I'm in the midst of making dinner, with some items under the broiler, some bubbling on the stove, and the stupid phone is ringing. First off, I normally check call display before I even touch the phone. My mind is occupied with making dinner and I forget this crucial step as I immediately pick up the receiver.
"Hello, can I speak to Tim Williams?" a crisp voice asks on the other end.
"There's nobody here named Tim Williams." I eye my cheese sauce bubbling away on the stove top, willing it not to burn.
"Nobody?" The voice on the other end draws out the word, their tone saying they don't believe me for a second. "Do you KNOW a Tim Williams? Does he live there?"
"No. I don't. I don't know anyone even named Tim, for God's sake." Please, cheese sauce, don't burn.
"Are you sure? Do you know where he is?"
"NO. I don't know a Tim Williams, nobody here is named Tim Williams, and you have the wrong phone number. I'm making dinner right now and I have to go. Goodbye."
It's been two years. Two whole years of phone calls early in the morning, during weekends and holidays, of computers leaving cryptic messages on our answering machine urging Mr. Williams to "contact us immediately to resolve this matter." No matter how often we have said that we don't know who the guy is, they continue. We've tried being polite. We tried getting annoyed. We have insisted every call for the past two years that we really do NOT know who this guy is-and, could they please get our phone number our of their system?
Instead of believing us, they act as if we actually are hiding the guy in our garage amid the floor to ceiling boxes, lawn fertilizer, and the garbage cans. Unless he's two feet tall and can fit into tiny spaces, or is Spiderman, the chances of that are slim. I am at the end of my patience, and now we are considering answering the calls differently:
1. I could speak entirely in French-oops, sorry, I don't know English. You wanted some pizza?
2. Yes. We do have Tims. In a box on the counter-there's sour cream, strawberry filled, and chocolate. You know, from Tim Hortons. Would you like one? I personally like the long johns, but it's all in the sprinkles. The toffee ones are a bit sweet for me. Boston Creme is good, if not a little messy.
3. I think he's now residing with Little Red Riding Hood over the in the woods around the corner. They are a strange lot, occasionally inviting Snow White over for...you know... get togethers.
4. No, I don't know Tim. Do you? Maybe he's at YOUR house. Are you sure? Tell you what, give me your home phone number and I'll call YOU at 6 am Christmas morning-just to check.
If you have any other good ideas, leave them in my comments. Maybe I'll try them out and get back to you.
Oh....one last thing...
Mr. Tim Williams? Whoever you are?
I want my phone number back.