The Shane Of It All

On Tuesday morning, I was getting ready for work when my phone rang. I wouldn’t normally answer an actual phone call that early (or any time really unless it was family) but it was a Toronto number and I work with several people who live there. So I put down my blush brush and said, “Hello?” A woman’s voice answered: “Hello, I’m calling from Doctor ____’s office for Shane Brien.”

And there it was. Like an elusive ghost from the past, Blazefordayz Shane had suddenly reappeared.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Shane hasn’t had this number for a few years.”

The woman sounded confused, but said, “Okay, thank you. Goodbye” and she hung up.

For those of you who haven’t been here long enough to know the saga of Shane Brien, let me remind you quickly. I received a company cell phone about 4 years ago. Almost immediately, I began getting text messages about Soca parties, Facetime calls from Shane’s mother, messages from Shane’s jealous girlfriend (“You better not be with that Angela”) and invitations from his friends to play soccer, go to Vegas, and smoke weed, as well as various job offers from temp companies. In fact, one of my favourites was the time I was offered a ‘warehouse’ job, and after a certain amount of contemplation, I offered to get a team together and requested the blueprints to the warehouse (you can read all about this in My Week 226: All About The Bordens). The response was a confused “What do you mean?” and I realized I may have misjudged the situation.

Over the years, the calls and messages have continued sporadically. I tried to hunt down Shane, but to no avail. Unfortunately, there are several ways to spell both ‘Shane’ and ‘Brien’, leading to about nine permutations, none of which matched anyone on social media that I could see. But I did find out tidbits of information first from a jewelry chain, who had the number associated with a Shane Brien in Brampton. He also had a Canadian Tire Points Card, long expired. And now this—a doctor’s office calling for him.

It made me very concerned. After all, Shane and I go way back, and at a certain point, I began to feel quite motherly towards him. But after all these years, people STILL don’t know he changed his number and they’re STILL looking for him? And then I had a terrible thought: What if Shane had been murdered?!

In case you’re wondering why this escalated so quickly, I started watching a crime show on Netflix about a hotel called The Cecil where people have died or disappeared from. In the very first episode about a Chinese student who went there and was never seen again, I immediately, after an aerial shot of the roof, announced, “She’s in the water tank.” Ken looked it up online, and she was, indeed, found in the water tank, obviously because ‘putting bodies in water tanks’ is the new ‘tossing them into a dumpster’ in the world of crime dramas, and I’m REALLY good at solving mysteries. But it got me thinking, What if…

So bear with me: Shane Brien, a popular young man, goes to a jewelry store to purchase two gifts, each an engraved bracelet. One is for his fiancé, and the other is for a woman named Angela whom he is seeing ‘on the side’. After a heavy night of drinking and Soca dancing, Shane inadvertently gives the wrong gift to the fiancé, who is understandably furious. Little does Shane know that ‘Darla’ (that’s what I’m calling her) is the type of woman that you should never scorn. She begins to plot and plan. She goes to Canadian Tire and drains Shane’s points account with the purchase of an air fryer to establish her alibi—she couldn’t possibly be responsible for Shane’s impending disappearance—after all, she just bought an air fryer to make him chicken wings for f*ck sake! (Darla swears a lot when she’s nervous).

But she’s a small woman—how on earth will she exact her revenge on the duplicitous Shane? Then she has a brainstorm—she calls a ‘temp agency’ which is really a front for a criminal enterprise and asks to hire a ‘cleaner’. And as everyone knows, if a ‘warehouse job’ is a money heist, then a ‘cleaning service’ is obviously who you call when you want someone disappeared.

The ‘cleaning service’ is expensive, but Darla has access to all of Shane’s accounts as well as his passwords. She arranges to have them send Shane a text message advertising a rooftop SOCA party. Party of ONE, but Shane doesn’t know that yet.

“I’ll meet you there,” Darla says with a sweet smile. But she doesn’t. She just sits at home eating chicken wings (those air fryers are pretty goddamn awesome), waiting for the call telling her the ordeal is over. The ‘cleaning company’, in the meantime, has lured poor Shane up to the rooftop of a local hotel with the promise of sweet Soca music, and deposited him in the water tank. He’s never seen again.

Darla, of course, has the password to his cellphone account, which she cancels, although she continues to text Shane to establish a solid alibi and also throw suspicion onto ‘that Angela’. But the one thing she didn’t count on was that Shane’s cell phone number would be passed on to me, a crime drama afficionado. I hope I’m wrong about all this, but I rarely am.

