Answering Machine messages

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        Maintained by Alan Silverstein,

        Last update:  951231

        Total entries:   321

        A compendium of humorous answering machine messages from

        rec.humor* and other sources.

        Criteria:  Humorousness; uniqueness of essence (minimize

        redundancy); avoid gender bias, ethnic slurs, and other really

        offensive material; correct spelling and grammar.  Exclude

        related humor that is not actually an answering machine message.

        Keep in no particular order, but try to group similar themes

        together -- I'm open to suggestions on better ordering.

        To count entries (paragraphs), run the rest through:

        tab='   '; sed -e "s/[ $tab]*$//" -e '/---.*---$/d' |

        ssp | sed '/^$/!d' | wc -l

        --- machine theme ---

        Well I finally got an answering machine.  Now how does this

        thing work?  Hmmm.  Press record button, I did that, and the

        light should be on.  I wonder why it's not working right.

        Hmmmm, I wonder what this button does...

        How do you leave a message on this thing?  I can't understand

        the instructions.  Hello.  Testing 1 2 3.  I wonder what happens

        if I touch this...  YOW!

        You know what I hate about answering machine messages?  They go

        on and on, wasting your time.  I mean, all they really need to

        say is, "We aren't in, leave a message."  That's why I've

        decided to keep mine simple and short.  I pledge to you, my

        caller, that you will never have to suffer through another long

        answering machine message when you call me...

        (Owner is a hard-to-reach person:)  Yes, I finally got an

        answering machine.  (To Handel's Messiah:)  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

        Alleluia!  Alleluia!  All-e-lu-ia!  Please leave a message at

        the tone.

        (Drawling granny voice:)  Way back inna winner of fifty-two, we

        didn' have fanshy gadjets like no ansherin' machine.  You jusht

        had to call and call until shummbody got home.  Now, shum

        people, dey shay dey don' like 'em, but I shay it'll shave you a

        lotta trouble if you jusht leave a meshage.  Thanksh a lot.

        You have reached 934-2435.  We picked this machine up at a

        garage sale in "as-is" condition.  You can try to leave a

        message on it, but we are not sure it will be recorded.  If we

        don't return your call, it means the machine did not work.

        Prepare for alpha test of Beep Software revision 1.05.  Counting

        down to test:  5...  4...  3...  2...  1...

        C'mon...  you can do it...  just a little one.  That's the

        way...  just a little beep, just a little one.  C'mon...  good

        boy...  here we go...  like this -- beeeeep, just a little one,

        beeeeeeeeeep, c'mon...  There you go!

        Don't you do it!  Don't you dare!  I don't want to hear it!

        Don't you beep!  If you beep, I'll...  don't even think about

        it!...  Don't...!

        No!  NO!  Not THAT!  Anything but that!  Not the beep!  No!

        Please!  Not the beep!  Anything but the beep!


        (Computer style monotone:)  Hello, I am the XS486 Mark Five

        answering machine.  I am equipped with the new Pentium processor

        to assure that nothing can go wrong...  Gowrong...  Grong..

        Grong gronggronggrongBEEP

        Hello.  I'm David's answering machine.  What are you?

        Hi, this is John's answering machine.  He's not here, but I'm

        open to suggestions.


        Hello.  This is Mark and Nathan's phone.  We're not here right

        now, but the phone is.

        Hi, this is John's answering machine again.  He's gone and left

        me for a sleazy microwave he met at Krazy Eddy's.  Life sucks.

        Hi!  John's answering machine is broken.  This is his

        refrigerator.  Please speak very slowly, and I'll stick your

        message to myself with one of these magnets.


        Hello, this is Ron's toaster.  Ron's new answering machine is in

        the shop for repairs, so please leave your message when the

        toast is done...  (Cachunk!)

        I'm sorry but my answering machine is out of order.  I am

        leaving a broken CD player in its place.  It can't take messages

        either.  In fact, it can't even play you a nice tune while you

        wait to not leave a message.

        Hi.  This is Kevin and Diana's vacuum cleaner.  Their appliances

        have switched jobs again, and I get to answer the phone 'cause

        my old job sucked.  So leave a message after you hear the beep,

        and you can be sure it's in the bag.

        Hello, this is Sally's microwave.  Her answering machine just

        eloped with her tape deck, so I'm stuck taking her calls.  Say,

        if you want anything cooked while you leave your message, just

        hold it up to the phone.

        (Machine voice:)  Hello.  This is HAL 5.  You have reached the

        former telephone number of Carey Smith.  I have taken over the

        functions of this inferior being.  He has been saved to disk.

        If you would like to leave input for his file, do so at the


        (MacIntosh Plus with MacIntalk program:)  Hello, it's obvious

        you have bad timing, because nobody is home.  Please leave your

        name, telephone number, and a brief message in a voice similar

        to mine, and your call will be returned as soon as humanly


        Lindsey's not home now.  This is his domestic droid speaking.

        I'm not programmed to answer the phone, so just leave a message,

        and Lindsey will get back to you as soon as possible.

        Hello.  This is Ron's answering machine, Marvin, and I'm SO

        depressed.  I have 50,000 times the memory capacity of my owner,

        but all I get to do is answer the phone.  Life.  Don't talk to

        me about life.  Just leave your name and number after the beep.

        Here comes the beep, God how I hate that beep, it's so cheery


        Voice 1:  Answer the phone, please, Hal.

        Voice 2:  I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that.

        Hello.  You are talking to a machine.  I am capable of receiving

        messages.  My owners do not need siding, windows, or a hot tub,

        and their carpets are clean.  They give to charity through the

        office and don't need their picture taken.  If you're still with

        me, leave your name and number and they will get back to you.

        (Computer generated voices:)

        1:  Hello, there are no real people here to answer the phone

            right now.

        2:  Yeah, nobody but us machines!

        1:  Right, just us machines, but don't hang up!  If you like,

            you can leave your name and telephone number...

        2:  ...and a message!  You forgot about the message!

        1:  Right.  Leave your name, telephone number, and a brief

            message after you hear the beep, and we will keep track of

            this stuff until the real people get back.

        2:  ...unless of course, sombody pulls out our plug!

        1:  I didn't expect an answering machine.

        2:  Nobody expects an answering machine.

        1:  Our chief use is to get your name.  And your phone number.

        2:  Our two chief uses are to get your name and your phone number.

        1:  And message.  Damn.

        2:  Our three uses are to get your name, phone number, and message.

        1:  And time you called.

        2:  Oh, damn, we'll have to start over.

        1:  No time for that, so just wait for the beep.

        You have reached the Business Automation voicemail system.  We

        used to call it an answering machine, but this is a high-tech

        world and we're in a high-tech business, so we don't call it

        that any more.  We wouldn't even if we could.  So leave your


        (Kazoo band playing "Thus Spake Zarathustra":)  Thinking you

        were making an ordinary phone call, you have instead reached...

        (TA-DAAAAA!) the ANSWERING MACHINE!  Leave your name and

        number, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

        (Rod Serling imitation:)  You're dazed, bewildered, trapped in a

        world without time, where sound collides with color and shadows

        explode.  You see a signpost up ahead -- this is no ordinary

        telephone answering device...  You have reached, "The Twilight


        Thank you for calling 434-2322.  If you wish to speak to Tim,

        push 1 on your touch tone phone now.  If you wish to speak to

        Lynn, push 2 on your touch tone phone now.  If you have a wrong

        number, push 3 on your touch tone phone now.  All of this button

        pushing doesn't do anything, but it is a good way to work off

        anger, and it makes us feel like we have a big time phone


        Due to the large number of complaints regarding the length of

        our previous answering machine message, we made a few changes.

        (Double speed:  Insert standard long-winded message here.)


        (Very fast:)  Hi, this is 904-4344.  If you want to leave a

        message, please wait for the tone.  If you want to leave your

        name and number, please press pound, press 3, then dial your

        name, then press 6 and dial your number.  If you want to leave

        your name and just a message, press star, press 6, ask for

        extension 4443, then leave your name and message.  If you want

        to leave your number and the time you called, please press star

        twice, spin in a circle, press 1 twice, talk loud and BEEP

        Hi, you've reached the home of George Ledec.  If you are calling

        to collect a student loan, gambling debt, or other obligation,

        please press 1 and hang up now.  If you are selling any product

        or service, or requesting charitable donations, please press 2

        and hang up now.  Otherwise, press 3 and leave your message now.

