unknown number


I like answering my phone when I get a call from an unknown number because it usually gives me material for my blog.



Granted, I answer calls from unknown people all day every day for my job. Which sometimes is pretty awesome. One time I told the lady on the phone that I was the only Benjamin in the world, and I think she believed me. She at least got really confused.

Another time, late in the day, a lady was saying goodbye. But she didn’t just say goodbye. Her words, verbatim, were “Ok, bye sweetie, I love you!” It made my day.

Mystery calls on my personal phone are rarely less juicy. Several years ago a guy called me several times before I answered. And I’m not talking several times in one day. I’m talking several times over several weeks. So finally I answer.

“Hey, is Jess there?”

“Sorry, you have the wrong number,” I said, expecting that to be the end of our flourishing relationship.


“Oh, ok… so… do you want to talk anyway?”

Ugh. “Sure dude. Why not?”

So begins the long and many conversations about Arthur and his maybe-maybe-not-but-I’m-not-really-sure girlfriend, Jess. Her phone number is one digit off from mine.

Arthur lives in Texas.

Arthur calls me at least once a year. Twice during Christmas (three times per year. Math.).

Arthur and I have been friends for about six years now, and I don’t even know what he looks like. We’ve never made it Facebook Official.

I don’t know Arthur’s last name, so he’s in my phone as “Crazy Arthur.” I love that guy.


Which brings me to today’s experience. Today folks. This is current events right now. Which is the definition of current.

Today I got three phone calls throughout the day while I was at work, all from the same 800 number. I assumed one of my loan payments didn’t go through, or someone was stealing my debit card again (I’ll save that story for another post).

I didn’t think anything of it since there were no voicemails. Until the caller called again this evening.


“Yes, hello. I’m sdfkenvoskenvsdlofj.”

“I’m sorry?”

“I’m sdfakjwe, and I’m calling from asdfkjwek nasdvoishe idewsd”

“Sorry, I have no idea what you’re trying to say to me.” Usually I try to be forgiving when it comes to thick accents, but this guy just had too many marbles in his mouth to push two coherent words out in a row.

After four or five times, I was able to piece together what was going on:

“I am calling from the United States (doubt it) Federal Grant office (I’m listening…). Your number has been randomly selected to receive a grant of $9,546.50 (very specific!). You never have to pay this money back as long as you live (done. You lost).”

What is the appropriate way to respond to an obvious scam? I pride myself on my tact, so let me tell you:

“Yeah, I don’t believe you.”

“Oh.” Hang up.

And this has provided me with almost an hour of laughter already. So watch yourselves, folks. Don’t answer any questions from 800-111-3344. Bad news bears.

Phones can be a scary thing sometimes, but don’t let that sway you from the adventure of answering a mystery call. You could get a great story from it!


Love and kisses,

Uncle Benjamin



Image credit: Wikipedia