Live, Laugh, Love

Life isn't always easy, right?

Just when I thought the contest on my website was up and running seamlessly, guess who shows up? A spammer. Twice.

My website person says I can enable moderation or add a Captcha box. So I've chosen to moderate the entries. At least for now. I'm hoping this nips the problem in the bud.

The entries feed directly to the email I use all the time, so there'll be no long wait for approval. All entries that aren't spam or XXX rated (I don't have an Over 18 notice) will be approved just as you send them in.

If you haven't entered yet, what are you waiting for?

In other exciting news, I had to call the police about Live-In Handyman the other night.

Are you going WHAAAAT???

He left here a little before six the other evening to go to a man's house who was selling some items the Handyman was interested in. It was a referral through an acquaintance, not a Craigslist kind of thing. The man lives 15-20 minutes away.

I was editing and didn't know what time it was until I came out of the cave about eight. Handyman is blessed with the gift of gab, so I wasn't really worried. But about 8:30, when the sun was going down, I knew he would notice that. When I didn't get a phone call by the time it was full-on dark, a little worry crept in.

To back up a little. Besides being blessed with the gift of gab, Handyman is also blessed with being an excellent communicator. He calls if he's stuck in traffic and will be even five minutes late. If he's out-and-about, he calls and tells me where he is. He calls a lot. I kinda like that :)

So by now he's been gone about three hours - and no phone call. It's dark - always a phone call - and no phone call. And I forgot to say he had to drive through a not-so-great area to reach this man's house. I call his phone, and it goes straight to voicemail. It never does that because he never turns it off.

I look up the guy he went to see and call his number, thinking they're inside having such a great time Handyman hasn't even looked out a window. The guy's phone rings then goes to voicemail. I leave a message.

By now, I'm wondering if Handyman ever made it to the guy's house or if he had a problem on the way home or if the guy he went to see was a killer lying in wait. I don't write crime fiction for nothing, you know :)

During all this, I call him every ten minutes or so. Each time, I leave a message.

By 9:30, I'm certain he's lying in a ditch someplace, either from an accident or from a hijack. I gathered up all the information I had and placed THE call. I tell the police operator I'm calling about my husband.

I tell him Handyman's been gone only a little over three hours, but it is so out of the norm that I'm worried. So I explained what happened. Then I gave him Handyman's name, his license number, his phone number, the make and model of his car, half his license number - you already know I have a tiny problem with numbers.

I then give the operator the name of the man he went to see, his address, and his phone number. I tried not to sound like a crazy writer woman or a raving lunatic.

The operator said he would send it out to a patrol unit. I asked him to please tell the officer to keep in touch with me and let me know whether he finds him. I again said I feared he may have been in an accident.

When I hung up, I decided I better pull together a list of the local hospitals so I could call if the officer didn't locate him. I was in the process of doing this when my phone rang. It was a local number, but not one I recognized. I thought it was someone from an ER.


Live-In Handyman answered back. All smiling and laughing. Seems his phone died. He was calling from the officer's phone. He and the other man were outside putting the things he bought in the back of his car when the officer arrived and said he was looking for Handyman - which injected a little panic into him because he thought something had happened to me.

A Friday night in the seventh largest city in our country, and the officer got there in under ten minutes on a non-emergency. I call that pretty darn good.

Now I tell Handyman if he doesn't behave, I'll call the cops on him. We laugh. But I'm happy all the crime was only in my head.

DISCLAIMER 1: This incident may appear in a future novel in a form you may or may not recognize.

DISCLAIMER 2: I think I may have switched back and forth from present to past tense more than once. Please ignore. I'm still editing and all that juice is going into my manuscript instead of this blog post. I wrote it as if I were telling it to you face to face.


Delores said…
I can imagine the cold chill running down your spine as you made the decision to call the police...God bless them for taking you seriously.
Liza said…
I can get myself worked up and worried like that. Good thing it all worked out.
I don't blame you for being worried enough to call the police. Glad he was all right. Bet he'll remember to charge his phone next time.
Sorry about the spammers.
That's an amazing responses time, and yes this should definitely make it into a future novel :-)

By the way, disabling anonymous comments is also a great way to eliminate spamming. Completely got rid of mine without me ever having to use moderation!!
Mason Canyon said…
So glad Handyman was all right. It's awesome that the police took it serious and checked it out for you. As for the spammers - don't you just love 'em. Makes you want to shake their neck, oh I mean hand. :)
L. Diane Wolfe said…
Ten minutes is really fast. I would've been worried, too.

No anonymous comments eliminated most of my spam.
Carol Kilgore said…
Delores - Yeah, like that :)

Liza - Glad I'm not the only one.

