Tag Archives: when a stranger calls

Have you ever feared you were really someone else? No? Just me?

Something super weird happened to me this morning. The kids and I had to be somewhere shortly after lunch so we were getting dressed when off in the distance the house phone rang. (YES, I still have a house phone. U-Verse swears to me that my bill will actually go up if I turn it off. And NO, that doesn’t make sense to me either.)

Anyway, like all suspicious American families, we never answer the phone until we know who it is. I’ve been swindled into far too many surveys and donations that way. (Bah!) These days, it’s all about Caller ID. And my son was actually the first one to reach the screen and read it. I called out to him as I was running over, “Well?? Who is it?”

He just stared at the screen, looking very confused. “It’s … you.” (cue swell of creepy music)

“What? What do you MEAN it’s … wait, WHAT?!!?” I actually interrupted myself as my eyes focused on the phone’s screen. He was right. It listed my name and the very same phone number as the number it was calling. (bloodcurdling scream)


I can’t explain why this odd phenomenon actually frightened me, but it totally did. I literally backed away from the phone. How could I be calling myself AT the same number I was calling FROM? The whole thing was way too Being John Malkovich for my comfort level. So I fled the room in oddly-inappropriate terror.

Then I started thinking.

What if the person on the other end of the phone was the real Michele Robert Poche? What if I’m the imposter? I’ve been using her credit cards, wearing her clothes and even posing as her children’s mother. She is going to be pissed! Who the hell am I, anyway? And why did I steal this woman’s life?!!? Oh, my God, you guys! EVERYTHING I KNOW IS A LIE!!!

Then I Googled it and realized it was just the latest telemarketing scam. (cough) Crisis averted. (slinks out of room)


Per MamaKat’s writing prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word born.

In the words of David Hannum, “there’s a sucker born every minute.” You’re welcome to ALL of the other people born within my particular minute. Glad I could take one for the team.

The Scariest Morning I’ve Had In a While (Don’t worry. It ends well.)

For anyone just tuning in around here, I have one husband, two children and two pets. Sometimes I feel like we should get a third pet just for the rhythm and flow of that first sentence. Then I regain my sanity and realize you don’t take on another live responsibility so the description of your life is more poetic. Milo the cat and Herve the hamster are plenty. (shaking head at my own stupidity) Why am I explaining the cast of characters in my home? Because they all figure into the lunacy of my morning today. Prominently.

Milo (left) and Herve (right). BFFLs … I guess.

My day started like all others. Too early. With my eyes first opening around 5am. Followed by the realization that I had to pee. Nothing new. (Damn, peanut-sized bladder.) Then, for the next hour, my brain woke me every five to seven minutes in a cold sweat thinking I’d overslept. On a school morning. A school morning with exams. It just can’t happen.

I’m the rooster in the family. I’m the first one up every day. It’s my job to wake everyone up, one by one. And I always start with Dean, my 15-year-old son. Between homework, after school activities and televised athletic events, that poor kid never gets enough sleep during the week. As such, he’s hard to wake up in the morning so I usually spend a few minutes just hanging out with him chatting in the dark. (I don’t mind it one bit, by the way. It’s some of the best conversation we have all day.) And, while we’re chatting, Milo usually drifts in and out of the room waiting for us to get up and fill his food bowl.

Everything was following the usual pattern this morning until I exited his room to start getting ready. And I noticed Milo fixated on my daughter’s closed bedroom door. She was still asleep. But Milo was staring at the bottom of her door with the focus of an English Pointer voted Best in Show.

I knew something was up. A bug? Maybe even a roach? I didn’t know. But from the backlighting coming from within her room, I could see that something was pressed against the bottom crack of the door. The hallway was still dark and my eyes were still sleepy so I called my teenage son to come inspect the situation. He walked over and crouched down on the floor to get Milo’s perspective. Then he spoke. Nothing could have prepared me for his next words.

“I see a hand, a furry hand, much bigger than Herve’s, reaching in and out.” I stared at him in disbelief and my blood ran cold.

