No, not like the Phantom Germans of an early post here. What happened was, SmellBoy — who may have bought a clue, because he doesn’t whiff me out of the room lately — didn’t show up for his appointment. It meant I finished early, and I know he’ll pay the tariff, but it still cranks me a little. Anyway I called his cell phone, which I had captured in my own office telephone system; I love technology, you push the Save button and you don’t have to write anything down or fiddle it into the phone while squinting sideways.
The ring sounded at the other end. After a moment’s dead air I heard a recorded-sounding “Konnichi wa?” For those not into travel phrasebooks, that is “Hello,” more or less, in Japanese. (SmellBoy is Hispanic.)
“Hello?” I said back. The connection cut off.
You know those moments when you look at an inanimate object as if a snake is coming out of it? That look.
I pressed the Call button again. A perfectly normal generic “You have reached an automated messaging system” announcement began.
By the time he called me back this morning to apologize and reschedule I had forgotten the phantom Japanese guy in his phone. Or somewhere between me and it. I’ll have to ask him.
PS. For those following his recuperation, Torvald has been eating like a horse since Monday. Today he got up on the printer. I’m sure he adjusted all the settings.