A very strange thing happened at my house one Saturday night in the spring of 1993. It was a little after 5 p.m. and my daughter was at an elementary school yard tossing a frisbee around with some friends. My husband and I were going out to dinner with some neighbors and then to the Simsbury Light Opera Company’s production of Princess Ida. The neighbors had walked over to our house and were waiting for me in the family room with my husband.
I was upstairs in my bathroom curling my hair. Suddenly, I heard static coming from the intercom by my bed, and then I heard a female voice I didn’t recognize addressing my absent daughter and saying, “Would you pick up the phone, please.”
I went over to the intercom, pushed the “talk” button and said, “She’s not here. Who is this?” A moment later, my husband’s voice came on saying, “We’re here and we’re all waiting for you.”
I ran downstairs expecting to see a friend of my daughter in the family room but found only my husband and the neighbors. I honed in on the only female and said, “Were you playing with the intercom? Who was that?”
She said, “Not me – we thought it was you.”
“It wasn’t me,” I said and everyone just about dropped their teeth.
We could not figure out what had happened with the intercom. It was, a Realistic which we got at Radio Shack about a year before; it simply plugs into an outlet at each of its two locations. It has no recording capabilities and is not connected to anything that does. Furthermore, I believe it has “one-way transmission,” the sound travels from A to B or B to A and can’t come out speakers simultaneously at both ends – which is what happened with the unidentifiable voice that night.
I’m pretty good at recognizing voices but did not recognize that one. My husband and the neighbors thought it was me but they were not standing near the intercom and the voice was softer than what is usually heard. Among the four of us, we have five advanced degrees and we are not unsophisticated people, but we couldn’t figure this one out. Can sound waves get lumped up inside household wiring and then break out during peculiar electrostatic conditions? It’s beyond me.