Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Phantom Ringing Phone

I have not had a land line in years. The room mate who left me high and dry and owing me a couple grand stopped paying our phone bill and left me with the debt, among others. I paid all that off and have done a good job rebuilding my credit but never needed a land line again until I needed the internet. I am now the proud owner of a phone number I can't remember for a phone line that will never be used for anything more than data. As an afterthought I plugged in a cheap analog phone when the line was installed and figured I would never think about it again.


Until the phone started ringing.

At first it was just around dinner time. Then it was daytime on the weekends. Then nights. Then 3am. I've since unplugged the bastard a few times. I've never answered it. No one knows the number and I've never given it out so I don't know who would be calling other than telemarketers or people looking for the person that the phone used to belong to. I don't need to hear from angry bill collectors or drunken exes, particularly when they aren't mine.

One would think that if I just left the phone unplugged the problem would go away. Naturally this is the easy solution so I leave the phone plugged in. I've never even considered answering it, I usually just watch it until it stops ringing; transfixed by the noise and distracted like a moth hypnotically drawn to light.

Telemarketers don't call at 3am so I'm pretty sure that something else is going on. What, I don't know. And I'll never know. Because I'm never answering it. It's much more fun to imagine scenarios. Maybe it is a portal to the dead. Maybe it is a confused yet bored millionaire who will give money to whom ever answers. Maybe it is punks pressing the buzzer outside the lobby because the land line is connected to the little phone outside that buzzes people in.

The phone was ringing when I walked in the door tonight. Per usual I stared at it until it stopped ringing and then went about my business.

I better register the number for the national do not call registry. That might help a bit.


alyndabear said...

Answer it! I want to know who's on the line...

Andy said...

Maybe it's an exit from The Matrix. Any second some gun-toting, leather-clad, sunglass-wearing white ninja is going to coming bursting through your door, stick that phone to his greasy head disappear into thin air. Then some equally greasy suits will walk in, but by that time you'll have turned into one of them yourself. But as an agent of the system you won't be responsible for paying the bill again and the exit will cease to exist.

...did I put too much thought into that?

Contrary said...

We have a house phone for much the same reason, except it's for the satellite TV. We got tired of the ringing and turned the ringer off.

So, maybe you could do that!

(I know, I'm helpful and adorable)

So@24 said...

This totally reminds me of the episode of "The Adventures of Pete and Pete" when there is a public phone that has rung for 20 years and no one has answered it.

Did I just totally nerd myself out?

Anonymous said...

Yes, please answer it. Must know!

Maya said...

Or better yet, pick up and start breathing really heavily. Than start singing or laughing or doing something equally maniacal.

Yes, this is how my mind works.