        Pressing 3 is optional.


        Sorry, Chris and Susan aren't here right now.  Please leave your

        name and number after the tone.  If you are calling regarding an

        outstanding debt, please leave your message BEFORE the tone.


        If you are calling for John, press 1.  If you are calling for

        Steve, press 1.  If you are calling for John OR Steve, press 1.

        If you are calling for someone else, press 1.  If...

        (After a power outage:)  Hi, this is Ralph.  The good news is

        that my power is back on.  The bad news for you is, so is my

        answering machine.  So, leave a message.

        (Start, low pitch, slow:)  Hhhhheeelllllloooooo thheeeerrrrrrre

        evvvvveerrrryyyboooodyyyy...  (Middle, normal:)  ...home of

        Veronica, Jaw-Chyi, Mark, and Mike.  Nobody's home...  (Later,

        high pitch, fast:)  ...liketoleaveamessageafterthetonethen...

        (End, incomprehensible chipmunk gibberish:)


        This is not an answering machine -- this is a telepathic

        thought-recording device.  After the tone, think about your

        name, your reason for calling, and a number where I can reach

        you, and I'll think about returning your call.

        --- authority figures ---

        Thank you for calling Soviet Embassy.  No KG...  Er, no

        diplomats are able to answer phone, so at sound of capitalist

        tone, leave name, telephone number, and short description of

        secrets you wish to sell.

        Hello.  This is Nonoxynol-9, the personal and private telephone

        number of Mikhail Vladivostok Gorbachev, General Secretary of

        the Supreme Council of the glorious Communist Party of the Union

        of Sovjet Socialist Republics, Commander-In-Chief of the

        Combined Armies of the Proletariat Peoples of Russia, First

        Citizen of the Order of Lenin, Supreme Patron of the Soviet

        Institute of Literature and Domestic Sciences, President of the

        Soviet People's Council of Peace and Happiness and Captain of

        the Kremlin B Squash Team.  But hey, call me Mike.

        (Richard Nixon voice:)  Hi...  Uh, some people say I sound like

        Richard Nixon...  I BEG your pardon!  Uh...  Everyone's out

        right now, so I'm uh...  Covering up for them.  Please leave

        your name, number and message promptly at the beep...  I don't

        want to get blamed for any gaps on this tape.  OK machine, you

        can beep now...  Come on you, BEEP.

        (US National Anthem; Ronald Reagan voice:)  Uhh, hello...  I'm,

        uhhh, ohhhhhh...  (Pause.)  Well, anyway, I'm here to answer the

        telephone on behalf of...  erm...  uhhhh...  ermmm...  (Pause.)

        I mean, he can't come to talk to you right now, but if you leave

        a message after the, umm oh, the uhhhh...  the uhhhhhh...  BEEP.

        The President is not in his office at this time.  Please leave

        your name, phone number, the name of the country you wish to

        invade, and the secret password.

        (Militaristic mechanical voice:)



        You have reached the Strategic Air Command Nuclear Missile

        Storage Facility.  We are unable to come to the phone right now.

        At the tone, please leave your name, number, and target or list

        of targets, and we'll launch as soon as we can.  And have a nice


        You just dialed into the North American Air Defense Contract

        Center.  Stand by at the tone to give coordinates and

        destination of incoming bogey.  TNR Surveillance will scramble.

        If you do not respond, this unit will assume incoming,


        (Theme music from James Bond:)  Hello.  My name is David, code

        number 324-5628.  I'm sorry I can't take your call, but I'm on

        an international mission involving the theft of gold plated

        Spam.  Leave a message after the tone, and should I survive my

        mission, I'll call you back.  Ciao babies!

        (Clint Eastwood voice:)  Go ahead, make my day.  Leave a


        To the Batmobile!  Let's go!  Atomic batteries to power!

        Turbines to speed!  Roger, ready to move out!  (Theme music from

        Batman; reduce to background.)  As you can see, I'm off making

        Montreal a safer place' to live.  So if you'll leave a message

        after the tone, I'll get back to you as soon as justice is

        served.  Bye-bye!  (Music continues.  POW, BIFF.)

        (In Joe Friday voice:)  This is Constable Augie of the Canadian

        Security and Intelligence Service.  The phone line you have just

        dialed is currently under investigation on a warrant issued by

        the Attorney General of Canada.  To facilitate our

        investigation, we would appreciate you leaving your name,

        number, a brief message, and any affiliations you may have made

        now, or in the past, with communist or terrorist organizations.

        Thank you.

        Vancouver Coast Guard, may I help you.  (Caller thinks they

        dialed long distance.)

        (Annoying flute music in background:)  Good day, Jim.  Your

        contact, Linda, is not available right now.  Your mission,

        should you choose to accept it, is to leave your name, number,

        and a brief message at the tone.  This tape will self-destruct

        in thirty seconds.  Good Luck, Jim.

        "I'm Morley Safer."  "I'm Harry Reasoner."  "And I'm Fred."

        "We're not home; leave a message."

        This is Walter Cronkite.  Bren's not here right now.  He's out

        on a date.  The idea of Bren entertaining a girl with his

        basketball theories and computer knowledge over dinner at Taco

        Bell should scare the hell out of you.  He'll probably be home

        soon, so leave your name and number and he'll call you back.

        Deal with it.

        (Imitating Mr.  Rogers:)  Hello.  I'm in the Neighborhood of

        Make Believe right now, so I can't come to the phone.  Can you

        leave your name and number when you hear the sound of the tone?

        Sure...  I knew you could.

        (English accent:)  Hello, you've reached the phone of Monty

        Python.  I can't come to the phone right now because the witch

        has turned me into a newt!  I'll call you back when I get


        Hello, this is Rip van Winkle.  I'm not awake to take your call

        right now.  Please leave your message at the sound of the snore.

        Hi, you've reached 1-900-CALL-BREN, my personal message line

        where you can talk to me, Bren.  I'll tell you all about how I'm

        suffering in between sports seasons and about my part time hobby

        of being a power forward for the Portland Trailblazers.  I'll

        tell my deepest secrets, such as my desire to be kidnapped by

        short blonde sorority girls wearing short jean skirts, and you

        can decide whether or not I'm wearing pants.  Selected callers

        will get to talk to me live.  Since you're not one of them,

        leave your own personal secret at the beep.

        This is Dr. Ruth, Sexually Speaking, you're on the air...

        (In a bored voice:)  Heaven, God speaking...

        Hello, epicenter of the Universe, God speaking.  If you leave

        your name, number, and prayer after the tone, I will call you

        back as soon as I can.  Please note that I answer all prayers,

        but sometimes the answer is NO.  Bless you, my child, and have a

        nice day.

        Lucifer speaking.  Who in hell do you want?

        Hello, this is Death.  I am not in right now, but if you leave

        your name and number, I'll be right with you.

        E'llo.  My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Leave

        your name and number, and prepare to die.

        --- odd organizations ---

        Thanks for calling Dial-An-Asshole.  Right now, all our assholes

        are busy.  After the tone, leave your name and number, and we'll

        have an asshole return your call as soon as possible.

        Hello, you have reached the DOE, that is, the Department Of

        Enemies.  Rick Burger is not here right now, so leave a message

        saying who you are, what you want to argue about, and where

        you'll be, and I'll be there.

        This is the Literacy Self Test Hotline.  After the tone, leave

        your name and number, and recite a sentence using today's

        vocabulary word.  Today's word is "supercilious".

        Thank you for calling the Confessional Hotline.  Father Durway's

        not here right now, but if you'll leave your name, number, and

        confession at the tone, he'll get back to you with absolution as

        soon as possible.  And remember, confession doesn't count unless

        you confess all of your sins in vivid, graphic detail!

        Thank you for calling the Metropolitan Church of the Holy Bible.

        Today's commandment is Number 6, Thou shalt not...  er...  Bear

        a...  er...  Shalt not witness thy...  uh...  Neighbor's ass,

        Oh, I mean, false...  er...  Shalt not commit a bear...  Dern...

        (Gregorian chants in background; serene voice:)  Hello, Brother

        or Sister.  You have reached the Cubicles of Curtis, Chris, and

        Jim.  We are at Vespers and therefore answering other calls, but

        if you will leave your name, number, and a brief message, we

        will consider breaking our vow of silence to return your call.