Alex - Let's hope so!

OE - I agree. I've no idea why, but I'm grateful.

Mason - I'm glad they did, too.

Diane and OE - This contest is on my website, not a blog. There is a form to complete; plus you have to answer a question and leave your name and email. The spammer is putting initials in the name box, which is OK, including an email, and inviting me with the same exact LONG statement to use his web services. The English is much less than perfect. He probably gets paid a penny for each one of these he leaves someplace.

Better safe than sorry. I'd definitely call the police. Better than the alternative if it wasn't Mr. Handyman. Also, spam is just the worst. Ever since we started our contest ours is getting more intensive as well. Peddle your boner pills somewhere else, losers!
cleemckenzie said…
I've had this happen with one of my sons, but never my handyman. Are you sure you can't use this in your next novel?

Sorry about the Spammer. Glad you worked it out. Just a rotten extra thing to deal with.

You sound like my wife!
That is why I got a car charger, so she wouldn't worry.
Sorry about the Spam. Maybe you could cook it with eggs for breakfast!;-)
Melissa said…
Spammers. Boo, hiss.

Wow. I bet you WERE worried.

My family is like that, too. We're so predictable that when one of us is the least bit late or acts out of character, our friends and family start to think the worst.

Put a tracker on Handyman. :P
Robin said…
I am so glad that it turned out okay. As for your disclaimer... I write like all the time. Ouch.

On the plus side, I was so engrossed in your story I didn't notice the tense switches (if they happened). So I think that makes it all good.
Hiss and spit on the spammers front. And I have loved the snippets of stories on your new site.
I hear you on the worry front (worrying is perhaps my most major talent) and am awed that the police were on the job so promptly. Really, really awed. And thrilled that it was a no drama event. For you, and for them.
Carol Kilgore said…
Beer - Exactly! On both counts.

Lee - I'm going to try!

David - Spurs rock!!!!!

Melissa - LOL! Great idea :)

Robin - So am I. Obviously, I write like that, too, initially.

EC - Ordinarily, I'm not much of a worrier. I was very impressed, too.
Janie Junebug said…
I would be frightened, too. I'm amazed and grateful that the police helped out that quickly.

Jemi Fraser said…
Yikes! I'm so glad Handyman is safe and sound - it's scary when they're out of touch! :)
Medeia Sharif said…
That does sound frightening. I'm glad the police helped and that everything ended up fine.
Medeia Sharif said…
That does sound frightening. I'm glad the police helped and that everything ended up fine.
Ava Quinn said…
So glad this was an "All's well that ends well!"
Jo-Anne Meadows said…
Ok his phone died but couldn't he had asked to borrow the other guys phone and call you and why didn't the other guy answer his phone this caused you a lot of
Carol Kilgore said…
Janie - The short timing really floored me.

Jemi - Yes, scary.

Medeia - Me, too :)

Ava - Yes.

Jo-Anne - I know! What are they thinking some of the time?
Jan Christensen said…
Carol, so sorry you had to go through that. I know the feeling because my handyman is also a talker and looses track of time. I'm so glad all turned out well, and I think it's wonderful the police were so responsive. If you need them again, I think you will feel easier about contacting them after this experience. Hope the edit is going well!
Helena said…
You know your man and you knew something was wrong! I'm so relieved it was just his cell phone that was down and not Handyman. What a painful 3 hours those were for you.

And I more than understand about the spammer mess. I mean, my own blog was attacked on Christmas Eve, and it was days before Alonzo could get it up and running again. He also traced the attacker all the way to Turkey (but couldn't do anything about him).
First of all, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post the other day!

I know how you feel. My husband is the same way with communication. When I don't hear from him, I start to worry. But I don't write crime fiction. I write magical realism. Talk about crazy thoughts going through your head about what MIGHT have happened!!

Glad everything turned out OK :)

And THAT's why we write. Over-thinkers and great imaginations.
Carol Kilgore said…
Jan - Edit is moving along. I've passed the point of no return :)

Helena - I was relieved, too. I don't know where my spammer is. Sorry you got hacked.

Jennifer - Ack! No telling what I would've thought if I wrote what you do :)

Teresa - Exactly!
L.G. Smith said…
Um, yeah, sometimes these imaginations of ours are a curse! OMG, Carol. I've been through that before with both my son and my husband. Well, I didn't call the police, but I was left wondering for hours what had happened, imagining only the worst of course.

