Speaking Of Saying Things The Wrong Way…

I just said something completely stupid. I knew it was stupid before the words had even left my mouth, but as happens to all of us sometimes, I said it anyway. Dont’ ask me why, because I have no good answer other than I’m human and humans do that sort of thing now and then. Some of us more than others, but that’s another topic entirely. It’s too bad there’s no way to suck in words that escape before they become public, I’m sure that would solve a lot of the world’s troubles, although it would also take away a lot of the world’s humour. But thankfully the person didn’t notice, because what I said is something that a lot of people say all the time.

It happened this way:

Steve’s Phone: “Ring.”

Steve: “Hello.”

Wind: That sound that wind makes when it blows into a phone. I can’t spell it, but you know the one.

Steve: “Hello.”

Nervous Guy: “Uh, hi, is Shawn there?”

Steve: “I think you’ve got the wrong number.”

Nervous Guy: “ok, sorry man.”

Steve: “No problem.”

I’m sure that’s what a lot of you are thinking too, no problem, as in Steve, there’s no problem with that conversation. But yes my friends, there is a problem with that conversation. For you see, I don’t *think* that Nervous Guy has the wrong number, I *know* that he has the wrong number. Because from the moment I’m asked, I have no doubt that Shawn is not here, and I’m also certain that he will not be returning after his round of golf, his scrotum waxing, or whatever else he chooses to do with his time. So why then do I have to think about it? It implies that I had to conduct a thorough investigation in order to correctly determine the answer to the nice man’s question, which I most certainly did not. Had there been a need to do so, the conversation probably would have gone something like this:

Nervous Guy: “Is Shawn There?”

Steve: “Hmmm, certainly a fine question, the answer to which does not spring immediately to mind. I can however tell you at this point that he does not appear to be in this particular room. Furthermore, it seems that walking in and out of all other rooms available has not yielded any positive results on the Shawn front. Perhaps if I continue to traverse the area while simultaneously screaming his name at the top of my lungs he may materialize. Shawn! Shawn! Shawn? Shaaaaawwwwwwn!!!!!! No, that doesn’t appear to have worked. Let me try the same thing, this time using the outside of my home as my prefered zone of potential discovery. Shawn! Shawn! Shawn? Shaaaaawwwwwwn!!!!!! Unfortunately that does not seem to have produced the desired outcome either, however my neighbour John is looking at me funny now. But if you would be so kind as to allow me a few moments of reflection time I would be more than happy to trace my movements up to this point in an attempt to ascertain when exactly I last laid eyes upon our apparently AWOL friend.”

“Well, this is certainly interesting. A preliminary journey through the depths of my memory has turned up nothing of substance as of now, and as I deliberate more intensely it is becoming abundantly clear that I cannot, in fact, remember the last time I was in Shawn’s company, he in mine, or we in ours. Indeed, I can now state without hesitation that Shawn does not, nor has he ever, resided in this location. And in yet another shocking twist to this situation, it further seems that I have lived alone here from such time as I took up my own residence here in this place I fondly call home. All of this evidence, when taken together, leads me to only one conclusion. You my friend most certainly have a wrong number.”

Nervous Guy: “Ok, sorry man.”

Steve: “No problem.”

See what I mean? Problem. But we all say it without giving it a second thought, or even a first for that matter. Why is that, and why can’t we stop? Can we actually be so unsure of ourselves that we need to consider the answer? Do we simply feel bad for the poor guy who feels like an idiot now and has to dial again on top of it? Or is it something else? I don’t know, but maybe Shawn does. Now if only I could get ahold of him…

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