Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Kelly Hearn/Kenny Heard Callings

I’ve been besieged lately by calls from several online colleges. At first, when I saw the names and numbers on the caller ID of my phone, I ignored those calls.

But rather than take the hint, the callers intensified their attempts to reach me and often called early in the morning or late in the evening — both the times I generally reserve for playing the APBA game.

So, I began answering the phone.

And I found that the callers all sought “Kelly Hearn,” who apparently requested more information for the online services. I told them there was no one here by that name and the callers promised to take me off the calling list.

Hours later, each time, the phone would ring again and it would be the same online college calling for Kelly Hearn again.

I’ve answered calls from the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, Capella University and Westwood College. There may have been others; “Caller Blocked” and “No Data” may also be names of Internet course providers, according to the caller ID function on the phone.

I don’t know if this is a joke or not. The name “Kelly Hearn,” is rather close to my childhood name: "Kenny Heard.” Change two letters in my name and I’m a course-seeking person. Perhaps someone submitted my name as a prank so I’d get swamped by calls. If that’s the case, it’s kind of funny. Once in high school, I sent off for a body building catalogue in the name of a fellow student. I used his name and his home address and requested the entire gamut of information the catalogue service offered. The joke was that the fellow student was in better shape than Charles Atlas or Jack Lalanne, or whoever the pitch man for that company was.

So, I appreciated the attempt at humor if my calls were done as a prank. Although, those early morning calls that disrupted whatever APBA baseball game I was playing became annoying. As did the professed promises from the representatives never to call again, only to have them call a few hours later. I was tempted at times to tell them that Kelly Hearn was here, but she decided to forego college and instead chose to make money as a prostitute or a drug dealer or a sports bookie.

But then I thought maybe Kelly Hearn is a real person and she’s sitting somewhere contemplating her future and wondering why all those colleges from which she requested information had never called her. Maybe she’s worried that the clock’s ticking and she wants to enroll somewhere by the first of the year, or for the spring semester and she has heard nary a word. Her phone, perhaps a transposed digit from my phone number, lies quietly while I field calls for her on a daily basis.

So, either someone’s yukking it up over the clever prank he pulled on me, or Kelly Hearn is sitting somewhere forlorn that her future looks bleak.

Either way, the 1981 APBA baseball season games I’m replaying are briefly delayed while I take yet another call for Kelly Hearn. And then they are delayed again while I contemplate the machinations for why the calls are coming to me in the first place.

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