Did I hear the Phone?

While reading a post from Betty the other day called Sorry, wrong number, it reminded me of some calls I answered over the years. It gave me the idea to share some of them with you. Here I go stealing ideas again!

Back in the days when ‘The Telephone’ was a fixture like an immoveable feast, a time mentioned in a Podcast I made way back last February, I mentioned the fact that the phone was in the Hallway of our house near the foot of the stairs. No matter what hour it was or where you were when it started to ring, there was a charge of the Light Brigade to answer it. My mother was often heard to say “You sound like Guinness’s Horses!”

I actually remember the heavy rhythmic sound of the large Dray Horses from the Guinness’s Brewery as they pulled the heavy trailers over cobbled streets back to the Brewery at night. It was a comforting sound, heard as I lay in a great big bed at my (Dublin) Granny’s house on a summer’s night. Still daylight outside, the windows were open for air and the closed curtains with their large Cabbage Roses, billowed in the soft breeze.

Now back to my subject and the sample of calls to our house. We were taught to answer the phone with the number and not a name.

11.40p.m. Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Me: ****** (Number)
Caller
: The Gardai are outside. Click.

11.41p.m. Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Me: ****** (Number)
Caller
: Close the Bar, CLOSE THE BAR! Click.

11.42p.m. Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Me: ****** (Number)
Caller
: Close the Bar the Gardai are outside. Click

We got calls for a Pub that was at least two miles away on a regular basis half an hour after the official closing time at night. Our phones numbers had the same digits but in a different order. There was no point in complaining, as the callers never stayed on the line long enough to find out their mistake.

Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Me: ****** (Number)
Caller
: Is that **+**+?
Me
: No, you have a wrong number.
Caller
: Well if it is a wrong number, why did you answer it? Click.

Then there was the night…

Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Brother No.2: ****** (Number).
Caller
: Blah-de-blah-de-blah. I only heard one side of this conversation!

Brother No.2: I’m fine, how are you?
Caller
: Blah-de-blah-de-blah.

Brother No 2: When did that happen?
Caller
: Blah-de-blah-de-blah.

Brother No.2: Were you very late?
Caller
: Blah-de-blah-de-blah.

Brother No.2: How did it go?
Caller
: Blah-de-blah-de-blah.

Brother No.2: You miss me. Really!
Caller
: Blah-de-blah-de-blah.

Brother No.2: How much?
Caller
: Blah-de-blah-de-blah.

Brother No.2: Mmmm! I think I better get my Brother before you tell me any more secrets. Nice talking to you!
Caller
: I will NEVER phone that house again!

That call actually went on for 45 minutes without the young lady realising she was talking to the wrong brother. She and brother No.1 celebrated 40 years of marriage last week. Well done both of you and I wish you bliss and trouble free phone calls for the next forty years!

Nowadays when I get an incoming call for a number that is not my own, it might go something like this:

Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Me: Hello
Caller
: Would Joe be there?
Me
: I think you have the wrong number.
Caller
: Oh! I am very sorry for disturbing you. Click.

Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Me: Hello
Caller
: Would Joe be there?
Me
: Well I hope not, or my husband might not be well pleased! (I never tell them my husband died)

Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Me: Hello
Caller
: Can I speak to Joe?
Me
: Hold on while I check, I set the receiver down and walk deliberately and noisily away……

Minutes later

Me: Are you still there?
Caller
: Yes, is Joe there?
Me
: I checked under the bed and there is no sign of him!
Caller
: Click.

Ring-ring, ring-ring…

Me: Hello
Caller
: Would Frank be there?
Me
: Is he good-looking?
Caller
: Why?
Me
: Well if he is good-looking and a toy-boy he can stay!

I bet you are glad you don’t ring my number!

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11 thoughts on “Did I hear the Phone?

  1. Ha ha! Very good. I’m often tempted to say something witty or off the wall to wrong numbers but can never manage it. I just politely tell them they have the wrong number. I have noticed though that people are getting a little more suspicious. As in:

    Me: Hello.
    Them: Is John there.
    Me: Sorry, you must have the wrong number, there is no one named John living here.
    Them: Are you sure?
    Me: Well of course I’m sure.
    Them: He gave me this number.
    Me: Well it must be wrong so.
    Them: Is this ****8
    Me: No this is ****5

    My grandmother gets occasional calls looking for the Fire Brigade. The numbers are almost the same. Hers ends in 52 and the Fire bridage with 50 but my number is one number off the local credit union. The temptation to approve imaginary loans is getting to be too much sometimes 😉

  2. Grannymar,

    I once had calls that went something like this:

    Caller: Hello, is Bill there?

    Me; Sorry, you must have the wrong number.

    Next call:

    Caller: Is Bill there?

    Me: There is no Bill here.

    Next call:

    Caller: I must speak to Bill. Please put him on.

    Me: I’ve told you there is no one here named Bill.

    Half hour later:

    Caller: Hello, This is Bill . Any calls for me?

  3. I had a mobile number that was one digit off some doctor’s. I’d get panic calls in the middle of the night. I figured it was best to answer because they’d just keep hitting redial, annoying me and upsetting themselves that the doctor wasn’t answering.

  4. Oops! Primal, that was a difficult one.

    When I came to this part of the world we has the same digits, different way to a Haulage Company. We got calls at all hours, it was annoying. I soon got the number changed.

    Not as bad as having a shared line, YES a shared line! It proved a major problem. I did ‘an Elly’ and had it changed quick, fast!!!!!

  5. I’d a number that was mistaken for a Chinese restaurant delivery service. Many an order for chicken flied rice was promised by moi and never delivered 🙂

  6. How many digits were in a Dublin phone number in the late 70’s early 80’s?

    I can’t find out then suddenly thought! Who better to ask than you.

  7. Danny,

    Back in the 70s Dublin telephone had six digits. I know they now have seven but cannot remember when they changed.

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