Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The phone rings and ...

It's one thing to get an annoying sales call, or, IMHO, an even more annoying political survey call (Her: "Are you for ethical government?" Me: "Naw, the more unethical the better. Thanks for calling!") but two nights ago my family (and poor babysitters) received multiple threatening phone calls. Here's what happened.

My husband and I were out to dinner with friends and left our three little boys home with two fabulous babysitters. While we were waiting for our sushi, I realized I'd missed a phone call from them, so I tried calling back but I only got the voicemail. A bit worried, I called the babysitters' mom, who lives down the street from us and got a busy signal. I called two different neighbors and asked them to please go to my house and make sure everybody was okay. One neighbor called back to say lights were on but no one seemed to be home. Now I'm really worried/confused and am making plans to get back home. But I tried the babysitters' mom once more and she answered and told me the kids had been getting some vulgar and threatening phone calls over at my house and felt safer at their house. She told us to finish our sushi, that the kids were fine. I wouldn't have been able to finish eating had I called to get our voicemail messages, which I did when we were almost home.

It was the nastiest, scariest, most threatening message I'd ever heard. It was a man threatening to bash our heads in as well as other threats and terrible profanity I can't write here--and those were only the parts in English!

We picked our children up from our neighbor's house and while my husband got them tucked in (all but our ten year-old, who'd actually spoken to the caller and was freaked out, understandably so), I called the police. The officer came over about a half-hour later and listened to the messages (there were about 9, plus he spoke directly to the babysitter and my son) and jotted down the phone number off the caller ID. He asked if we knew who it was or had any reason to believe someone would want to harm us (or the babysitters) in any way. We couldn't think of anyone. The officer left and called the number, and then he called us to say it was actually a junior high kid living in a city about an hour away, that he got the kid's mom out of bed and told her they could be up for criminal charges and really let them have it. Then, about ten minuntes later, the mom called us to apologize on her son's behalf. At this point, I was feeling considerably less afraid but so disappointed that this kid thought this was somehow funny or entertaining or acceptable to make those kinds of phone calls. My husband told the mom it was okay (I would've had some different words had I been the one who'd answered) and hung up and we all went to bed. My ten year-old slept in our room, bless his heart.

Have you ever received a scary phone call? If so, what did you do?


TinaFerraro said...

Wow, Wendy, what a horrible story! Thank goodness for caller ID, and that you were able to settle this thing and move on!

And I must say about political phone surveys, you and I are cut from the same cloth. But I have said worse things simply to be adversarial because I am so offended by the call!

nymfaux said...

oh wow!!!!!! That's SO scary!!!!! I'm so glad the policeman was so helpful!!!!! And as horrible as it was, thank goodness it wasn't anymore than a young (insert choice words) kid!!!

as for the telemarketers, have you tried calling and getting on the national do not call registry?

I always keep the number on my cell-phone, but I haven't had any calls since signing up, and it's been years since I first signed up.


Wendy Toliver said...

Thanks for commenting, ladies!
And nymfaux, thanks for the number. I called one ages ago and have only started having problems again recently so I'll call again.

Heather Davis said...

Yikes! That's like a scene from a scary movie, Wendy. Glad you guys are all right. ;)


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

That is really scary! I would have responded the same way!