[Previously on "A Tale of Two Phones" our Hero had his two phones stolen out of his classroom, heard kids on the other end when he called them, had them disconnected, reported them stolen, got an ornery e-mail from a friend he missed a meeting with, had his older brother contact him because his father contacted the older brother when the people who found one of the cell phones contacted the father, and told our Hero to contact his father about the phone.]
So I went to the address that Julia gave me and and it was every bit as charming as she described it. I started talking to the lady at the front door, who at first looked at me like I was growing a second head out my left shoulder and then told me she had no idea what I was talking about. After being told she was clueless a couple of times, it finally dawned on her that I probably wanted to talk to people in the basement apartment. As I'm walking around the side of the house, this guy comes up out of a stairwell to meet me, not having central air their windows were all open and he had heard the conversation. At first he seemed to be somewhat cautious, like he was expecting me to demand his son be arrested for theft, or maybe I'd settle for a portion of the family fortune. Once I had made it clear that I simply wanted the other phone back, and had no intention of retribution, he became friendly and invited me into the house to talk to culprit #1, his (probably 8 year old) son Zachary. A charming apartment, with 2 kids at the table munching cereal, mom laying on the couch and the baby in a pen with her diaper sliding down about the knees. Zach had no idea where the phones came from, (yeah, right), but remembered the other phone because his friend was taking pictures with it. The parents, or whatever relationship the man had with the family (at one point he said to Zack - just wait 'till your dad gets home), were very helpful. They got Zack to tell which friend it was that had the camera, called the house and got no answer, started giving me directions to the house and even gave me the mom & kids name. Culprit #2 - another 8 year old named Harley (and I quote Zack's mom "like the motorcycle"). The mom even decided to accompany me over to the other house, which I thought was weird because most women I know would never get in a car with a male who was a complete stranger. By the conversation on the way over, it was obvious that mom figured that her son and Harley had taken them off my desk together, and I got the satisfaction of knowing that little Zack would be grounded for at least long enough to know that it wasn't a good thing he did.
We get to Harley's house and dad, or some sort of male father figure, was sitting out front and came to us as we drove up. Instead of breaching the subject slowly, Mom greets him with "Harley's been stealing cell phones off of teacher's desks at Granite" and 'dad' comes out with "F#$%$%, little b#%$^$, f*(&^^" and invites us to follow him inside. He starts grilling little Harley, who is playing completely innocent. No he never had any cell phones. No he didn't take them. No he wasn't taking pictures with one of them. His mom (who looked to be about 18) jumps to his defense - she never saw him with a cell phone, he never had them. So 'dad' asks Harley if he had been to Granite High recently and Harley adamantly says "No, I haven't been there in a long time." This is where little bro (probably 6) speaks up. "You were there just the other day, you told me" Harley still denies it. This is where I did my best teacher impression and looked straight at Harley and said "Harley, I don't want to get anyone in trouble, I just need to get that phone back, that's all I want." Harley opens his mouth and even before he can spew out another lie, little bro reaches out his hand and says "You mean this one?" It's brown trouser time for Harley as dad's vein starts to throb, mom becomes incredibly silent and invisible, and I take the phone, thank him for giving it to me and prepare to leave. I opened the phone to see if it was mine, and find the contact list contains nobody I know. Instead I now have the number for Deni, Dj Dopey, Dutch and someone they refer to as Mushroom. My heart stops because I think I have the wrong phone, so I quickly check the phone settings and find the number for the phone. There it is, my number and my name. Phew! (The phone also had the pictures the kids took, one of which looks incredibly X-Filesish, so you may be able to see Harley, Zack and/or little brother when I figure outhow to get them out of there.)
Anyway, that's the saga. All is well again, the internet even seems to be working fine, although I'm not cancelling my repair appointment tomorrow, 'cause if I do I know the internet will go down again...... see ya around