Not me

It was a typical Saturday morning; I was helping with the cleaning at the animal shelter prior to visiting the cats.  They asked me to go out to the parking lot and clean out the shelter's van.  I got in the van through the side door and left it open.  I was hunched over picking up hamburger wrappers and old cat toys.  My back was to the door and someone came up behind me and dug their fingers into my ribs and my spine instantly went vertical.  A woman behind me said "Ha! Caught you smoking!"  I turned around and she said "Oh I'm so sorry, I thought you were David!"  I said it was OK and she went on, "David said he was trying to quit smoking and I thought he snuck out to the van to have a cigarette…" 

The phone rang at my mom and dad's house one night, long after supper, and my dad answered.  The caller said, "Hullo?  Is this Dean McCluskey?"  "Yes," my dad said, not recognizing the voice.  After a minute of confusing conversation, my dad hung up.  The caller had been a student at the local community college and he had a problem with one of his instructors.  He got the bright idea of checking the phone book, found my dad's name listed, and called, thinking he would reach the chief administrator of the college.  Incorrect. 

My brother does not have that exact problem because he screens all his calls.  On a sunny weekend he was home watching TV and a woman called a couple times, leaving messages like, "I think you have a really nice body, I'm watching you on [some sports show on basic cable]…"  My brother switched channels and saw a guy with almost the same name as his, a musclebound guy with a shaved head, spattered with tattoos on his neck and arms, in some kind of wrestling kicking fighting competition.  My brother did not return the calls.

Disclaimer: These stories did not all happen in the same year.  

We are here for a short time

I went back to my hometown for the funeral of a distant relative.  It was as positive an experience as a funeral can be, because many family members enjoyed seeing each other again after a long time apart.  Still, it raised sobering thoughts about what it all means when I learned that I have a living relative who wears a mullet.