When I was a little girl, my neighbor and I liked to prank call people. We’d get out the white pages, open to a random page, and then shut our eyes and point. Whatever number our fingers pointed at was in for it. One of us would pick up the phone and dial the number. We would hold the receiver so that we could both here the response.
“Hello?” the person would say.
“Yes, this is Ohio Edison,” I would say squeezing my fist trying ever so hard not to laugh.
“Can I help you?”
“Yes, we are just doing a routine maintenance call. Can you tell me if your refrigerator is running?”
“Yes, it is.”
Without being able to contain myself, I’d say, “Then you better go catch it!”
I would hang up and we would roll around the floor like laughing hyenas. Nothing seemed to be more fun or funnier than prank calling strangers.
About two years ago, prank calling seemed less funny. Tom started getting prank calls on his cell phone, and they were somehow coming from our cousin’s number. The calls seemed to come from a myriad of different men, women, and children all complaining about something Tom had supposedly done to them. When he questioned Chris about what was going on, Chris was as perplexed as Tom.
It started happening more and more frequently, even multiple times in a day. It was getting rather upsetting, and then one day, it just stopped. Chris stopped calling, or rather, the prankster using Chris’s number stopped calling. Tom felt relief. He even laughed about it.
One evening a few months later, the phone rang and it was Chris. The problem was that Tom and Chris were together. They were sitting in a local establishment enjoying a football game and a beer together. Chris’s phone was sitting on the bar top; clearly, it was not him.
“Jesus, again?” Tom was irate, and decided to take control of the situation. He walked out of the bar so he could hear it more clearly. He answered the phone, and someone impersonating an Indian accent began speaking.
“Hello?” Tom said.
“Hello. Hi. I was just calling because I live down the street from you and your daughter come to my house today and she kick my dog.”
“Well, come down here.”
“Come down here and we’ll talk about it.”
“Your daughter come to my house okay….”
“Call this number again…”
“Your daughter come to my house and she kick my dog and now he needs an operation.”
“Call this number again and I will call the police and I will rain Holy Hell on you, FUCKO!” he screamed into the phone.
“Why did she do it?”
Tom hung up.
That was it! He had had it! He and Chris devised a plan. The next day, they would each call their cell phone carriers and see if somehow the calls could be traced. Tom called Verizon, and the kind customer service associate listened to his problem, commiserated, and then said the only solution would be for Tom to block Chris’s number. They had no way of tracing the number because somehow it was routed through a third party-line. Chris had similar results. AT&T told Chris that they could issue him a new number, or he could also block Tom. Both boys were frustrated because none of these solutions seemed to solve the problem. Tom was again receiving daily calls from Chris.
Tom and Chris decided they needed to formulate a signaling system. Chris told Tom that if he wanted to talk with him on the phone, he would send him a text, and then Tom would call him back. That way, if Tom did not receive the text, he would not pick up the phone. It worked marvelously. Once the prankster realized Tom was no longer taking the bait, the calls practically stopped. Everyone once in a while he would get a call from Chris’s number, but without the text, he would not pick up.
Last night, we were at my Aunt’s house to celebrate our extended family’s Christmas. Chris, Tom, and Mike, our other cousin, were in the kitchen talking when Chris said, “Hey, have I called you lately?”
“Nope. Our plan worked. It’s been a few weeks since you called,” Tom replied.
“What are you guys taking about?” Mike asked.
“Well, Tom was getting prank calls, and it always came up as my number calling him. I called AT&T, Tom called Verizon, and we couldn’t make it stop,” Chris said.
“Yeah, so we decided that if Chris wanted to talk with me, he would text. Once I stopped picking up the phone, the calls pretty much stopped,” Tom said.
“Wow. And you guys don’t know who was doing it?” Mike asked.
“Nope. But for a while you were the leading suspect,” Tom joked.
“That’s probably pretty smart because it was me the whole time!” Mike said.
It seems that there is a website called PrankDial.com where you can type in someone’s number and the website generates a prank call to them. The best part is that it records the conversation so that you can have hours and hours of enjoyment at your friend’s expense. To be honest, it was the greatest harmless prank I have heard about in a long time, and after the shock that for two years Mike was pranking Tom, we all got a good laugh.