"Confusion is the welcome mat at the
door of creativity."
This story isn't quite what I intended for it to be. Meaning I
had to cut it short and rush it. The former was maybe for the
I have tendency to get long-winded. ;-) Actually, I wanted
to hold off on sending it until next time.
However... I may get called to jury duty before that. In the
event that I end up sitting on a jury, JABB newsletters may need to be
postponed til that's finished. So I just wanted to get this
sent! If it does seem like jury duty (and I may not even end up
serving) will postpone JABB, I will try my best to get note of that
Anyhow, I started thinking about this story while dealing with unwanted
calls both at home and at work. I don't want to get into the
whole story but one particular company about had me calling a
lawyer. I figured this was a good way to
vent that frustration!
Finally, a very happy Mother's Day to any and all moms who may be among
now a "Moment with Andrew" story...
Andrew and the Unwanted Phone Calls
May 11th, Dyeland City
sat in the garden behind Willowveil Castle, Lulu curled up
beside him, enjoying another gorgeous spring afternoon. After
being away for much of the preceding week, he was grateful to the
Father for bringing him back to Dyeland. He pulled
out his pocket watch and saw that it was 4:15. Several of the
ladies of Dyeland were due to meet him at 4:30 to catch up. With
fifteen minutes to spare,
Andrew slouched against a tree and admired the bright sky and fluffy
clouds above. A faint jingling noise caused Andrew to
look across the lawn and see Lady JenniAnn and Fawn approaching.
and the two dogs ran off together. Lady JenniAnn smiled after
them then sat across from Andrew, placing a box beside her.
there, Laja. You're early!" Andrew greeted with a smile.
That's what a still organized wardrobe can do. Back
to my old timeliness. Yay. And I thought maybe I'd get a
lil extra sun to appease you." She grinned at him then stuck out
her lower lip. "Although I find it very unfair that you'd hold a
poor, half-Irish girl to your standards of radiantly golden skin."
couldn't help but laugh. "You don't have to do anything to
appease me. And I have the utmost respect for poor, half-Irish
girls. Especially ones that bring me raspberry jam oatmeal
bars." The angel of death looked hopefully at the box.
laughed. "Lady Beth is right. You are
shameless. But... there is that whole thing about entertaining
angels so..." She opened the box, chose one of the larger bars,
and handed it to Andrew.
chuckled. "I was just teasing you. I can wait until
are plenty. Eat up."
had no sooner popped a sizable chunk of the treat into his mouth
than his cell phone rang.
Crumb-y," Andrew got out as he fumbled for his phone
and tried to swallow.
Just gimme it!" JenniAnn cried. "I don't know
what happens when angels choke but I really, really don't wanna find
comment, Andrew handed her the cell phone. Just as he
did, he noticed Rose and Yva approaching and gave them a sheepish smile.
Andrew's phone," JenniAnn greeted, waving to the newcomers.
watched with a cocked eye brow as a strange expression spread
across the woman's face.
lemme check." JenniAnn put her palm over the phone.
"I just figured it'd be Lady Beth or Countess Jennifer saying they were
late but it's some random lady asking for... Andrew O'Lama?"
and Rose burst out laughing.
grew red and not from his food issues, having at last consumed
the snack. "Umm... well, see... I had that assignment in the
grocery store and they asked for my last name and I realized the Father
hadn't told me one to use and I panicked. And there was a
magazine on the stand and Michelle Obama was on the cover and so... a
little one-letter substitute and..."
I thought the origins of Dr. Andrew Friend were funny!" Rose
patted Andrew on the shoulder, assuring him that the laughter was all
in good fun.
fought to maintain composure as she brought the phone to her
ear. "Yes. Mr. O'Lama is here. One moment please."
still blushing, accepted the phone. "This is Andrew... O'Lama."
out of hearing distance of the phone, JenniAnn joined the other
two by dissolving into
giggles. But their merriment was short lived when they heard
utter a phrase they'd never thought to hear.
I can't say that I've thought about what will happen to my
family when I die."
in the world..." JenniAnn muttered.
does sound like an amazing offer but I don't think... Oh
really. Yes, I know how important life insurance policies
are. Believe me. But... well... no. See... uh
huh. That's unfortunate. But I'm really not
interested. Sorry. I'll have to let you go...
Oh. I did not know that." Andrew looked apologetically to
the ladies, feeling as if he was ignoring them. "Telemarketer,"
rolled her eyes. "Obviously."
Andrew, gentlemanly and lovely even with telemarketers." Rose
sighed and shook her head.
I said it sounds like a great deal but I'm really not interested
and... Yes. I really need to go. Uh huh..."
