Skip to main content

Answering Machines -- The End of an Era... and My Fun


I called my friend Mandy today and got her answering machine. She works at home, so when someone calls she usually lets it go to the machine.

It occurred to me that she is perhaps the only person that I can leave a message, and likely be assured she's listening to me at that moment.

It used to be that everybody screened calls. You'd let the machine pick up, find out who it was, and as they were leaving a message decided whether or not to pick up. Sure, you'd say "Sorry, I was just in the bathroom... I was just cooking bacon... the TV was too loud" as an excuse, but we always knew you were screening calls. It was okay; we do it too.

I loved answering machines. I love leaving crazy messages for those close friends whom recognize me by voice. In my mind they were always listening to me from the shower, from the kitchen, or while they were having intimate relations with a significant, or perhaps insignificant, other.


Here are some of my personal favorites. Yes, I've actually used every one of these.
  • To a female... "Pick up... I know you're there... if you don't let me see my children your support payments stop today!"
  • To a male... "Listen, I know we've been friends for a while. Then, when Trevor, from your office, told me you play for our team, it made my day. I've just always been very attracted to you. The way you push the hair out of your eyes... and those jeans you wore on Wednesday... wait, I hope Trevor didn't mean the company softball team, um... shit ."
  • To someone on a first date... "This is Dr. Bartholomew at the Midtown clinic. I'm calling with the results of the STD tests. You should probably call me back in the office. We need to talk."  If I don't have sex on a first date, nobody does!
  • To a married friend... "Congratulations! This is Peter from the Trojan Condom Frequent Flyer Program. I'm calling to tell you that you've won the grand prize in our sweepstakes, the Caribbean Singles Cruise. Thanks for sending in your entry card in last month's issue of Jugs magazine."
  • To my mom... "Hi Mom. I just found this weird little bump on my neck. I thought you might know what it is. Oh well, no big deal. It's probably nothing. Anyhow, I'm going out of town for a few weeks... talk to you soon. Love you."
  • To my dad... "(muffled as if I'm holding the phone to my chest)... I got the machine... no... no, I'm not asking him for money on his machine! (In a crisp clear voice.) Hi, Dad. It's been a while since I called, and I was just thinking about you, remembering all the great times we had camping and fishing. Well, give me a call back when you have a chance. Maybe you could call before the first of the month. I love you, Dad."
  • To the parent of a teenager... "This is Officer Rodriguez down here the Second Precinct. Your son/daughter, (insert child's name most likely to be in trouble), came up during an investigation. Don't worry, they are just a person of interest. Stop down to the precinct with your child. We just need to talk to them for a few minutes. Feel free to bring your attorney. (Child's name) may want to bring a tooth brush."
  • To someone obsessed with their luxury car... "This is Bob from Geico. I'm just following up regarding the little fender bender with your blue BMW Z4. Wow, that's a nice car, well, it WAS a nice car. Anyhow, no need to call us back, the other drivers insurance coverage has lapsed."

Lastly, sometimes I would just leave the message saying nothing more than "BOOM-CHICK-A-WOW-WOW" shouting at the top of my lungs. By the way, this is the message I left Mandy on her machine today!

Well, since people no longer screen calls with answering machines, and voicemail doesn't have the same effect, most of my fun has ended. Fortunately, I still know a few people who use live answering services. :-)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Friday Funnies: a couple LOLcats and one shameless plug

Is this the new flavor at Kungaloosh Gourmet Tea Company?

I'm Disabled and I Can Prove It

I'm disabled. 
I was born in 1970. About a year later I was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. I never walked. I got my first wheelchair at kindergarten age, and my first power wheelchair in sixth grade.
Yet, around 4 to 6 times per year I have to, for one reason or another, prove that I'm disabled.
Granted, I'm 5 feet nothin', 112 pounds and sit in an electric wheelchair, but apparently that's just anecdotal evidence… We need science!
The Good Doctor
Every couple months I have to send my physician a form and ask him to fill it out. He has to state that I have spinal muscular atrophy, identify the diagnosis date, explained that my prognosis is something akin to "ain't getting better any time soon" and sign it.
With new Medicare regulations, the good doctor is not allowed to sign the said form without seeing me "face-to-face" to prevent fraud. Although I'm extraordinarily healthy, hospitalized last in 1996 for something unrelated to my dis…

Endangered Gorilla Killed after Child Falls into Habitat

One of this week’s trending topics on Facebook and twitter was a tragic story. A small boy fell into the gorilla habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo. Minutes later the western lowlands gorilla, a critically endangered species, was shot and killed by zoo personnel.
A tragic story has been made even more tragic through misinformation and misguided opinion on social media.
Here are six ways that Facebook and twitter users made the situation worse.
It’s the mother’s fault!
I’m a father of 14-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. I don’t know a single father or mother that has never in their lives lost sight of their three-year-old. I compare it to a trip to Walmart. You’ll see a toddler screaming and a mother completely exasperated, and usually another child being completely ignored. Those of you without children stand in judgment. I know I did. “If that were my child I would…” I’ll let you complete the sentence in condescending judgment. 
Parents, however, understand. We’ve all been there. Every …