Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Let me fill you in on a little situation, and then I'll need some suggestions.

Ever since I moved to Las Vegas and got my new local phone number, I've been getting around three calls a week for "Andy" and "Patricia". Clearly, Andy and Patricia were the previous owners of the phone number. No big deal. But no matter how many times I explain to these various individuals that "Andy and Patricia don't live here no more." or "There ain't no Andy here, man." or "Dude, you've got an old number." the volume of these calls does not go down. In fact, it's been increasing.

And these callers aren't like normal wrong-number callers, who usually will apologize and hang up promptly when they discover their number is wrong or obsolete. No, these guys are persistent. Where is Andy? "I really don't know Andy. This is just his old number." How can I reach Andy? "Well, like I just said, I don't know Andy." But Andy just called me from this number. "Um, don't know what to tell you there." Well who are you? "Who am I? Who the fuck are you?" (click)

Clearly, these are creditors. Damn persistent creditors. Really persistent. You see, they're convinced that I AM Andy. And that I'm lying to them. The more honest I am, the more they think I'm lying through my teeth.

And they're employing some impressive creditor tricks. They call at various times of day. Early mornings, late nights. It's not just one person, it's several. There are businessy sounding guys, seductive women, old pal type guys... I pick up the phone and say hello, and it's "Heeyyyy, Andy!" "Andy, man, what's up!" Or a female voice "Hiiiiii sweetheart, Patricia there?" But then after my attempts at honest resolution of the wrong number, the tone gets angry and serious. WHERE IS ANDY. HOW CAN I REACH ANDY. WHO ARE YOU?

So you know what? I'm done being polite and honest. I am now officially prepared to fuck with these people. The next time they call, I am going to be Andy. The only question is how should I play it? Here's a scenario I came up with last night at the gym.

Them: "Hey Andy, how's it going?"

Me: "Mike! Thank God. Look, tell your brother we'll be in Vancouver tonight."

Them: "Um, this is Andy, right?"

Me: "Jesus! Why don't you say it a little louder? Just be quiet for a second. We're leaving for the airport in about 30 minutes. We're on American, flight... (talking away from the phone) Hey Pat... what's our flight number? What? Yeah Mike, it's flight 11-0-something. Look, you guys need to meet us at the airport in Vancouver. I do NOT feel comfortable carrying around all this cash in a suitcase, you understand? That was not part of the arrangement."

Them: "Uh... Andy?"

Me: "You're never going to see my ass in this country again, that's for sure."

Them: "....(pause)... What was that flight number again?"

Ah, that would be satisfying. Of course, that's a little high concept. Here's something a bit more basic.

Them: "Hello Andy?"

Me: "Yeah this is Andy."

Them: "Yes hello Andy! This is Mort Shackhauer from Visa collection. Hold on for just a second please, I'm going to conference Las Vegas Metro PD on this call.... Officer?

Officer: "Yes Mort, go ahead."

Them: "Andy. Are you aware that you've been ordered by Clarke County District A Superior Court to pay VISA an initial installment of ten thousand dollars by September 1st of this year, and that you have not made that payment?"

Me: "Relax guys! Look, I'm going to be a little late with the money."

Them: "The payment is already 3 months past due."

Me: "I just made a down payment on an Escalade this week for twice that much. And I'm going to be paying that thing off for years. You're going to have to cut me some slack."

Officer: (garble garble)..can impound that vehicle...

Me: "And let me tell you, it looks like a fucking behemoth I know. But it handles like a dream."

Them: "You think this is funny? You think you're being smart?"

Me: "Isn't there some statute of limitations on this? You should see what I got away with with my Amex. You think a wine cellar fills itself?"

And so on and so on. But really, there are an endless number of approaches here. I'd love to get some suggestions. Anyone?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Um, yeah, a super basic suggestion to your super basic petty annoyance.

Another two words: SCREEN CALLS

2+2 = 4, and that's your solution.

I never answer my home phone.