I announced that Fr. Joe would be in to hear confessions this week and asked the men to see me after the service to sign up. Half a dozen were at my door. One by one, I asked, "Name? Number?"
When I got to the fourth guy in line, he said, "Korinsky. 5092748553."
"Too many numbers," I said, not looking up from my scratch pad. He repeated them. I looked up.
"Should only be six numbers," I insisted. He blushed. "Ah, you're new." I explained, "I need your Department of Corrections number, not your phone number."
The other guys laughed. They'd done it themselves when they first came in. We're so used to rattling off addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords. What else would "Number, please" mean but "I want your phone number?"