I usually avoid talking about my childhood, but this story is probably the crown and glory story of my awkward pre-teen years. My church hosts a carnival on its property every summer. There are the traditional rides: the ferris wheel, merry-go-round, tilt-a-whirl (my personal favorite), and then there are the random ones that each carnival company boasts as being better, bigger, and more fun than the rides of its competitor (at least, that’s what I assume happens). I was on one of these random ”competition” rides — a “giant” drop that.. wasn’t really that giant. Point is, I was so infatuated with this idea of dropping 10 feet that I didn’t think about securing my cellphone in my pocket (it was my first ever cellphone; one of those pay-as-you-go devices? It was red =]). I was wearing windbreakers, and the phone was in my right, very un-secured, pocket.
So I’m on this ride and convinced that I’m experiencing the pinnacle of my life, the rush of life engulfing me and holding me in a loving embrace. When it finishes I am borderline depressed. “Let’s go again!” my best friend yells, and starts running back to the entrance of the ride. I pat my pocket and panic.
The outline of my phone is nonexistant. Thus begin the two days of being text-less, call-less.. contact-less. It was a very sad time for me, but I found the private investigator in me and started my search.
First step: call the phone. It rings forever and goes straight to voicemail. First feeling? Someone stole my flipping phone. Not cool. I leave a voicemail, then realize no one can check my voicemail because it is password protected. I curse my useless four-digit enemy, become frustrated and eventually stop calling. My hope decreases a little, but I continue my search.
Second step: visit carny (for those who live a sheltered life, a ‘carny’ is an employee of a carnival; usually the person who runs the rides). “Sir (people tend to listen more when you show some respect), I lost my phone on this ride; can you look around when you get a chance? It’s bright red, a Samsung flip phone.” I don’t remember his reaction. I do remember him turning to let more people on the ride. I don’t know what I expected, exactly, but I do kind of wish he would have like, shut the ride down and look for it (I didn’t want my phone to be the cause of some catastrophic carnival ride tragedy). This did not happen, however. I went home sad. Aw.
Third move: visit the carnival manager (I didn’t know they had those). On the second day of my dilemma, I told him my pickle. I described my phone for the 3940y384th time. He unclipped his walkie-talkie and told just about the entire staff to look for this cellphone. I swear to jevus that by the end of the carnival, I was the crazy girl who just wouldn’t let her cellphone go.
Third day. I try calling my phone again. I use my said friend’s cell and dial. A man picks up. And it doesn’t sound like a carny.
Me: Sir, I lost this phone and would like it back. Can you return to [my parish]?
Man (in a semi-thick foreign accent): Your cellphone?
Me: Yes, sir. My phone. I want it back.
Man: I do not know vat you are talking abowt.
Me: You don’t know what I’m talking about? Are you kidding me? Listen, buster, if I don’t have my phone back soon, I will call the police, have you tracked, and get it back. I swear, I will use the police.
Man (sounds a little flustered): I don’t know vat you are talking abowt! I do not half your phone!”
My friend is trying to get my attention at this point; I wave her off.
Me: Sir, I’m not kidding. I want my freaking phone back.
Man: Please, I do not half [have] your phone.
My friend: Anna, I think you made a mistake.
This gets my attention. PrettyNerd doesn’t make mistakes.. often.
Friend: I think you.. What’s the number you dialed?
I look down. “773…”
My number starts with 708.
Me (into the phone): Oh, my God. Sir, I am so sorry. I am so so sorry.
I hung up.
I successfully yelled at a poor little polish man just because I dialed the wrong number. He probably bought a Caller ID after that and maybe even paid for some therapy sessions (and/or a security guard), thinking some crazy broad is out to get him.
I ended up getting my phone back. It was under the ride, just like I thought it would be. The screen was cracked, which meant texting and finding contacts was incredibly impossible. I bought a new phone.
I learned to always double-check what number I’m calling.
I never wear windbreakers to rides anymore. More importantly, I no longer keep my valuables in unsecured pockets.
What a weekend that was.