Instantly Cea hung up and tapped in the set of numbers then told me to repeat what I remembered. Between the two of us we were pretty sure we got it right.
An old man's voice answered, "Hello, thank you for calling the rubber ball factory."
Cea laughed awkwardly. "Hello, this is Cea, operative from North America, with whom am I speaking?"
The phone on the other line was set down, and two voices had a long exchange they didn't think Cea and I could hear.
"I don't think she's using the right code."
"Sounds like no code at all."
"Which doesn't sound right."
"Then again, we are pretty old. Maybe we forgot the code."
"No, I am sure it was supposed to be about rubber balls. That's where we got the idea for my super power."
"Well may be it was supposed to be about the weather. Maybe what you said screwed her up so she just said it straight."
"Hmm, maybe you're right. Anyhow, I guess there's no harm in helping her out. After all, what are they going to do, put us in prison?"
The first voice picked up the phone, "You're speaking with, ahem, 'John Doe' operative from, uh..."
The second voice supplied an answer, "Botswana!"
The first voice resumed, "We've been experiencing a 'monsoon' lately."
The second voice whispered, "What that's supposed to mean?"
The first voice put the phone down and answered, too loudly, "Well, if the code is about weather, monsoon is probably the right way to say that our phone is being bugged."
"Oh come on, you know those code guys are way more clever than that. You're probably supposed to say something about El Nino or Nor' Easters..."
Cea and I were not sure if we should laugh or not. No wonder this line was considered insecure. Cea asked shakily, "Bugged? is it safe to talk?"
The second voice picked up the phone, "Uhh, there is something rotten in the state of..."
"Yes, something's rotten in Cleveland. Get it?"
"I think so," Cea responded. "Should I call back later?"
"Uh... when rubber balls fly. Get it?"
"Yes, I get it. Good bye."
"Don't take any wooden nickels from uh... Uncle..."
The first voice provided the response, "Dennis!"
Cea hung up the call.