I think I've got the same answering machine or at least one that's quite similar in character. I used to get crazy looks from people by talking to it as if it were a person.
"Yo! Mechanical Man! How many messages do I have?" I'd say to it. The Mechanical Man was its name. Well the name of the voice inside anyway.
"NO MESSAGES" would be its standard reply, unless of course there were indeed messages. Then it'd divulge the number of messages idly waiting for me to retrieve them.
I took great pleasure asking it this question many times in a row along with the occasional "Oy! Vhast ist der time?"
THURSDAY, SIX-FIFTY-SIX PM
Always it would talk in that same voice. Imagine a Speak and Spell that had some voice lessons and you've got the general idea. The message was in that same great robotic voice too. The machine's default message was "HELLO PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE AFTER THE TONE"
The message scared people. They begged me to change it. But I liked it. Well, that's a lie. Actually the reason I had that message was due to laziness. Neither my roommate nor I wanted to be bothered with recording a stupid personalized message. He'd picked the machine out and I'd paid for it so answering-machine-karma-wise we were on equal footing. So the default message stayed. This had two advantages.
- People were afraid of the thing so they didn't leave messages so I didn't have to come up with excuses as to why I never returned their calls.
- The message was totally anonymous so any time someone dialed a wrong number and got my answering machine they simply left their message and were none the wiser to it not being who they intended to call.
I got some seriously classic messages because of this. The best ones I received were from some guy at a local pet cemetery. Well, I'll let the messages speak for themselves.
FRIDAY TWO-FIFTY-TWO PM
Hi, this message is for Susan and John. This is Jeff at Sugarloaf Pet Gardens. Thank you for sending the check for Tess's balance and burial. I just wanted to let you know that you paid for a small marker, four by eight, and it is allowed two lines on that one and the...the copy that you sent requires three lines so it would need to go on a larger stone, a six by twelve. And there's a little additional money, a total of $47.80 would be necessary to put what you had:
and then the date
Sweet Happy Girl, Love You Forever
on the large stone. Call us back and tell us if that's what you want to do and..um...we'll go ahead and take care of it. Thanks very much.
I contemplated calling up this Sugarloaf Pet Gardens to let them know that they had the wrong number, but the guy didn't leave a number to call him back at so I didn't feel like bothering. A few days later I got the following message:
WEDNESDAY NINE-FIFTY-TWO AM
Hi, this is Jeff at Sugarloaf Pet Gardens. Could Mr. or Mrs. Glaser give us a call at 555-8882. We want to ask you about one of your reserved lots...um...in the Big Dog section. If you could just give us a call. It's..uh..nearly eleven on Wednesday the 12th. Thanks very much.