It’s been quite a while since we bought our answering machine that announces loud and (not-so) clear who is calling. We’ve gotten used to not picking up the phone when it announces “not-a-vale-a-bill” or “private caller”. The latter is most often an appeal for a charity or a vote. It’s not that we don’t give or vote. We just prefer not being called at dinner.
We do pick up “cell phone MA” because I don’t recognize all our friends’ cell phone numbers, but we can be sure when it’s “cell phone TN,” where we know no one, that it’s a solicitation.
When our son Seth was in town the other day, he wondered why we didn’t answer when “PrintLink” called, but picked up Parkinson, Barbara whom we don’t know. Hearing “Parkinson” announced when your father has Parkinson’s disease is a bit unsettling, but when it turns out that it is your brother calling, it’s really strange. What Seth didn’t know is that Jeremy’s phone is a work phone, formerly belonging to one Barbara Parkinson. We’ve gotten used to it.
But when I heard my cousin Joanie’s message later, I remembered that her husband’s firm is Printlink, and I was annoyed that I had missed her call.
Although we are unusual in having a landline at all, we are unique in having a son who is announced as “Call from Parkinson, Barbara.”