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The riddle of the unknown caller

Tracy Russ

It's the cell phone equivalent of the mysterious knock on a front door with no peep hole … the call that comes through with the name, “UNKNOWN.”

Ahhhh … most of your friends' numbers are in your phone.

Maybe it's the guy from last night, but wait, didn't you program that number in, or would that have appeared too eager in the moment?

Could it be a call from a presidential candidate, with a detailed voicemail message about their position on illegal martini olive importation?

Hmmmm … if only you could tell more about the mysterious “UNKNOWN.”

It would help if the ID said something like, “EMOTIONALLY DISTANT.”

UNKNOWN seems so cold somehow. Or how about just plain “SHY” or “CRIPPINGLY SMART AND AWKWARD”?

Or even, “INTERESTED, BUT NOT WILLING TO LEAVE VOICEMAIL.”

Sometimes, it's exciting to see the “UNKNOWN” name pop up.

It could be a long-lost friend who's just gotten your number, right?

Oh, whatever, we all know that it screams “I'M STALKING YOU FROM ANOTHER PHONE,” right?

Unknown, keep trying. Remember, you are SOMEBODY to someone, with a special ring tone and everything.

Who knows, I might pick up after the third time in a row, right?

In the meantime, I'm probably not going to open the door until I ask “Who is it?”

And I'm probably going to introduce UNKNOWN to its kissing cousin … the IGNORE button.

Tracy Russ is a Charlotte native and owns a communications/public relations consulting agency. E-mail feedback@eyecharlotte.com.

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