It was after midnight, and I was finishing the final edition. I was alone.
The phone started ringing. After about four rings, I started counting. It rang and rang and rang and rang. I was still working, but, in the back of my mind, I was counting rings. On the 65th ring, I picked up the phone.
Some guy asked a question — probably wanted me to look something up — and I told him I didn't have time; I was one deadline. He asked why I'd answered the phone in the first place!
"Because it rang 65 times," I said calmly. "I had to put a stop to it."
That incessant ringing was distracting me, but I didn't tell him that.
Naturally, he slammed the phone on me. I don't know if I ever heard from him again.
It's been about 30 years, and I still remember that as though it was yesterday. I wonder if I could have handled it better.
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie
Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)