Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dear Abby, I just found out my husband is a polygamist or possibly just someone else's babydaddy . . .

The first call came two weeks ago. I answered the phone and an "unknown caller" (per caller id) with the voice of a child in the 8-10 year-old range asked to speak to my husband (whom I will refer to as "Tony Jones" for the purposes of this post--as ever, I will refer to myself as "MEP"): "Is Tony Jones there?" I ask who's calling and feel genuinely concerned that I have a child on the line who is somehow in danger and somehow thinks my husband, perhaps mistaking him for another Tony Jones, can help him/her (gender of child is still unclear). I hand the phone to my husband, and "Tony" attempts to get to the bottom of it, patiently confirming that he is "Tony Jones," asking the child why he/she is calling, asking if there is anything he/she needs, and etc. It is very difficult to understand that the caller is saying and he/she eventually hangs up. We are a bit unsettled, still worried that we have maybe failed to help someone who needs it, but with no callback number, name, or information, we are forced to shrug our shoulders and move on. The child called back one more time that evening, but hung up when I answered the phone.

After hearing nothing for two weeks, we receive, last night, two more calls from "unknown caller" and then "private caller" for Tony Jones. My hubby is in the basement playing with his Wii (not his wee wee, that's something the other Tony Jones would do) and I am way too lazy to go get him. So again, I attempt to get some answers from the child on the line. "Tony Jones is unavailable right now. This is his wife. Is there anything I can help you with?" The answer, though garbled, went something like this: "His wife? Well, you ain't his only wife." Wow, this is news to me. Satisfied that he/she (I still can honestly not determine the caller's gender) has succeeded in telling me what's what, he/she hangs up. The next call comes four minutes later. Unruffled by the recent revelation that my husband is a polygamist, I suggest to my caller that perhaps he/she is looking to speak with a different Tony Jones. I helpfully ask, "What does the Tony Jones you are calling for look like?" I hear another and slightly older child in the background whisper, "Say 'white.'" "White," my caller proffers. "Well, my husband is white," I say, "but I'm still thinking you have the wrong guy. Is there anything else I can help you with?" Another hang up.

This afternoon, my caller upped her efforts to make contact with Tony Jones. I say "her" because the content of the conversation soon makes the caller's gender more evident (I now believe that there are at least two youngsters involved in these calls and suspect that the elder of the two is a female around 12, who took over today, possibly displeased with her younger, male companion's prior efforts). This girl called our house at 1:36, 1:37, 1:56, 1:58, 2:07, 2:11, 4:00, 4:01, and 4:02. I picked up almost every time, though a couple of times they got through to voice mail, by redialing before I had hung up. You may be thinking, "MEP, this is ridiculous, why did you pick up? Why didn't you take the phone off the hook?" I picked up, first and foremost, because my Bubby was napping and I was not about to let an endlessly ringing phone wake him. Plus, today is a writing day for me, which means our babysitter was downstairs. If I hadn't picked up, she would have, and the whole situation would have gotten even more complicated. I didn't take the phone off the hook because it would have meant I'd have to leave my bed/work center, haul my nine month pregnant self downstairs to disconnect the main phone (the upstairs phone is only a satellite). Plus, let's face it, if some random kids called to tell you that you weren't your husband's only wife, wouldn't you be curious to get more information?

I will give you only the highlights of this afternoon's conversations. Needless to say, I started off being patient and semi-concerned but moved from patient to annoyed to threatening to simply picking up the phone but not saying anything. Here are some of the tidbits that the caller shared . . .

She and Tony Jones had a date . . . at a hotel.

She is having Tony's baby in three months and she has proof that it's his. (This revelation is preceded with a simulation of the kind of childbirth sounds heard on television sitcoms).

She is glad that Tony did not wear a condom. (I am not making any of this up.)

Tony has shown her MEP's picture and damn, MEP is ugly. MEP looks old, like maybe 72.
(By the way, I am initially freaked out that she knows my name, but my hubby points out that both our names are listed in the phone book and also that both names are on our voicemail message--I was going to transcribe the messages our caller managed to leave, but frankly, I don't have the energy.)

Actually, she believes that MEP is Tony's mother. That's how old MEP looks.

Since the Bubby was awake and I had given our babysitter a heads up, I let the final call go to voice mail. I waited until my husband, the polygamist and babydaddy, arrived home so we could listen together. And, if you can believe it, the caller identifies herself by first and last name, admits that she has been prank calling us, explains that the operator has let her know she has the wrong Tony Jones, apologizes in a surprisingly genuine manner, and leaves her phone number in case we want to call her back. A unexpectedly happy, tidy ending to a bizarre situation. I can only hope that, whatever bone my caller has to pick with another Tony Jones, she has not actually gone on a hotel date with him and is not carrying his child. Because, as I said, she sounds about 12. I am confident that I am my husband's only wife, NTB, and that the only children he has fathered are in this house as I speak (one upstairs in bed, one in my belly), NTB. If I ever have my doubts though, the apology message with phone number is saved. Forget it Abby, I've got this one covered. NTB.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

How does this stuff happen to you? Hilarious.

Too bad it ended so easily. I could've watched it all on Springer--even adding you to TiVo.

Sara G.

Brittany said...

Thaat....was hilarious!

Actchy said...

All of this only goes to prove what so many of us have suspected for years, i.e., that Tony Jones is one smooth operator.

Holy Cow, MEP. What a story! Dare I say how lucky you are that the Bubby is too young to field phone calls and/or understand such nonsense? How upsetting that would be for a little one...

LAP said...

Funny stuff. Glad you were able to get to the bottom of it before delivery day. Would have been tense in the hospital room if you knew Tony Jones would be welcoming another child in 6 more months.

Regardless, you are the best looking 72 year old I've ever seen. No wonder you are Tony Jones one and only.

Mom o'Bean said...

Wow! That is crazy! I wonder if the number they left was real?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the operator got involved. It may have been a 12 year old or a not very intelligent person. I am rather upset to think men take 12 year olds to hotels, get them pregnant and pass some one else's name out. Too much to think about. m

MEP said...

M - In case you are going to lose sleep over this, I do think my caller was angry or out to get "Tony Jones" over something. I do not think she is actually pregnant or that she went on a hotel date. The tone of yesterday's call was definitely that of kids pranking (though with some kind of purpose, i.e., trying to get to Tony Jones). Her life is likely not a bed of roses, but I'm not thinking bed of thorns either.

looksgoodinpolkadots said...

Oy, that's funny. In a sick kind of way.

:)

Totallyscrappy said...

Reminds me that life is stranger than fiction!

 
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