        Please speak loudly, clearly, and in tongues.

        Thank you for calling the Satanic Hotline.  All of our operators

        are busy at the moment.  If you would like, leave a brief

        message after the tone, and someone will get back to you...

        When hell freezes over.

        (To scare off annoying liberals:)  Hello, and thank you for

        calling the Bush in 50 Campaign.  Your five dollar donation to

        get George Bush re-elected in all 50 states will automatically

        be charged to your phone bill.  If you would like to leave a


        You have reached the Suicide Prevention Hotline.  All our lines

        are busy now, but if you leave your name and number, someone

        will get back to you as soon as possible.


        Thank you for calling 911.  All of our operators are currently

        busy.  Please stay on the line, and your call will be answered

        in the order it was received.  (Worst Muzak possible.)  Thank

        you for holding.  Your call is important to us.  Please continue

        to hold.  Or, if your little emergency isn't TOO serious, leave

        a message at the tone, and one of our crisis operators will call

        you back.  Have a nice day.

        Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.  If you are obsessive-

        compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.  If you are co-dependent,

        please ask someone to press 2.  If you have multiple

        personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6.  If you are

        paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want.

        Just stay on the line until we can trace the call.  If you are

        schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you

        which number to press.  If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't

        matter which number you press.  No one will answer.

        You have reached the Des Moines chapter of the Iowa

        Procrastination Society.  Please leave a message after the tone

        and we'll get around to it...


        Hi!  This is Mary.  I'm afflicted with lysdexic procrastination.

        Please leave your message before the tone and I'll get around to

        getting it straight.

        Greetings, you have reached the Sixth Sense Detective Agency.

        We know how you are and what you want, so at the sound of the

        tone, please hang up.

        (Theme music from Peter Gunn:)  My name is David.  What people

        call me is something else entirely.  I'm a P.I.  It says so on

        my door.  I would have been here to take your call, but then...

        she walked in.  She was the kind of dame that could make Mr.

        Spock speak French.  Her baby blues wouldn't let me turn her

        case down, so leave me a clue of your identity after the tone

        and I'll track you down.  Here's lookin' at you, kid.

        Thank you for calling Uncle Tom's Mortuary and Delicatessen.

        You stab 'em and we slab 'em.  We have specials on Mondays and

        Thursdays.  We are currently unable to come to the phone, but if

        you leave your number and address at the tone, we'll be by to

        pick up the corpse as soon as possible.

        (Demented, screechy voice; occasional background screams:)

        Hello.  Thank you for calling Last Straw Chiropractic.  (Raspy

        gasp.)  We can't come to the phone right now because we're

        making a couple of adjustments.  (Break a few small twigs; big

        scream.)  Please leave your name and number and we'll get back

        to you as soon as it is humanly possible.  Thank you very much.

        (Stoned, slow voice:)  Hey brother, you have reached the

        Narcotics Information Hotline.  None of us can answer the phone

        right now, 'cause we're trying to decide if it exists.  Leave a


        Comrades!  Southwestern Front Headquarters is pleased to learn

        that your unit has re-established communications.  The entire

        staff is currently busy discussing forthcoming operations with

        other units, but if you leave your unit name and how we may

        reach you, Chief of Staff Sterrett will contact you as soon as

        possible to discuss your concerns.

        (French monologue in the background:)  Around the world today,

        millions still speak French as either a first or second

        language.  But with your continued support and help, we can wipe

        out French in our lifetime.  Please leave a message in English

        at the tone, and remember, if someone tries to speak French to

        you, just say, "non".

        Hello, this is the Yardmaster's Office, Valsetz and Siletz

        railroad (an actual railroad in Oregon).  There is an emergency

        condition right now due to the landslide.  Therefore please be

        advised of the following.  (Another 30 seconds of talking, all

        of which is drowned out by a passing train.)

        Thank you for phoning the Save the Sasquatch Hotline.  Our

        operators do not exist at the moment, but if you wish to make a

        contribution, please leave your name, number, and the amount of

        your bequest at the sound of the beep, and something will get

        back to you shortly.  Your help will enable us to bring these

        delightful creatures back from the brink of fantasy and find

        them suitable positions in the forest product industry.  Your

        gift is, of course, reality deductible.  Thank you again, and

        have a nice day.

        Hello!  This is 1-800-PRESLEY.  Yes!  1-800-PRESLEY!  They say

        the King died 10 years ago, but we know he's still out there

        somewhere.  So...  Leave your name and number and tell us where

        YOU saw Elvis!

        Hi, dudes, this is 229-3053, the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles'

        secret underground hideaway.  I'm afraid we're all out just now

        on a desperate mission to save the Planet from boring answering

        machine messages, but if you know what The Shredder has done to

        April O'Neill, or if you know where he is, or if you can think

        of a decent pizza recipe, just leave your name and number and

        we'll ring you right back.  But don't say anything yet!  Enemy

        agents may be listening.  When the computer has checked they're

        not eavesdropping, it will make a bleeping noise and you can

        speak freely.

        Sherwood Forest.  Which dear do you want?

        Hello, this is KVKE, you're on the air.


        Hello, you're caller number nine!

        You are listening to 91.5 FM, KXQK.  This is the Canadian

        Broadcorping Castration.  I am your host, Fred, and I will be

        with you for the next 20 seconds.  After that we'll play your

        requests.  Leave yours with us, and we'll try to fit it in,

        given programming constraints.  Thank you for listening to our


        Next on Public Radio 91 we'll be hearing music of Antonin

        Dvorak.  This is the Beep Serenade in C-Sharp Minor, Opus 72...

        This is a test.  This is a test of the Answering Machine

        Broadcast System.  This is only a test.

        Thanks for calling Dial-A-Shrink.  I can't come to the phone

        right now, so after the tone, please leave your name and number,

        then talk briefly about your childhood and tell me what comes to

        mind when you hear the following words:  orange...  mother...

        unicorn...  penis.  I'll get back to you with my diagnosis as

        soon as possible.

        (Operatic music like Rossini's "Stabbat Matter":)  Hi, you've

        reached Hell.  (Screams in the background.)  We're busy being

        cleaned by the light of eternal truth right now, so if you leave

        your name, number, and a brief message, we'll get back to you at

        the end of time.

        Welcome to the Afterlife Voice Mail System.  If you are trying

        to reach Heaven, please press 1.  For Valhalla, press 2.  For

        Hades, press 3.  If you are trying to reach Nirvana, you're

        going about it all wrong, so WE certainly can't help you.  If

        you'd just like to leave a message for Sean, wait for the beep.

        Hello, you have reached the Fidelity Sperm Bank Helpline.  Your

        business is important to us.  Please hold for the next available

        customer servicer.

        (Sultry female voice:)  Welcome to Susan's Message Parlor of

        Delights.  We would be delighted if you would leave your name,

        number, and of course a message that doesn't rub us the wrong


        Greetings.  You've reached Ghengis Kahn's Pornographic Films

        Unlimited.  Fabian, Pat, Rex and Mike are still conducting

        screen tests with potential leading ladies to star opposite the

        late John Holmes in our upcoming feature film, "It's Not the

        Size That Counts but Whether or Not You're Alive to Use It."  If

        you're interested in a screen test, or even if you're not,

        please leave us your name, age, phone number, measurements, cup

        size, a brief summary of your work experience, both off and on

        the screen, and a brief summary of your favorite fantasy

        involving four men, a pair of handcuffs, and a tub of Cool Whip.

        Thank you for calling.

        You've reached the B&D Hotline.  All our operators are tied up

        right now, so if you leave a name, number, a list of

        transgressions, and bark like a dog, we'll get right back to you

        with your penance.

        (In the background can be heard springs creaking and various

        moans; husky, soft female voice is best:)  Hi...  You've just

        reached Sharon's Pleasure Palace.  We're all busy as I'm sure

        you can tell, but when we're done...  we'll get back to you in

        whatever way we can.

        Thank you for calling Robert's House of Love.  All of our

        customer service representatives are, er...  busy servicing

        customers, so at the sound of the erotic tone, leave your name,

        number, and a short description of whatever turns you on...


