House Phone - 10/2/05
Why do people even have house phones anymore?

I suppose we do use our land line once in a while - Noah uses it to fax, I use it with my calling card when I'm too cheap to pay for daytime cell minutes, and Scooter uses it when she loses her cell phone three times per week. But nobody answers it, nobody checks the messages, and I'm not even completely sure all four roommates even know the number. If it wasn't so cheap, we probably wouldn't even have one.

Case in point: When I was in Chicago in late August, I called the house phone to see if anybody could get me from the airport. Obviously, nobody answered. But when the answering machine picked up, instead of the usual "Hey, you're reached Paul, Noah, Brian and Kolleen… Sam, Gabe and JD are dead to us. MOTED!" I got the following:

"[Screaming] Yo! [More screaming. Loud music]. This is Joann, Craig, Rufus… Whattup!... [Screaming]… and Some Other Guy. Leave a message! [Blood-curdling yell]."

Confused, I tried again, with the same result. When I later got a hold of Noah and asked about this, he explained.

"Oh yeah, some people did that during a party. I think they were drunk and just made up some names."

That made sense, as I didn't know anybody named Joann, Craig, Rufus, Whattup, or Some Other Guy. But one mystery remained.

"Now, I know nobody ever calls the house phone," I pursued. "But how long has that been our outgoing message? What party was this?"

"I think it was our 4th of July party," Noah replied, after a minute. "Yeah, that was the one."

No wonder nobody calls us.

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