So I was a sophomore in college before I got my first cell phone. Audible gasp. What? Impossible! Dinosaur! I know, I know. Shocking though that may be, it isn’t actually the point of the story. When I did get my phone I figured, well, I spend most of my time at school in California, so I guess I’ll get a local number. Apparently my particular local number used to belong to a girl called Ashley, because a couple of people called me looking for her. I tended not to answer calls from numbers I didn’t recognize, hoping that my decidedly un-Ashley outgoing voicemail message would effectively dissuade her followers with minimal effort on my part. However, after I wound up with a few confused and distressed-sounding voicemails, some of them in Spanish, I thought it might actually be easier, and kinder, to pick up a few of these misdirected calls.

One of these calls (actually two of them) came from a man called Carvey. “Like ‘Harvey,’” he explained, “but with a C.” Carvey called me up one evening looking for Ashley. Aren’t they always looking for Ashley? But anyway, he called and we quickly established that I (a) wasn’t Ashley, (b) had only had the number for a short time and (c) didn’t know why Ashley had discarded it. Possibly because she kept getting calls from some guy called Carvey. Anyway, we had a moment of banter, a quip or two, and hung up. Perhaps a half hour later, he called back. We established that I was still not Ashley, and that he had indeed dialed the digits that he had intended. After a moment he admitted that he hadn’t really expected a different result, but had apparently been charmed by my exceptionally charming vocal charms and wondered if I’d be interested in talking more, or meeting.

Upon reflection, I suppose that Carvey should be commended for being interested in talking to me based on, well, talking to me, regardless of what I might look like, but at the time I was compelled to decline. First of all, how enchanting could I possibly have been, really, in the maybe two combined minutes of our association? Secondly, Carvey? You may as well tell me your name is “Stabby” or, like, “Slash”. Sorry, guy, but in the immortal words of Hall and/or Oates, I can’t go for that. I suppose you’re also going to tell me that this ill-lit alleyway is a shortcut to the malt shop. Or, for that matter, that a “malt shop” is a real thing.

To his credit, Carvey took me at my word and never called again. He probably totally wasn’t even an ax murderer.


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