"Hello"? I answer inquisitively, hence the question mark.
"Yeah, hi. I'm phoning about the basement you have to rent".
I have no idea what basement this is. I certainly don't have a basement to rent, I am sure I would remember if I did. So I obviously reply:
"Sorry dude, I think you have the wrong number".
End of conversation.
But then my mind starts working a bit. It's Monday afternoon. This is when the local free ads paper is available online. Has he read an ad and dialed the wrong number? Is there a similar number to mine attached to an ad in the paper? I should probably check this out. So I log in, and search for my phone number, and find the following advert:
Excuse the poor quality, and the lack of phone number, but there it is, with my phone number attached to it. And it is immediately obvious that this is not a mistake. This is someone that knows I live on the ground floor when the rest of the house is upstairs. Someone that knows I have my own private access if required through the garage door, which is next door to my bedroom. Someone that has intimate knowledge of the fact that I use that private entrance as a toilet when I am too drunk to go upstairs. Someone that knows that I once rigged up a complicated deodorant can/lighter device to toast a mouse in my room (in flames - not with a wine glass). Someone that went to the effort of shortening certain words so they could still add an 's' to the word 'private'. And with 'alt payment methods considered'?
There were calls. I ignored them, they're not quite as fun. There were texts. I replied to them, because they were fun. And they all follow. I am still no closer to finding out who it was, and if no one puts a hand up to it soon, I will be indiscriminately advertising every single number in my phone book.
The first, Liz. Just a bit of a warm up:
The second, the only slightly saucy one:
The third, with slightly racist overtones:
The fourth, I still hate vegetarians:
The fifth, Dan, it was late and I couldn't be bothered:
The sixth, a wife as well, for the same bargain price. Piss taker.
The seventh, a few home truths about 'The Basement':
The eight, and my favourite purely because after the first reply he didn't come back with 'What the fuck? Do you have a basement to rent or not'?
The ninth, my second favourite. The first tip was meant to say 'nits' but went through as 'nuts'. I think it still works. I stopped when I felt they may have contacted the authorities:
The tenth, where I lost interest and gave up a bit. No more since however: