12.16.2004

I have some difficult news to relate to you.

For those of you who have known me for any length of time in any capacity, either personally or through my websites, this will come as a bit of a blow - and if you think it's hard for you, just imagine how hard it was for ME.

I had to sever a very long-standing relationship a few weeks ago.

It was hard. There was some arguing, which led to yelling, which eventually led to cursing and finally a decision to just cut my losses and move on. The fact that we had to do it over the phone was especially difficult - mostly because the call kept dropping while I was trying to make my points. Which is really the entire reason we got into the fight in the first place... but really, it's better this way. Now that I've broken it off with Sprint, I can move on with my life.

I'm in a new relationship now. A good friend of mine, Bill Doty from Broken Newz, introduced us. He put me onto Verizon, and really, it's a great match-up. We're getting along well.

The difficult part of moving to Verizon was the fact that, for a few weeks, I had to have a Salt Lake City phone number. As many of you know, being the scholarly students of geography that you are, Salt Lake City is not Atlanta - meaning that anyone who wanted to contact me for those few weeks had to make a long distance call to reach me. While this had the extremely positive effect of toning back the frequency with which my mother called me (Mom - if you're reading this, you should know both that I am only kidding and that I am extremely proud that you have finally figured out how to "turn on the internet"), but overall it's been a gigantic pain in the ass.

For one, I don't even know HOW to memorize a Salt Lake City phone number. It took forever for me to get used to the new 678 area code here in Atlanta, and now that I have, using the various Atlanta area codes is second nature to me. Area codes, for me, are mnemonic devices. I begin a phone number with an area code and WHAM - instantly, my mental phone book slices into thirds, producing me with MUCH less information to sift through when trying to figure out the rest of the number (which always comes out wrong anyway thanks to my inherent ability to transpose numbers and make them completely useless). But really, aside from having to look up my phone number each time I wanted to give it out and having to hear complaints about the toll charges used to call me, the MAJOR pain has been dealing with Nikki.

You see, Nikki has been trying DESPERATELY to get in touch with Clint. Clint, it seems, had my Salt Lake City phone number before I had it. Apparently, Clint is a stable guy who does not like change, because "He's had this number for years." And through my interaction with darling Nikki, I've figured out in very short order why Clint surrendered it so readily. Our sweet little Nikki is quite persistent in her attempts to locate and speak with Clint.

The very first day I had the phone number, I received no less than 20 phone calls from Nikki, the first one beginning with "Clint? Is this Clint?" and ending with "I don't fucking believe you motherfucker, Clint has to be there because this is Clint's fucking phone number, so fucking put Clint on the fucking phone!"

That ending very ironically became the beginning of EVERY OTHER PHONE CALL that day.

For the next few days, I would just ignore Nikki's calls. I got a few voicemails, most of which were very demanding in their requests for me to "Quit fucking around, motherfucker" and one of which expressed severe distress over the fact that I had gone so far as to "Change motherfucking Clint's motherfucking voicemail... answering... message-thing" to my own voice. But after a little while, I began to feel a pang of longing for real-time interaction with Nikki, so on the fourth day, I took one of her calls.

"Oh, now you fucking answer, you motherfucker!" Nikki screamed.

I stammered for a second, pushing hard to get a few words in before she went on another tirade. "Look, I don't know who you are --"

"I'm motherfucking Nikki! You know damn well who I am, motherfucker!"

"Okay, Nikki," I responded, "The truth is, I DON'T know who you are. I just got this phone --"

"Don't fucking FUCK with me, motherfucker!" Nikki demanded. "I know you're hiding Clint from me and I want to talk to his ass!"

"You want to talk to his ass?" I said, setting up the obvious joke. Unfortunately, Nikki was too quick for me.

"Not his ASS ass, but his ass -- you know what I'm saying, motherfucker! Don't be motherfucking cute with me!"

"Um..." I said, bewildered.

"Let me talk to motherfucking Clint!" She insisted.

"Nikki - I don't know Clint," I responded. "I've never met Clint. Clint is as the wind to me. He is an enigma. I do NOT know him."

She sighed loudly. "Don't motherfucking LIE to me!" She screamed.

"I'm NOT!" I replied. "I just got this number a few days ago. I don't even LIVE in this area code --"

"Oh, bullshit, motherfucker," She yelled. "How can you come to me with some bullshit lie like that motherfucking... LIE you are telling, you..."

"I'm not lying," I said. "A friend of mine who lives in Utah hooked me up with this phone." I waited for her to jump in with her usual strand of vulgarity, but oddly, she refrained. It took a moment for me to collect myself over this shock, and once I did, I went on. "I live in Atlanta. I don't live in Utah. I don't know Clint, I don't know you... I don't know anything at all about any of this whatsoever."

She sat there silent for a moment. Suddenly, as if Pavlov rang a bell and it was her immediate response, she let fly a piercing scream into the phone. I had to remove the earpiece from my left ear to keep from going the rest of the way deaf. Once she stopped with the scream, she leapt right into the yelling, insisting that because I have a Salt Lake City number, I HAVE to live in Salt Lake City. Motherfucker.

"Nikki," I said, managing to break in for a moment. "Are you on a cell phone right now?"

"Yeah, so?" She answered.

"Do me a favor, will you?" I asked.

"Hell no, I ain't doing you no motherfucking favors, you lying mother --"

"LOOK," I interjected. "Just hear me out. Are you sitting or standing?"

"I'm standing, you asshole. What does it matter?"

"Okay, now - take a few steps forward. In fact, go into the next room," I requested.

"Fuck you, I ain't going nowhere for your ass until you let me speak to Clint, motherf--"

"NIKKI," I said sternly. "I'm trying to prove a POINT here. Just - just take a few steps, ok?"

"Fine," She said. After a tiny moment of silence, she quipped, "There, I walked. Are you happy now?"

"Okay," I acknowledged, "Did you notice that the phone you are talking on went with you wherever you went?"

"Um... Okay, so?" Nikki replied.

"Now, doesn't it occur to you that, since the phone is mobile and will go with you where you go that, if you were to go to, say, Atlanta, the phone would go with you there?"

She thought for a moment. "That don't prove SHIT!" She yelled. "Let me talk to Clint, you stupid motherfuckin' sack of motherfuckin' shit!"

I sighed. "Okay, Nikki, you got me. I'm really covering for Clint. He hates you and wants you to die, but not before you shove red hot pokers covered in ants into your eyes and wonder blindly into a swimming pool filled with acid."

Silence for a moment... and then "Liar! Clint doesn't fucking hate me! Fucking let me fucking talk to fucking--" and that's when I hung up the phone.

The next two weeks - in fact, up until a few hours ago when I switched over to an Atlanta number, Nikki would call just about once every 2 hours on the hour. Sometimes, she'd leave voicemail, other times, she'd text message my phone with things like "Tell Clint I <3 him" followed immediately by "U R such a FUK".

Boy, do I feel sorry for the next person to inherit that phone number. And not just because of Nikki - While I had it, I signed up for every single piece of telemarketing crap I could find with that number. I knew it was going to be temporary, so I figured what the hell.