Patsy Porco

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Butt Dialing

In Humor on September 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I was sound asleep and the phone rang. I answered and heard a lot of static and background noise, but no voice. I asked who was calling, over and over. I could hear my husband’s voice but, for some reason, he couldn’t hear me. I said his name and got no response. I said it louder and then louder and finally heard, “I’ll take a pretzel, no mustard.” What? I listened closer and could hear cars whooshing by, crackling paper, and other faint noises. Was I still asleep and dreaming? I pinched my leg, which is what I always do when I’m trying to determine if I’m awake. Once I felt the pain in my leg, I started to panic. My husband works late and usually gets home after I go to bed. He doesn’t, however, prank call me in the middle of the night. I continued to listen and heard him thank someone for the pretzel. Then nothing. It took a while for me to figure out that he must have somehow unknowingly activated his cell phone and called me. At least I hoped that that was what had happened, and that he hadn’t actually been kidnapped and had secretly dialed our home phone number so that I would contact the police and have them trace the GPS in his phone to locate him. I was way too tired for that scenario, so I said a quick prayer that he was okay and went back to sleep.

Eventually I heard him come in the front door. When he entered our bedroom, I rolled over and said, “Did you enjoy your pretzel?” You would have thought that I had kicked him in the stomach the way he jumped back with huge eyes and yelled “What?!” This struck me as hilarious and I laughed myself sick. When I was done, he was no longer surprised but livid. He demanded to know why in the world I was laughing like a hyena in the middle of the night, and how I knew that he had eaten a pretzel on his way home from work? These questions also struck me as screamingly funny, so it took some time for me to answer him. I wiped the tears streaming down my face and told him that his phone had dialed our house so I was able to hear him order a pretzel. He thought it over and acknowledged that he had put his phone in his pocket and that when he sat in his seat on the train, the phone must have “butt dialed” our house phone. Once his blood pressure evened out, he saw the humor in the situation and laughed, too.

Last week, my brother was visiting us from out of town and I was pulling into a store’s parking lot when my cell phone rang. I asked him to get it, and when he did, he heard my sister, who lives across the country, accusing him of calling her three times that day and hanging up. He was stunned. He said, “I didn’t call you. This isn’t even my phone; it’s Patsy’s.” She wasn’t surprised that she had dialed my phone number and had reached our brother who lived in another city. All she wanted to know was why my phone was annoying her. He explained that the phone must have been inadvertently activated, causing it to dial the number of the last person called. By the time I had parked the car, she had accepted his explanation and had hung up in good humor. She never did ask why he was answering my phone. Maybe she thought that I had been taken hostage and my kidnapper was pretending to be our brother. She must have been too tired to call the police and have them trace my GPS. Oh well, what goes around comes around. I hope she at least offered up a prayer for me.


Dumb Criminals

In Humor on September 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm

We’ve all heard stories about dumb criminals, or would-be criminals. For instance, how about the burglar who stopped to make a sandwich in the house he was attempting to loot? Unfortunately for him, an alert neighbor saw lights on in a supposedly empty house and called the police. Or what about the bank robber who was told by the teller that she couldn’t read the note that was passed to her? When the robber went over to a desk to re-write the note, the teller pressed a silent alarm and police arrived to arrest the wanna-be thief.  In my own town, a bank robber ran off with the money but left his prescription bottle on the counter. He needed money to pay the biggest thieves of all—drug companies.

When I was in high school, a classmate went into a drugstore, filled out an application for a job there, and then stole a box of condoms. He was caught and no ID was required from him since he had just written all of his contact information on the job application. What surprised his classmates wasn’t that he shoplifted, but that he was under the delusion that he’d ever have a need for protection.

They used to say that “babies don’t come with manuals” until they did. Hospitals got wise and started giving classes and how-to booklets to brand-new incompetent parents before they let them leave with their babies. Perhaps community colleges could start holding classes on how to rob, carjack, or commit arson without being caught. Of course, they would videotape the classes and, unbeknownst to the students, obtain fingerprints and DNA samples during the lessons.

Snooki from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” was charged with being “criminally annoying” after she got drunk on a New Jersey beach and became disorderly. Dumb criminals should be charged with being “criminally stupid” and sentenced to repeat first grade.

Chuck Smith, Virginia Author

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