What’s Your Number?

I have to tell a story of a story to ask a question.

Today I was driving to Lowe’s to get some things that I needed for some repairs around the house. On the way I passed a gentleman who was probably close to my age walking along the side of the road in the opposite direction I was traveling. Not a normal thing to see out where we live, but I really didn’t think anything about it at the time.

On the way back from Lowe’s about 40 minutes later, I passed the gentleman again further up the road. For whatever reason I turned around, went back and asked if he needed a lift.

He said a lift would be greatly appreciated. So I asked if he was heading into town (town being Pea Ridge). He said no, a little farther. He was trying to get to Cassville, Missouri. 30 miles away. But however far I could take him would be appreciated.

Pea Ridge, Arkansas to Cassville, Missouri

No big deal to drive him to Cassville. It’s my day off and I really had nothing else on my plate for the day aside from chores around the house.

We got to talking along the way, mostly about tattoos since mine were visible as I was wearing a sleeveless shirt.

And then I asked why he was walking? And why so far?

He had an interesting story to tell.

Friday, he and his family were at the park in Bentonville when he started having chest pains. An ambulance was called, and he was admitted to the hospital. The doctors figured out he was having arrhythmia which triggered the chest pains. They were keeping him over the weekend and possibly into this week.

After having a heart specialist come in, it was determined he had some issue with tachycardia (which eerily enough is the issue that my buddy Tory was having). The hospital did some other tests and then released him early.

At which point he realized he didn’t have a way to contact his wife or son. No land line at home. His wife had his cell phone, which was apparently powered off. And he couldn’t remember anyone’s phone number because they were all programmed into the cellphone he didn’t have with him. So he figured he’d just start walking, and hopefully somewhere along the way a family member might pass by him on his journey, or someone might stop and pick him up along the way.

I delivered him to his destination, and he said his thanks. Then I headed back home.

On the way home his story got me thinking: do I really remember anyone’s phone number? Especially since everyone is just on speed-dial via their cellphone contact information these days.

I do know the Husbear’s cell number (not that he ever answers the blasted thing if I call), the home land line (not that the phone’s ringer is on), the business phone numbers, and my parental unit’s land line (in Florida). But that’s it. I’d be totally screwed if I had to call anyone else without the assistance of my contact list.

Granted, my phone contacts at least sync with my gmail account, so I could log onto any computer and at least look up phone numbers as needed. But how many people have their phones set up to do that?

Do you have the phone numbers that you would need to call if you had to get in contact with someone committed to memory?

Until next time...
Erik

29 thoughts on “What’s Your Number?

  1. I have the Duke and Duchess’ phone number seared into my brain, should there be an emergency. And I know the number for the phone inside the TARDIS. Everything else… no idea.

  2. Not necessarily. Except… I know how to dial the operator for directory assistance. And since my entire address book is in the cloud, all I would need is an internet connection on somebody’s computer or mobile phone or whatever to get to it (much like your Gmail contacts). I could also contact friends and family on Facebook. The bigger worry is that I forget my passwords to iCloud and Facebook since they are automatically filled in on my computers and devices!

    1. The thing about calling directory assistance these days is that they don’t have cell phone numbers on file. Which seems to be many individual’s only phone as of late.

      I didn’t even think about the autofill password issue that a lot of people will have when it comes to websites.

  3. The only # I know is my parents, because they have had it since 1970. No one knows # anymore as they are all push buttons. Memorizing numbers is a lost talent.

  4. I know Greg’s number and my sister’s. Plus I keep everyone’s number in Outlook and in my little black book. I think I’m good. However I like your idea of keeping the numbers synched online. I’m going to figure out how to do that too.

  5. God for you for picking the guy up. that was a nice th tondo. I often wish I was a big man… Then I would stop for everyone. In this body and at this age I don’t think I could protect myself should someone want to hurt me.

  6. I don’t know what’s sadder…that this man had to walk 30 miles home or that no family member was with him at the hospital! Regardless…good for you for doing what you did…and good for you for getting me to think about what you said!

    Enjoy your blog…first time commenting. So…hey! And I have family in Cassville (I live in Mississippi)…how weird is that? Didn’t know Pea Ridge was that close.

    1. I was thinking that too, actually. Then again, if it was just “routine” by the 3rd day, I can understand having to get back to life again and checking in on someone from time-to-time.

      And thank you.

      And welcome! It’s relatively close, considering there’s no direct route.

  7. After four years, I *almost* have my Bubba’s phone number memorized. I don’t think he has mine. I also can recall my sister’s…if I think about it for a minute…and my dad’s. That’s about it. Everything else is in my contact list.

  8. That was a very nice thing to do….
    If you’re with AT&T there is a way to look at your bill online and put in a name for a phone number… Otherwise… I don’t even know anyone’s phone number at all! it’s sad

  9. What a nice thing for you to do to help the guy out! Thanks for doing that.

    Not at all where I thought this post was going. I was ready for this whole “Highway to Heaven” meets “Touched By An Angel” scenario.

    I know Harper’s Other Dad’s cell number. (A bit of a cheat that, however; his number is identical to mine except for the last digit) and the number of our land-line; which no one ever uses except political recordings and fund raisers.

    1. Thank you. It’s not something I normally do, but for some reason I did.

      Either that scenario, or a horror story scenario. They both start out that way.

      It’s good that you at least know those. But what if Harper’s Other Dad was with you, and his cellphone was kaput too? (I know, that’s a lot of what-ifs.)

  10. I never really thought about it. I don’t know very many numbers any more. For the longest time I didn’t know my own. I had it on a sticky stuck to the outside. It is a wonderful story that you were able to help this gentleman.

  11. That’s a helluva a nice thing you did. I didn’t know people like you still existed. Okay, I’m not that cynical but still… I grew up in the area between Alpena and Harrison so your in beautiufl country for a drive. If you’ve had rain.
    I wouldn’t know anyone’s number. I’d be screwed! I don’t even know my own. I have it taped on the back of the phone so I don’t have to search.

    1. There’s a few of us around, it would seem. It’s actually not something I would normally do. But for whatever reason I did this time.

      This part of the state is definitely pretty, most of the time. The rest of Arkansas, not so much. Flat, boring blah.

      And you should probably work on that. 😉

  12. Back in the late 90’s, I created a list of all the birthdays of my close relatives, and their phone numbers. I printed it on heavy stock (card stock, or “cover”), laminated it, and cut it slightly smaller than a credit card. Unfortunately, I’m not the healthiest person (due to genetics) so it was a way to make sure that I had all the vital info in my wallet at all times.

    I’ve never used it. But it’s still there, and maybe half the numbers are still of use.

    1. I used to do something similar. But with how often I tended to lose my wallet, I eventually never remade another one after the last loss. But if it works for you, I’d say update it!

  13. Didn’t realize you were so close to Cassville. That and Shell Knob are where my mom’s family is from. Ever wander into Painter Cemetery in Shell Knob and you’ll be surrounded by people I’m related to. 🙂

  14. I wouldn’t easily pick someone up if I was driving alone. It was a nice thing you did.
    I don’t really remember any useful numbers, apart from my parents’ land line in Greece. I should, I know…

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