April 5, 2006

Should I be worried?

I am in a deep sleep. The phone rings, once , twice, I am not sure. As I grope for the phone, I notice the time is 5:34 am.

HB: Hello?

Caller: Do you have a daughter named _____ _______?

HB: Uh, yes, is there a problem? (coming awake quickly now)

Caller: Well, she kicked my dog.

HB: HUH?

Caller: She was at this concert and she kicked my dog. She hurt it. She kicked my dog.

HB: OK?

Caller: She kicked my dog, a little poodle, I want her punished.

HB: (annoyed) I will take care of it.

Caller: She kicked my dog, she must be punished. She kicked my dog. There needs to be severe punishment. She kicked my dog (shouting), SHE KICKED MY DOG.

HB: hangs up

As I put my head on the pillow, it occurred to me this might not have been a prank call. How did this guy get my number? My daughter is away at college. Is she in danger from a nutcase? Is my family in danger? Does she have a stalker?

I get up and check the caller ID -- Blocked Caller. I have mixed emotions, is this a joke, or should I be concerned. I call my daughter, she does not answer. She is hard to wake up, I try again. She is less than thrilled to be called at 5:45 am (She is in college). She said she has not kicked a dog. She is now scared too.

I worry all morning. Over coffee the wife suggests I use star69 and call the number. I get some guy who refuses to identify himself. I tell him that I do not appreciate getting prank calls at 5:30 am. He claims none were made from his number. I tell him that is a non-starter, I used star69 to call back. I tell him I do not appreciate threats to my daughter, even if they are pranks. The guy then asks if I called the cops. I tell him not yet, but that was my next call. He said the police had already called at about 7:00 am reporting harassing phone calls. He said I over-reacted and did not need to call the cops. I reiterated I had not -- yet. He said he was investigating and would handle it, but no calls were made from his house. I explained again that was a wasted argument, and told him I better never get another such call.

I feel better this was just a prank. Obviously I was not the only victim this morning. Do I call the police and report my incident? Do I forget it? I do not want to make a mountain from a molehill, nor can I ignore a threat.

The bat is under the bed, the gun is at hand. The daughter has been instructed to be alert.

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