Andrew ran his hand through his hair.
next thing the angel knew JenniAnn had snatched the phone and it
lying between them, the speaker on.
you see, now is really the best time to sign up because rates
increase as you age and I see you're currently 34 so..."
me," JenniAnn cut in. "Who is this?"
is Diane with Daedalus Insurance. Am I speaking to Mrs.
Andrew's not my... I mean... I'm not married," a flustered
JenniAnn finally got out.
see. Well, our policies do cover any beneficiary the holder
designates. Are you one of Mr. O'Lama's
looked confused. "I... I do depend on him, I guess."
moved to reclaim the phone but JenniAnn stayed his hand.
gonna get rid of her," she whispered. "You're being too
her try, Andrew," Yva suggested. "I want to get to our
treats and talking!"
shrugged and drew back his hand. He stared at the
Have you considered what might happen were Mr. O'Lama
to meet an unfortunate end? Surely he would want for you to be
grew even more pale than usual for a moment.
oh..." Rose grimaced.
is ridiculous!" Yva exclaimed.
it. We're done!" Andrew declared and reached for the
phone but, again, JenniAnn was too fast for him. The color had
returned to her face and she had a devilish gleam in her eye as she
caught his hand.
a deep breath, the alleged dependent began. "I imagine my
needs would be few should that sad event occur. I would, of
course, move to the English moors. Spend my days wailing.
Gnashing my teeth. Beating my breast. That sorta
thing. Be found 6 months later with snow white hair, in rags, be
brought to a convent, and then die shortly thereafter of a broken
Andrew cried, his expression half-horrified yet half-amused.
and Rose couldn't resist laughing at the absurdity
of the situation and JenniAnn's dire prediction.
think your big brother definitely read her one too many tragic love
stories growing up," Rose teased.
me, Vincent is definitely hearing about this one," Yva
responded with an amused gleam in her eye. She could just imagine
Vincent's chuckle as he heard about this particular tragedy.
phone! I think it's time I take over!" Andrew pleaded.
JenniAnn continued speaking to Diane. "Then
schoolchildren would have
to learn depressing ballads about me and debate whether I was a great
romantic figure or a twit with no sense of myself outside of Mr. O'Lama
here." She sighed. "Never was a story of more woe than this
of me and my... O'Lama." She paused dramatically for a moment
before speaking again. "So... can you cover that?
question was met by a click and then a high pitched beep as
the line went dead. She beamed at Andrew. "Well, that took
care of that!"
shook his head but laughed. "It sure did. Although
you should have given me the phone. It was my responsibility and
I don't like your getting upset about..."
Bible says I should entertain you. Not obey you. And
I entertained you?" she countered.
got you there, Andrew," Yva smirked.
chuckled. "That's true enough. Thank you.
Although I hope you didn't
mean all of that about the moors and the dying in a convent and..."
I did. But you're immortal so we're groovy," JenniAnn assured
before turning her attention to the other women. "Hi Rose.
How goes it?"
Rose admitted. "How did that all happen?
Andrew, I thought only your friends had that number."
Andrew stared at the cell phone. "So did I..."
wonder how they got your number?" Yva mused. "Hopefully they
won't call again. I get so annoyed when they get to calling Sir
Sven and me. And once they do it seems like they never
stop. They just keep calling and call..."
again Andrew's phone rang. This time the angel of death
himself grabbed it, sure that it couldn't possibly be another unwanted
call. The three women watched expectantly.
angel listened for a moment and then shook his head. "Yes...
this is Dr. Butterworth..."
covered her mouth to stifle a laugh. "Would you like to bet
he was eating waffles when he dreamed that one up?" she whispered to
JenniAnn and Rose.
are so helping him pick decent last names later!" Rose
drew a notepad and pen from her pocket, ready to begin
brainstorming once Andrew was off the phone.
encompassing discounted trip to the Bahamas? No, thank
you. I'm happy where I am. Ohh... I...
uhh..." Andrew became unusually red-faced.
Andrew forfeited the phone without further prodding.
set it on speaker and set it among the four of them.
if the sensual couple's massage isn't for you then we have special
passes to a local gentleman's club that..." a female voice enticed.
JenniAnn and Rose cried in unison, the former covering her
ears as Andrew, regretting giving up
the phone, reached for it.
shoved it out of Andrew's reach. "Stop! Go back.
Who is this?" she demanded.
is Adonis Vacation Tours and we'd like to offer you and Dr.
Butterworth an amazing getaway. If you'll get us your credit
card number right now we'll charge you $399 and that's it! No
more fees, no air fare, it's all included!" the voice chirped.
sounds totally legitimate." Yva's voice dripped with
sarcasm. "But I think my husband would object. Not to
mention Dr. Butterworth's Father."
so you're not married to Dr. Butterworth?"
way," Yva affirmed. "You could say I'm his... travel
planner." She winked at Andrew.
