Saturday, April 2, 2011

Write or Wrong

I'm sitting in front of my computer ... staring at a blank screen ... while my wife Debbie is doing many useful things in and around the house.

I have only four choices: finish the taxes, rewrite my novel (for the 128th time), answer email or do some mindless blog entry...

So ... just when an idea hits me and I start to write ... I get the strangest phone call.


"Hello .... Is Joel there?"

"This is he." Why do people always say that? Sounds so affected. "Who's this?"

"Well ... let's just say that I'm a voice from the past and I have been looking for you for a long time."

Okay ... now I'm creeped out. This is a male voice, I have no idea who it belongs to and the list is so short of anyone who would be looking for me ... that I never borrowed money from.

"Okay ... Mr. Voice ... I need a little more than that."

"I left you a package in the mailbox that will explain everything."

"What? You left a package? Why didn't you just knock on the door ..."

"You'll understand when you see it ... I will call you soon."

He hung up.

I think it took me about a half hour to get the courage to open the front door and look in the mailbox. Debbie had just left to go to the store and I was looking around for the bomb squad. I carefully lifted the lid and at the very bottom of the mailbox I saw a small elegantly wrapped present. Next to it was a card with my name carefully written in calligraphy. 

 I muttered under my breath, "I'm going to get even with you, Tom (brother in law and resident trickster) ... this is some dumb gag gift that sprays blue paint or sounds a siren or catches fire ... who knows?" 

Fearlessly, I lift the envelope first, take out the card and open it up. Inside it reads: "Dear Joel, Step to the left, pull up your socks, turn around three times and open the box." 

Alright. This is getting too weird ... even for Tom. I looked around searching for someone who would jump out of the bushes and say ... Gotcha dummy! Not a sound. Okay ... I gently cradled the box in my hand as if it was filled with either the riches of the world or all the evil that could fit in this tiny ring sized box and I took it inside.

I reread the card and noticed that written at the bottom were three numbers: 1452 ... 6253 ... 3689. Hmmm, not part of my address, not a zip code, not a phone number ... probably just random scribbles.
I looked at the instructions once more: 

1. Step to the left (What the hell ... no one is here ... so why not) I stepped to the left. 

2. Pull up your socks ... okay ... I pulled up my socks ...

3. Turn around three times ... done ...

4. And open the ... OH MY GOD.........

The door slams ... Debbie's home. "Joel ... you still working on the crazy novel or do you think you can come out here and help me carry the groceries?"

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