Phone-in Phriday

May 10, 1996

I hate telephones. Let me rephrase that. I despise telephones.

The other day I had to call a company, and I got one of those recordings that give you options. "If this is regarding an order, please press 1 now. If this is regarding a problem, please press 2 now." I pressed 2. "If this problem is regarding a single book, please press 1 now. If this is regarding a long-term order, please press 2 now." I pressed 1. "If you have the book in hand, please press 1 now. If you were expecting the book and it has not arrived, please press 2 now." I pressed 1. Silence. Then, another recording: "The person you need to speak with is not available at this time. You are being routed to voice mail." I guess it goes without saying that I’m not going to hear from this person now, but a recording will probably call me in a few days to tell me what to do. This was a work matter, though, and our home telephones are rapidly becoming a means of greater self-expression. There are phones that allow you to choose what kind of ring you want. There are phones that have a speaker connected that will play a pre-recorded message telling you who is calling. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, folks. What about videophones? If I were you, I’d get in on the ground floor of miniature interior design because people are going to want backgrounds for the little image of themselves that appears on the screen. Everything from beer can pyramids to swimming pools and sprawling conservatories that couldn’t possibly fit in a one bedroom apartment. The problem with videophones is that, although they’ll be a great boon to the cosmetic industry, they’re going to be hell for anybody in an emergency at 3AM trying to call someone for help, because the person they’re calling is not going to want to have their goblin-eyed fishbowl face broadcast to a monitor no matter what the emergency is. And what about video answering machines? There’s an interesting thought: a lovely scene of a person strolling through a sunny field saying, "I’m not home right now, but please leave a message after I pick the daisy." Or maybe even a television spin-off–"America’s Funniest Answering Machine Videos". I know a few people who would include a clip of their brother hitting their cousin in the crotch with a baseball bat on their answering a machine if they could. It all comes down to one thing: technology is not inherently evil. And anyone who believes that has never been put on hold and forced to listen to a repeating pizza commercial.

For an obscure reference to Sri Lanka, please press 1 now.


36 politically correct ways to say someone is stupid

A few clowns short of a circus.
A few fries short of a Happy Meal.
An experiment in Artificial Stupidity.
A few beers short of a six-pack.
Dumber than a box of hair.
A few peas short of a casserole.
Doesn’t have all his cornflakes in one box.
The wheel’s spinning, but the hamster’s dead.
One Fruit Loop shy of a full bowl.
One taco short of a combination plate.
A few feathers short of a whole duck.
All foam, no beer.
The cheese slid off his cracker.
Body by Fisher, brains by Mattel.
Has an IQ of 2, but it takes 3 to grunt.
Warning: Objects in mirror are dumber than they appear.
Couldn’t pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel.
He fell out of the Stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
An intellect rivaled only by garden tools.
As smart as bait.
Chimney’s clogged.
Doesn’t have all his dogs on one leash.
Doesn’t know much but leads the league in nostril hair.
Elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor.
Forgot to pay his brain bill.
Her sewing machine’s out of thread.
His antenna doesn’t pick up all the channels.
His belt doesn’t go through all the loops.
If he had another brain, it would be lonely.
Missing a few buttons on his remote control.
No grain in the silo.
Proof that evolution CAN go in reverse.
Receiver is off the hook.
Several nuts short of a full pouch.
Skylight leaks a little.
Slinky’s kinked.
Surfing in Nebraska.
Too much yardage between the goal posts.
In the pinball game of life, his flippers were a little further apart than most.

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