“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.