Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't go making phony calls

A few days ago, someone left me a very weird voice mail. I was going to write about it earlier, but my awesome prize of spooky pins took precedence. Basically, it was a recording of either coughing, sneezing, or gagging. A man was making some guttural noise, anyway. I'd love to know what was so thrilling about coughing into my voice mail!

This is maybe the third weirdest voice mail I've ever received. The second weirdest was a recording of a drunk man pretending to be Matt Damon. When I traced that phone number, it actually went to the South East chapter of our local Chess Club. Seriously. But the weirdest phone call I've ever received came when I was still in high school. I remember picking up the phone only to hear someone breathing loudly. I sat there for maybe 5 minutes listening to them breathe, when it occurred to me that they probably weren't going to hang up any time soon. I just left the phone off the hook (yes this was back in the day when phones had hooks and cords) and decided to take a walk. When I returned 45 minutes later and picked up the phone to listen, he was still breathing away. At this point I hung up.

Other phone silliness has included a phone call from inside a port-a-john, during which the guy dropped the phone...Not to mention the time some guy decided to pick my number, of all numbers, to give out to girls he wasn't interested in. So, they were calling me all the time asking for him, and then not believing me when I said I didn't know who he was! Think about what happened to me, if you like to give fake numbers to those you're uninterested in. Some unfortunate person will still be hearing from those people! But moving on....

Creepy phone calls figure into a lot of urban legends and movies. In honor of the coughing caller (since he did provide me with today's blogging material) I present to you...

A video exploring the famous "babysitter gets a creepy phone call from inside the house" urban legend:

I remember thinking about this story when I was a teenage babysitter. It would be night time, the kids would be tucked into bed, and I'd be alone on the couch trying to read. Except I'd be distracted thinking about fun stuff like this...

On a more positive note, here's the inspiration for this blog post's title:

Don't go making Phony Calls ~ A Weird Al classic!

I'd love to know...What's the weirdest phone call or voice mail you've received? Or maybe you were the prank caller! Have you ever left someone an um...interesting phone message? Don't worry, I won't report you to the phone police. :)


  1. That is so creepy. I'm sorry, I actually LOL when I read how you went for a walk & came back 45 minutes later & the person was this still breathing. That's sad/scary/demented. I hope you figure out whose calling you & leaving lame voice messages, I bet that's tiring.

    And I was actually the person who was making the weirdo phone calls. :[ Yeaaah, I know! But I needed some entertainment in my LIFE! I'd call up some friends from a block number saying my name is Shelly Walnuts. Or I'd just breath on phone or sometimes hum a creepy melody. I know, I know! Pathetic, sad....I needed a life & I finally got one! I retired from my days of those shenanigans! :)If the phone police knew, I'd be in prison but those were many years ago!

  2. 45 minutes!! Well you've got to give him credit for his tenacity! As Catwoman might say, your sickos seem very committed.

  3. I wish you could block that number and I know so many people block their numbers when they call others. I know that no blocked numbers can get through on our line now thanks to Verizon!

    If you want to read my weird (but funny) phone story, go to this post on my Blog...

    Hope you are having a wonderful week!


  4. Oh, I just listened to 'Phony Calls' - hilarious! I'll have to play that for my husband and son later - they love Weird Al!

    Prank calls always make me think of 'The Simpsons', too.

  5. Real Queen of Horror ~ Yeah it's creepy, alright! Don't feel bad, because I was Laughing out loud that day, myself. Sometimes things are just so insane that you have to laugh. What else can you do? I wonder how long I could have kept him on the phone? Yeah, it's sad in that the person probably thought I was there the whole time and there's 45 min he can never have back. Although, I can't imagine what purpose this was serving for the caller.

    I doubt I'll ever know who my recent caller was. I tried checking the records on the t-mobile site, but it appears that unknown numbers remain unrecorded.

    Haha! So you were once a prank caller, eh? It's ok. I was once so bored as a teenager that I tried to strike up a conversation with a telemarketer who called. Finally, he said "Uh...I have to get going." :) That should make you feel better. Haha - Shelly Walnuts. Did your friends know that it was you calling them?

