The phone rang just as I was leaving the house for a week shooting in California. Three types of people call me on our landline. There are telemarketers, even though we are on every DO NOT CALL list known to the NSA. There are politicians, to whom the do not call laws, and most others, don't apply. And there's Uncle Slappy.
The thing is he learned my home number when my wife and I moved to our current apartment 15 years ago. That's from before the time cell phones were prevalent and Uncle Slappy never saw the need or had the desire to learn a different number for me.
If you're the only relation of an older relative like Uncle Slappy and Aunt Sylvie, you pick up the phone when it rings. Though, knock wood, the both of them still have sap running through their branches, they're not, as they'd be the first to admit, getting any younger. Besides, you should never take the health of 86 year olds for granted. So even though my producer was downstairs waiting to travel with me to JFK, I took the call.
"You'll never guess who I just met," the old man began.
"Hi, Uncle Slappy, everything ok?"
"Guess who I just met. The most stunning woman by the pool."
"I'm sure Aunt Sylvie is enjoying that," I said.
Uncle Slappy is, like I said 86, but he still enjoys a well turned ankle. Even if it is housed in granny shoes.
"I met Ingrid Berman."
"Ingrid Bergman's been dead since the early 80s," I said.
"That's neither here nor there. I met Ingrid Berman. From Massapequa Park."
"And she's beautiful, Uncle Slappy?"
"Well," he said with timing that would put Jack Benny to shame, "Of course she is." He paused a long pause. "Of course, she's no Ingrid Bergman."
With that Uncle Slappy hung up the blower.
I made my flight with about an hour to spare.