Grab a drink. This is long one...My apologies.
A few weeks back I mentioned all of the attention a certain News Readin' Husband was garnering from the male portion of the viewing audience. (Now we know how Hugh Jackman feels...just kidding...we have no idea how he feels, but imagine it to be yummy in an insanely hot Aussie way.)
Wait, where am I? Oh, yes. Inmate communique.
For an entire weekend we received calls from a service called Pay Tel Communications that provides the phone services for various correctional facilities. And at all times of the day...3:30 pm on Saturday to 8:15 am on Sunday.
The phone would ring, I would pick it up and a very chipper recording would say,
"This is Pay Tel Communications and you are receiving a call from (insert self-recorded name of inmate Dave), an inmate at the Blank County Correctional Facility..."
If the message were anymore delightful, I would have brought a bundt cake to Dave and asked the Pay Tel Communications lady to join my tap dance class. (True story.)
After a few of these, I grew tired of tearing myself away from DVR'd Top Chef and stalking an antique suzani on Ebay to answer. So I tried to call Pay Tel directly to see if they could remove/block our number or maybe just let Dave down easy and say that the News Readin's are no longer accepting phone calls - only Facebook friend requests.
Incredibly, not a single human being works at Pay Tel. So I had to contact our phone service provider, who immediately deemed me insensitive to those serving time.
Me: "We keep receiving phone calls from the County Correctional Facility and I would like to block all the exchanges through Pay Tel."
Comcast: "Do you know someone at the jail?"
Me: "No and I'm not trying to get to know someone at the jail either..."
Comcast: " Well, it could just be that you have the number of an old friend and they are trying to reach them."
Me: "I sort of don't give a sh&% who they think they're calling - I don't want Pay Tel Communications to show up on my caller id again. Ever. Let's make it happen, Sport."
Comcast: "You should probably just take one call from them and let them know they have the wrong number and they'll stop calling."
Me: "Actually, Steve - I don't think they have the wrong number. But, I'll be happy to give them your extension at Comcast, so that when their 90 days are up for assault they can ring you to grab a coffee and just talk."
Comcast: "Have a nice day."
Me: "It's not looking good right now."
There is a limit to blocked phone numbers - 13 total. For most, blocking 13 numbers from reaching you would be sufficient - save for Bernie Madoff. However, in this case the County Correctional Facility / Pay Tel have wayyyy more than just 13 exchanges. So, even though I blocked all of the numbers I could, Dave & Pay Tel could still reach out and touch us from behind bars. (Sleeping with the lights on at night kinda-scary...)
Enter Mr. News Readin' and his close ties (and mutually programmed cell phone numbers) with The Law and specifically the 40+ administrative assistant in the Sheriff's Office, Shantall, who thinks he's hotter than Memphis in August. Let's be honest - you know she runs the damn show. He provided Dave's name and a list of the dates and times of the phone calls to our home.
With one simple phone call - I went from screening calls from Dave and my mother - to just my mother. Whew!
When I asked Mr. News Readin' who the inmate was...when this joker was getting out ...what he was in for, etc. (because it would be kind of nice to know if we are dealing with a petty thief or a rapist) - he said, "Oh, I didn't even ask."
You're a reporter and you didn't even ask any questions!!?? A little less time touching up your bronzer and a little more time getting the story - K?
Just to be on the safe side, the Sheriff's cell phone number is now programmed into my cell. Which could lead me to a cozy little cell next to Dave given my penchant for intoxicated texting and growing disdain for the renters behind us who play their music too loudly...
More at 11.
4 hours ago