I’ve always been intrigued by the moon. Maybe my fascination comes from one too many viewings (at too young an age) of reruns of Lon Cheney’s The Wolfman. I remember being petrified that I’d stumble across a wolfman in my own neighborhood, some poor, tormented soul who’d lost his mind and was bent on taking my life! (Okay, so even then my imagination got the better of me.)
Like most people, I’d heard the stories about strange behavior taking place around the full moon, and like most people, I never believed them. Then I started a job in a local media outlet that puts me in direct and daily contact with the public. I quickly realized that there would be days that would stretch the limits of my patience, days where people would exhibit strange behavior (stranger than usual) – cranky, mean, downright miserable complaints about things completely out of anyone's control. Or sometimes just behavior that makes me shake my head and wonder why people think the way they do.
At first I attributed these odd periodic incidents to simple chance, until one day, in the midst of one such episode, I threw up my hands and said, “What is going on today?! This is crazy!” The response to me from a veteran? “It’s a full moon,” as if that explained it all.
I laughed to myself and quietly pitied the poor sucker who actually bought that theory. Still, never one to discount the voice of experience, I began to pay attention. Now, when people’s behavior is more bizarre than usual, I look at the lunar calendar, and nod in understanding.
This month, we celebrating all things summer vacation-y, so I’ll share a goofy little thing that happened to me last week.
The full moon appeared on July 3rd, just as we were preparing coverage of our nation’s birthday, fielding lots of questions about fireworks and holiday closings. All routine, all to be expected.
Until I picked up the phone around 10 that morning. I answered with my usual: “Good morning, this is Leah. How can I help you?”
The caller responded with a tone that put me on alert, her voice crisp and full of an authority that she at least believed she had. “I need the number to CNN,” she said, as if it were a perfectly reasonable request. (I don’t work for CNN. And I’m not in Atlanta. Or Georgia.) Seemed she wanted to check on what fireworks the network would be broadcasting.
Normally I try to help people, figuring it takes longer to turn requests away than it does to just handle them, when I can. So I said, “We’re not affiliated with CNN, but I’ll be happy to look them up for you.”
When I relayed the phone number to her, she said, “What’s the 4-0-4 number you said?”
I looked at the screen where I’d Googled CNN’s contact page. “That’s their area code. They’re in Atlanta. Georgia.”
“Oh.” She paused, apparently thinking for a moment, then said, “ Patch me through.”
That stopped me, and I actually shook my head, wondering if I’d heard her correctly. “Patch you through?” I said. “I’m not sure what you mean.”
“You know, transfer me. To CNN.”
Now I was trying not to laugh, because she was so obviously serious. “I’m sorry, ma’am. This isn’t the phone company. I can’t transfer you.” (Actually, I’m not even sure they can these days!)
I could tell from the loud sigh that huffed across the transmission that I’d annoyed her, but she thanked me. As I started to replace the receiver, presuming she would be well on her way to finding her answers within seconds, I heard her ask, “Do I have to dial a ‘1’ first?”
Somewhere in the back of my mind, all I could hear was the howl of that poor tormented werewolf, searching for his sanity.
Leah writes stories of romance and suspense, and the enduring power of love. Please visit Leah at www.leahstjames.com.