I'd like you to know that if you purchase the initial
$399 package on behalf of Dr. Butterworth, we can add on only $199 per
guest! Here at Adonis Vacation Tours we pride ourselves on trips
my Aunt Jemima could go with Dr. Butterworth?" Yva grinned
wouldn't be a problem!"
about their cousin, Smuckers Blueberry?"
sure. $199 like I said. But only if you reserve it
now with your Visa or Mastercard or..."
see, Dr. Butterworth has this step-brother," Yva continued,
"he's a bit... different. But I think he'd enjoy the
Bahamas. His name is Log Cabine. Could he go?"
Again, it's $199 as long as you book the $399
package." The voice was betraying annoyance. "But I really
need to book this now before the offer expires so if you'd please give
me your credit card information."
So let's see. We'd need to book for Dr.
Butterworth, my Aunt Jemima, their cousin, Smuckers Blueberry, and
Butterworth's step-brother, Log Cabine."
a second... those are all syrups. You're playing me!" the
caller accused. "Is Dr. Butterworth still there?" she demanded.
Andrew greeted before dissolving into laughter again at his own
ridiculous false name.
are you interested or..."
Dr. Butterworth is not interested in getting scammed. But
I'm glad I 'played you' because who knows how many innocent people you
could have called in the meantime and stolen from. Do NOT call
this number again, you hear me?" Yva paused. "Do you hear
me?" she repeated, her voice forceful.
answer was muffled but sounded none too kind before the call cut
am so sorry. Maybe I should just turn this off and..."
Andrew ran his hand through his hair and picked up his phone.
Yva laughed. "It was fun thinking up syrup
brands and, like I said, maybe it kept the caller from scamming someone
who would actually believe them. Did your phone record their
number? Maybe we could report them. There's no way that was
idea. But... do you usually get junk calls, Andrew?
Or shall I say Dr. Butterworth?" JenniAnn teased.
chuckled before growing serious. "I never have. I
don't know why
this is happening now."
I know none of us would ever give this number out," Rose began,
"but maybe someone used a public phone and someone got it off
there. Maybe Mick and Logan can help us figure it out
later. But for now I just hope it doesn't ring again." She
"I hope not, too. I would like to know, though, were you eating
when you came up with that last name? Butterworth? Really,
Andrewkins!" Yva shot Andrew a teasing smile.
it was pancakes and it was all I could think of!"
Andrew shook his head. "If I'd known you'd all learn about these
names I would have taken more care." He smiled at his friends
and then looked towards Willowveil. Lady Beth and Countess
Jennifer were approaching from that direction.
I'm a little late. Henry was headed out on an assignment
and asked if I'd pack him a lunch before he left. You're all
spoiled rotten, you know," Lady Beth teased.
smiled beatifically but offered no defense.
I was taking care of the horses," Countess Jennifer
explained. "What did we miss?"
has poor tastes in last names, I died, and Yva made up a syrup
family," JenniAnn explained. She beamed at Andrew and then looked
to the two newcomers, gauging their confusion.
think I need a little more explanation than that! You look
lifelike for a corpse, by the way." Lady Beth shook her head and
laughed. "So who's going to explain?"
JenniAnn, Rose, and Yva took turns explaining the two bizarre
calls to their friends.
insurance and a seedy vacation package? That's very weird,"
Countess Jennifer agreed. "And how would they know two different
It's like someone submitted your number to different lists with
different names at different times."
Beth's face clouded. "You don't think..."
patted her shoulder. "Eben? I don't know. I
mean this is more of a nuisance than anything really distressing.
What would he think he'd be accomplishing? Although he didn't
really accomplish anything with April Fool's so..."
I don't think Eben's sensible. It's perfectly
insensible to want to distress or annoy you, Andrew." JenniAnn
and cast Andrew an adoring look.
angel smiled at her. "Thanks. So maybe at some point...
twice... I left my cell phone. Someone heard my pretend last
name, got my number from the phone..." He
shook his head.
"But it just doesn't sound
let's not worry too much about it. Surely it can't happen
again." Yva looked to the phone. It remained silent.
She beamed at her friends. "See!" She reached into the bag
she'd brought with her then. "Papa is very busy at the factory
but he sent these with me to share with everyone." She opened a
box to reveal a wide array of candies.