    Little Gothic Horrors ~ Yeah, 45 minutes. I do give this person credit! I mean, he was hopefully at least reading a book or something during that time, but still! Way to stalk. Oh, I remember that quote! That's a good one. Hey, if people are going to waste their time harassing me, they might as well go all the way. I guess that much dedication is almost flattering?

    LuLu Kellogg ~ Yeah, I wish I could block some phone numbers too. At least I was finally able to get text messages blocked on my phone! It takes a little more nerve for a person to leave a voice mail than a text message. I used to get some pretty bizarre texts. Verizon is probably better than T-Mobile.

    I would love to read your phone story! I'll be sure to check out your link. Well, I am actually having a wonderful week, despite my phone drama! I hope you are too. :)

  6. P.S. ~ Little Gothic Horrors:

    I just saw your other note! Yeah, I love Weird Al. :) I heard he's working on a version of a Lady Gaga song, and I can't wait to hear that! Yup, poor Moe on The Simpsons. Those calls were funny, though...

  7. well, I get calls and voice mails all the time for a man named Steve Coffey! He's in a lot of debt trouble with collectors. I have months where I have no calls, because I've told them that there is no Steve Coffey at this number, then I have the months where I think his cases have been passed on to new companies, and they call, looking for him, again! I've gotten calls for him from his eye doctor, his kids doctors office, his animals vet. I just delete those messages, I'm at the point where I don't even care that he's not getting important calls anymore. I've even had the police calling looking for him!

    Seriously, if I ever run into this guy, I think I may have to punch him in the nose.

  8. Hey whats up? I'm about to shamelessly plug my corny blog featuring completely original comics about all sorts of things! From me complaining to me being melodramatic, you'll love some of it, I promise but can't guarantee!

  9. Stacey ~ Weird! We've been friends this long, and I don't even know about Mr. Steve Coffey! The nerve of that guy. I thought it was bad getting calls from the rejected lady friends of that one dude, but your calls sound worse. At least I could find a little humor in the scorned women...

    Even the police called for him? I'm really curious about the call from them. Are all these calls over debt and unpaid doctor bills?

    On a similar note, a friend decided to put me down as a refence for her loans, which she never paid. I didn't co-sign for her or anything. In fact, I didn't even know I was listed as a reference! Anyway, I've been getting phone calls, and letters in the mail for years over this. What a pain. I never answer any of them. I think they eventually gave up on getting any information out of me. They try to sound threatening, but honestly this is no fault of mine and there's nothing they can do to me! Debt collectors may be the most persistant people on earth.

    Hello Garrett ~ Well, I'd say that's a wee bit of a shameless plug, but I'll still visit your blog. :)

  10. When a Stranger Calls..... very scary at the end. I almost peed my pants.


  11. Hey Adsila ~ I wonder why your comment is marked as Anonymous? Good old Blogger...

    Did you see the 1979 or 2006 version of this? I wasn't familiar with this movie, which is nuts since it fits perfectly with the theme of this blog entry! I watched the trailer for the 2006 movie just now and it looked ok. Then I watched part of the 1979 one. Someone posted the whole thing on YouTube. I'm going to assume that it was the 1979 one that freaked you out, because the filming on that one is amazing. The shots of the dark hallways, the way we are viewing her from all angles as if watching her, the shadows of the room, etc. The filming style is really driving home the point that she is completely alone and vulnerable. I'll have to watch more of this at some point!

  12. I use to make and receive prank calls from tons of people friend wise or just random people from school who'd steal random numbers off the teachers desk, and then have them all own up to the pranks the next day except so many prank calls were being made, no one knew which ones belonged to who. That's what life was like for a teen at a school of 7,500 kids! =)

  13. Oh that high school "breathing" one is freaky.Ugh! I used to get the Jenny! Jenny! ones in the 80s. No wait I was the one who called 867-5309.

  14. L ~ Random numbers off the teacher's desk? Was this a list of every person's phone number in the class? I'm just imagining what would happen if the students got a hold of the faculty contact list. :) I can't imagine what kind of hell would be raised with that! Although, it sounds like you guys had enough fun as it was. I can't imagine attending a school of 7,500! My high school, and also my college had only 500-600 people. There were times that I wished I went to a larger school, because I think there would be much less drama.

    So do you remember what you said during any of your prank phone calls?

