Around 5:45 P.M. yesterday my phone rang from an unknown number. It was a 424 area code -- that's L.A.'s n00b area code, and gets the respect of, say, a ".info" or ".name" website -- and I didn't answer. I never answer unknown numbers. I figure there's nothing good that can come of taking the calls; if it's really important, the person will leave a message. And it's never important. At least 90 percent of the mysterious calls I've received in the past five years have been from a Nissan dealership trying to get me to buy another Nissan.
But something different happened this time. After the call went to voicemail, my phone immediately started ringing again. Same 424 number.
I still didn't answer. This time he left a voicemail.
"Hi, this call's for Samuel Greenspan. This is the Amazon driver, there's a package on the other side of your gate. Um... thank you."
From that voicemail, I could only draw one conclusion.
There's a guy here to murder me.
My reasoning behind that theory was rock solid.
I hadn't ordered anything from Amazon in a few weeks. And this isn't a scenario where I ordered something but forgot. ("An Amazon package? But I didn't order-- oh right, Cool Runnings on DVD and longer iPhone charging cord!") I definitively had not placed an order on Amazon in several weeks.
What the hell is an "Amazon driver"? I know Amazon has weird deals with the Post Office now for Sunday deliveries, but would the postal worker call himself an "Amazon driver"? Nope.
I've received -- no exaggeration -- 45 billion packages from Amazon. Every single one was just left on my steps or at the gate or in a bush or with a homeless person outside. No driver has ever tried to actually make the handoff directly to me, not even with big ticket items.
It was raining outside. Sure, maybe he wanted to hand the package to me to keep it from getting wet -- but wouldn't it make more sense to just drop the package as quickly as possible then get back into the dry car?
"There's a package on the other side of your gate." I snuck around to take a peak in front of the gate. There was NOT a package on the other side of my gate.
If I were trying to lure someone outside for a murder, I'd probably use this same "um... you got a package" technique.
I've been binge watching Sons of Anarchy and every time anything even 2 percent unusual happens, someone's about to get murdered. An "Amazon driver" calling was more than 2 percent unusual. Thus, murder.
I decided to get my guard dog, Reggie, on the case. Unfortunately, my guard dog is a 10-pound chihuahua. Still, he barks like crazy whenever any intruder is within a 20-foot radius of the house, so if a cadre of assassins happened to be outside, he'd be all over it.
He was silent -- but upon further review, it was because he'd gotten himself trapped and twisted inside the duvet cover and couldn't run out to bark. No help there. I was stuck as metaphorically as he was literally.
So I did something that someone in a horror movie would do. I called the number back.
The guy told me the same story: He had an Amazon package for me. I lied, saying I wasn't home, and he was kind enough not to point out all the lights on. Then I asked him to leave the package by the gate. He agreed.
I wasn't sure if he did or not, but I didn't leave the house for two hours.
Finally, the rain let up and the dogs desperately needed a walk. I figured by now he would've given up and headed back to the safe house. I helped guide Reggie out of his duvet prison and took them outside. Slowly, I opened the gate.
There was a box.
Two more hours later, I got the moxie to open it.
Subscribe and save. That explains it. Now I just feel bad.
Not for suspecting the guy for murder. For him having to take all that time out of his day to deliver a giant box containing one bottle of body wash I don't even need.
At least all his calls to me were weekend minutes. Part-time assassins/Sunday delivery drivers still care about those, right?
This post was originally published on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Personal.