Have you ever been in a really deep sleep and then something wakes you up and it takes you at least 30 seconds to figure out what is going on? Surprisingly, I've received phone calls at night being a safety manager, but for the most part, I've geared myself to be prepared for this, so when it happens, most of the time I'm alert even before I pick up the phone.
However, in 1992, I was living in Green Lake, Wisconsin, working for Speed Queen in Ripon on a Safety "co-op" or summer job. Only I was there from January through August. One Saturday afternoon in May, I was taking a nap, most likely because I had been up until 2 a.m. or so the night before.
The phone is ringing, and by the time I jump up and run into the hall, the answering machine is beginning to go off. At the same time, this is a collect call, and so I pick up the handset during the part where the recording goes, "...do you want to accept the charges?"
I wasn't expecting any of my friends, and history now tells me that it is a rare occasion when my friends will come and visit me. I'm not complaining about this. My friends normally live in better places that I would prefer to go to, that's all. Now most of my friends will call me on their own dime, but it could be that one of them was just passing through, or got lost, and is calling from someone else's phone - I don't know. This is what goes through my head about a split second before I say "Yes!"
So I am connected with someone on the other end. I'm still half asleep.
"Hello?" I say.
"Hi," says a high-pitched voice that sounds either like a 3 year old (with the "w" for "r", so "green" would sound like "gween").
Short pause as my sleep-addled mind tries to place the voice. Sort of sounds like my room mate back at Iowa State, Keith Schroeder, being a goofball.
"Who's this?" I ask.
"This is Gwampa."
I begin to guffaw, somewhat confused This doesn't sound like my Grandpa.
"Suck my dick!"
Now you may be asking yourself, how does someone remember this exact conversation? Well, remember, my answering machine was running. I usually erase messages once I get done gathering the information, but this recording was somewhat disturbing. I played it for my room mate, and other friends who came over during the month. So I got to hear it probably 50 times.
I marked the date, thinking that once I got the phone bill, revenge was going to be oh so sweet when I returned the call to the fucker who got me, probably at 3 a.m. on some drunken Saturday morning.
When I got the bill, I found the collect call. It was like 3 bucks and change. I thought that was pretty expensive for a collect call that turned out to be LOCAL as well. I called the phone company and asked if they could tell me who the phone belonged to. It turned out that it was a pay phone outside the local high school.