July 17, 2006

Caller ID

Why didn't they think of this sooner? Oh the joy of being able to see who is calling you on the phone before you answer it... or not! What a concept!

However, it can be confusing sometimes. Names are usually inverted so that last names appear first with no comma between, so sometimes you have to think about it before you realize who is calling. And sometimes the abbreviations are quite entertaining. To this marvelous invention I attribute one of the best laughs I have ever had in my life.

A few years ago, our then-4-year-old precocious Collin loved to answer the phone. (He still does, and is quite the little receptionist.) Although he hadn't actually learned to READ yet, his amazing memory allowed him to recognize any word he had previously asked me to identify for him. So, one Sunday afternoon when the phone rang (Jay was napping and I was in a stupor on the couch), Collin was eager to answer it... that is until he "read" what was on the caller ID. After looking at it, his eager expression turned to one of utter horror, but he answered anyway, although not in his usual cheeful telephone voice, but a rather tentative "hello." A moment later he was holding the phone out to me with a look of shock on his face. I was a little concerned, and asked, "Collin, who is it?" After a long pause, and with eyes wide in surprise, he stuttered in a frightened whisper, "It's Jesus Christ!" I laughed in relief, knowing exactly what was going on... it was the bishop was calling from the Church, whose name had been inverted, and abbreviated to read "Jesus Christ Ch of." It was a little difficult to explain my laughter to the bishop, and even harder to explain to Collin, who must have thought I had done something really terrible to receive such a phone call.