…….story ideas come from a variety of places – a half-heard conversation, a funny incident with a dog, or a knock on one’s door. Take this, for example.

A couple of years ago, while enjoying a day off at home, I heard the doorbell ring.

A police officer had stopped by to report that a 911 call had been received from my house.

“You’re kidding,” said I.

“No, ma’am, I’m not,” said the officer.

“Well, there hasn’t been an active landline at this address for three years,” said I, amused.

“Well, you’re going to have to call the phone company about it.” And the officer gave me the number in question.

So I called the phone company and informed them of what had just happened. The woman who answered didn’t think it was one of their numbers, but transferred me to a technician named Vince.

I told Technician Vince what happened.

“Well, that’s one of our numbers,” he said, “but it’s not active.”

“What do you mean?” says I.

“Let me put it this way,” said Technician Vince. “If you were calling to install a landline phone in your house, this is the next number in the queue that would be assigned to you.”

I pondered this. “So, you’re saying that the police got 911 called by a ghost number?”

Technician Vince laughed. “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

“Well, now, this is just plain weird,” I said. “Because the irony is, I’m watching ‘Ghost Whisperer’ on TV.”

Much chuckling on both sides ensued.

True story. I have the phone number in my box marked Story Ideas.