Through no fault of yours, I use emails more than I use you. I hope you understand. With emails, I don’t have to pick up right that moment. I avoid the urgent ringing you have. You need to ring, but I’ve made my computer sound mute. Phonebaby, I just like peace and quiet, and emails will wait patiently for a more convenient time for me. Please don’t feel bad that I’m more comfortable with the written word. I always was. It’s not your fault.
A few months ago, after an ice storm, do you remember, you had enormous static! Did it bother you? It felt to me that it must have been some kind of indigestion for you. Honestly, dear one, you had so much static that neither I nor the person who called could understand each other. It got so bad, I couldn't even tell what I was saying. I had to use my daughter’s phone to even call up your parents, the Iowa Telecom phone company.
Alas, in a few days, in typical fashion, Iowa Telecom determined that the static wasn’t their responsibility. I would never ever want to say anything against anyone’s parents, but some parents are not good at taking responsibility for their children, I'm sorry to say.
So, I called Mike’s Telephone Service – he’s very good by the way – and, after much time and difficulty and to the tune of $73.00, Mike found a partially-spliced outside wire that the painter apparently had cut into when he was scraping. Mike fixed it. I would consider that outside wiring, but I think the phone company means something else when they admit to responsibility for outside wiring.
Now, just this week, after a strong rain storm, my line got tremendous static once more to the point that it was impossible to talk on you.
Now, listen to this, at this same time, my daughter’s phone in the next apartment on a separate line had the same static too! What are the odds that we would both have the same difficulty? Pretty thin, wouldn’t you say?
Not unexpectedly, your parents, Iowa Telecom, once again said it wasn’t their problem. It really seemed kind of strange to Lauren and me that, by coincidence, we would both have enormous static. Hmm, I wonder if that’s a recording they have.
I just kinda gave up, and was getting used to having a non-usable phone (you) when, by itself, the static went away. I bet that was a relief to you, too. I ask you, realistically, what else could the disappearance of the static been but an act of God?
However, what happened next, Phonebaby -- if you hadn’t been right there, you wouldn’t have believed it!!! What happened was that you would ring normally, my answering machine would go on normally, and then, after three words of my message, the phone would cut off abnormally. I couldn’t know who called or anything. You must have been aware of this, and there was nothing you could do. I know you would have done something if you could.
Soon enough, college graduate that she is, Lauren discovered that all my calls were being transferred over to her phone! She had a good time talking to my friends -- Allan, the host of the Bridging Heaven and Earth TV Show in Santa Barbara; Sandra from Connecticut who taught English across the hall from me so many years ago; Nancy from Pennsylvania who happens to be in town right now; and she the messages of various and sundry hang-ups.
Meanwhile, of course, Lauren’s phone number was non-existent, and we will never know who may have called her all those days.
Finally your parents arose to the occasion and sent out the nicest telephone man in the world. His name is Steve or Dave. Okay, he fixed everything telephone-wise in my house, and went on his way. However, by mistake, he had forgotten to check that Lauren’s phone was working, and, alas, he had forgotten to reconnect it! He did come back right away, and all was well – until the plague of static was visited upon me again!
I called your parents again – this was Saturday -- and they very nicely said they would come out first thing Monday.
Miraculously, the static stopped again. And I was starting to feel guilty that the phone company would come out again for no reason, but, soon, I discovered that my upstairs’ extension had no dial tone. I very very seldom use it, but I do like to have it in case of an emergency like I fall out of bed or a burglar comes.
So the same wonderful phone man came out first thing Monday morning. Actually two trucks came out, one with a crane. One telephone man was doing something at the top of the telephone pole. By the time I was aware the telephone men were here, my favorite phone man, Steve (or Dave) had found the cause of the intermittent static and replaced a faulty part. The static was intermittent because the part was clear on one end but not on the other end. Something tells me the static was always the fault of that part and, therefore, it always was your parents' (Iowa Telecom's) responsibility.
So I told the nice telephone man about no dial tone on my upstairs phone, and he easily reconnected the upstairs extension so there was a happy ending.
Phonebaby, I don’t know if you can answer this or not, but I used to have a friend who believed that, for example, whatever was wrong with your car corresponds with what is wrong with you. A radiator that went dry meant you were dehydrated. Misaligned tires indicated you needed an adjustment. Something wrong with the motor, you’d better have your heart checked.
So, what I’m wondering is whether this theory applies to telephones? Could all this phone difficulty, for instance, mean I’m a poor communicator?
Because the phone wires got crossed, could that mean my wires are crossed?
Phonebaby, where are you? Why don’t you answer? Hello? Hello? Phonebaby, can you hear me?