Glad it all turned out okay. :)
Jan Newman said…
Thank goodness it was all worry for nothing!
And the world would be a happier place if all the spammers spammed one another and left the rest of us alone.
Cherie Reich said…
Oh my! And my mind would've jumped to the same conclusions. Glad he was okay!
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Carol,
I'm glad nothing happened and your hubby turned up safe. I know how gut-twisting and nerve-wracking it can be when your hubby doesn't show when he should.
I love that you guys keep tabs of each other that way. But you could have been right to worry in the end and something might have happened to him. Glad the police didn't brush it off as unimportant.
Lynda R Young said…
That's a such a great police response. And it's awesome we can laugh about it now ;)
Thank goodness your Handyman was safe and sound! I can only imagine how frightened you must have been. Sorry about your spammer. Hope everything is smooth sailing from here on end. By the way, you did a great job of telling the story, and that's what we were focused on.

Carol Kilgore said…
L.G. - Had it occurred earlier in the day, I wouldn't have been as concerned. I'm grateful to have a regular outlet for my imagination most of the time :)

Jan - I agree to all that!

Cherie - Me, too!

J.L. - So am I.

Stina - I expected them to move it to the back burner, and I hoped he would be home so I could call them back and say he was OK.

Lynda - I was extremely surprised and impressed by the fast response.

Julie - I'm honored you liked the way the story was told. You're the master!
Stephanie Faris said…
Thank you SO much for just saying no to captchas. I hate those darn things. SO annoying! I get an occasional anonymous spam comment...I just delete them. It's much better than it used to be--Blogger grabs most of them. Look in your spam folder...there are usually a TON! When it was bad a couple of years ago, I just disabled anonymous comments and that seemed to cut it out, but since Blogger catches so much of it, I turned that filter off. (I think I did...come to think of it, I don't get any anonymous comments...maybe I need to check!)
Crystal Collier said…
LOL. What a great story. I've had moments like that where I'm ready to call the cops--like the time my hubby and his best friend disappeared for 3 hours without word, or the day he was 3 hours late coming home from work...before we had a cell phone.
M Pax said…
Boo on spammers.

Glad Handyman is all right. It's terrible to worry. Glad the police took your call seriously.
Carol Kilgore said…
Stephanie - The problem isn't this blog but my website, which is on a Wordpress frame. I agree Blogger's spam filter is awesome. This blog is captcha and moderation and anonymous comment free :)

Crystal - I've had those pre-cell phone times, too. But with his phone handy, he always calls.

Mary - I'm glad they took it seriously, too.
Clarissa Draper said…
How scary! I would be worried to and now that my son is driving, I worry a lot. I make my son text me before he leaves wherever he is and so I know he should be home at a certain time. I hope you put it in a book because it's a great scene.
It IS a frightening situation! But thank goodness he was safe and sound.

I couldn't resist a chuckle here and there - especially "half his license number" and "I tried not to sound like a crazy writer woman or a raving lunatic" as well as the 1st disclaimer...
Carol Kilgore said…
Clarissa - I'll be searching for a spot :)

Michelle - You know what's funnier? I looked the other day, and it turns out I gave them half of MY license number instead of his LOL!
I can imagine how scared you must have been to have gotten to the point of placing that call to the police. I'm glad they didn't immediately poo-poo your concerns. Ah well, all's well that ends well, and it provided you with fodder for a post... and no doubt, for a future scene in a book, too. Win-win!
Carol Kilgore said…
Susan - Everything is fodder. But I was frightened because it was so out of the norm. I was certain his phone had been damaged. The only reason I can think of why they acted so quickly was that a person could have been in danger, and if there had been an accident he could still be alive. So they wanted to rule out where he was supposed to be (where he really was). Either that, or the officer was slacking off and took the easy call - LOL!
LR said…
I would've worried too. That's what comes of reading/writing/watching too many mysteries. :)
Lexa Cain said…
You must live in a great place. All the places I know of would tell you to call all the hospitals, and then wait a few more hours coz they couldn't take a serious report until he'd been missing 24 hours.

I also have to say at the beginning I thought you meant an actual live-in Handyman and thought that he'd gotten drunk and maybe trashed your house and you had to call the police on him. Maybe I'll put that one in my next book. Heh-heh.
Carol Kilgore said…
Lexa - I'm pretty sure they don't wait 24 hours for a missing person here anymore. That used to be the norm, I think. Maybe even longer.

If someone trashed my house, I'd be so angry I'm not sure what I'd do.
Old Kitty said…
Oh Carol!! What a thing to happen! So glad your Live-In Handyman is OK! Wow!! I need to sit down and have a nice relaxing cocktail now!

Take care
Great story -- glad he's all right. And mos def, it would make a mighty fine diving board for a mystery/crime/thriller.
Slamdunk said…
Well, with the stuff I write about, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Glad it had a happy ending.

Entered the contest as well. Neat way to get folks thinking.