I received some questions about Klompenman. For example - and that was immediately the most pressing: how did it end?
It did not end just yet, and i refer to the story Flat: situation 1, in which Klompenman appears for the first time on Radio Klotestad. In later stories, Klompenman will probably remain undiscussed, while somehow he always remained in the background.
Who is Klompenman? And is it the same person? Could it be that Klompenman is in fact several people?
For those who don't remember exactly, a little memory refresher: when i just moved into the flat, had just given birth to my son, when someone started ringing my doorbell - remotely, from the doorbell panel downstairs of the flat. Then when i picked up the intercom, i would sometimes hear someone breathing, but nothing was ever said. After i heard someone walking away in clogs, down through the building, until somewhere below my house the clogs stopped and music from the Simple Minds was played: always the same song Don't You (Forget About Me).
Also probably the same person tried to arrange a date with me, in a nasty place far from the flat, and a friend went to investigate for me, unfortunately to no avail.
In 1989, thanks to a friendly employee of the Housing Agency, i got another house, in a neighborhood that was not very well known either, but due to the renovation of a large number of houses, and a slightly changed composition of residents as a result, it was hoped the neighborhood to fix up.
I was overjoyed with the house, it actually had a backyard (although it turned out to have been more of a dumping ground, but with some hassle that also worked out well).
When after a few months everyone was well and truly living in the houses, the man i suspected to be Klompenman (white man, always on clogs, and in the elevator staring at me awkwardly) had come to live a few houses away , with his wife and daughter. I didn't have much contact with them, and i tried to avoid that as much as possible. His wife was kinda nice, we chatted sometimes. But i always kept that clog dance in the back of my mind.
Sometimes the doorbell rang at my house, at night.
I could never figure out who that was.
Sometimes i was harassed on the phone. I asked the PTT (that's how it was called in the old-fashioned way at the time) to start an investigation, which also had rather strange feet in the earth - the man who handled my case, said that maybe i’d choose my friends more carefully… whereupon i had to file a complaint, and a woman took over my case, and she had to apologize on behalf of that bastard. Another story in itself.
In order to find out who called me, i had to enter a code every time i received such a call. I succeeded 1 or 2 times, but sometimes i also got a call at night, and GOD HOW SURPRISING i didn't know the code in my half-asleep. In the end they had someone on their radar, but they were not allowed to tell me who that was because of the privacy rules.
They would notify that person of their findings, and tell that person to stop harassing me.
You understand: that is quite difficult to digest, if you are not told. In principle, it could be anyone. That's not a very pleasant thought to live with.
I also got a new, secret, phone number. In no time i was called again, this time by an ex of the previous number owner, whom i knew by sight. Weird. He was honest with me, and told me who he was, so i could also explain to him that i wasn't her, so that only happened a few times. I later found out he died.
After a while i started getting strange phone calls again. I took an answering machine. Then it felt a little safer.
At that time my aversion to telephone calls started. Partly due to threatening officials, angry aid workers and people who increasingly started calling with a shielded number. That didn't help much at all.
It is also not very nice for your faith in humanity. Is it someone you know? I never give my phone number to strangers. A former friend told me at one point that he also sometimes received calls. And then asked me if that was me… i was flabbergasted, why would i bother him then? His theory was rather strange: since i was being harassed myself, i would think that maybe he was the culprit, and then went to harass him in return.
Which then made me somewhat think, that he might have been the one who had been reprimanded by the PTT.
Anyway: Klompenman, he sometimes walked past my house, not often. I never received another strange note. So it pretty much fizzled out, you might say.
Or was he the caller? Been? become?
In 2004 i switched to mobile phone, i canceled my landline because i didn't have money for both. And then i was immediately rid of all idiocy.
Of course that was short-lived.
Pretty soon i started getting strange phone calls again. It wasn't very often, and always with a shielded number. Nothing was said, sometimes i heard someone breathing… it didn't seem like the typical gasp i'd had on landline. No matter what i said or did, nothing was said back.
I got a call on a Saturday evening. An unknown number, i picked up. Nothing was said, again. Of course i asked who it was, i heard someone's breath, but no answer; i did hear some noises in the background that i couldn't identify.
So i looked up the number, and it turned out to be a snack bar in Zaandam, near the then existing pop venue De Kade.
It was a complete mystery to me. Which of the people who had my number went to a concert in Zaandam and then called me from a snack bar without saying anything? I couldn't think of anyone. Or everyone.
I decided to call back.
The snack bar owner answered. I briefly explained the situation, and asked if he could tell me who just called on their phone. Then a strange conversation ensued. He kept saying he didn't call me. So i explained, that it might have been someone else using his phone? His answer remained: I did not call you.
He was irritated, and hung up.
In the years that followed, i was called again from a sausage factory in Gelderland, an industrial bakery, and some other craziness, that i had the idea that the lone caller had something to do in the snack industry. Gradually, the calls from spammers and phishers gained the upper hand, and the Snackman disappeared from the scene. Maybe he died. Or lost his job. Lost his strange interest.
Since then I hardly ever answer the phone if the number is not recognized or is shielded. Too bad for the UWV, and maybe for you? I have no idea.
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