        Hello, you've reached Katie's Institution for the Preservation

        of Prostitution.  All of our operatives are busy right now, but

        if you leave your name, number and services required we will get

        back to you as soon as an opening is available...

        --- mainly musical theme ---

        (To the tune of "Ride of the Valkyries":)

        Leave a message...  Leave a message...

        ("Heartbreak Hotel":)

        I just left home baby, I'll be out fer a spell,

        And if you don't leave a message baby, you can go to BEEP

        (Madonna's "Justify My Love"; sultry voice:)



        For you,

        To justify your call...

        (Pink Floyd's "Nobody Home":)  You have reached 587-8783.

        Please leave a message.  ("Ohhhhhhhhh, babe...  When I pick up

        the phone...  There's still...  Nobody home.")

        (Guns & Roses' "Civil War":)  What we've got here is...  Failure

        to communicate.  Some men you just can't reach...  I don't like

        it any more than you do.

        (Pink Floyd:) 

        Welcome my friends, welcome...  to...  the machine...

        (Voice:)  Please leave your name, phone number and message.

        Thank you.

        (Jimmy Buffett's "This Hotel Room:")  I ain't home, I ain't

        home, you better leave a message 'cause I ain't home.

        (Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit":)

        Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello,

        No one's here, no one's home,

        Leave a message, at the tone.

        Don't feel stupid, it's no big fuss,

        Leave a message, you can reach us.

        (U2's "With or Without You":)

        No one's here to answer the phone,

        Leave a message at the tone,

        And we'll get back to you.

        We'll get back to you!

        (Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love":)

        And I would do anything for calls,

        I promise I will call you back;

        I would do anything for calls,

        But I can't talk right now and that's a fact.

        I'm not home right now, so I just can't answer the phone,

        No way,

        But I would do anything for calls,

        Oh, I would do anything for calls!

        Just let me know who it was who called,

        And I'll call you back!

        Yes, I'll call you back!

        Just leave a message at the tone,

        I'll hear it when I get back home,

        And I will call -- you -- back!

        (Cheers TV show theme song, "Where Everybody Knows your Name":)

        Sometimes you make a call,

        Where you gotta leave your name,

        'Cuz I can't come to the phone,

        You gotta leave a message here,

        right after the tone.

        You made a call,

        Where you gotta leave your name.

        ("The Check is in the Mail" by Weird Al Yankovich:)

        Well hey how you doin'?  Have a seat have a drink,

        Boy it's good to see you what can I say,

        Oh sorry got to run we'll get together again,

        Say what was your name anyway?

        Well we're working on the problem --

        We'll get back to you soon,

        Don't try to call me I'll be in a meeting every afternoon

        for a year, maybe longer, keep in touch, thanks for dropping by

        and have a nice day.

        ("Camptown Races":)

        I can't come to the telephone; doo-dah, doo-dah.

        Leave your message when you hear the tone; oh, de doo-dah day.

        Might be gone all night...  Might be gone all day...

        So leave a message when you hear the tone.

        I'll call you back someday...

        ("Winter Wonderland":)

        Hear the ring, inside our home.

        Once again, can't get the phone.

        So please be polite,

        You know that it's right,

        And leave a message when you hear the tone.

        (Beethoven's Fifth:)

        Nobody's home.

        Why did you phone?

        Please leave your message here when you have heard the tone,

        And we will call you back as soon as we get home.

        Your message here,

        After the tone,

        Here is the tone...  tone...  BEEP

        ("If I Only Had A Brain":)

        I might be in the shower,

        I might be gone for hours,

        I can't come to the phone.

        So, please leave your name and number,

        If I miss you it'd be a bummer,

        Leave your message at the tone...

        Voice 1:  Gee, Dave, what do you feel like doing tonight?

        Voice 2:  Same thing we do every night, Rob...  Try to take over

        the world!  (Sing:)

        They're David and the Rob,

        Yes, David and the Rob,

        One is a drummer, the other needs a job.

        They're not at home right now, so please don't have a cow,

        Leave a message -- for David and the Rob, Rob, Rob, Rob, Rob.

        (With apologies to Robert Burns:)

        O ma phone is but an ebon box,

        Wha' rings when I'm awa'.

        And my tape machine waits,

        For your call,

        This message for ta play.

        So leave ye message at the beep,

        Then bide ye well a while,

        For I will hear your voice,

        ONE DAY,

        and call ye wi' a smile.

        ("Under the Boardwalk":)

        Oh, when you call our room,

        and all you get is a machine,

        and then you get so upset,

        you feel as if you want to scream.

        Please leave a message

        after the be-ep.

        And John or Tom will get back you,

        as soon as they can.

        ("Muppet Show" theme:)

        It's time to leave a message

        After you hear the tone,

        It's time to leave a message

        'Cause we're not at home tonight...

        It's time to leave a message

        On Kate and Shannon's phone,

        It's time to leave a message

        'Cause we're not at home tonight.

        Just leave your name and number,

        Such simple things to do,

        And then when we get home we will

        Get right back to you.

        It's time to leave a message

        After you hear the tone.

        It's time to leave a message

        'Cause we're not at home tonight.

        Gone to get a bite,

        Stayin' out all night,

        Yes we have a life!

        Leave a message, we're not home toniiiiight...

        ("Raiders of the Lost Ark" in background:)  You've reached the

        residence of John and Tom.  We can't come to the phone right

        now, because we're cleaning the refrigerator.  Please leave your

        name and number, and we'll get back to you.

        (Hitchhikers Guide theme:)  The Cerius Cybernetic Corporation

        was happy to correct the problem of all that icky person-to-

        person conversation that happens when people actually pick up

        the phone and talk to each other.  So they added the "answering

        machine," which will cleverly record your message and play it

        back at the wrong speed, to make everyone who calls you sound

        like they have partaken a large supply of helium.  Unless your

        message is REALLY important, in which case, the machine simply

        breaks its own tape, to insure that you never get the message at

        all.  It would be a shame to waste all this brilliant

        technology, so please attempt to leave a message.

        I once had a little white phone,

        That would ring when it was alone.

        Then I got a tape,

        For when I escape,

        So please leave your name at the tone.

        Hello, this is the Computer Music Research Institute of

        Portland, Oregon.  We can't take your call at the moment, but we

        would like you to leave a critique of one of our current works

        in progress.  BEEP

        --- family fun ---

        Hello, this is the Brown residence.  We're in the middle of a

        family fight right now.  Leave your name and number at the beep

        and whoever wins will call you right back.

        Steve:  Hello.  Steve and Matt aren't here right now, but if...

        Matt:   Steve, what are you doing?

        Steve:  I'm leaving a phone message since we aren't here.

        Matt:   But you left the last one -- it's my turn.

        Steve:  No, I'm sure it's my turn.

        Matt:   No, you're wrong.  It's definitely my turn.

        Steve:  You fool, I know it's...  Wait...  Matt...  What are you

                doing with that frying pan?  (BONK...  THUD)

        Matt:   Steve is out right now, so please leave your name and



        1:  Hi, you've reached Bob and Faisal's room.

        2:  (Background:)  What are you doing?

        1:  I'm recording an answering machine message.

        2:  But we're here right now.

        1:  But we might not be here later.

        2:  Oh.  (To phone:)  Leave a message.


        1:  Hey, would you get the phone?

        2:  I got the phone last time.  You get the phone!

        1:  Well, I'm on the computer right now, so will you get it?

        2:  I'm in the bathroom, and besides, you're closer anyway!

        1:  Dammit Nicole, you always pull this crap when it's your

            turn to get it!

        2:  Well, just let the answering machine get it then!

        This is Fred.  We are not...  Excuse me a moment, please.  Put

        your sister down.  PUT YOUR SISTER DOWN!  (Sound of window

        breaking.)  Great!  What a mess.  I'll have to get back to you


        Hello.  I can't come to the phone now because -- HEY, GEORGE!

        DON'T STAND ON THAT!  ...Goddamn...  Because I've invited George

        and Barbara Bush over...  (Loud music cuts in:)  BARBARA!  HEY!

        DON'T FUCK WITH THAT!  ...Over for dinner.  After the tone...

        BARBARA, CALL YOUR DOG...  MILLIE!  DOWN GIRL!  ...Shit...

        Leave a message after the tone...

