The other day, I set my purse down in the living room and walked down the hallway. A minute later, I hear the cell phone ringing. I run down the hall, rummage through my purse like a madwoman, and grab the cell phone right as it stops ringing. I recognize the displayed number as my husband calling from Iraq. And I'm standing there with the cell phone in my hand as he's leaving a voice message. No way to call him back or to let him know that I'm stupidly holding the phone.
I sent him an email later, saying that I was dying as he left that message, and that if he ever doesn't reach me on the cell phone in the future, he should hang up and try back one more time. Chances are I'm rummaging through my disaster of a purse, which is always what happens when my phone rings.
So a day or two later, he calls again and I miss it, but he calls right back. After we get off the phone, I go to my voicemail and hear what he left after the first call: a sing-songy teasing voice saying, "I'm not calling back -- you shoulda gotten to the phone in time! Just kidding..."
My husband's got jokes.