It’s been about a year and a half now since I at long last jettisoned everything and anything remotely attached to what, once upon a time, was called a “phone company.” I took possession of a new “phone” number—via the local cable—and bid adieu to over-priced bills for Verizon local service and ridiculously high long-distance tabs from AT&T. For a couple of years at the tail-end of my Jurassic Park days, I actually followed John Stamos’s lead and dialed 10-10-987 to save me a few cents on long-distance calls.
I have, not only saved a lot of money now, but gotten to know a man named Rudolph. I won’t reveal his last name, but this poor fellow has probably gotten as many calls as I have since I took receipt of my new number. What I definitely know about Rudolph is that he owes a fair share of money to a fair share of entities. I empathize with him on this count. I truly feel for Rudolph, who, I surmise, was the former owner of my number or one very close to it.
On a couple of occasions, I’ve picked up the phone and informed collection agents hunting down Rudolph that I was not, in fact, Rudolph. Further, I told them I didn't know Rudolph in any way, shape, or form, and therefore couldn't supply them with any leads as to where to find him. They told me in return that, by law, they must remove my number from their call lists in perpetuity, and wouldn’t be bothering me ever again.
I got the feeling, however, that these collection agents working for companies with names like American Credit, Credit Central, and Credit House International didn’t quite believe I wasn’t Rudolph or, at the very least, Rudolph's next of kin. Some of them no doubt thought old Rudy was sitting across the room from me on my futon as I lied to them, or perhaps in the adjoining kitchen making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But, really, I don’t personally know this Rudolph guy. We have become intertwined in some numerological twist of fate. Perhaps it's God's plan...anything's possible.