Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Phone Race Rant

Phone karma? I've got it. Bigtime. (As well Toaster Karma, but we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.) And, yes, I know I already posted an entry today. And I've already posted about phones before here and here. But one thing in particular keeps happening year after year and making me crazy, and just now I am hoppin' mad about it and must vent somehow that does not involve strangulation or tripping on stairs or generally whaling on a certain someone or other vile actions that would surely raise eyebrows at the Department of Children and Families.

I have many phone problems; just one is that the phone rings almost every single time I open up the garage door to come in the house. Honest to God, people, at least let me get in the door and sit down. This incessant ringing before I am really even properly home yet necessitates RUNNING, usually carrying a bunch of heavy something, up two flights of stairs in order to get to the stupid phone in time to answer before the idiot answering machine picks up instead. Well, why would that be a big deal? One, because I am asthmatic and hate like hell to run up the stairs, and then when I answer the phone the caller inevitably gets concerned because I am huffing and puffing and I then have to explain it all.

Two, because a certain family member named G (who shall remain unnamed, ahem, but EVERYBODY knows who he is!) CONSTANTLY takes the main portable phone with him as he roams endlessly through the house on his meandering phone calls. When he's finished with the phone (which usually does not happen until he has drained the battery right out and HAS to get off or get another phone), he just leaves the phone wherever in the house he happens to be, which could be under the bed or in the yucky kids' bathroom or sitting on/under an enormous pile of laundry. So of course what this means is that as I come flying in the door to answer the phone, run up the two pair o'stairs, and arrive in the family room, the expected phone is GONE AWOL and I cannot answer it before the idiot answering machine sets off its message. Where, oh where is another phone? One or two flights more stairs up! And I only have four rings to get to it, or the answering machine will go! Must run, flee! Fly, race!

I'll explain here that our answering machine will only NOT answer if you get to the phone before four rings. And if you answer a smidge late from any phone other than the main one, you cannot turn off the outgoing message, and you are stuck yelling, "Hello? Hello? Helloooo!!!" over the recorded greeting, much to the dismay of the poor caller who surely thinks you're insane or schizo and can't hear you over the tape anyway. And the idiot machine then RECORDS your conversation and runs out of message tape.

Oh, it's painful. Even talking about it is painful.

IF (and it's a big if) you get to the phone in the living room (next level up), it may be close but no cigar anyway. Because the Phone Klepto does not necessarily roam only with the main phone, but might have misplaced the extensions, too. And if I find an extension, it may well not work because it has been left out of the charging cradle until those batteries are dead as well.

There is also the amusing little problem that two extensions are almost exactly the same model, but not quite. So if on the off chance someone has actually returned a phone to its cradle, they might have exchanged one extension for the other. And while they are almost identical, if you trade them the charger connection doesn't necessarily work with the wrong phone. Sometimes si, most times no. So chances are the phone is not charged.

THUS it is entirely possible that I will have to keep racing and run up the fourth flight of stairs and see if there is a phone anywhere on that level. One might think that the parental units' bedroom phone would be Off Limits and Inviolable, but let me wise you up, honey. Phone Klepto is an equal-opportunity thief. It, too, could be stifling beneath a pile of dirty laundry.

I have never once made it to the farthest phone without the answering machine winning the race, but it's okay to dream.

And while I'm on this subject of phones, which I assure you has many sub-subjects that I will grouse about at length another time, there is just one more phone karma story for today. There is one person who consistently calls me when I am on the toilet for serious business. And I have to tell you this is not a frequent activity for me. It's not like I spend much time there at all, and it's also true that the timing is completely random, so it's not happening by the clock. It's a bizarre talent. Soon as I am stuck there and can't leave, certainly not to answer the phone, Honey calls. Honey does it over and over and I do not know how he knows when to call. I have scoured the bathroom for hidden surveillance cameras, but he must have some other method. Radar?



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