Thursday, March 09, 2006

(148) Paradise Lost

During the last week of February 1998 I was staying in room 37 of the Hotel de Normandie in St Helier, Jersey.
One morning the phone rang and when I answered a woman’s voice asked "Is that Adam?"

It was Jennifer Steventon, one of the organisers of the Deloitte and Touche Chess Tournament which was being held in the hotel.
She had asked reception to put her through to Adam Raoof, the tournament controller, but had been wrongly connected.

At 7:40 p.m. on March 12th 1998 I was telephoning my wife from a public phone at East Finchley Underground station in London. My infant son joined her on the line.
Then the phone next to me rang.

I am afraid I am unable to resist such things (see also Entries 190 and 206) ; I answered it with my free hand.

An Irishman’s voice was asking for Eve.

I assumed this must be another erroneous call, but he seemed to appreciate where he was phoning and even kept asking me, for almost a minute, to look around and see if I could spot a woman called Eve.

With my wife hanging on the other line, overhearing it all, and my 50p rapidly running out, I asked the lady using the third of the three adjacent phones if she were Eve, but she was not.

I had to inform the gentleman who had telephoned public phone 0181-883-6769 that I could not help him.

But, out of lack of presence of mind, rather than sheepishness, I stupidly omitted to ask him neither for his name nor the surname of Eve, so this story goes uncorroborated, except by Ms Steventon and my wife.

I told Fiona about the first part of these events and she laughed and said that the next such incident would probably involve the Serpent.

And within a month we were all three walking through Hastings town centre one evening when we heard public phone 01424 422819 ring about 50 metres away. I answered it and a man’s voice said

"You die!! You die!!"

I tried to engage him in conversation, but he just repeated the unpleasantness before hanging up.

See also the events towards the end of Entry 163.

...   ...   ...
And on the evening of May 6th (?) 2012 I was relating the details of this coincidence to several chess acquaintances, one of whom was Adam Raoof, at a bar of the Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire when one of them pointed out that the chair in which I had recently seated myself had been occupied for quite a while (and was indeed soon reoccupied) by a gentleman from Israel whom I did not know nor know of: a Mr Eden.

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