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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Some people have an answer for everything

Steve Ball’s late father, Don, used to get wrong number calls for a man in Deer Park who had the same name.

His response remains an all-time Inland Northwest classic.

“The caller would ask, ‘Are you the artificial inseminator?’, and my dad would always answer, ‘No, around here we do it the old-fashioned way.’”

Elsewhere, Peggy Coffey shared a story her sister Mary told.

A woman called Mary’s number and asked to speak to a man. We’ll call him Joe.

Mary said, “There’s no Joe here.”

The woman replied, “Yes there is, you lying (insert bad word). Put him on the phone.”

Mary said, “Seriously, there’s nobody here by that name.”

The caller paused for a second and then said “Oh,” before hanging up.

Not long after she got her first smartphone, Jayce Keeling received a text message from someone she did not know.

“I’m at the hospital and contractions are about three minutes apart. I’ll keep you posted.”

A few minutes later, another text arrived. “Derek (not the real name) is here with me. I’m still in the delivery room.”

Jayce decided the sender needed to know her messages weren’t reaching their intended recipient. So she texted back and explained that the sender had gotten a wrong number.

Jayce also said in her message that she was glad labor seemed to be progressing well and she hoped the woman would soon give birth to a healthy, lovely baby.

“She responded with apologies and thanks. I still smile when I think about that.”

Lastly, Sandy Tarbox is not a doctor but she, well, here’s her story.

“When I lived in CdA years ago, our number was similar to a pediatric clinic. One morning a distraught young mom called and launched into a description of her kid’s ailment. I listened for a minute or two before telling her she had a wrong number, but it sounded like chicken pox to me. She was so relieved to talk to another mother who’d recently been through it. We had a nice chat and I had that flash of women holding each other up across time.”

Warm-up question: How long after meeting you is it before people learn what you are passionate about?

Today’s Slice question: If you like to watch TV while you eat, do you select a program first and then bring in your food or do you bring in the food and then try to find something to watch?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Fake laughs are often so obvious it’s a wonder anyone even bothers.

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