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Wherein Freedom Was Always An Illusion
  #1  
Old 04-17-2020, 05:52 AM
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Default Wherein Freedom Was Always An Illusion

Something happened this evening that prompted me to crawl back here to the only people that could possibly understand. The only ones who have seen what I have seen and yet still cling to life.

This evening at approximately 9:37 PST my phone rang. This is quite unusual for after finally leaving my job I have become an unwashed hermit living deep in the mountains. Few people know where I am let alone how to contact me. The only person that could possibly be calling this late would be my mom; seeking tech support for Netflix.

I picked up the phone, curious and naive, and glanced at the caller ID. The number began with 867. Second only to 666 in Farthland's International Numbers Of The Damned Index. The area code of Nunavut.

An old, familiar terror stirred up somewhere deep within me. A beast that has largely slept these last several years. Now roused by the scent of my rising panic. It has been some odd 7 years since I took a call from this area code. Why now? What happened? How did they find me?

The sensible thing to do would be to leave it. Let it ring. Do not open Pandora's Box. Yet, there was an unmistakable morbid curiosity....


Me: "Hello?"
SC: "HELLO. I AM LOOKING FOR MY COUSIN DARLENE <lastname>"

Oh no, that voice. That voice. I know that voice. That "My whole life is a grievous head injury so it will take several seconds for me to load a complete sentence. Thank you for your patience." voice. Everyone who ever called me in the dead of night from Nunavut had that voice. Who are you and how did you find me?! Wait, whose Darlene?

Ahh, I see what happened here. Darlene's last name and my last name are almost the same but mine starts with the next letter in the alphabet. You effectively called Mr Todd looking for Mrs Sodd. I understand. You're not excused mind you. But I understand.

You were faced with a relatively simple task ( FIND DARLENE ) and you failed in an obvious and easily avoidable way ( LETTERS R HARD ). But don't worry. I had low expectations for you to begin with so I am not disappointed. Just sad. Sad and tired.


Me: "I'm sorry, I think you have the wrong number. Besides this is "Todd" not "Sodd""
SC: "Yeah, but its still close in the phone book"

I take back what I said about exceptions. You have somehow found a way under the already incredibly low bar I had set. The years must have made me soft. I was careless. It will not happen again.

<deep breath>

Phone books do not work that way you rectal spittoon. It is not organized by physical or genetic distance. And how did you even get the phone book for here?! You're in Nunavut! You're like 3000 kms away! Did a wayward tourist forget it and you think it's an ancient manuscript for contacting the entire country? Wait, are you just calling EVERYONE in my town whose name ends in Sodd or Todd (and maybe Rodd?) and asking if Darlene is there?


SC: "Uh, so my number is 867-"

Yeah I am not writing that down. I would rather staple my ballsack to my taint and take up luge.

But I guess if it will give you back the piece of mind that clearly rattled around and fell out I can not just hang up in disgust.


SC: "So, uh, bye."

May your ass hair become fatally entwined with your next bowel movement.

Last edited by Gravekeeper; 04-17-2020 at 05:54 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2020, 09:14 AM
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Mikkel Mikkel is offline
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Damn, they can't let you alone. Even retired and anonymous.
Because of that nitwit you returned. Talk about doing good unwittingly.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2020, 10:59 AM
Kazim Kazim is offline
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I needed this laugh, I haven't been able to talk to any of my relatives in a few months no, And it's not only due to Corvid-19
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2020, 12:05 PM
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And you thought that "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose" ...
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2020, 03:14 PM
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EricKei EricKei is offline
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Wow. Even in exile, they keep dragging you back in.

In any case, GK, you always have a place here -- even if all you have to say is "Hi." ^_^

Yeah, yeah, the rest of you, too. I guess.
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:09 PM
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Ironclad Alibi Ironclad Alibi is offline
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Gotta love those wrong numbers, especially when they find you in the phone phone.

Forty years ago, shortly after Mrs. IA and wed, her telephone book listing was changed to both of our names, Ironclad and Tinclad Alibi. One day I answer the phone and the following ensues:

Me: Hello.

Them: Hi Ironclad. Is Tinclad there?

Me: No she isn't.

Them This is Gail:

Me: Yes? (not recognizing the voice)

Them: Is this Ironclad Alibi? (realizing I didn't recognize her voice)

Me: Yes:

Them: Major Ironclad Alibi?

Me: No.

At which point that call ended.

Turns out there was another couple with our names in the area

Over the next several years we got a number of calls from people trying to find them.

One of the last callers Mrs. IA spoke with told her they had divorced.

So Sad. They were one of the nicest couples we never met.
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2020, 08:36 PM
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We used to get letters and sometimes packages for someone who had the same first initial and last name as my mom. Who evidently was a real estate developer or some such.

We kept the poinsettia, but sent everything that had a return address on it back.
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2020, 09:53 PM
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16 years ago, I moved into a flat with the future ex-wife. It was a lovely place, art deco frontage (actually featured on a couple of episodes of Poirot!), 24 hour concierge at the front of house, all that cool shit. We did our due diligence and set up mail redirects, and settled in...

Over the next few months, a lot of my mail went missing. Like, almost everything. Luckily most bills were set up in my partner's name, as she was the one earning the most reliable wage, but it still presented me with some problems - and then one day a large package turned up with all my mail in! Strange thing is, it was addressed to "the new residents", not to me in particular?

Turned out that the previous couple that had lived there included a guy whose full name differed from mine by one solitary letter; he had an additional character in his surname which I lack. On moving out, they had done their due diligence and set up mail redirects, and I'm sure by now you can see where this is going - yep, anything that was sent to our flat for me was being forwarded to him because that one letter was being overlooked! Hie figured it out, and had tried once already to forward my stuff back but had foolishly put my name on the package so it had just gone straight back to him!

Fast forward 8 years. I'm working at my solitary station by now, well ensconced and happy in my new career. One day I'm selling a chap a season ticket; he hands me his ID to bring up his records, and it's him! The guy with (almost) my name! Luckily it wasn't busy, and I was able to introduce myself and we had a quick laugh and reminisce, and we chatted on and off any time he came through from then until I left. Nice bloke, but then I already assumed as much from his going above & beyond to get me my mail back!
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Last edited by RealUnimportant; 04-17-2020 at 09:55 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2020, 02:01 AM
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So glad to see you back, GK, even if it's only momentarily, and even if it was due to a phone call straight out of the Twilight Zone.

This is why I almost never answer my phone. I used to have an answering machine; my current ISP offers an internet-telephone bundle and with that comes an answering service.

The other morning my phone rang at 7:30 in the fucking ayem. They didn't leave a message so I have no clue who it was.
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2020, 04:13 AM
Slave to the Phone Slave to the Phone is offline
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Gravekeeper, I am so sorry to see you posting again. How horrible that you are here

Ummmm...that came out wrong, didn't it. OK, I am happy to see you alive and posting, not happy that it took you being traumatized by the sins of your past.
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