Within hours of getting my new cell phone number in San Diego, I started getting calls for a man named Martin (usually pronounced "Mar-teeeenh" with a thick accent). They don't come too often, maybe 12 calls in the last 4 months, but enough for me to notice and get mildly annoyed. Perhaps the root of my annoyance is that at least half of these calls have been made during the wee hours of the morning.
I always answer, of course, because if someone's calling me past midnight, the caller on the other end usually has something very important to share with me. So I answer, groggily, only to discover someone yelling in my ear "Mar-teeeeeehn... something in Spanish... Mar-teeeeehn... something else in Spanish...." and so on, at which point I tell them they have the wrong number and to pleeeeease tell everyone they know that Martin has fled the country and no longer has this number. I took Martin to be quite the partier.
That is, until this morning, when I learned the truth about Martin.
Martin is/was an immigration officer.
The man who called at 2 am last night asking for Martin called again this morning to explain that his girlfriend got her visa taken away last night at the Mexican border and he was trying desperately to resolve the matter and if I could just please be kind enough to give him Martin's new phone number he wouldn't bother me again. Poor guy. I told him I didn't know who Martin was and wished him luck. Guess I should stop telling people that Martin has fled the country. They might not think that's very funny after all.
A few weeks ago I was telling my boss that I keep getting calls and text messages (in Spanish) for some guy that used to have my number.
"Is it Armando?" he said quickly. "Because I get calls for him all the time and apparently he owes alot of people alot of money." Glad to know I'm not the only one...