Around 7 o’clock Friday night, I got a phone call from a blocked number. Like every other rational human on the planet, I don’t pick up unknown numbers, and I sure as shit don’t pick up ones with no caller ID.
A minute later, my voice mail dinged.
“Hi, this is Brenda from Planned Parenthood. We’re calling to let Ms. Hedenberg know we have her test results, so she needs to call us back as soon as possible. It’s pretty urgent.”
I did not for a second think this was a real call for the following reasons:
1 – I have a hard time believing Planned Parenthood receptionists are calling patients at 7 o’clock on a Friday night. According to Google, the closest PP to me is in DC, and it closes at 4:30 on Fridays.
2 – Even if Brenda WAS burning the midnight oil, she’s a shitty receptionist because she didn’t leave me a call back number.
3 – When Robert was born, Melinda had her tubes tied because we knew we were done.
4 – Even if she WAS secretly pregnant, Melinda’s a grown-ass woman with health insurance. She’d go to a real doctor, not some clinic in DC.
5 – Even if she DID go to a clinic in DC, there was ABSOLUTELY ZERO CHANCE she’d give them MY phone number because SHE DOESN’T KNOW MY PHONE NUMBER. Every time she fills out paperwork that needs my number on it, she has to ask me, because even though we’ve been together for nine years, she’s yet to absorb that piece of data.
I wasn’t fooled by this Brenda, but I absolutely loved the effort. I figured it was one of my high school kids who got ahold of my phone number. And good for them! There’s not enough prank phone calls happening in this day and age.
I remember prank calling the teachers I didn’t like with my friends, making fart noises or reciting some lame line about a runaway appliance. God forbid you were a shitty teacher with a White Pages listing. You’d never get any rest on Friday night.
I realized then it was Mischief Night, the day before Halloween when it’s socially acceptable to vandalize property. Is Mischief Night even a thing anymore? Do kids throw eggs at houses or toothpaste cars? I know they can’t play Ding Dong Ditch anymore thanks to Ring, that wifi doorbell with the fucking camera in it. People are wound so goddamned tight they’d probably press charges if some neighborhood kid TP’ed their trees. Slap them with trespassing or something, standing in front of the judge, THAT’S HIM, YOUR HONOR. THE 14-YEAR-OLD CRIMINAL WHO DECORATED MY FAVORITE MAPLE WITH TWO-PLY!
That’s no fun, poor kids. Now all they can do at sleepovers is create fake social media accounts so they can anonymously bully their classmates. What a bummer.