Getting ready for bed last night I get one of those irritating one ring phone calls. For those who may not know this, in Honduras there are no 2 year contracts where you have an allotted number of minutes per month. Here, there is just prepaid minutes. You only use minutes if the person you call answers. Since everyone has a cell phone but is a minute scrooge at the same time, people call, let it ring once and hang up before you can answer as a signal that they want you to call them back on your minutes ~ not theirs. So anyway, cell phone etiquette is not what this post is about.
Pretty soon I'm getting a bunch of these one ring calls from a lot of different numbers. I ask Papa what he thinks is going on and he suggests that someone is playing a prank. Okay? Then I start getting text messages in Spanish saying things like "how old are you little Alejandro?" and "Why do you live by yourself?" and "I would like to be your friend" and worse, but I'll leave it G rated. Some from men even. Okay, okay...Who the heck is Alejandro? And why are all these people suddenly calling and texting me (him) on a Tuesday night? After laughing at all the messages coming in and the one ring calls I decided to turn off the phone for the night. I really only have two people call me anyway. My husband and my daughter and they were both with me safe at home.
I got some texts this morning and I wrote back to ask how they got the number? They mentioned something about "seeing my message". Hmm?? What message and where did they see it??? Later in the morning a few more calls came in and finally we got someone on the phone. A guy actually. I quickly hand the phone over to Papa who gives the guy some not nice words and hangs up. I tell Papa that we have to find out what is going on! That somehow my cell phone number has gotten out to a LOT of people. About an hour later I get another call. Papa answers the phone and this time it's a woman. He plays it a little cool like he could be Alejandro and asks how she got the number. She tells him from an ad on the local TV station. You've got to be kidding me.
I ask Papa if the message was like a 900 number ad where some hunky guy is saying he lives by himself and to call him for a good time? He said he didn't think so. That it was probably just some ticker type scrolling want ads at the bottom of the screen.
Who's responsibility is it to make sure those personal ads on local Honduran TV are publishing the correct phone number? Should a TV station check phone numbers before they hit the airwaves? You know...just to make sure that it wasn't a number to some English only speaking gringa ~ME!