I've had the same cell phone number for about five years, yet I still get calls for Mr. Thompson. I've been able to learn quite a bit about the previous owner of my number. He has friends that like to invite him out to the bar for a drink. He has or had State Farm insurance and he hasn't paid his bill yet. He apparently lives or lived just across the border in Iowa as the phone number is a 507 area code, however I still get calls asking me to support certain candidates running for office in Iowa. I've explained that I live in Minnesota but they keep calling.

A few months ago my wife received an interesting call on our land line. A man with broken English asked "who is this?" My wife countered with her own "who is this?" He replied that he received a call from his family in Panama and our number showed up on his phone. My wife explained that he was calling Minnesota. They went back and forth and finally it was over. I told her it was a good thing she hadn't given any information as it was probably a scam. A few days later I get the call. "Who is this?" I suspected it was the same man and I replied that this is Minnesota. He responded with a "Minnesota? I'm calling my family in Panama and your number is on my phone." I guess the joke's on me and he hung up. This ended too quickly for me. I suspected this guy was maybe telling the truth.

I went ahead and Googled and learned something. This man was telling the truth! To make a phone call to Panama, you need to enter a 011 access code and then dial the number. The area code for Panama is 507. Apparently there are homes in Panama that have the same area code, prefix and obviously entire phone number as Ellendale, Minn. I was hoping he might call back and then I'd explain to him, but he never did.