Of course, there could be a much simpler explanation—Shane got a new cell phone and forgot to tell people he’d changed his number. But somehow, I doubt it…

Also, check back here on Wednesday for Creative Wednesdays—I have a big announcement!

56 thoughts on “The Shane Of It All

  1. I’ve never had that problem with a phone number (largely because I’m a Luddite who doesn’t have a cell phone), but boy did I have it with this address when I moved in 12 years ago. The Nest was a rental house before I bought it, and apparently half the town lived here at some point in time… and the first year I lived here, I was getting more mail for all of them than I was myself. Among the treasures I’ve received in the names of others…

    An emergency room bill for an incident that occurred three months after I’d moved in… meaning the lady was still giving out my address as her residence.

    A wallet with contents for a different lady, which was lost at a gas station. She still had my address on her drivers license, so they mailed it to me. There wasn’t much in it… in fact, I’d forgotten about it until recently when I found the lousy four bucks I’d set aside just in case she tried to contact me…

    Multiple attempts by a life insurance company to get me to claim an insurance policy on someone who used to live here who had died almost 10 years previously that they apparently just found out about. All I needed was to send them a death certificate. Dammit!

    Enough collection notices in many multiple names to put a third world country in bankruptcy…

    Shane is one of the few people I haven’t gotten anything for in the mail yet, but if I ever do, I’ll let you know!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had something similar when I was living in a rental condo in Toronto, including have to contact the hydro company about the previous tenant’s outstanding bill so that my power didn’t get shut off!. And if you come across Shane, let me know–maybe he got wind of Darla’s plan and high tailed it out of the country!


  2. says:

    Hahaha…cool story. I’m guessing they won’t find Shane until the water tastes funny. This reminds me of the Walter Mitty stories my 8th grade English teacher read to us. Are you familiar with them?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t know if they are still around, but Walter was a character with a rich imagination. He would sort of “zone out” at times and put himself into all sorts of situations – i.e. James Bond spy stuff, soldier of fortune, suave detective type. If I remember, he did it mostly when he was bored or when his wife was nagging about something? Last time I heard one of those stories it was in 1959-60 time frame. OMG, am I old or what? No idea now who the author was.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Or….maybe like Carrie Underwoods song Two Cadillacs, Angela and Darla found out about Shane and his two timing ways and planned his demise together? You story about Blaze For Dayz Shane had me laughing so hard, I mean “she bought him an air fryer to make him chicken wings” so good!! 🤣😆😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In a similar vein, having a simple, popular email name has often resulted in some very curious exposures of sensitive information. Now, nobody would send an email to anonymole without wanting to, but I’ve got other email addresses… One, where for the last 10 years I’ve received meat packing invoices from a South African supplier, has never ceased to amaze me. “You know I’m not going to pay this, right?” Others, Kevin, for instance, continues to purchase skin care products and ebay-sold books on taxidermy. I’ve received loan details, funeral arrangements, and car-rental receipts. To most of them I reply, “sorry, your email did not reach your intended party…” A few have taken issue with my reply. “Your payment remains outstanding. Failure…” Yeah? Well, good luck Kevin.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You may have heard the story of a British ambassador to the U.S. in the 19th century who died here and the only way they could preserve his body to ship it back was to put him in a barrel of rum, only the body started to rot midway through the voyage and they discovered one of the sailors had been drinking the rum.
    I feel bad for Shane but I wonder if we shouldn’t feel even worse for the people who’ve been drinking from that water tank.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Whatever Shane’s reality is, it cannot possibly, for one minute, compare with your version of his life. He’d be so lucky to live in the world you’ve created for him. I too began watching the series featuring the Hotel Cecil, but only got through the first half of Episode 1 before being interrupted. It kinda ended the way I’d feared it would.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I haven’t watched The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, but I recently binged Search Party — a Millennial missing-persons mystery — and I could definitely see Shane’s story being featured in an upcoming season.

    After we moved into our first apartment together, for years my wife and I continued to receive mail addressed to the previous tenant — “Amanda Paytas” — and I’m not merely talking about junk mail, but bills and paychecks and greeting cards and W-2s and jury-duty summonses and the like. Years! The apartment manager would dutifully forward the mail to Amanda’s new address, until one day my wife got sick of it and instead of turning over an important piece of paperwork (I can’t recall what, it was so many years ago) to the manager so it could be sent to Amanda, she dropped it right in the shredder. It was the last piece of mail addressed to Amanda Paytas we ever received. That’s what it took for her to finally update her goddamn address!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Absolutely positively a believable scenario. I LIKE it! And that body in the water thing – you are so right! I just saw a show where the body was in the thing on the roof. Too convenient in that story.

    Liked by 1 person

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