Mondays’ Column – Phone Phun! 5.6.10

“Hello, we’re not in right now,” said a well spoken American chap, “but if you leave your name and number, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”  I hung up perplexed.  Who was he, and why was he on my Auntie’s answering machine?  Was there something important she had forgotten to tell us?   

Then I started hearing him on other answering machines.  ‘He’s certainly getting around,’ I thought, as I hung up on him yet again.  Turns out that Yankee Doodle’s voice is the one that comes with most answering machines these days.  I’m not a fan; I prefer the personal touch when it comes to recorded phone messages.  So if you ring our place, you’ll hear a message taped by Long Suffering Wife.  It was a duty that had originally been entrusted to me; a person who bores very easily.

It wasn’t long before I grew weary of the standard answering machine greeting, and started recording messages that were a little more ‘interesting’, eg:

“Huwwo, this is Elmer Fudd, I’m out hunting wascally wabbits.  Pwease weave a message at the sound of the shotgun bwast.” 

“You have called Darth Vader…. I’m currently out of the galaxy… Leave your message… at the sound of the exploding planet… you rebel scum!”

“I had a ‘hunch’ you would call Notre Dame Cathedral.  Sthpeak when the bell stopsth tolling.  The Bells! The Bells!  Oh, sanctuary!” 

“Count Dracula is not in his crypt.  Please leave your details after the bat squeak, and Igor will relay your message to me before dawn.”    

Our answering machine was soon filled with messages like: “Funnee Guy!”  and, “A friend of a friend of my friend gave me your number; can you do a message for my machine?”  or, the ever popular, “You’re a deadset goose mate!” All from total strangers; some of them living interstate!  Oddly enough, the only people not leaving messages were family and friends. 

My glittering career as an answering machine recording artist came to a screaming halt the day Long Suffering Wife rang home and heard this:  

“Hurro capitarist pig, this Chairman Mao.  Prease reave message, or I send Red Army!”

But she can’t guard the machine forever, and I’ve got a ripper idea for a ‘Lord of the Rings’ message, although I’m going to need some help.  Hopefully that well spoken American chap will call me back soon.


Filed under Columns, Writing

3 responses to “Mondays’ Column – Phone Phun! 5.6.10

  1. SJH

    GB….you have revived some (both good and bad)memories from my old Telecom Australia working days. The man at the other end line who would take calls for his master was known by many Line Serviceman as “Hank the Yank”.

    Fair dinkum he must have had thick skin as he used to get sprayed something cronic by many an irate liney trying to contact the home owners or prove lines out of the exchanges (yes he lived there as well).

    Strangely enough they (Telecom Australia/Telstra) ended up with and American CEO and looked what happened from there!!!

    Cheers, SJH.

  2. Tania

    Hi Gb
    This is funny! I used to put singing messages on our answering machine….and I can’s sing! One was to the whistle tune of Foghorn Leghorn and used to be “Noone can come to the phone…Do-Dah, Do-Dah…Leave your name and your number….Oh my Do-Dah- Day, ….someone will get back to you Do-Dah, Do-Dah….as soon as we are able to…..oh my Do-Dah-day!!
    We to used to get people calling randomly to listen to the messages as well!! I changed it a few years ago for something more boring…..perhaps a return to the funny messages may be called for!!

    Cheers, Tan

  3. gladbloke

    Hey Stevo, Hank the Yank is probably sitting on Sols yacht drinking Pina Coladas and laughing his head off now! I would be!

    Tan: I loved your song, and may use it myself soon 🙂 I once did a Foghorn Leghorn “… boy! Ah say boy! You’re making more noise than ah skeleton ah dancing on ah tin roof! Speak to me boy!” I think the song would have worked better. I got a lot of complaints so I moved on to Yosemite Sam… another Yank with ‘issues’.

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