Just Checking

The phone rang and I picked up.


"Hi is Alicia there?"

"Sorry, you have the wrong number."

"Is this [my home phone number]?"


"Hmm, that's the number she gave me. [pause] Are you her brother by chance?"


I realize it is unfair to actually analyze this, but I must: Did she expect me to say, "Oh, you wanted my sister Alicia?! I had thought you were asking for a stranger with the same name, and that's why I thought you had the wrong number. Hang on, I'll go get her..." ?


  1. Anonymous8:11 PM

    I lived in Brooklyn, in the Clinton Hill area during the 1980s. For some reason I received many misdirected telephone calls. The problem stopped when I moved to Manhattan. One time I accepted a collect call from a man with my father's first name, who was calling from jail in North Carolina. The kids used to make prank calls (this is pre caller ID) pretending to be from the XXth precinct, telling me that they had my son there. Goes with the neighborhood...

    Anyhow... my favorite call from a local:

    "Do Alicia Be There?" [I am not kidding, this is a verbatim quote.]

    I asked, "Do you mean to ask if there is a person named Alicia here?"

    I was then called a stupid white motherf*&%$er, and the expletives kept coming as I hung up the phone.

    I sure miss Brooklyn.

  2. My father (Yale Linguistics) once received a letter addressed to:

    Prof. Bernard Bloch
    John Bradust School
    New Haven, Denmark

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