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Could’ve Been A Much Worse Phone Call

, , , , , | Related | September 4, 2021

One of the few rules set in stone when we were young was: don’t drink and drive and don’t get in a car with a drunk driver. To enable us to stick to the rule, especially the latter part, my parents accepted the fact that they sometimes had to act as a taxi; we lived in a rural area with limited service by public transport and none whatsoever after 9:00 pm. This was a time before cell phones and when public phones were still plenty.

Two of my brothers had asked my parents one New Year’s Eve to collect them after the party. No curfew was given, and as my parents did not expect my brothers to call before early morning, they went to bed after welcoming the New Year. They were awoken in the early morning by fumbling at the door and my dad went to investigate. To his surprise, my brothers tumbled inside. When they made their next appearance, a few hours later and carefully nursing a hangover, my father got curious and inquired as to why they hadn’t called for him to come and pick them up.

Brother: *A bit sulky* “We did call! Why didn’t you pick up the phone?”

Dad: *Surprised* “But we never received a call. It was quiet all night until you tried to fit the key in the door.”

Those that were home that night confirmed that no phone call had disturbed the peace of the night. This went on a bit, to and fro, my brother insisting he called, my dad insisting that no call came through.

Dad: “So you called. Did you call the correct number?”

Brother: *Indignant* “Of course, I did.”

He recited the number while mimicking composing the number on a push dial.

Brother: “…five, six.” *Moving his finger downward*

Dad: “Wait. Can you do that again?”

My brother repeated himself with exaggerated movements, again going down from five to six.

Dad: “So you did five, six?”

He repeated the same downward motion.

Brother: “Yes!”

Dad: “That is not six you dialed but eight.”

Brother: “No way! But it rang!”

And yes, he did check the placement of the numbers on our extension. 

Dad: “Luckily, nobody was home. A nice night they would have with you calling them again and again, thinking you called home!”

We had a good laugh about it and my brothers had a nice walk home. It was about an hour in normal conditions, but the road they had to take was a dangerous one on foot (no sidewalk) and at night. Still, they arrived in one piece and probably walked off some of the alcohol, and we have one more tale to tell.