Friday, December 01, 2006

Mom! Mom! Robert DeNiro's on the phone!

"... and he's calling on behalf of Hillary Clinton!"

I wonder how many households had similar conversations in the weeks leading up to the last election.

Naturally, I thought it was adorable that my son actually thought Robert DeNiro was calling me. He just assumed my status as an author had landed me so close to celebritydom that such a thing was possible.

A savvy person such as myself would never make such a mistake.

So yesterday, when the phone rang and the caller ID window showed a cellphone number in Los Angeles, I bolted for the phone with studied nonchalance. Alas, I was too late. The caller had hung up before I could get to it.

I tried to shrug it off, but the creepy, disquieting voice in my head began to whisper: it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

I ignored it and paced the room. Who on earth could that have been?

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

It couldn't have been George Clooney ... could it? I mean, sure I included my phone number along with the autographed book I sent him, but he wouldn't just pick up the phone and call, would he? No. No way.

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

Of course, I had recently sent an email to David Letterman's mailbag, implying that I was solely responsible for George Clooney's fame. Included in the message was my phone number and the request that he nudge Clooney to call and thank me.

Was it possible the email wasn't deleted unread by some CBS intern? Could this really be the phone call?

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

"Call the number!" said one of my online friends. "I'm dying of curiosity here."

"It's probably just a wrong number," I insisted. ... it's-george-it's-george-it's-george... "Besides, what would I say?"

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

"Stop!" I argued with the voice. "The call came in an hour ago. I can't hit callback now. It'll look stupid."

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

"No. It's dopey. It's uncool. I should let him call back. And anyway, I'm sure it's just a wrong number. Or maybe one of my Los Angeles cousins. No way it's George."

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

I picked up the phone. I pressed the Caller ID button. I hesitated.

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

I typed in a 1 before the area code. I held my breath.

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

I hit talk.

It rang.

Someone answered.

A chirpy female voice. "Hello! Thank you for calling Planned Parenthood! Please hold for one our representatives!"

A charity? A charity was so duplicitous they would fool my Caller ID by disguising themselves behind a Los Angeles cellphone number?

The motherfudgers.

I slammed down the phone.

Hey, I understand that it's hard to raise funds for a Pro-Choice organization in George Bush's America, and I've supported them in the past (which is why they call me relentlessly), but I am DONE with Planned Parenthood. Done. I'll never answer one of their calls again. Never. Even if they have someone as famous as Robert DeNiro call me. Even if ...

it's-george-it's-george-it's-george...

Oh, never mind.

5 comments:

Myfanwy Collins said...

ha! Hey, maybe it was him! He could have been volunteering for them and called you on their dime?

Robin said...

If it makes you feel better -- your telling of the story cracked me up. Thanks!

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Oh, damn, Ellen! If it makes you feel any better, every time I see an ISP from Los Angeles on my statcounter, I'm convinced it's Patrick Dempsey trying to find my phone number.

Ellen said...

Myf, eureka! That must be it! :)

Thanks, Robin. It DOES make me feel better.

Melanie, hm. Maybe you should publish your phone number on your blog? (But then what will you tell DAH?)

Lisa McMann said...

You crack me up. Great story! And I got my bookplate the other day -- thank you so much! I *heart* what you wrote. :)