I was having one of the best sleeps of my life when the phone rang.
We had been out picking apples the day before. One after the other I was lifting the kids up onto my shoulders so that we could reach the nicest looking fruit on the higher-up branches.
The girl was easy, she’s light as a feather – maybe 60 pounds. She also has fantastic balance, making it really easy to hold her on my shoulders for extended periods of time. The boys, on the other hand, are heavy. Each is easily over 100 pounds, and though they have good balance, they lack the graceful movements of their little sister. But what they lacked in comfort they more than made up for in final altitude. My oldest was getting amazing looking apples from near the tops of the trees.
Eventually we have 30 pounds of apples – galas for eating, and macintoshes for cooking. It was a great way to spend an afternoon outside with the kids, and the apple crumble after dinner that night was a tasty tasty bonus.
But that was the day before yesterday. Yesterday was utterly uneventful – another great day with the kids. We walked, and played a bit. And ate apples. Lots of apples. We even sent some apples home with them.
The weekend had been physically tiring though. Sarah had been rock climbing and I was still tired from apple picking the day before, so we went to bed relatively early. Unusually for me, a frequent insomniac, I drifted off into a blissful slumber, one of the best sleeps of my life.
And then my cellphone rang. It was 2:40 am.
I jumped up to grab the phone. It seemed to me that anybody calling me at 2:40 in the morning was calling for a very serious reason, and it seemed very important that I get to it in time. The strains of my ringtone – 19-2000 by the Gorillaz – mocked me as I first stubbed my toe on the door frame of the bedroom, and them as I smacked my shoulder into the corner in the dining room. It stopped just as I picked up my RAZR.
I was totally jazzed on adrenaline by this point, of course. I took the phone with me and walked back to the bedroom. I figured if it were important, they would leave a message. When one hadn’t come after 5 minutes I lay my head down and tried to calm back down. My heart-rate slowed. My breathing relaxed. I started to drift off back to sleep.
My phone was letting me know that I had new voicemail. My heart was letting me know I was on the verge of a coronary event. I picked up the phone and checked my messages.
What I heard made me very angry. The configuration of my name means I am usually the very first person listed in people’s phone books. And every so often someone – through carelessness or drunkenness, will bump up against their phone in their pocket and accidentally dial my number.
I heard a conversation. Several people – two quiet and one very loud – were talking about almost unintelligible things. My mind could not build a model of their conversation. I had trouble finding individual words in the mush that poured out of the phone. Until quite suddenly, I heard something perfectly clear, perfectly understandable. And what I heard was so perfectly bizarre it kept me from a decent sleep for the rest of the night.
“Now, I’m not talking just any strippers. I’m talking about real, f*cking honest-to god SUNDAY strippers man.”