Weirdest thing happened this afternoon.
I'm sitting at my desk, squirreling away at some technical documentation. My cell phone rings.
This pretty much never happens. The cell is for emergencies and for telling Wonder Woman
I'm going to be late for dinner. I've given my cell number to about four people outside my immediate family. I've always detested the idea that I can be immediately reachable at any moment. One values one's privacy.
The display shows an unfamiliar but local number. I answer.
A recording begins:
"You have a collect call from [at this point a burst of unintelligible static is played] at the Loudoun County Jail. To accept this call, press one. To hear the fee for accepting this call, press two."
Somebody who has my cell phone number is in jail?
I ran down the list of people who know my number. The likelihood of any of them being in chokey at two o'clock on a Thursday afternoon is vanishingly small.
What to do? What to do? If the caller had been a little more clear in identifying himself (the voice was, if garbled, at least definitely male), I might have been able to make an informed decision.
I pressed two, to hear what accepting the call would set me back. Fifty cents, according to the recording.
So I was faced with the dilemma: Four bits to tell some hapless miscreant he'd called the wrong number -- perhaps even wasted the one phone call Hollywood has convinced us is all you get when you're busted? Or hang up?
And if I hung up, would the goober at the other end think that whoever he thought he was dialing wouldn't even accept the piddling charge it took to inform the Outside World that he'd been nabbed by John Law?
After a moment's consideration, I hung up. I reckoned that if the Hapless M. really needed to talk to me, he'd call back.
The phone didn't ring again.
Later edit: Scam. Thanks, J.