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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • JOSHUA'S COLUMN — A billion-to-one wrong phone number

  • I was sitting at my desk at the Gazette on a Sunday afternoon, working on our and the Chamber’s upcoming Explore Redwood Area booklet (coming soon to a newsrack near you!), and my cell phone went off....
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  • Last week I got the oddest wrong phone call of my life. I was sitting at my desk at the Gazette on a Sunday afternoon, working on our and the Chamber’s upcoming Explore Redwood Area booklet (coming soon to a newsrack near you!), and my cell phone went off. When I answered, a man’s voice at the other end said, “Josh? Are you at work now?” I looked around the Gazette office on all sides of my desk to confirm it, and said, “Yes.” Then the man went off talking about a bunch of work-related stuff that didn’t have anything whatsoever to do with me or with what I was doing at the Gazette. “Um...what?” I said, and tried asking him if he meant to be talking to Troy instead. The man said, “Is this Josh?” I confirmed it was, and he asked me some technical question I can’t repeat here because I don’t know what he said. After a few more minutes of talking circles around each other, I finally figured out what was going on — the man was calling some other person named Josh in Redwood Falls who also happened to be at his office working on that Sunday afternoon. People hit wrong phone numbers all the time, and people work on Sunday afternoons all the time, and there are probably a couple million people named Josh in the world now. But even so, what are the odds? A billion to one? . . . . . I was daydreaming awhile back, letting my mind wander, and the following fantasy noodled its way into the forefront of my consciousness: Lucy asks Charlie Brown to kick the football. Her runs up to kick the ball, succeeds — — and Charles Schultz sits up at his drawing board and says, “Huh?!” He wasn’t expecting that. Schultz keeps coming up with clever ways Lucy can use to pull the football away, but Charlie Brown kicks the ball every time. Schultz’s hands just won’t draw Charlie missing and flying through the air yelling “Aaaaaaaaaaagh!” You hear writers and cartoonists insist that eventually the characters take on a life of their own, but I wonder if Charles Schultz ever had to deal with something like that, even if only in his imagination. . . . . . Some day I’m going to write a story about a lower class fluffy white dog from Central America who joins the Roman army and eventually becomes one of the emperor’s guards. It’ll be my proletarian Panamanian Pomeranian praetorian story. Everyone should have one. . . . . . Here is a dangerous question to ask in Redwood Falls, home of the Minnesota Inventors Congress: If you could un-invent one device, what would you un-invent? What invention do you believe the world would be better off without? I suspect many people would get rid of guns, or internal combustion engines. Me, I’d un-invent computer games, the biggest time wasters of all time. How many billions of person-hours have been completely wasted in the last 40 years because of computer games? Let the brickbats fly. Send your suggestions about what you’d un-invent to me at jdixon@redwoodfallsgazette.com, and I promise I’ll keep your confidentiality if I print any of the printable answers.

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