    Copyboy ~ Oh, yes it was very freaky. I'd probably have been traumatized had I actually stayed on the phone, listening to someone breathe for the entire 45 minutes. What's sad is that I think the caller thought we were having a real moment there...

    Haha! Can you imagine how many people called that number in the 80s!? So many people could have had that as their phone number, considering it could go with any area code. I'm sure some of them had to change their numbers. Although, what could the caller say? "Hi Jenny" ?

    That makes me think of a thrift store that used to exist in Milwaukee. The store owner had written that number on a piece of cardboard and hung it above the 80s clothes rack. :)

  15. Some of these are just creepy.

  16. Hey Braumaman ~ Well, the calls I've received have been fairly creepy. Although, I've been amused by some of the prank call stories posted in the above comments! It's always funny until it happens to you, right? ;)

  17. HAHAHA wat a funny blog post and creepy 2.I used to be the prank caller and i think the best prank till today was on one of my best friends. So i was having like a horror movie slumber party at my house and we were watching "The Ring" so during the movie i got a hold of my friends cellphone and save my cellphone number as "666" all the girls at the part were in on it expect her.

    So after the movie ended i said 'Dang guys technically didnt we also wacth the video i mean yeah it was in a movie but if you think about it we did watch that video so r we cursed 2?' and at that point i secretly called her phone and OMg she totally freaked out like made crazy!! when she saw the number was 666.

    So we played along acting scared and some of this girls were like ok we gonna go check all the rooms in the house and some including me were like we gonna go check outside make sure everything is alright but she must stay at the couch just to be safe.

    After that my friend cut off the electricty in the house and the girl screamed bt we told her the power was just off and not to be scared...i then snuck back into the house ever so slowly hide behing the same sofa she was sitting in and then came as close as i cud to her ear and whispered "7 days" hahahaha she almost died i swear!! of course my parents came back and i got in a lot of trouble and that girl ddnt talk to use for like 2 days but it still is today one of the many best pranks i have ever played!! :D

  18. Pixie, Pixie, Pixie....What are we going to do with you? That's terrible! You're just lucky that your friend didn't have a heart condition! You're also lucky that she started talking to you again after two days. Is she the most forgiving person on earth or something? I might have written you guys off...

    Alright, you've had your talking to. :) So aside from that prank being fairly malicious in the way only teenage girls can truly be, I've got to say that was pretty inventive! I'm getting that feeling I get when I'm admiring someone's evil genius! That must have taken a lot of planning.

    The Ring is in my opinion, the third scariest movie of all time. The Shining comes in at #2, and The Exorcist at #1. What strikes me as strange, is that you got this girl to sit alone in a room after watching that!

    How did you save your number as 666? I used to know this guy who used some web site to make it look like his calls were coming from other people's numbers. He'd make rude calls to co-workers and make it appear that the calls had come from other co-workers. I know he explained the process to me, but I wasn't really listening at the time. So I'd be curious to know how you did that!

    I'm assuming that someone did the old *67 routine to me with my last call. Although, that's a little too 1990's for any self-respecting prankster.

    So, you guys seriously cut off the electricity!? Yeah, I can see how you got in trouble with this one. And you say this is "one of the many best pranks I have ever played" What else have you been up to? I'm thinking you might be a little dangerous in person. :)

  19. Hahahaha well it was really pretty easy because with her phone since she already had my number when i called her it wud just write"Pixie calling" so i figured wat if i saved my name as 666 then it wud technically show up as "666 calling" and it did :)...

    ok thinking back now i guess it cudve gone really really wrong i mean my parents made that VERY clear and i got my share of the punishment and so did my other friends from theirs but the funny thing is that after i got scolded by my parents before i went to bed my dad came in and like said goodnight but was also like our prank was pretty genius. hahaha

    and yeah we cut of the electricity from the main switch board outside which is actually really dangerous cas with doing that you also technically disalarm the house alarm and the electric fence making pretty much a clear gateway for robbers to come in if they knew but we only did it for like 10mins...and too this day im still surprised she stayed in the dark house by herself maybe she was either too scared to move or maybe becase even though we were all walking around outside we still kept talking to her tellig her wat we were doing, so maybe that made her feel safer.

