakfast, followed by signs and portents. That would put the Rapture about mid-afternoon, after which it will be "nice" --around 4 p.m.

Pearl said...

:-) You guys are weird. :-)

And absolutely lovely.

Mary Koppel said...

And we who are in Pacific Time are just wondering which 4 pm we're talking about? Should I be worried at 2 pm my time or...hmmmm.

Elephant's Child said...

And I want to know whether Barbara is a prophet. Was it nice at four? She is right about the beauty of the morning, so perhaps she is on a roll.

Pearl said...

It's 4:09, Central Time.

Things still A-OK in Minneapolis!

Craver Vii said...

"What made her think it was going to be nice at 4:00?" Offhand, I do not know, but I am certain the answer can be found in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I never read it 'cause I have Douglas Adams' number in my speed dial. Unfortunately, he died in 2001.

Call her back.

Gigi said...

Well...the only thing that happened at 4:00 here - was that I drove into my driveway. The rain had stopped and - doggone - it WAS nice! Babs knew what she was talking about.

Slamdunk said...

I would have been on the edge of my seat all day. Whatever happened at 4 pm, it must have been localized to Barb. I'll have to read the papers thoroughly tomorrow!

bill lisleman said...

I might think of details too much but were the two on the same time zone? Maybe the same time zone but different planets?

Jocelyn said...

I feel that Barbara is held fast in the clutches of The Change.

It could be years before she makes sense. Or is nice.

Rose L said...

Was she referring to 4 AM!?!? WAKING at 4 AM!!??? Getting up out of bed @ 4 AM???!!!
Nah, must be a prank! I am never up before 8:30 am...and nobody better call me before that!!!!!

River said...

5am on a summer morning is nice at any place on the planet, but 4pm is usually rush hour so not so nice, unless you don't have to drive.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

This cracked me up as most of your post do

Suzanne Casamento said...

4:00 am? Nothing is nice at 4:00 am? Or maybe she meant pm?

With Babs, who knows?

Susan F. said...

Perhaps you should call her back -- but be sure NOT to leave a message if she doesn't answer! :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I swear I've had this same conversation with my kid's friends on the phone. Wha? Wh? Aw, forget it.

Daisy said...

You have to be careful around people named "Barbara"! We tend to be a little ... ummm ... erratic.

From Daisy's Barbara

Pixel Peeper said...

Definitely a bit Twilight Zone-y! Anyone who calls me and wants to know who this is gets my standard answer: It's Jake from State Farm.

If she calls back, ask her the lottery numbers for the next drawing!