Day 4 of the 10 Day Selfie Gratitude Challenge: The REFCS

A couple of years ago, there was a long streak of break-ins in our area.   It added a neighborhood tension that was further worsened by speculation, gossip, and a new crop of ADT signs. I hated hearing people talk about it.

“I heard that they’re breaking in through the window wells and that it’s always a woman or child who slithers through the opening.”

“I heard that they’re kicking down the front doors in the middle of the day and the neighbors never notice a thing.”

“I heard they’re targeting electronics for re-sale at the Swap-a-Rama. Be sure to keep your blinds closed so that they can’t see inside your house.”

This went on for months and was increasingly unnerving. And, yes, the police were working their tails off to stop the break-ins.   I’m not slamming them at all.

It was during this time that we started to get strange phone calls on our landline.

I would answer the phone and a man’s voice would ask if Crystal was there. Um, no, wrong number. There would be a long pause, and then the caller would mumble something and hang up. The calls for “Crystal” happened at all times of the day and night. I was especially annoyed when a call came after midnight and I was asked if I was drunk, if I was a #$@%, and if I liked to party. “Um, no. And no. And not right now. Don’t call here again, #$^#@.” These calls happened probably a dozen times before I finally stopped answering if I didn’t know the number.

But the phone kept ringing.

It was worse when the beloved, aforementioned husband answered the phone for an unfamiliar number. He would say hello and hear someone breathing on the other end. Sometimes the caller would say hello, but then not say anything else.   Or they would just ask for Crystal and then wait on the line until the BAH hung up.   If the calls came in the morning, after I had left for work, the BAH would be emailing me, “We got two more calls this morning and it was just the breathing thing. I’m really afraid someone is checking to see if we’re home. I think someone is going to break into the house today.”

It was a wee bit stressful.

After about four weeks of this, there was yet another unfamiliar call on the landline. I was feeling sassy and decided to answer.

“Hey, this is Donald. How you doin’?”

“Well, I’m doin’ just fine, Donald. How YOU doin’?”

“You know, I was calling to see if you were available later. Because, you know, I saw the ad and all.”


“I’m sorry, but what ad?”

“The one online. So are you ready or what?”


“Wait – what number are you trying to reach?”



“I think you might have the wrong number. What was the ad for, if I may ask?”


“Um, it was for the house thing, with that thing for the remodeling and the mumble-mumble-mumble…” CLICK.

Sure enough, I googled the number and it was for “Crystal” and the amazing services that one could purchase from her. These Craig’s List chuckleheads were mis-dialing her number and calling us instead.

So, today’s Gratitude shout-out goes to: Reasonable Explanations for Crazy S**t, or the REFCS. You are appreciated. When I’m thinking that all is lost and that the crazy is just going to go on and on and on….a reasonable explanation for crazy s**t sometimes appears. REFCS: I am grateful.


Sidebar: There are numerous exceptions to the REFCS. For example, there really aren’t any reasonable explanations for:

Ann Coulter and Donald Trump

Cappuccino-flavored potato chips


certain Crook County politicians

the death of a child

People who start a conversation with, “No offense, but…” (Honorable mention: “I know you’re super busy, but would you mind…”)

Saturday afternoon birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s

School shootings

Facial tattoos

Ann Coulter with a facial tattoo

I’ll leave you with that mental image.