Last year shortly after getting my Magic Jack phone service, complete with a Joplin phone number, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from a very nice lady wanting to know if she had reached the Toledo Zoo. No, I informed her politely (for me), all she had done was awakened a grumpy old man in Japan from a sound sleep.
Two nights ago the phone rang again in the middle of the night. (That is very scary for those of us of a certain age, because a late night call is likely to be bad news.) But it wasn't bad news. This time it was a man and he wanted to know if he had reached the box office for the Toledo Zoo. Instead of getting his credit card number and selling him some tickets to the afternoon porpoise show, I told him that he had mis-dialed and somehow reached Okinawa, Japan.
Today I did some research and discovered that my phone number is different by only one digit from the main number of the Toledo Zoo. That is a bit of a nuisance, to be sure, but it could also lend itself to some fun. I'm thinking about getting an answering machine for use between midnight and 5:00 a.m. The script will go something like this:
"Thank you for calling the Toledo Zoo. Zoo hours are eight to eight unless we take a notion to change them. We are open most holidays and will have a small sign posted on the front gate in the event that we are closed.
Your call is important to us. Please listen carefully to the following options so that we may properly direct your call. Dial one for the monkey house. If the voice that answers is screaming and chattering, please hang up and call back later. Dial two for the small bird aviary and three for turkey vultures and condors. Our talking birds section may be reached by dialing four, but all callers to that extension must be at least twenty-one-years-old and open-minded. The bear enclosure may be reached by dialing five. Let it ring because the guys down there are heavy sleepers. Lions and tigers can be reached at extension six. If no one answers, it could be that another small child has fallen into their pit. Please try again in fifteen minutes. The elephants can be reached by dialing seven, and swamp creatures are at eight. The reptile house is extension nine - but it is off-line until all of the snakes are rounded up and returned.
If you are calling to complain, please hang up. If you really, really want to complain, call back in a few hours and ask for Pa Rock. He will know how to deal with you!
Have a great day at the Toledo Zoo!"
And have a great day wherever you happen to be!