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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 20, 2014 / 20 Adar I, 5774

They've Got My Number

By Jerry Zezima




JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Not many people know this, because I just made it up, but when Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call, to his assistant, Thomas Watson, and said, "Watson, come here, I want you," he heard a voice on the other end say, "This isn't Watson. You have the wrong number."

Thus began a long, irritating chapter in telephonic history involving millions of clueless people who wrongly call other people who often respond in such an unmannerly fashion that the caller has no choice but to unwittingly call back in a futile attempt to reach a third party who, by this time, could well be dead.

I recently received wrong-number calls from three people who were not only apologetic but so pleasant that our conversations could have been (if the callers hadn't sensed that they were talking to an idiot) the beginning of beautiful friendships.

The first call was from a woman named Carol. After I said, "Hello," she said, "How are you, Mitch?"

"I'm fine, thanks," I replied. "There's just one problem."

"What's that?" Carol said tentatively.

"This isn't Mitch."

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" Carol exclaimed, adding that she was actually calling her friend Fran, who is married to Mitch. "I don't have Fran's cellphone number, so I called Mitch," Carol said.

"I'm Jerry," I said.

"Nice to meet you," said Carol, a retired nurse who lives in New York. "Mitch and Fran live in Florida," she told me.

"What's their number?" I asked.

"I wish I knew," said Carol, who noted that she sometimes gets calls from people who have the wrong number. "I try to be nice about it," she said.

"Me, too," I said, relating the story of how we used to get calls for a pizzeria. "This went on for months. Finally, I started taking orders. I don't know if they're still in business."

Carol laughed. "Nice talking to you," she said.

"You, too," I replied. "Give my best to Mitch."


A couple of days later, I got a call from a guy named Frank, who was trying to reach his son, also named Frank, who, like Mitch and Fran, lives in Florida.

"Maybe it's a Florida thing," I told Frank, who apologized when he realized he had misdialed.

"It happens," I said, introducing myself.

"I should know my son's phone number," Frank said. "I guess I got the area code mixed up."

"I'm frequently mixed up," I said, "even when I'm not making phone calls."

"I know how you feel," said Frank. "Thanks for the chat."

"You're welcome," I responded. "Good luck reaching your son."

A few minutes later, the phone rang again.

"Frank?" said the familiar voice on the other end.

"Frank?" I replied.

"Jerry?"

"Yes."

"I did it again!" Frank cried. "I don't know what to do, but I'm going to get to the bottom of this."

He must have because he didn't call back.

The next day I got a call from a woman named Anita, who asked if I wanted to be an altar boy at a nearby church.

"I'm a kid at heart, but I'm probably a little too old to be an altar boy," I said.

"My goodness, I must have the wrong number," said Anita, adding that she's a secretary at the church and was calling families in the parish to recruit altar boys.

"I wouldn't want the church to get hit by lightning," I said.

"I don't think that would happen," Anita said.

"I wasn't exactly an altar boy when I was young enough to be an altar boy," I confessed.

"You sound like a good person," said Anita. "And we're always looking for new parishioners. We'd love to have you."

"If I decide to become an altar boy," I said, "I'll call you."

"OK," said Anita. "Just make sure you don't dial the wrong number."

Jerry Zezima Archives

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Stamford Advocate columnist Jerry Zezima is the author of two books, "Leave It to Boomer" and "The Empty Nest Chronicles."

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