After discovering a large, rapidly growing puddle in my basement, I called my mother to get the phone number of her friend who is a contractor. While reciting his contact information, she accidently switched two of the digits which led to the following sequence of events.
I call the random number, because it is long distance, the man does not pick up. Hence I begin to text about my household issue to the random number, who I still think is Garry’s*, my mother’s contractor friend. At the same time, the wrong number recipient reconsiders failing to answer my call, figuring that it may be a long lost relative offering him money, or a cruise, or a hooker. Actually I’m not sure about the last one; he seemed like a standup guy, although I’m fairly certain he would have accepted the money or the trip. At any rate, the mystery man, who I think is my mother’s contractor friend, calls me back while I am texting about my small basement lake.
The Great Unwashed – Hello! Gary, thank you so much for calling me back.
Mystery Man who is not Garry- Hello? (Admittedly I found it odd that his voice sounded so different on the phone from in person but I forged ahead with the conversation.)
The Great Unwashed- It’s Unwashed, the Great Unwashed, there’s water in my basement. Like a lot of water. A large puddle actually. Is this a problem? I don’t know what to do, I mean I’m considering getting frog eggs and growing some tadpoles in there but besides that, I haven’t a clue. Also the puddle is located between the only two useful parts of my basement; the stairs and the laundry machine which means I have to walk around the side through the den of spiders if I want to wash my sheets. This is bothersome today because Maddie, my dog just dried her wet, muddy fur on my bed.
Random Guy who is not Garry and is super confused- Um. I. I’m not who you’re looking for.
The Great Unwashed- You’re not?
Complete Stranger – No. You have the wrong number.
The Great Unwashed- Do you know anything about basements? Because your number is the only one I have at the moment.
Kindly and Extremely Understanding Stranger who is still talking to me despite the fact that it’s long distance and using his minutes- Only the average amount of basement knowledge.
The Great Unwashed- Well I have a sub-average amount of knowledge about basements, obviously given that I’m considering growing frogs in mine.
A pause while the recipient of my wrong number considers this thought.
The Great Unwashed realizing that my calamity has reached new heights as it’s now pulling in people I don’t know, who don’t live in my city- You know what? It’s ok. You have yourself a good night.
Somewhat Confused Mystery Man- You too.
I had always thought pleasantries and small talk were a waste of time. Now I see that their usefulness lies in figuring out early on that you’ve called the wrong person before you tell them all about your house owning woes and plans to breed Kermit the Frog next to the washer and dryer.
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of contractors I later got in touch with and coached me through a muddy situation.