What was on the other side of the door to the room where my daughter lie fast asleep?!!?

For reasons of which I am not proud, I took off not into her room but down the hall to my bedroom where Dave was still asleep. “Get up! Get up! Get uuuuuup!!!! Dean said there’s something in Vivien’s room sticking a hand out under the door. And he said it’s NOT HERVE!!!”

Dave jumped out of bed from a deep sleep, totally discombobulated and ran down the hall …. past Vivien’s room, mind you … and into the living room.  He looked around, totally confused and likely still half asleep, when he got there. “NOOO! In your daughter’s room. It’s in your daughter’s room,” I yelled.

Dave ran back to her room and threw the door open a little harder than he probably should have. Given the fact that it WAS Herve. (pause for collective exhale) He was just on the other side of the door. Alive, I should probably add. Harmless, old man Herve who had a stroke last Christmas Day and now pulls to the left when he walks and falls over into a ball every few steps was the thing that had just scared the living daylights out of everyone.

Dave scooped him up, checked him out and declared him to be fine. I stopped almost swallowing my tongue and started breathing normally again. We hugged Milo and applauded his probably-not-intentional rescue efforts. And we instructed our obviously-more-blind-than-we-thought son to go put his contacts in immediately. Oh, and Vivien? She slept through all of it. The noise, the running, the panic. Good God, I envy that kind of sleep.

Of course, how Herve escaped his cage (I suspect the door wasn’t properly latched) and further how he survived the two-and-a-half foot drop to the hardwood floor unscathed (that would be like me falling four stories) will forever remain a mystery. Needless to say, there’s an extra latch on his little door now … should Houdini ever decide to go for an encore. And the cage? Well, that’s now located safely on the floor.

Seriously? You can’t tell me there’s a huge, furry hand coming out of my child’s room and not expect me to lose control. I think my heart’s finally starting to descend from my throat.


Ketchup With Us #4

Halloween is looming so Mel & I have decided to scare the __________ out of ourselves.

(Choose as many as apply.)

  1. heck/hell/snot/crap/shit
  2. daylights (living, everliving and everloving )
  3. dickens
  4. bejesus
  5. wits/willies

It’s time to Ketchup With Us about horror films. I am an enormous coward in this area. Which is why I expect a huge thank you from each and every one of you for the field work I put into this writing prompt. With the moral support of my friend, Vanessa, I summoned every shred of my courage to drag myself to see the latest screamer to hit theaters – House at the End of the StreetSeriously, since I saw that horrifying movie last week, I have lain (I hate that stupid word) in bed having to pee but paralyzed for an hour in the middle of the night. More than once. Thanks to my crippling fears, I’m probably well on my way to a UTI.

But this behavior is nothing new for me. I think it all started with this movie. (You go ahead and watch. I’m covering my eyes and ears.)

(Peeking from under hands) Is it over? Okay, good. For a quick explanation of this link-up, click here. In short, Mel and I will post a picture or video with a writing prompt on the 1st and 15th of every month. All you need to do is respond in 57 words or less. In any form. We love creativity. And, with each prompt, we’ll feature a writer from the previous link-up. Which reminds me …

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer for today is …

Welcome to Grand Central

The Rules of Play

  1. Follow us on Twitter (Michele/Mel ) and Facebook (Michele /Mel)
  2. Post the ‘Ketchup With Us’ button (below) in your post.
  3. Link your entry’s URL to the linky at the bottom of one of our posts.
  4. Tweet your post with the hashtag #KetchupWithUs AND both of our handles so we know to RT you.
  5. Please turn off your captcha. Every time a blogger turns off captcha, an angel gets its wings.


‘KETCHUP WITH US’ – Prompt #4

In 57 WORDS OR LESS, retell the plot line of your favorite horror movie. And, if you can find a good one, be sure to include a movie clip of your own. (God, I’m gonna be so freakin’ scared going through these entries. )