Sunday, April 10, 2005

I Fell For It...And How!

Whenever I see prank shows like Crank Yankers or Punk'd, I can't help but laugh as people are utterly fooled and humiliated. The people are truly pissed off, worried, or frightened until they find out that it's all been a trick. They relax a little bit and laugh about it, wondering how they got fooled in the first place. Well, after a little incident, I can still laugh at these people but I can never say I'm above them.

I'm going to explain what happened in detail and then systematically explain why I should never have fallen for it. As savvy as I think I am, I can be just as gullible.

The whole thing started late Saturday night. Just before midnight, the phone rang while I was in the bathroom. My mom answered the phone. I heard as the person apparently asked for Albert. The person said their name was Steve. Since I do have a friend named Steve, I took the phone. I talked to the person and asked them what their name was. The guy said his name was Rob Johnson. He claimed that I went with his sister and that we knew each other eight or nine years ago. I didn't remember the guy and told him as such. He asked if I still lived at my address (which he said...at least the corner anyway). At one point, he was supposedly talking to someone and "gunshots" were heard. Ultimately, I told him he had the wrong number and asked him what my full name was. He didn't get it right and eventually hung up. He tried to call again, but Mom answered the phone and told him it was the wrong number.

The whole incident made me nervous as all hell. I am utterly ashamed to admit how jittery I was. Mom felt really guilty at first for even giving me the phone. I felt scared enough to not want to be near any windows. I even called my friend Steve just to make sure he wasn't bullshitting me (he wasn't and the conversation made me feel better). So, upon thinking about it and talking with Mom, I determined that it was a prank call...and one that I had fell for hook, line, and sinker.

As I talked it out, the flaws in the prank became apparent. The person who got me was good, but I also was quite stupid to fall for it. Here are the things I should have cued in on:

The Names: He said his name was Steve, then later said it was Rob Johnson. That should have tipped me off immediately, especially since Rob Johnson is the name of the Weekend Anchor on ABC 7 Chicago.

Publicly Available Information: We are listed in the phone book so that means that anybody can get access to my dad's name, address, and telephone number. So when he asked me if I still stayed at where I stayed at, he could have easily just guessed based on the address.

The Fact That He Called Me "Albert": My first name is Albert...but so is my dad's. That REALLY should have tipped me off.

The Outlandishness Of The Call: The things he said about me included that "I hollered at a girl" and that I was "A G tatted for life." Even though I made clear that that wasn't me, anybody who has ever seen me would know that I'm about as far from being a G as The Klan is from being a civil rights organization.

The Time Of The Call: No one that we know calls the house that late. My friends don't even call my cell that late. I bet it was just a bored teenager looking for something to do on a Saturday night.

Quite simply, I fell for a prank call that wasn't even worthy of Crank Yankers. I was jittery for about 10-15 minutes afterwards. This proves that I am my father's child. My dad has the tendency to panic first, ask questions later. When we couldn't find the car in a mall parking lot, he got really scared and emotional after he thought the car was stolen. He called my grandmother to come pick us up and had me call Mom to tell her the news. About 10 minutes later, as we were riding in the mall security car, we found the car...parked close to the store at that. I stayed calm the whole time while my dad panicked then proceeded to accept it in a very short span. I felt embarassed for him and thought I was above that. Now I know that I'm not.

It just goes to show how one's worries bring them down. I tend to worry a lot privately and only in my head. I never express my worries out loud. If I am highly anticipating or highly dreading something the next day, I tend to get little sleep.

Ultimately, though, I have to say that this incident will make me better. With our number being unlisted for so many years (and our number currently on the Do Not Call list), I got spoiled expecting every call to be a normal one. Even most of our wrong numbers are cordial. The closest thing to a bad wrong number happened on my cell phone when some ghetto woman said claimed that I wasn't who I was: "Mmm-hmmm, and I'm Harry Potter" is what she told me...on the day that my sister and I saw Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkaban. I told her flat out that it was a wrong number and hung up. It gave my sister and I the creeps briefly (very briefly) and it didn't even come close to scaring me the way this call did. I think the fact that I haven't gotten too much sleep lately probably contributed to my brief irrational state of gullibility.

Oh well...one thing I know is true after this...my sister is never going to let me live this down.

1 comment:

  1. HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!! Sorry...HA-HA!

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