Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An odd sort of thing.

It probably means nothing but the current weather (warm with occasional and unpredictable monsoons) leaves me with time to brood on little things.

In the UK, if you use a mobile (cell) phone to send a text message, but send it to a landline phone, there's no screen on the landline phone so the message can't be displayed. Instead, you get an automated call and a recorded voice reads out the number of the phone that sent the message, then reads the message.

I had one such call today. I have no idea who owns the phone it came from, the number is nowhere in my list of contacts. The message was short and enigmatic.

"Jim passed away this morning."

Now, I know several people called Jim, scattered around the country. There are even some overseas. One in particular is an uncle who is old and hasn't been well for some time. So what do I do? Phone back the number and say 'Who are you, and which Jim do you mean?' I have a reputation for being allegedly insensitive but that's a bit much even for me.

The alternative would be to phone every Jim I know with the following short exchange:

Jim: Hello?

Me: Oh, you're not dead then.

Click.

The one who doesn't answer gets a card. I could call it 'Funeral Roulette' but that would get me further accusations of insensitivity, I suspect.

Then again, it could have been a wrong number. Probably safest to do nothing and wait until someone doesn't turn up somewhere.

12 comments:

heyjude said...

you call the number and ask what and where the funeral arrangements are. Unless you know lots of Jim's in same area that might give a clue. And you might recognize the voice that answers - another clue.

ver: duckupen

Romulus Crowe said...

The trouble is, it's a cellphone so it gives no clue as to its location. If it had been a landline number, I could have placed it to a region at least.

If it was a wrong number, it would be awkward.

I think, tomorrow, I'll make a few calls and drop in a 'How's Jim?' here and there.

Regina Richards said...

I'd call and do as heyjude suggests. Ask about funeral arrangements or better yet, ask for "the best address to which to send a card of condolence". This covers you since the home of the deceased is not always the address of the relative handling those matters for the family.

But...be prepared for the fact that this may be a scam to get you to call so that some con man can try to pry a few bucks out of you.

Romulus Crowe said...

It turned out to be entirely non-weird. The dead Jim wasn't one I knew. It was a friend of a friend, and the friend simply sent the text message to everyone in his address list on his fancy new mobile phone.

So now I have his new number, he won't be able to baffle me again.

Regina Richards said...

Mystery solved.

Here's an interesting tale and reminds me a lot of what used to happen in a house we lived in a long time ago. Although in this case the "spirit" seems benign. That was not the case with us, but the touching, bed sitting, etc is similar.

heyjude said...

Regina - I'm confused - where's the interesting story?

Regina Richards said...

Sorry, apparently I failed to engage my brain before posting. Here's the article:

http://paranormal.about.com/library/blstory_september06_15.htm

Regina Richards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regina Richards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regina Richards said...

http://paranormal.about.com/
library/blstory_september06_15.htm

Here's another try.

Romulus Crowe said...

Sometimes Blogger will make links active and sometimes not. I've never worked out why.

The descriptions in that link are very commonly described, too commonly described to be simply brushed aside as 'imagination'. I've experienced them, as have many, including those who refuse to believe that there is anything paranormal about them.

Some might be paranormal, some might not be, but how are we to know unless we examine them? The sceptic approach of 'I don't believe it so it's not real so there's no point looking at it' gets us nowhere.

To the sceptics, I say 'Okay, don't look. I'll do it'. For some reason, they don't want me to look either and they can be very vocal on that.

I have to wonder what they're afraid I'll find.

Southern Writer said...

I have a friend who sends messages to everyone on his phone list. Unfortunately for me, it's usually porn. I blocked his calls once, then he got a new phone. It makes me sad really; he's otherwise attractive, sweet as can be, very personable...but every time he does that, I think "Gah, what a skank."

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