This page houses my collection of phone pests I've accumulated over the years: Scammers, spammers, and idiots who just can't seem to figure out how to dial a number correctly. I'm posting them here because it makes me feel better. If you ever need a fake phone number to enter into a web form or give to a company that you don't want to have your real number, please feel welcome to use these. Or if you're just in the mood for making prank calls.
A lot of people are surprised to learn that I still do not carry a mobile phone. It's true. I see phone calls as an unwelcome intrusion into my life, and I dislike them. It's partly because I got completely burnt out on them from a previous job where I was on-call 24/7 a good part of the time (system and database support for a hospital network). But it's mostly because of Janet Benson.
Janet Benson was my sister's best friend in high school, and she was also the most annoying human alive. You know the stereotype of the dumb blonde? Well Janet Benson actualized that stereotype. They say that stereotypes have to come from somewhere, and in the case of the dumb blonde stereotype, it came from Janet Benson. Let me share with you a few stories so that you may better understand.
One time, my sister and Janet Benson were out "cruising" after school. That's where kids would drive around aimlessly because they lived in a tiny bumblefuck town where there was nothing else to do and no Internet for entertainment because it was the late 1980s / early 1990s. Anyway. Janet Benson told my sister that she wanted to get home in time to watch the six o'clock news, because there was something being shown on it that night that she wanted to see.
So she asks my sister.
The six... o'clock... news... starts.
When my sister gave her a look that said, "Are you kidding me?" Janet Benson replied, "It's at five, right?"
Another time, my sister and Janet Benson were "cruising" with a third friend, and the third friend mentioned she had to get her car fixed because there was something wrong with the engine. Janet Benson's response? "The engine? That's under the car, right?"
My sister swears that these and many other similar stories are true, and I believe her, because I knew Janet Benson. You see, my sister did not always go out "cruising" with Janet Benson after school. Sometimes she did other things with other friends. And when that happened, Janet Benson would call our house attempting to locate her, because there were no mobile phones because it was the late 1980s / early 1990s. And I would always have to answer it. I was not allowed to not answer it, because it might be our aging grandparents needing help, except it was never once our aging grandparents needing help, it was always Janet Benson.
Janet Benson: Is [sister] there?
Janet Benson: Well where is she?
Me: I don't know.
Janet Benson: Well what time will she be back?
Me: I don't know.
Janet Benson (after thinking really hard for about half a second): Okay bye.
And then that same scintellating exchange would repeat itself every five minutes.
Have you ever seen the Christopher Nolan film Memento? It's about a guy trying to find his wife's killer, only he has brain damage and no short-term memory, so every few minutes he forgets everything he's just experienced. I swear Janet Benson suffered from the same condition. She would hang up the phone and her entire memory of what had transpired would trickle out of her brain like the last bit of pancake syrup in the bottle. The last thing she would remember is, "I've gotta call [sister]!" and she would immediately pick up the phone and dial again, constantly interrupting me.
And that. Is why to this day I see phone calls as an unwelcome intrusion into my life, and why I dislike them, and why I refuse to carry a mobile phone.
There is an epilogue to this story. My sister is still friends with Janet Benson, but she (mercifully) lives a very long distance away. A few years ago, my sister went to visit her. They found a little bar where they could have some drinks and catch up. Their server told them the bar was having a special that day, $2 on all domestic beer. Janet Benson's response? "Well... I've never had that kind before. I'll just have a Budweiser!"