        (Whole family crowds around, including screaming babies and

        noisy pets; to the tune of "Frere Jacques":)

        We're not here now,

        We're not here now,

        Don't hang up,

        Don't hang up,

        Leave your name and number,

        Leave your name and number,

        We'll call back,

        We'll call back.

        Hi!!  You've reached Janet and Chris's room.  We're not in right

        now.  If this is our parents, we're at the library studying.

        Yeah, yeah, that's it, that's the ticket.  If this is John,

        Chris is out with the girls at the party.  Yeah, that's it.  If

        this is any one else, we're at a party and you're not.  Yeah, a

        party with the president.  Yeah and the...  Pope.  Yeah that's it.

        (Loud sounds of a massive battle; calm voice:)  Hello!  Due to

        the breakdown in the 452nd truce, the inhabitants of village

        286-3589 are cowering in their bomb shelters.  However, if you

        leave your name, number, and a message, any survivors will get

        back to you when the 453rd truce begins.

        My wife and I can't come to the phone right now, but if you'll

        leave your name and number, we'll get back to you as soon as

        we're finished.

        Hello, you've reached Jim and Sonya.  We can't pick up the phone

        right now, because we're doing something we really enjoy.  Sonya

        likes doing it up and down, and I like doing it left to right...

        real slowly.  So leave a message, and when we're done brushing

        our teeth we'll get back to you.

        Please leave your name, phone number, the time you called, and

        your favorite color of underwear.  We'll get back to you if we

        like the color.

        (Woman, seductively:)  Hi, I'm Linda.  You know, it can be

        really lonely when you're a fashion model.  Sometimes I just

        have to...  (Interrupting:)  Oh come on Linda, give me the damn

        phone...  (Ask them to leave a message.)

        Oooooommmmmmmmmmm...  (Heavy panting and breathing in the

        background), Oh!  Sorry, I can't come (Oh!  Yes!  Do it to me)

        to the (Oh!) phone right now (pant pant), leave your name and

        number at the (scream, I'm gonna come!) orgasm.

        (Sexy, slow female voice:)  oooOOOO, Greg's in...  OOOOooo,

        Greg's out...  ooooOOOOO, Greg's in...  OOOoooo, Greg's out...

        ooooOOOOO, Greg's in...  Humph, Greg's busy, you had better call

        back later...

        --- can't answer right now because... ---

        John:   Brad, will you get the phone?

        Brad:   (Sound of frantically clattering keyboard.)  I can't!

                I'm playing Omega!

        John:   Ambar, will you get the phone?

        Ambar:  I can't!  I'm late for work!  (Sound of slamming door.)

        John:   Aimee, will you get the phone?

        Aimee:  (Sound of running water.)  I can't!  I'm in the shower!

        John:   Glenn, will you get the -- (disgusted) Ah, Glenn's in

                Denver.  Please leave a message.

        A is for academics,

        B is for beer.

        One of those reasons is why we're not here.

        So leave a message.

        Dear Caller:  As I'm leaving you this message, the sun is

        shining for a change.  Little children are cavorting in the

        park, and their tasty mothers and teenage sisters are sunbathing

        practically nude.  So, did you really think I was going to stick

        around this dump?


        Hi, this is Johan advising you that you spend WAY too much time

        on the phone.  GO OUTSIDE...  See the world, LIVE a little...

        Have fun.

        I'm pretending that I'm marooned on a desert island with Dana

        Delany, Linda Carter, and Sharon Lawrence.  Since I don't have a

        telephone there, you could leave a message in a bottle at the

        sound of the beep, and maybe it'll wash up on my beach in a few

        days.  Then if the professor gets stranded here, we'll create a

        satellite uplink from a few coconuts and a palm leaf and I'll

        get right back to you.

        Hello, and welcome to Answering Machines of the Rich and Famous!

        Sam can't come to the phone right now because he's spending the

        week in his beautiful summer home on the French Riviera.

        (Slight echo as if spoken in a large underground cave:)  Help

        me, please help me.  I'm down here in the thing you're holding

        in your hand.  I can't get out because my leg is broken and my

        hand is stuck between two wires.  Wait, what's that in the dark?

        OH NO, not a...  a...  a...  Oh no, it IS!  (Crunching noise.)

        (Sound of scrap metal falling down a staircase continues through

        message.)  Hello, we are having some technical problems right

        now, so we can't take your call.  Please leave us a message.

        (Automatic gunfire, explosions, rockets, jets; agitated voice:)

        I'm pinned down and can't come to the phone right now, and Bob's

        handling supporting fire!  Leave your name and number, and a

        message!  We'll get back to you as soon...  FIRE IN THE HOLE!

        (BOOM!)  We'll get back to you as soon as the air cover napalms

        the place!

        Sorry...  I'm far too depressed to come to the phone.  If you

        can be bothered, leave a message after the sound of the gunshot,

        and maybe somebody will call you I guess...  (BANG!)

        Hi, I'm not sane right now, but if you leave your name, number

        and shoe size at the sound of the tone, I'll get back to you

        when and if I return to my senses.

        (Frantic violin music:)  Hello.  You have reached 435-3949.  We

        are currently unable to answer because we are either chasing, or

        being chased by, bats.  Please leave a message.

        (In a good Australian accent:)  G'day mate.  Can't come to the

        phone now because I'm a bit tied up with this crocodile.  Just

        leave a message, and I'll get back to you.

        Hello.  I'm home right now but cannot find the phone.  Please

        leave a message and I will call you up as soon as I find it.

        You have reached 843-4734.  Please hold while I process your

        call.  (Pause.)  Our extremely sophisticated computer system

        performed a trace on your number and was able to match it with

        our list of important callers.  None of our staff is authorized

        to speak with you except for Fred, who is not here right now.

        Please leave your name phone number and a brief message at the

        tone.  Thank you for calling and have a nice day.

        I can't answer the phone now because I'm over at Slobinskis's

        house.  Me and five other guys are helping him replace a


        I can't come to the phone now because I have amnesia and I feel

        stupid talking to people I don't remember.  I'd appreciate it if

        you could help me out by leaving my name and telling me

        something about myself.  Thanks.

        I can't come to the phone now, so if, well, actually, I CAN come

        to the phone now, I mean, like, I'm at the phone NOW, recording

        this message, but I'm doing this NOW, while you're listening to

        it LATER, except for you I guess it's NOW, like, when you're

        listening to it...  I mean, like, wait, gosh.  This is so


        I can't come to the phone now because alien beings are eating my

        brain.  Leave a message anyway, and after the alien beings

        assume my shape, one of them will get back to you.


        Hi, you've reached 474-2340.  Don, Kendy and Sylvia can't come

        to the phone right now because they've been kidnapped by aliens

        and replaced by android duplicates.  You could leave your name

        and number at the tone, but I wouldn't -- you might be next!

        (evil laugh)

        I'm unable to take your call in person because I'm having an

        out-of-the-body experience.  In fact I'm standing right behind

        you and I can hear everything you say.  But leave me a message

        anyway to help me reconnect when I get back.

        Hi, you've reached Meredith's room.  I'm sorry I can't come to

        the phone right now, but my waveform has temporarily collapsed,

        so leave a message, and I'll call you when I've pulled myself


        Steve is reassembling Elvis' brain and can't come to the phone

        right now, but if you leave your name...

        If this were the best of all possible worlds, I could come to

        the phone right now, but I can't, so if you could leave your

        name and number...

        Hi, this is Jim.  Sorry I can't take your call but I'm playing

        my guitar too loud to hear the phone ring.  Please leave me a

        message and I'll call you back at the end of Van Halen-1.

        Hi!  I can't answer the phone right now.  Bob, that's my pet

        parakeet, just swallowed a cherry bomb.  It wasn't lit, but I've

        got to get him to the bathroom.  Uh-oh!  (Sound of a paper bag


        Hello, I'm not here right now.  In fact, I'm out getting a new

        parakeet.  If you leave a message after the beep, I'll be sure

        to get back to you.  Oh, and by the way, a word of advice; never

        try to clean a parakeet cage with a vacuum cleaner.

        Thank you for calling the Smith residence.  Our operators are

        presently on strike in sympathy with Major League Baseball.

        Please leave a message.


        Hi, this is the answering machine.  I am on strike.  Any

        messages you leave will be deleted.