Yva's example, the
ladies laid out all the treats they had brought while Andrew
unloaded a cooler stocked with orange juice, ginger ale, and other
beverages. The angel was just laying out a tray of vegetables
he'd picked during his last assignment on a farm when his cell phone
Beth, nearest the phone, peeked at the screen. "It's not a
number I recognize, I'm afraid."
an annoyed sigh, Andrew picked up the phone. "Hello, this is
Andrew. No... I'm sorry. I really don't need an
extended warranty on my car... Thank you but no...
never thought I'd want to do away with his politeness but..." Yva
can be his designated not so polite person this time," Rose
offered. She held her hand out to Andrew.
angel covered the microphone. "No, Rose. I don't want to do
again. It was embarrassing last time!" He uncovered the
phone. "I'm sorry but I really, really can't stress enough that
my car is already protected by the best Insurer ever..."
scandalous can a car warranty company be?" Rose pressed.
"Andrew, you know that if it was one of us that they were calling and
we were getting frustrated, you'd want to help. Let Rose help,"
Knowing she was right, Andrew handed the phone to Rose. Just as
with the two previous calls, she placed the phone amongst them and set
"Your standard auto warranty is in danger of lapsing. But with
our offer you can continue to enjoy peace of mind for years to
come! All we need is your social security number, Mr. Flannel,
to..." the voice droned.
All five women looked at the angel of death with bemused, knowing
"Yes, I was wearing flannel!"Andrew exclaimed.
Rose laughed and then focused on the incessant voice. "Excuse me,
"Yes? Who is this? I need to speak to Mr. Flannel."
"I'm Mr. Flannel's friend. I'm very interested in this
warranty. Can I ask you about some things I'd like to know if it
covers?" Rose asked.
"Okay, suppose Mr. Flannel is driving and someone in the seat next to
him finds themselves taken in by his amazing green eyes and/or lovely
golden hair. Maybe they swoon and, darn it, they dent the
dashboard with their foreheads. Would your warranty cover repair
of the dashboard?" Rose smiled at a beet red Andrew.
"I... I don't think that could happen," the caller got out after a long
"Oh, I think it could," Rose insisted. "Now what if Mr. Flannel
notices a funny sound coming from his van and gets under the hood and
just, I dunno, jiggles something. Then the car doesn't
start. Would your warranty cover that?"
"Not if Mr. Flannel caused the damage himself. Who just jiggles
something under the hood of a car without knowing what they're
doing? That's just idiotic."
"Hey!" Rose shouted, angry. "Maybe he's just a real
go-getter! And he was just trying to be helpful!"
Andrew was touched by Rose's defense of him and the indignant look on
his friends' faces.
"And he always ends up fixing the car... eventually," Rose continued.
"Fine, I'm sorry. Could I just speak to Mr. Flannel?" the voice
"You are," Andrew answered. "But I'm not interested in buying
your product nor letting you take up any more of my time with my
friends. And I really don't know why you'd need my social
security number. So, please, remove this number from your list
"Whoa!" Andrew grabbed for the phone and took it off
speaker. "That was highly uncalled for! There are ladies
present! Hey... what's..." The angel once again covered the
microphone and looked to his friends. "I hear a bunch of
shuffling noises and shouting."
"Drama in the scam world?" Yva guessed.
"I guess so..." Rose looked at Andrew with concern as he
continued to listen.
"Please put it back on speaker. It's not like we've not heard
cussing before," JenniAnn reasoned.
Andrew shook his head. "Doesn't mean I want you to hear
more." His eye brows shot up then.
"Whatever you're listening to is clearly interesting." Lady Beth
picked up JenniAnn's case.
"You won't ruin us forever, Andrew," Countess Jennifer assured.
Andrew began laughing, nodded, and sat the phone down. "You kind
of have to strain to listen but I think we might be on TV... sort of."
Drawing nearer the phone, the five women and the angel strained to
listen. And then they heard some of the most dreaded words in the
English language for criminals...
"I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC
and we're investigating a story on telephone scammers. Could I
please speak to you?"
Then the line went dead.
The group shook their heads but smiled knowingly. Without further
interruption they turned their attention to their snacks and each other
and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon devoid of useless life insurance
policies, Bahamanian getaways, or excessive car warranties.
Weeks later it would be revealed by Mr. Hansen on his show that a
hacker employed by a telemarketing scam "company" had gained access to
some records held by Andrew's cell phone company. Unbeknownst to
the angel, the last name on his contract changed with each new
assignment. And so it was that the hacker had at various times
grabbed the names of O'Lama, Butterworth, Flannel, and a host of other
ridiculous names Andrew was glad his friends never heard about.
As annoying as the calls had been, Andrew held fondly to the memory of
that afternoon. During low points of the assignments that
followed he only had to think about English moors, Smuckers Blueberry,
and a dented dashboard to bring a smile to his face.
(Photo Credits: The
photographs used on this page are from "Touched by
an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon
Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)