    Hahaha no dont worry i think my pranking days are over....kinda...;)....but yeah i actually havent played that many pranks because i feel quality is better than quantity lol so the few i have i think i have been epic. Another one was when we had a school camping trip in the woods we all slept in like tents and stuff, so me and one of my best guy buds decided at like around 1am we wud play a prank on one of the guys tents because they we all like we so macho and aint afraid of anything...

    So we woke up snuck out of our tents and then i took a really long stick and just started dragging it on the ground kinda loud circling their tent humming "twinkle lil star" in a low pitched creepy voice, one the guys woke up and was like guys wats the noise outside but i just kept on walking around the tent humming and then when the guys switch on the torches they oviously saw my body shadow becas i stopped moving and was dead still and then a ran away laughing in a lil creepy kiddy way.

    Wehn the guys switch off the torches and went back to bed. I camp back again but this time as i wa circling their tent i was lightly scrapping the side of the tent with my hand and i began humming again. They woke up and i cud hear them talking to themselves creeping out and after like 5 minutes they switched on their torch on me and again i stood still as ever and they went quiet too and after like 10 seconds of silence i pounced on their tent and screamed "STOP DOING THAT!!!" they screamed like lil girls hahahaha...i opened the tent and told them it was just me, they werent impressed at first but after a while we all just burst out pretty surprised i still had as many friends as i did in highschool with all the twisted pranks i used to

  20. I could comment on your mystery call but it's just too dirty. ^^ I had a call on Christmas Eve years ago when I was alone and sick. It was a young guy (assuming college aged) who wanted to have phone sex with me. I obliged and had fun with it. I'm pretty sure he had a lisp. He obviously wasn't serious about it, but it was pretty funny. I figure one day I might pay it forward.

  21. Pixie ~ Hey, that's pretty slick how you reprogrammed your number...It makes sense that it would work that way.

    Thinking back it could have been wrong? Haha. Um, yeah. Although, I'm weirdly feeling the same as your dad did about this. Yeah, the prank was a little evil, but admirable in its innovation!

    So you really did cut off the electricity! Wow. I was thinking you maybe meant that you just shut off the lights. That's pretty hardcore pranking. Oh, the thought of a robber breaking in during all of this is funny, because I have a feeling he would have ended up getting scared and running out of your house! :) You created quite a picture of what was going on in that room. (Can you imagine a guy breaking into a house and then freaking out because the house seems haunted?)

    Oh, I can't believe that school camping trip story! That's so funny. The macho guys couldn't take it, hey? That could really freak someone out who was in a semi-asleep state already. I remember a camping trip we took in middle school, but absolutely no pranks were pulled. Not that I knew of anyway. We could have used you there to spice things up!

    Yeah, you were lucky to have friends who were either very forgiving or had a really good sense of humor! Thanks for sharing these stories ~ I got a kick out of them!

    Hiyoko ~ Oh how funny! Phone sex between a girl with a cold and a guy with a lisp? That's some hot stuff there. :) I can't believe that you went along with that, and I bet the caller couldn't believe that you didn't hang up on him!

    You might pay it forward? Well, I'm sure some guy will be happy and surprised to get that call! I don't think too many women make sexy/pervy phone calls to random people, although I could be wrong about that!

    Oh and here's an update: I actually saved that stupid coughing message and played it for my mother today. She said she distinctly heard someone yelling "you suck" through the coughing. After she said that, I listened again and could hear those words! So yeah, thanks for that. Take back what I said about this being a man calling. I'm now going to assume it was random teenage boy who is having a boring summer vacation...

  22. hahaha no problem i actually had forgotten about them until i read your blogpost i kinda had a mini walk down memory lane(jeeze im talking like im 80 years old or soemthing)...but yeah i think i wont play the same pranks in college cas A. ppl in college arent as forgiving n i cud end up being labelled the weirdo with no friends and B. i cud get expelled or suspended which really wudnt be the most ideal situation lol

  23. Hehe "Walk down memory lane" :) I've been catching myself saying "back in the day" or "that's going way back" lately! I know, I feel like an old lady when I say that stuff too.

    Hmm...Looking back to my college years (again sounding old, although I am 29 now) I think people were weirder in college than they were in high school. Although, I went to art school. So the same rules can't exactly be applied. :)

    I'm assuming that you are attending a normal college where there might be consequences for your actions, so yeah it might be good to tone down the pranks...