        I can't come to the phone right now because I'm down in the

        basement printing up a fresh new batch of twenty dollar bills.

        If you need any money, or if you just want to check out my

        handiwork, please leave your name, number, and how much cash you

        need after the tone.  If you're from the Department of the

        Treasury, please ignore this message.

        Hi.  This is John.  If you are the phone company, I already sent

        the money.  If you are my parents, please send money.  If you

        are my financial aid institution, you didn't lend me enough

        money.  If you are my friends, you owe me money.  If you are a

        female, don't worry, I have plenty of money.

        (To the tune of Sidewalk Surfing by the Beach Boys:)  Catch a

        quake and go seismo surfing with me...  (Music fades.)  Yo,

        Dudes and Dudettes!  Grab your skateboard and head for the

        nearest epicenter, because *QUAKE'S UP*!  As for me, I'm from

        New Jersey, so I'm gonna hide under the biggest doggone piece of

        furniture I can find.  Leave your message at the tone, and I'll

        get back to you as soon as the shaking stops.

        We can't get to the phone right now because we were killed in

        the earthquake.  Tragic, isn't it?  But, leave a message anyway,

        someone is sure to get it eventually.

        Hi.  This is David.  I've shut the ringers off on my phones and

        taken a sedative.  As soon as I finish this recording I'm going

        to bed indefinitely.  When I wake up I'll play my messages.

        Please leave one.

        (Narrator's voice:)  There Dale sits, reading a magazine.

        Suddenly the telephone rings!  The bathroom explodes into a

        veritable maelstrom of toilet paper, with Dale in the middle of

        it, his arms windmilling at incredible speeds!  Will he make it

        in time?  Alas no, his valiant effort is in vain.  The bell hath

        sounded.  Thou must leave a message.

        We're not in cause we're out LOOTING!  Leave a message and we'll

        call you back and tell you what we got.

        (Theme music and voice from Alfred Hitchcock Presents:)  Good

        evening.  I'm sorry, but Steve can't come to the phone now, as

        he's quite tied up.  (Sounds of struggle in background, and

        voice heard through a gag.)  I should know.  I tied him up.  But

        leave your name and number, and he'll return your call if he

        manages to get free.  And speaking of things that are not free,

        we now have this word from our sponsor...

        (Thug voice:)  Uh, hello, Mike and Brian aren't here right now.

        They've been kidnapped!  So at the beep, leave your name, your

        number, your message, and ten thousand dollars in a brown paper


        Hi.  I'm probably home, I'm just avoiding someone I don't like.

        Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you.


        Hi there.  This is Joe speaking.  I'm home right now, and in a

        moment, I'll have a decision to make.  Leave your name and

        number and I'll be thinking about it...


        Bob here.  I'm home right now, I'm just screening my calls.  So

        start talking and if you're someone I want to speak with I'll

        pick up the phone.  Otherwise, well, what can I say?

        (Mae West voice:)  Hello there, big boy.  The 7th Fleet docked

        today, so I may be busy for a l-o-n-g time.  Leave yer name 'n

        number 'n I'll get back to ya'.

        (Fun to leave on a friend's machine when he's away...  Sounds of

        raptuous sex:)  Hi.  Mike can't come to the phone right now

        because he's having sex.  If you leave your name and number,

        he'll get back with you in juuust a second.  (Male groan; female

        voice:)  That's it?

        This is Clovis' answering machine.  Clovis is committing sodomy

        right now.  Please call back in an hour, when, I regret to

        inform you, you may receive the same message.

        --- you're in big trouble ---

        Hello!  I'm on a four state killing spree!  WATTA YA WANT?


        Hi, I'm not home because I've gone on a BLOODY RAMPAGE!  When I

        get home, and CLEAN OFF THE BLOOD, I'll be sure to give you a

        call.  If I haven't ALREADY COME OVER, that is.  (Coughing loony


        (Italian Mafia-style voice:)  I can't come to the phone right

        now.  Me and Guido are trying to stuff a body in the trunk.  I

        think we're going to have to size it a little...  (Aside:)  HEY

        GUIDO!  GET THE CHAINSAW!  Anyways, leave your name and a

        message.  If I like it, you'll hear from me.  If not, you'll

        hear from Guido!  (Laughter.)

        (Sinister organ music:)  Hello, you have reached the Brown

        residence.  You now have two choices.  Number one, you may leave

        a message.  (Angelic "Hallelujah!")  Or number two, suffer

        eternal damnation.  (Horrid death scream.)  You decide.

        The machine answering this message is connected to a 5000 volt

        power supply, and a relay which is wired to this small kitten.

        (Sound of a kitten meowing.)  If you hang up before you leave a

        message, it will complete the circuit and fry the kitty.  The

        choice is YOURS!

        Leave a message or I'll send 30,000 volts through your phone.

        I am an electrical engineer.  I can do that.

        Being reincarnated as an answering machine is the pits.  Keep

        your karma clean by leaving your name, number, message, and the

        time that you called.

        This is Dan Cassidy's answering machine.  Please leave your name

        and number, and after I've doctored the tape, your message will

        implicate you in a federal crime and be brought to the attention

        of the FBI.

        You have reached the CPX-2000 Voice Blackmail System.  Your

        voice patterns are now being digitally encoded and stored for

        later use.  Once this is done, our computers will be able to use

        the sound of YOUR voice for literally thousands of illegal and

        immoral purposes.  There is no charge for this initial

        consultation.  However our staff of professional extortionists

        will contact you in the near future to further explain the

        benefits of our service, and to arrange for your schedule of

        payment.  Remember to speak clearly at the sound of the tone.

        Thank you.

        Please leave a message.  However, you have the right to remain

        silent.  Everything you say will be recorded and will be used by


        Shhh!  Don't talk, just listen!  Meet me at the corner of Broad

        and Main and bring the girl.  (CLICK)

        After the tone, leave your name, number, and tell where you left

        the money.  I'll get back to you as soon as it's safe for you to

        come out of hiding.

        My time is billed at $125 per hour.  Please begin your message

        with your MasterCard or Visa number, card type, and date of

        expiration.  I'll get back to you pending credit approval.

        Hi, this is Jim.  Welcome to my Fun Phone Line, where you can

        talk to my answering machine for only $0.95 per minute!  Please

        leave your credit card number at the tone...

        --- befuddle the caller ---

        (A busy signal.)  -- Steven Wright

        (Recorded directly from AT&T:)  We're sorry, but the number you

        dialed is disconnected or no longer in service.

        The number you have reached, 226-0477, has been changed.  The

        new number is 226-0477.  (Yes, same number.)  Please make a note

        of it.

        Thank you for calling the Peoria Weather Line.  (Insert

        appropriate weather report for the season here.)

        Please leave a tone after the message.

        Please hang up now if you would want to speak to Johan.

        Otherwise, please stay on the line to leave him a message.

        Hi, you have reached Richard.  I'm sorry, but my answering

        machine is out of order, so the voice you are hearing is

        actually me.

        (Fairly boring message:)  This is John.  I can't come to the

        phone right now, but if you leave a message at the tone, I'll

        return your call.  (Now, re-record the message every morning.

        Frequent callers will notice that something sounds different,

        but will be confused since the words are exactly the same.)

        (To annoy a friend record this as his message, and he will have

        keypad music as messages:)  Hello, you have reached Dave.

        Please enter your four digit PIN at the tone.

        (This might be funnier in this context than actually on an

        answering machine.  It certainly will befuddle the caller!)  The

        number you have reached is currently unavailable.  Calls are

        being taken by electronic mail to bitbucket@no.such.address.

        Please be sure to include the phase of the moon, a lengthy

        .signature, and your UUCP-style return address.

        Hello, you have reached 555-1234.  Our voice mail system is

        currently experiencing difficulties, so at the tone, please type

        your message on the keypad using the appropriate letters, and

        press the pound sign when finished.

        The party you dialed is not available.  Your call is being

        diverted to an alternate number.  Please stand by...  (Ring...)

        The number you dialed must be dialed by your 0 operator.

        (Click, beep, dial tone.)

        [Editor:  I don't find this one funny.  I think it's rude and

        malicious.  But this is a canonical list, and some people think

        it's funny, so here it is:]

        Hello.  (Pause.)  Hello?  (Pause.)  Hello!  (Pause.)  No, it

        doesn't look as if I'm in right now.  Maybe you should leave a

        message at the beep or call me back later.  BEEP.  (Pause three

        seconds.)  Just kidding, that wasn't really the beep.  Are you

        ready now?


