I was busily typing my article on the Spice Girls when...
Jannis peeked her head into the office and said; « Have you seen J.J.? We were supposed to cover the Boston College basketball game tonight and I’m afraid he’s forgotten again. »
Manuel looked up from his paper and said; « He’s not at his desk? Call him. »
Jannis looked a little perplexed. « Look, I don’t know what that will do if he’s not at his desk, it means he’s off somewhere on a story. »
Manuel had a big grin on his face as he said; « You know J.J. he’s always into gadgets, well he just got one of those new cellphones installed. »
« Since when has J.J. got a car? He’s always used the metro or bummed a ride off of me? » Jannis wrinkled her eyebrows in puzzlement.
Manuel’s eyes really sparkled; « No, you don’t understand. » He paused for effect. « He had installed up here . » He tapped his head for emphasis. « I said it was one of the new cellphones. They graft it to the bone. No wires, no battery, it uses your body’s own sugar for power. It’s the latest rage. J.J. said it is the next best thing to telepathy. »
« It can’t be cheap. » I said as I tried to enter the conversation.
« It costs oodles. » replied Manuel.
« I’m not sure I would want one, and I don’t care how easy it made my life. Well, have you got his number? » She asked.
« Yah sure, I got it here on my desk. » To say that Manuel’s desk is messy is sort of like saying the Superbowl is a big game. After a minute or two Jannis began helping Manuel search.
« I’m glad I could have helped. » They both ignored me. They continued to search the Mount Everest of unclassifiable papers that was Manuel’s desk. « I know I got it here somewheres. » Manuel said.
« Ahem. » I repeated it once more before they looked at me. « Yesterday, J.J. gave me this number, of course, it might not be what you are looking for... but he did say it was his very own personal number. I didn’t exactly understand what he was talking about ... »
Jannis looked at me with those baby blues of hers and said with a perfectly innocent face: « Why didn’t you say so? »
Argh » I said as I handed her the paper. She walked over to Manuel’s telephone.
« This I gotta see! » exclaimed Manuel.
« put it on the speakerphone. » I chimed in.
We heard the dulcet electronic dial tone and after a few beeps the phone rang.
And it rang again and again. « Maybe it’s not the right number? » asked Jannis.
On around the ninth ring the phone stopped ringing and we heard J.J.’s voice:
« Hi, I am not here at the moment. I’m thinking of something else right now, but if you leave your name and number just after I start humming ... »