My Personal Chris Rock Hot Line

 

I needed a new cell phone and service plan, so I visited a nearby Verizon store. I had previously suffered through two unattractive, free phones with my other plans, so this time I decided money was no object and aesthetics was everything. After a prolonged period of touching, feeling, holding, grasping, opening and closing the many models on display, I chose a cute flip-top Samsung. What a sweet piece of modern technology.

Now that I had chosen the perfect phone, it was time to choose a number. I couldn't pick the exact digits, but I could accept or refuse the random, available numbers the computer spit up for me. After rejecting the first three, I could sense the saleswoman's patience was wearing thin. When the fourth number came up, encouragingly she said, "You're gonna like this one, really, you will." She was right. I liked it. So I took it.

I finished at Verizon and returned to my apartment. I was reading through the manual, new phone beside me, when all of a sudden it started to ring. Granted, a ringing cell phone is nothing out of the ordinary, but since I had yet to give anyone my new number, who possibly could be calling me? The Caller ID said "Restricted" which wasn't any help.

Bewildered, I picked up the phone and questioned, "Hello?"

"Is Chris Rock there?" the caller asked.

Chris Rock? That's absurd. Of course not!

I assumed the guy was joking around with a friend, and somehow had called my new number by mistake." No," I replied, "you've got the wrong number."

 

Two days later, I was upstate, cruising around a parking lot looking for a space (thrilling, I know), when my cell phone rang. A number I didn't recognize appeared on the Caller ID.

LAURA: Hello?

CALLER: Is Chris there?

LAURA: [Puzzled, curiosity piqued] Uh, Chris... who?

CALLER: Chris Rock.

LAURA: Chris Rock? As in, the Chris Rock?

CALLER: Yeah, the Chris Rock.

LAURA: That is so funny! You're the second person who's called asking for Chris Rock. I just got a new cell phone and this is my new number.

CALLER: [Laughs] Well, you'd better get a different one, because I know for sure that this is Chris Rock's number. Oh, wait -- I remember Chris saying something about changing his number....

 

When we got off the phone I was struck with the realization that: Omigod! I have Chris Rock's old cell phone number! But it's not that old, because people are still calling. What a crazy, random thing to have happened to me!

And then I thought, If I got two calls already, I'm probably going to get some more. This could be really fun, and really crazy, and... who knows? Okay, I'm ready. Bring 'em on, baby, bring 'em on!

 

The following weekend I helped Tim, my old boss, move a carload of stuff from his city apartment to a storage space upstate. It was a two-day project that required a sleepover in a hotel on Saturday night.

Around 8:30 on Sunday morning, I was in my room watching a little telly before going down to breakfast when my cell phone started to ring. Who could be calling so early on a Sunday morning? I picked up my phone and saw "Restricted" on th