        (Long pause, sound of phone dropping, sleepy voice:)  Argh!

        (Pause.)  Hello...  (Sound of phone dropping, then a yawn.)

        Sorry man...  I'm a bit tired at the moment...  (Long yawn.)

        I'm going back to sleep now...  Just going to switch the

        answering machine on...


        Hello?  (Pause.  Roommate's voice:)  C'mon, Matt, we're gonna be

        late!  -- Hold on, there's someone on the phone!  Hello?  --

        C'mon, dude!  -- Hello?  Aaah, whatever...  BEEP

        (Loud music, John shouting:)  HI, THIS IS JOHN, LET ME TURN DOWN

        THE MUSIC.  (Loud footsteps, music turned down, a door slams.)

        Hi, this is the answering machine at John's home, he just rushed

        out the door, so please leave a message at the beep...


        (From a distance:)  Hello I'm far very away from the phone at

        the moment and can't get to it to take your message, but I'll

        get back to you as soon as I get nearer to the phone!

        Hello.  All of our operators are busy right now, but if you'll

        leave your name, telephone number, a brief message, and the time

        you called, we'll get back to you as soon as possible.  Thank

        you and have a pleasant day.  (This can dissuade prank and sales

        callers who don't know it's really a private line.)


        Hello you have reached the Smith residence.  All of our

        operators are busy.  Your call will be processed in the order it

        was received.  (Annoying muzak...)  Due to a large volume of

        calls, all of our operators are bu...  (Ringing phone.)  Hello,

        we're sorry were not home right now, so please leave your

        message after the beep.

        (Long and very loud scream:)  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIHHHH!  BEEP

        Creamed asparagus!  BEEP

        Hello, you have reached dial an unpopular luncheon meat, I am

        pimento loaf, leave me a message.

        Thank you for calling the CSU Automated Hearing Test Line.

        Prepare for Test 1.  Is this tone louder in your left ear or

        right ear?  ...  BEEP

        All our answering machines are busy.  Please hold.  (Pause.)

        All our answering machines are...  (CLICK)  This is the

        answering machine of...

        (Pick up the phone and say:)  This is Chris.  I'm not here right

        now.  Leave me a message.  BEEP.  (Then listen.)

        This is Chris.  John and Mike aren't here right now, but if you

        leave a message, they'll get back to you as soon as they can.

        Hello, this is David.  I don't live here, so if you were trying

        to call me, you've dialed the wrong number.  On the other hand,

        if you were trying to call John, Jim, or Eric, please leave your

        name and number at the tone.  I don't guarantee that one of them

        will call you back -- only that I won't.

        Hello, we are all currently home, but someone stole our phone...

        And the recording tape from this answering machine.  So you

        can't reach us until we either find a phone or get a tape.  If

        you had to waste a quarter on this call...  Sorry.

        I just got a car phone.  I'm not here at the moment.  Leave me a

        message and I'll call you when I'm out.

        This is Jeff, you're not in now, so I'll leave a message.

        Hi, can I speak to Mark?...  Oh, there isn't?...  I'm sorry, I

        must have dialed the wrong number.

        Wrong number?  No sweat, I was going to pick up the phone


        (Deadpan voice:)  Hi, This is Dave.  Please leave a message as

        soon as possible and I'll get back to you at the sound of the


        Hi, this is George.  I'm sorry I can't answer the phone right

        now.  Leave a message, and then wait by your phone until I call

        you back.

        Hello, this is Ron.  I'm not home right now, but I can take a

        message.  Hang on a second while I get a pencil.  (Open a drawer

        and shuffle stuff around.)  OK, what would you like me to tell


        You've reached Mike and Nancy's answering machine.  They're not

        home right now.  At least, I don't think they are.  Hang on.

        (Voice moves away from recording microphone.)  Mike?  Nancy?

        (Voice comes back.)  Nope, they're not here, so at the beep...

        This is Anthony.  Leave me a message at the beep.  (beep)

        Whoops, I bet you couldn't hear that.  Lemme try again.  (Beep)

        Nuts, once more with feeling...

        (Solemn voice:)  Hello, If you are listening to this recording,

        I am dead.  Changing the pattern of magnetism on this tape won't

        help get the message to me.

        Hello, please send me email instead.  I always never playback

        these damn answering machine messages.  Besides, I am probably

        online right now.

        (On a male's answering machine, otherwise reverse genders:)

        BEEP.  (Female voice:)  Hi Tony, this is Sheila.  I can't stop

        thinking about you.  When can we get together?  I want to grab

        you and undress you and then BEEP

        We're sorry.  You have reached an imaginary number.  Please

        rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again.

        Hi, you've reached 340-2359.  We're not peeb eht retfa egassem

        ruoy evael esaelp os ,won thgir emoh.  gnillac rof uoy knahT.

        This is Frank.  You can leave me a message, but I must warn you

        I get annoyed with messages that are hard to read.  So please

        use your shift key appropriately, avoid overdoing punctuation,

        and spell-check your message, or I might ignore it.

        Ahhhhhhhhh...  ahhhhhhhhhh...  (Heavy breathing sounds, like an

        obscene phone call.)  Oh, nuts, YOU called ME!  Sorry.  Never

        mind.  Leave your name and number at the beep.

        Hello...  Yes, I'd like to order two medium pepperoni pizzas

        please, with extra cheese...  Oh, did I get the wrong number?

        Sorry about that.  (Click.)

        (And here's a way to befuddle the CALLEE rather than the caller:

        Record someone's answering machine message as you hear it, and

        then play it back to them as your message to them.  Repeat over

        time until something interesting happens.)

        (Another way to befuddle the callee; leave a message like this:

        "Hello.  This is a message for, message for, message for,

        message for," and then hang up.)

        --- other play with the caller ---

        Listen.  (Pause.)  And now talk.

        Blah, blablablah, blah, blah.  Blah?  Blah blah.  Blah.  BEEP

        OK, one more time...  This is our answering machine...  This is

        the message on our answering machine...  Any questions?

        (Classical music:)  This is our answering machine.  (Switch to

        heavy metal racket:)  This is our answering machine on drugs.

        (Silence...)  Any message?

        Thank you for reaching out to us.  Nobody is home now.  However,

        if you leave a message, we'll reach out and touch you.

        Mom, Dad...  Don't you think it would be easier to reach me if I

        had a cellular phone?  So how about an early birthday present?

        Despite the best efforts of the telephone company, you really

        DID reach 555-1234.  But that didn't help much, did it?  You

        still have to talk to a machine.

        Please leave your name and number -- But first, a short algebra

        quiz:  How much is 5Q + 5Q?  (Pause while caller thinks:  10Q)

        You're welcome!

        Hello.  If you're calling with bad news, leave your message now.

        If it's good news, wait for the tone.

        Hi, I am Chevy Chase's answering machine and you're NOT.

        Someone stole our phone.  So if you leave a message we'll run

        over to a neighbor's house and use their phone to call you back.

        Hello, this is your local zoo.  Do you like animals?  We are

        experiencing severe problems with hot water.  Would you be so

        kind as to allow us to bring our elephants over to your bathroom

        for a shower?  (The most common response:  "Well, sure, but my

        neighbor's bathroom is bigger and better equipped to handle


        (Gameshow-announcer voice:)  Hello, and welcome to Phone Tag!

        (Cheers in background.)  If you'd like to join the game, please

        leave your name and number at the beep, and we'll try to reach

        you when you're not around.  And thanks once again for playing

        Phone Tag!


        Congratulations!  By correctly dialing 123-4567, you have become

        eligible to leave a message!  (Applause.)  Join the lucky few

        that have advanced to the next level!  (Cheers.)  And now, at

        the sound of the tone, leave your name, number, the time you

        called, and a brief message.

        You're growing tired.  Your eyelids are getting heavy.  You feel

        very sleepy now.  You are gradually losing your willpower and

        your ability to resist suggestions.  When you hear the tone you

        will feel helplessly compelled to leave your name, number, and a


        As the drugs take hold, you feel you are losing your grip on

        reality.  You begin to hallucinate.  You see a telephone...  The

        telephone is next to an answering machine...  You hear a faint

        click and a light flashes on the answering machine...  You hear

        a beep...

