Greg’s Monday Writing Challenge: write a story or a poem based on a voice in the ether.
- Post a voice-mail message
- Tell a story in an email exchange.
- Write a message that was never received.
- Write something entirely inappropriate to leave on voice-mail, like a marriage proposal.
* * *
I always have a problem following directions so I’m off on a tangent once again.
Over the years I’ve gathered a collection of answering machine messages and I change mine every two or three days.
Were you aware of the fact that there are people who don’t have lives? Some years ago I had a fan club of sorts -- yes, I had 40 to 50 calls a day and none left a message. They just called to see what message I had put on my machine. If I left the same message up longer than three days, I’d get a message saying something like, “Change the message, dude.”
Being me, I can’t use the standard messages. I have to be a bit… weird. Of the hundreds of messages I’ve used, here are the five that I’ve used most often because they usually bring in some response. After each one, I’ve included some comment about what responses I had from each message.
Hi. I'm in the shower right now. I'm wet! I'm naked! Now with that picture in your mind, do you REALLY want me to answer the phone?
I had at least five responses that included “eeeeewww.” One of them was my daughter.
I'm in bed recovering right now. Please leave a message at the tone. OH, YEAH! If you’re that scary bondage chick I was with last night, leave me alone! That stuff hurts!
I had responses ranging from chuckles to “Daaaaad!” to “Hi, I’m Cherry. I don’t think we were together last night, but I am into bondage. Call me at xxx-xxxx if you want to try something new.
I’ve been adjusting the scope on my rifle and I need a target. At the tone, tell me where you’ll be at noon tomorrow.
Mostly chuckles, but one “Daaaaad!”
We're sorry. You have reached an imaginary number. Please rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again.
Only one response of “How about I rotate it 450 degrees?”
This answering machine is connected to a 5000-volt power supply and a relay, which is wired to this small kitten. (Sound of a kitten meowing.) If you leave a message, it will complete the circuit and fry the kitty. The choice is YOURS!
Yep, “Daaaaad!” as well as “eeeeewww” and “you’re sick.”
I had one other that I won’t be able to duplicate. One of my girlfriends was a Valley Girl. If you’re familiar with that breed, you’ll know that they have their own language. Although Crystal had outgrown her early vocalizations, she could still do Val Speak and recorded this message for me in a high-pitched, nasally voice.
Hey, like where do you, like, get off, ya know, like calling this number like that. If you ain’t like a friend, like, I don’t want to like talk to you; like, gag me with a spoon. Tell ya what, like, when this thing like beeps, you can leave a message, for sure, that’d like be totally cool.
Chuckles along with “Okay, Dad, who is that slut?”
One last thought on the fallacy of being a dad. While my daughter left “eeeeewww,” “Daaaaad,” and other such things that tended to indicate she disapproved of my messages, my sons were a bit different. “Dude, that was effing cool.” “Outeffingstanding, Pop.”
Mmm, might indicate I screwed up somewhere with how I reared my kids. I’ll think on that while I have another Bud.
Happy New Year!