Tuesday, February 21, 2012
It was late one evening in Beaconsfield, England (the county of Bucks) and we had just retired for the evening. I had my book in hand and Mac had brought up the Daily Mail. He always read the paper in bed at night since he had to leave so early to "go up to town" to work. "Up to town" was London, and it was an hour long train ride every day. Both ways. We had only been living in England for three months and I was still suffering from Jet Lag. (I capitalize it because I am certain it must be the actual name for an actual disease.) I don't think I overcame the symptoms of said disease for at least a year. I found myself yawning at odd times during the day and wanting to curl up on the divan like a cat...why you may ask? Because I simply was not resting well. On this particular night, the phone was ringing. Now, imagine watching a lovely British show on PBS and hearing the phone ring that peculiar "bringgggg brinnggg...bringgggg bringgg." It still caused me to catch my breath every time I heard it in my own home. There was something so foreign in the burr of the ring that you don't hear in our phones . Of course now you hear everything from bagpipes to Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" but that is now and I'm talking about then...1980. Anyway, the phone was doing that thing that it does when it actually DEMANDS that you answer it. Now, we only had one phone in the house, it was on the foyer table at the front door. It had a lovely long cord so that if I wanted to carry on a conversation of any length it would easily travel into the lounge by the fire. So the phone is ringing and Mac says, "now who is that at this hour?" I gave him the sideways look and told him the crystal ball was downstairs with the phone, but I'd certainly consult one or both of them to see who it might be. I answered the phone in the accepted way by saying the phone number...Beaconsfield 4650. A voice from the other end asked to speak to John. I told him that I felt he may have the wrong number and he asks "are you American?" I assured him that his wrong number was actually ringing in the UK and not the USA and he began to tell me about his dearest Aunt who was now living in Buffalo New York and asking me if I knew what it was like there. We had a very nice conversation that lasted about forty five minutes. I went back upstairs and climbed into bed and Mac roused himself enough to ask who had been calling. He didn't bat an eye when I told him it had been a wrong number.