    Oh, by the way I didn't forget about the Haitian chateau or graveyard! I still want to blog about that. Is your friend in any mood to add his thoughts to this, or should I just go ahead with the blog entry?

  24. uhmm yeah he wasnt so into it when i told him so yeah just go ahead with the blog entry.. :D...cnt wait to read it....

  25. First off, I love that Weird Al song!

    And I'm a creep magnet too!
    Instead of a guy giving a girl my number,
    a girl gave a guy my number.
    After I finally convinced him I wasn't her,
    he said I sounded hot and asked me out! lol.

    I also had a guy call and accuse me of denting his car.
    I don't drive, so I was like "wtf?!" lol.
    Obviously some jerk picked my number to write down and put on his windshield.

    Then there was the old lady who thought I was her granddaughter.
    She kept asking to speak to my mom,
    after I told her she passed away.
    She was like "don't joke about that!"
    It was both amusing and upsetting.

    And the funniest message I've ever received was my best friend from childhood saying she didn't sleep with my husband.
    I'm not married, so she called the wrong
    Holly, obviously! lmao.

  26. Pixie ~ Ah well, I think he would have added an interesting perspective! Thanks for asking him anyway. Yeah, I'm looking forward to doing the research involved with that one. :)

    Holly ~ Haha, yeah that songs is great! It popped into my head immediately after I listened to that voice mail!

    Haha, you're a "creep magnet" too, eh? Yeah, at times I wish I didn't attract some things, but it keeps life interesting, right? I always feel bad for people who don't have stories to tell. From what I read in the above comments, many people have interesting stories! The comments have been so fun to read.

    Wow! So the mistaken caller asked you out? Well, that's pretty flattering! You must have made a good impression. :) So, did you go out with him? I'm guessing you didn't, but weirder things have happened. I know someone who got pulled over for speeding and asked out the cop. He accepted and they went out for a while.

    Oh, the car thing sucks! Yeah, these people who give out other people's numbers are so inconsiderate.

    Oh, that is sad about the woman who was calling for her granddaughter. Did she ever understand that she had the wrong number? I think sometimes the elderly are so sad and alone that they really need someone to talk to. An elderly woman called me once to tell me she couldn't come to a baby shower. We still chatted a while, even though I told her she had the wrong number. Nice lady, actually.

    Oh man, that last one! Haha so your friend may or may not have been messing around with another Holly's husband? Oops. I guess her secret is out now. :)

  27. True! We'll have plenty of stories to tell when you're grannies. :)

    Nope, I had a boyfriend, so I turned him down.
    It was flattering being asked though!
    And wow, what a great way to get out of a speeding ticket! lol.

    Nope, I couldn't convince the poor lady.
    So I had my brother talk to her, and he finally got her to understand.

    Yep, when I called my friend back she was so embarrassed.
    Found out there's a baby in the picture too! Her third.
    This was just a few months ago btw, and the first time I talked to her since we were kids.
    So yeah, quite awkward.
    I'm expecting to see her on Springer or Maury soon! lol.

  28. Yeah, I actually think about that sometimes! If I ever have grandchildren, I'll have a lot to share with them. I'd like to think that some of these stories will be entertaining in the future. Although they'll probably ask "What's a phone, Grandma?" haha

    Ah, man. So you're caller was pretty much rejected twice in one day!

    Dig this: The cop still gave her a ticket for speeding! I don't even think she was trying to get out of the ticket so much as get a man. She's pretty much after anyone who is around at the time. I think she dated the cop for several months.

    Oh, no! There's a baby involved too! Sounds like your friend has been busy having an interesting life since you've seen her. Haha, I'm not sure if Springer is still on. Maury could be a good show for her because all he does anymore is give DNA tests. Not sure if she needs one of those. Haha, isn't it crazy finding out what's happened to the people from your childhood?

  29. I was doing a bit of "tele-marketing" when I reached one woman's voice mail with the best message that I have ever heard....."Who are you , and Why should I care.....Beep..."
    lol .... That one really brightened our day...

  30. Dr. Theda ~ Ha! Well, that voice mail message is straight to the point! I wonder how many messages she gets with a recording like that?