Every time I open IE it freezes. I should never have bought a laptop. So instead of links today, it's story hour.
In the tenth grade there was a guy we didn't like much. Let's call him Ron Dewbow. He had been our friend at one point but gradually his pompousness had got to be too much, plus he used Macs instead of PCs and we were the sort of tenth-graders where yes, that actually mattered. So if you like you can attribute the following to our collective tenth-grade sexual frustration.
I was home from school one day, ostensibly sick, as happened a lot that year. My friend--let's call him Al--came over with some sandwiches in a paper bag and we ate the sandwiches and decided to prank call Ron's house and leave messages on his answering machine. We left lots of messages. We did heavy breathing. We flushed the toilet. We played the funeral march from Chopin's Sonata No.2 in B minor.
Then came the clever part--oh so clever were we--where we decided to call a random number and leave a message about Ron on its answering machine. I was elected for the honor.
"Hello," I said to the random answering machine, "my name is Ron Dewbow, and I like to have sex with animals. Please call me at," and then I left Ron's number. End of story, presumably.
About a week later I came home from school and my parents were at the house. My parents are divorced so it requires an event to get them in the same room. "Um," I said, "hello."
"We'd like you to hear something, Paul," they said.
We went into the living room, where they'd plugged in a boombox. My dad started the tape deck, and there was my voice saying "My name is Ron Dewbow, and I like to have sex with animals. Please call me at," and then Ron's phone number.
"Well?" asked my dad.
"It certainly does sound like me," I said.
"But it's not you?"
"No," I said immediately. "Definitely not."
"All right," said my mom. "This message was left on the machine of Ron's Sunday school teacher. Ron's mother didn't want to prosecute, but if it isn't you they'll take it to the police station, where they can do computerized voice matching."
Not being the most legally astute tenth-grader in the world, I caved at this and confessed. But my parents refused to believe that I had randomly found the number.
"That's--what?" asked my dad. "You tell me the odds on that."
"Well, it was a local prefix," I said. "So if you assume there are twenty households in the prefix that know Ron, then it's twenty in ten thousand, or like one in five hundred. So not totally impossible."
"It was a Sunday School teacher," said my mom. "And sex with animals? How do you even know about that?"
The upshot was that I was in the shithouse for a while and had to write a nice letter of apology, while Al got off scot-free. Last I heard, Ron is married and working in Phoenix as a systems administrator.