So, for two years now, maybe once or twice a week, I get a wrong number call from some chick looking for Fernando. I can tell that, for most of these women, English is not their primary language, so I nicely explain that they’ve got the wrong number, and that there’s no one named Fernando at this number.
“Is this 201, 555, 7634?,” they always ask as a follow-up. That usually gets me irritated. “Yes ma’am, it is, but what I am trying to tell you is, you have the wrong number. There’s no one named Fernando living here. Dude must’ve given you a fake number. Sorry. Please don’t call again. Goodbye.”
At first, I didn’t mind the calls. But then, whenever I’d return home and see I had a new answering machine message, I’d get all excited only to find out it was some broad trying to find Fernando. A year into having this number, it dawned on me that there was some guy out there giving girls he didn’t want anything to do with my number. We probably have similar numbers, and he switches the last digit; its something I used to do during my 20s, so perhaps this Fernando dude’s giving chicks my number was payback for whoever’s number I was giving out years ago to the ladies. It was the only explanation.
I set out to find Fernando myself, and tell him to screw off and stop giving chicks my number. Along the way, I came across a lot of people who share my number…just not the last digit. There was a woman named Roseanne who told me she also gets the occasional call from some mystery woman looking for Fernando. Another dude, an older guy named Jesus, told me he was getting calls and that they frequently interrupted his television programs, something that pissed him off like nothing else.
Then, about three weeks ago, I get a different kind of call. It’s from a guy. I answered: “Yello?”
“Fernando, it’s Chuck.”
Chuck. Not a chick, but a Chuck. “I think you’ve got the wrong number Chuck…” and before I could even utter another word, Chuck starts in. “Shit, I meant to dial 7624, but hit 7634. Sorry dude.” He hangs up. Now, I’ve got Fernando’s number. So, I decided to interview Fernando for my Web site. “Who knows?,” I figured. “Maybe he’s into metal.” I didn’t have any other interviews lined up for that week, so Fernando was the lucky winner.
The first time I called Fernando, it rang twice and went to voice mail. “This is Fernando. Leave me a message.” I hung up. Figured I’d try him later on. But then, my phone starts ringing. “Uh, yeah I just got a call from this number…?”
It was Fernando. “Ferny! What’s up?,” I asked. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for a while now.”
“Who is this?”
“My name is Chris and I run a Web site called GunShyAssassin.com…”
“Do I know you?”
“Not at all. But I know you, Fernando. I get calls for you all the time. From chicks. Have you been giving girl’s fake numbers, because, I think you should stop doing that. You’re inconveniencing…” Dude hangs up. I call him again.
“Ferndoogle, what’s good?”
“What do you want?”
“I want you to stop giving chicks my number dude. Give ‘em your number.”
“I’m not into dudes.” He hangs up. At this point, I’m not sure I should call him again. But then, I asked myself one question: What would Richard Christy do? He’d call back. So I do. The phone rings twice, and he answers. He takes a beat or two before saying anything. I can hear some chick in the background whispering some nonsense.
“Listen, I want you to stop calling this number.”
“And I want your rejects to stop calling me.”
“Look buddy, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, OK?”
“Wait, Fernando. Let me ask you a quick question: Do you listen to metal?”
“What did you just say to me?”
“Do you like metal? Heavy metal? Like Metallica, Slayer?”
“I’m just curious.”
“Fuck you. Stop calling this number.”
Click. But Fernando didn’t answer my question. Do I call back, or does that constitute harassment? I’m not sure what to do, so I just try Fernando again. He picks up and hangs up three times on me before talking again.
“Do you listen to heavy metal?”
“You’ve never been a fan of Guns N’ Roses?”
“FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!”
“Ozzy? Whitesnake? Poison?”
“FUCK. YOU.” He hangs up.
Now, when I get calls for Fernando, I give the girls who call me his number. I warn them, though, that they might want to think better of making such a call because, well, the dude doesn’t dig on metal. How can he be trusted?
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