This is Sam.
Sam calls me from time to time … sometimes twice a day, sometimes more.
Most days I don’t answer. (Sorry Sam, baseball season is a very busy time for me.)
But, I have talked to him.
Sam says he’s from Microsoft Windows and that he has been monitoring my computer and that I am uploading malicious things. He must mean these blog posts.
(Hurtful, Sam. And, stop hating on baseball.)
Sam is a scam.
But, he’s a tenacious fellow and just keeps calling.
Sam called one night at 10:30. You shouldn’t call us after 10 p.m. unless you are:
1) Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter calling Editor/Husband for bullpen advice. Editor/Husband will tell Buck, “For God’s sake, Buck, what in the world are you doing? Keep Britton out there for the ninth. He’s fine. FINE! Tommy Hunter … what the hell?? Why is he warming up? You just want to lose this game, don’t you? Well, now we’re going to lose. Great.”
(Actually, we won and Tommy Hunter got the save. But, Editor/Husband is still asputter.)
2) There is no #2. Orioles Manager Buck Showalter can call after 10 p.m. You can’t.
Usually, we just let the phone ring when we see that it’s Sam.
The other day, though, I decided I would talk to him again.
I wanted to ask Sam why he had a job whose main description is, best I can tell, to take advantage of, and steal from, innocent people.
I thought it would be interesting to ask a crook why he was crooking. I figured I could reason with Sam.
“Why do you hurt people, Sam? Why are you trying to steal from me?”
My tough love question would pierce his heart. There would be an uncomfortably long pause as Sam thought deeply about what I had said. Then Sam, seeing the error of his ways, would thank me for setting him right. He would leave his job of cheating and hurting people and set off on a new course of helping people.
After a time of reflection, Sam would start a volunteer-run food pantry in his village … his small way of giving back to humanity. One day – a year or two from now – Sam would call me again. “Thank you,” he would say softly. “You have changed my life.”
You may think I’m making this up for the sake of this post. I assure you, I am the idiot you think I am. I really believed this would happen.
I had it all planned out … I had my dialogue and Sam’s. (Although in the movie version Sam’s English, while still fractured, would be much easier to understand.)
This could not go wrong.
I did my part just right.
I interrupted his spiel, “Sam? Sam? Sam, wait, can I ask you a question?”
Pause. Then “Yes.”
“Sam, I know that you’re not with Windows. I know that there’s nothing wrong with my computer. I know that you’re being dishonest. Why would you do that? Why would you try to hurt me and other people by lying about who you are? Why are you trying to steal from me?”
Then I waited for the long and remorseful pause from Sam.
And, this is when he started yelling at me.
Sam was yelling about my computer doing malicious things. And, my Windows ID number that he had, but that I did not. He started yelling a long string of random numbers and letters.
“There! There! That is your ID number. You do not know your ID number! Do YOU??? DO YOU??? Tell me your ID number! You can’t! You do not know it! I do! I have your ID number! What is it? Tell me! TELL ME!!”
This was crazy talk. Sam was ruining everything.
“Stop yelling at me. I don’t like to be yelled at.”
I told him I was going to hang up. (I’m exceedingly polite at times.) “Sam. I am hanging up now.” And, I did.
I’m sort of sad about Sam, but I know that he is so far up in the crooking business that it would take more than one person to pull him out.
I’m also mad at Sam for being a crook and for ruining my plan and ruining this post.
Sam called again the other day. But, I didn’t take his call. My heart just wasn’t in it.
All I can do is ask you this.
If some day soon you get a call from a U.S. Cellular number somewhere in Maine, it might be Sam. Please tell him “hi” for me. Maybe you can reason with him.
Jackie Howell, I love you for this.
U.S. Cellular? Irritatingly persistent? Yelling loudly? I think “Sam” might be Ken “Hawk” Harrelson.
You know, you might be right! It was that kind of yelling that doesn’t have any pauses for breath … or any pauses that you can interrupt into. Which is pretty much how one would describe Hawk Harrelson!
Sam has changed his name, but not his tune. He now goes by Ken and calls me from time to time. He even gave me a number to call him back when I once told him I didn’t have time to talk — that line was always busy:):) Why are we so polite to crooks? By the way, my cut off time for phone calls is 9:00 pm. Clearly I don’t watch night games. Thanks for another great read!
I haven’t had a call from Sam since I posted this … maybe I have finally set him on the road to redemption. Hoping the best for your “Ken” too!
Sam has several aliases and spends WAY too much time bothering me also. The one that got me, though, was the early Sunday morning call. It had better be a serious family emergency for someone to call at that hour, especially on the weekend, and Sam is NOT family. Bless you for calling him/them out! P.S. Hope Buck calls you.or Randy. :)
Editor/Husband’s at-the-ready for the phone call from Buck … until then, I am the lucky recipient of the “earful”.
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Has Buck picked up the frequency of his phone calls for bullpen counsel? And how does Buck feel about J. Schoop, the O’s young second basemen’s prospects for a strong 2015?
Randy says Buck doesn’t call often enough — to us OR to the bullpen. (Although Randy admits he has a quick hook for starters — he would get someone up in the ‘pen as soon as a pitcher works into his first full count.)
As for Jonathan Schoop … the Orioles are exceedingly high on him. The skinny is that everyone believes that Schoop will be the Manny Machado of second base and that they are content to let him work through the poor at-bats, base-running mistakes and defensive errors that are usually worked through in the minors, because his overall value (and potential) outweighs his rookie mistakes. When he is great, he IS Machado great. And, when he makes a mistake, he’s a little like a puppy — you get angry at first, but then you see how young and earnest he is, and you let it slide. Cal Ripken stopped by the broadcast booth a few months ago and admitted he hadn’t been keeping up with the Orioles … the first (and, really, only) question he had: “How good is Schoop?” and Mike Bordick said, without missing a beat, “Schoopy Good!” which has become a catch phrase in our house.
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