August 23, 2009

Like the Great Phreaks of Yore

Here's one for the 'stranger than fiction' file:

Some months ago I had Verizon come and install their FiOs equipment in a building adjacent to the monastery, just so there could be a wireless internet connection through which a VPN tunnel could be made to connect the telephone network in both buildings. After a few headaches, it has all worked fine.

But the weird thing was, I never saw a bill for the FiOs service. I thought perhaps I had been removed from the triangulation and someone else was taking care of it. Besides, who complains about not getting a bill?

The other day I got a call from a nice lady in California. When I listened to her message, I thought it was a joke. But I checked the incoming call log, reverse searched the number, and found that it wasn't. She said, "Hello, Fr. Charles, my name is so-and-so from Sacred Heart Church in such-and-such a town, California. We have been getting your FiOs bills. I have not succeeded in convincing Verizon that you don't live here, so I'm sending them to you. I looked you up in the [Kenedy] directory, and see that you live in Yonkers, NY. Thanks for your attention to this matter, and God bless."

Telling this story around today, somebody said, "Maybe they think Sacred Heart Church is a chain, like Burger King."

(The title of the post is an homage to the Jargon File, which has been one of my favorite little lexical diversions ever since I first found it in college.)

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