It began with something innocent. They say the most scandalous encounters always do.
I was spending my Saturday doing one of the things
I love doing when the phone rang. I couldn't answer because I was in the middle of a showing with some guests at the furnished model in Silverhawk
. After a good conversation and some time answering questions, they left to go look at a few of the other available homes
. I checked caller ID, as a Saturday call at the office usually is someone calling to see if we're open.
Hmm, no voicemail. The name on the Caller ID log was peculiar, but in came another visitor.
I hadn't thought back to that moment until about an hour later when I was sketching
and the phone rang again. The name on Caller ID that was once peculiar was now twice familiar.
"Must be an out-of-towner spending the weekend in an Oklahoma City hotel while shopping for a new home," I thought as I clicked the "Talk" button, quickly speaking into the phone in my best radio voice, "Jeff Click Homes, this is Jeff." The response was a "click" of another kind.
I'd been hung up on.
"Probably just confirming we're open," I thought to myself, and went back to pencilling on another sketch
for the new Parade Home for this year
Moments later, it rang again. Click. Later, again. Click. I received numerous repeat phone calls that day from the same "Hilton", all of which would end abruptly in the same fashion.
I couldn't help but laugh as I queried in my mind, "What kind of loser prank calls a model home, let alone mid-day on a Saturday? Maybe someone really
wants to see if I'm here. Who's stalking Jeff Click Homes? Who's stalking me
?" I hadn't been the recipient of this kind of prank-calling action since Jr. High!
Little did I know the depths to which this potentially ruinous encounter would take me. As though it was burned into my head from repeated exposure, the mental image of that one word on Caller ID plagued my mind's eye; the orange back-lit screen and charcoal gray liquid crystal display text spelling out the word "Hilton."
Then it hit me. It has to be Paris Hilton calling
My imagination immediately began to explore the possibilities. "Why is Paris Hilton calling me
? Is she looking for design tips for a remodel of one of her Caribbean hide-aways? Perhaps a new hip contractor for a secret new hotel she's opening somewhere here in the city?"
I continued, as though the pubescent catalysts of both paranoia and fantasy from boyhood began a long-overdue awakening of sorts, "Is she looking for a pimp new crib in the Oklahoma City Metro
to add to her repertoire of vacation spots? Is she headed this way to check out my work? I have a no-dogs-allowed policy in my homes...is she bringing that multi-millionaire 2lb. dog she always seems to be carrying around? Would I have the lower fortitude to tell her that the mutt isn't allowed it in the house?"
Carried away, I then dared to think, "Is she looking to make a new tape
?! What? Did I just think that
? Think of your wife
, think of your daughter
...think of your wife, think of your daughter..." (Fortunately, that quickly did the trick, but I had resolved to follow up with "Think of anti-bacterial soap...think of anti-biotics!" just in case.)
That thought sequence abruptly ended the freakish fantasizing, and as the day wound down, so did the frequency of calls. Other visitors and closing time came and went, and much to my disapp...er, relief...no Paris. I had avoided a potential scandalous brush with builder stardom, and all the paparazzi, and drama, and rumors that go with a life style of rock-stardom.
So I thought.
Fast-forward to Monday, as I sat in the office doing what I do. Ring-ring! Ring-Ring! Then I heard the hand-held base for the phone from across the office, in its female, digitized voice, speak words that led to flashbacks of exciting fear, "Call from...Hilton."
I trembled in anticipation as I picked up the handheld on my desk and glanced at the Caller ID screen. Confirmed...orange, charcoal gray LCD...and just like I so well remembered from days ago, the 6 letters that haunted my previous weekend.
She was relentless.
I gulped, inhaled, and pressed the talk button. "Jeff. Click. Homes. This. Is. Jeff." I uttered.
What ever thoughts of fame, fortune, rumor, and scandal had existed before now boiled into sheer fear and rage. I instantly flashed to the MacBook Pro, where I feverishly keyed-in the number displayed on the Caller ID under her name: 407-722-3532. It was time for a Google reverse-lookup.
As the results page loaded, what I saw was as shocking
as it was a relief. Apparently "Paris" has a thing for calling people repeatedly from this number, and, like me, many
As I scanned the pages of search results, reading the accounts of countless others with the same general experience from the same number, my mind began to return to normal function. Perhaps it was because my head was shrinking back down into humility, and thoughts of 24-7 flash-bulbs and infra-red video had subsided. I resigned to the fact that Paris Hilton did not
, in fact, love Jeff Click Homes.
In my moment of relieved clarity, it all became obvious to me. I have more than enough reason
to limit my Saturdays to just one model.