Hello? Wrong Numbers, Reverse Phone Directories, and Google Maps


This morning Madeleine said she called Grandma & Grandpa, but the man at the end asked “Who is this?” I looked at her, then at the phone in her hand (which was still connected to god-knows-where). I took the phone gently, and said, “Who were you talking to?” Hoping she hadn’t dialed 911 I noticed that she did get one thing right: the long distance prefix of “1”. My mind leapt immediately to a future phonebill with one mysterious call to Antarctica worth a few hundred dollars.

The area code she dialed was 952, followed by a series of random numbers ending in a long string of 3’s. A few seconds on the internet told me that she was calling a small town called Eden Prairie on the outskirts of Minneapolis, Minnesota precisely 948 miles away. I could literally get in a car, drive for 17 hours and 18 minutes (according to Google maps) and knock on the door of the man who was just talking to my daughter. If I switch the map to satellite view I can know the colour of the roof of his house, whether he has a pool, and how close he lives to a park. All of that from one phone number. Crazy.

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One Response

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