I'm in Nashville dining at a steakhouse of some national reknown with a couple of my cronies, sitting at a booth in the back where we have a view of the entire floor. It's during CMA Week in 2002 or 2003, and the restaurant is teeming with radio and music industry types. Anyway, there's a big long table set up for 12 or 14 people up near the front with a few people drinking and chatting. In walks Blake, cowboy hat and all, starts toward this big table. I say to one of my cronies, "Watch this."
I pull out my phone, call up Blake's number and hit send. He's doing the "grip and grin" with the people at the table, and pulls his phone out of his pocket. He gazes at the display as a bewildered look comes across his face. He stares at it a bit longer, starts to put it back in his pocket, then stops...and answers. A tentative, "Hello?"
"Hey, it's Johnboy. I'm sitting at a booth in the back You were going to send me to voicemail, weren't you?"
My cronies start to laugh hysterically, which he can now hear across the restaurant. "I had to get a new phone and I didn't recognize your number!" he pleads, turning toward where all the laughter is coming from.
"A likely story! You were blowing me off!" I'm also laughing, and he starts busting up too.
"I know, I'm a crappy friend," he says, and hangs up.