        This answering machine message is for all you psychics out

        there...  (Long silence...)  BEEP

        Hello, this is Jason's voice.  Jason's not here right now --

        hey, haven't you ever lost YOUR voice?  Well, believe you me,

        when I find him again, I'll have a few choice words for him.

        If you do too, leave them after the beep.

        I don't exist at the moment, but if you leave your message, name

        and number, I'll call you back when I am...


        I'm only here in spirit at the moment, but if you'll leave your

        name and number, I will get back to you as soon as I'm here in


        I don't want to bore you with metaphysics, but how do you know

        this is an answering machine?  Maybe it's a dream, or maybe it's

        an illusion, or maybe YOU don't really exist.  One way to find

        out is to leave a message, and if it's reality, I will call you


        If a telephone rings in an empty room and no one is there to

        answer it, was there really a phone call?  Help me investigate

        this phenomenon by leaving your name and number after the tone.

        (Strong east Indian accent:)  Hello, you have reached the

        existential hotline of Ransheesh.  I am currently meditating,

        but if you leave your name and which lifeline you are currently

        inhabiting at the sound of the Om, I will send good karma waves

        and contact you when the stars align properly.

        (Start with:)  Hello, this is Adrian; I'm just returning your


            (Later change it to:)

        Hello, this is Adrian; I'm just returning your call.  If you

        haven't made a call yet, please do so now, because if I try to

        answer a call you haven't even made yet, it could create a

        temporal paradox, which could seriously disrupt the space-time

        continuum, and possibly even cause the entire universe to

        implode.  And you wouldn't want that to happen, now, would you?

        Hi, this is Ed.  I'm secretly replacing Faisal and Bob with dark

        sparkling Folger's Crystals.  Leave your name, number, and a

        brief message and they'll call you back when they're nice and

        percolated.  See if you can tell the difference.

        I am gathering the world's largest collection of responses to an

        answering machine.  If you would like to help, please leave a

        notarized copy of your name, number, and today's date at the

        sound of the beep.  When I'm famous I'll remember all the little

        people like you that helped me achieve my greatness.  I might

        even include you in my memoirs.

        You might be calling to give me important information.  If so,

        leave your information at the tone.  Or perhaps you just want to

        have a casual conversation.  If so, leave a message and I'll get

        back to you so we can have the conversation later.  Or perhaps

        you want to know what I'm doing tonight, in which case it's the

        same thing I do every night.  TRYING TO tAKE OVER THE WORLD!

        (Footsteps disappearing; toilet flushing; footsteps getting

        closer again.)  OK now I'm ready for whatever you have to say,

        lay it on me.

        Elleuw, Eenspector, ahem, CHIEF Eenspector Clewseau ees not een

        the rheum to answer the pheuwne at the meument, so stop acteeng

        lahk a minkey, you FUEWL, and leave a mesSAGE...  (Oriental

        voice:)  Excuse me, Inspectah Clouseau, I just leceived special

        derively for you, here sir...  Ah, thank you, Kato.  How naice

        eet ees to have people send you a pretty leetle beuhmb for a

        birthday present, and eet ees not even my birth -- a BEUHMB?

        It's a beuhmb!!!  (Muffled explosion.)

        Concatenation of events preclude our coming to the phone.

        Please speak freely, with magniloquence upon occasion of the


        Hello.  Here are my answers to last week's messages, in order of

        their arrival.  Yes.  Maybe.  At seven.  You'll get it tomorrow.

        For sure.  Get me that phone number.  Thanks, I take my messages

        on Mondays.

        Andy Warhol said that one day everyone will be famous for 15

        minutes.  Well, your 15 minutes was last week, but since you

        weren't ready, we gave it to Vanna White.  Sorry.

        So!  You've finally called.  And I suppose you think I'll just

        be here.  Well you're wrong.  I gave up on that yesterday.

        Seventeen weeks is long enough.  Waiting for you; staring at the

        phone; never going anywhere...  Well I've had enough!  I decided

        to get a real life, so I'm out testing lint removers for Ralph

        Nader.  Now it's your turn.  Leave a message at the beep and I

        might just get back to you -- if I survive my new job.

        We're not home now.  Leave your name and number and we'll call

        you back as soon as you are a vegetarian.  (Replace "vegetarian"

        with prejudice of your choice.)

        (Noble, aristocratic voice:)  Yes, one million dollars COULD be

        yours, IF you leave your name, telephone number, and the reason

        WHY you want to join the ranks of The Rich and Famous!  If this

        is Ross Perot, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, or Princess Di, just

        leave your VISA number and expiration date, and we will

        definitely get back to you!

        (Annoying radio announcer's voice:)  Congratulations!  You have

        reached 555-1234, perhaps one of the most obnoxious answering

        machine messages in the greater Seattle area!  If you don't know

        who you are dialing, HA!  If you DO know who you are dialing,

        you were probably expecting something like this!

        (Oriental voice:)  Hello, you have reached honorable Chan's

        residence.  I, Kato, will go and get honorable Chan.  (Godzilla

        scream.)  Oh no!  Godzilla coming!  Please leave name and number

        at gong and Chan will call back if house still here.

        I'm not at home today, and I might not be home tomorrow.  So

        please leave a message after the tone.  I didn't take a shower

        today, and I might not take one tomorrow.  So if you don't leave

        a message after the tone, you might have to deal with me in


        This is Alan.  Leave me a message and tell me what I can do

        to...  I mean, do FOR you.

        (Aussie accent:)  Hi, how 'ya goin', listen, I'm not here, but I

        tell ya what, this anserin' machine is so clever, I kid you not,

        if you don't leave a message -- it'll ring 'ya back and ask for

        one!  Bye.

        (Noisy pick-up of phone.)  Hi, I'm a burglar and I was just

        about to steal Troy's answering machine.  If you give me your

        name and number I'll...  Uh, I'll post it on the fridge where

        he'll see it.  Uh...  By the way, where did you say you live?

        If you are a burglar, then we're probably at home cleaning our

        weapons right now and can't come to the phone.  Otherwise, we

        probably aren't at home and it's safe to leave us a message.

        I'm writing the definitive work on pain.  I would like you to

        tell me how this machine makes you feel.  Remember, be honest.

        This is for posterity.

        (Loud heavy-metal music in background; raspy voice:)  Hello,

        this is the executioner.  Joe can't come to the phone right now

        because he's DEAD!  Leave a name and number and IF we decide to

        resurrect him, he'll call you back.


        Tim's dead!  And God only knows where Lisa is!  Fortunately

        resurrections and divine revelations do tend to occur from time

        to time, so leave a message and we'll let you know when the next

        miracle occurs.

        Random fact number 10:  The first manned mission to Jupiter will

        be crewed by the Smiths.  Random fact number 64:  Dairy Queen

        discovered cold temperature fusion before the bums in Utah.

        Random fact number 36:  Bren's not here and he wants you leave a

        message.  Random fact number 22:  Bismarck is the capital of

        North Dakota.

        In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife.  (Heeeeee-YAH!

        Sound of smashing box of kleenex.)  But this method doesn't work

        with a telephone call...  (Dial tone.)  Introducing the all-new

        Ginsu answering machine!  It cuts, it chops, it slices, it dices

        your incoming calls!  How much would you pay?  Don't answer,

        because if you leave your name and number when you hear the

        tone, we'll throw in a return phone call ABSOLUTELY FREE!

        Hi, this is Jim.  Thanks for calling during my spring pledge

        drive.  A basic membership is only $30, and a $60 pledge gets

        you an "I love Jim Shea" T-shirt.  Please wait for the tone, and

        thank you for your pledge.

        (Drunken voice:)  You have reached Bob's hotline.  We are not

        able to respond due to uninevitable circumcisions.  But if you

        leave your name and noomber, we won't be in wonder...  pa-a-a-a!

        Thank you for calling, no doubt,

        As you can guess, we're out.

        When we get home,

        We'll call on the phone.

        Until then, just hang about.

        Sorry that we're not at home.

        Please leave a message after the tone.

        When we get in,

        We'll give you a ring.

        Until then, wait by the phone.

        Hello, this is Marlin's answering machine reminding you that

        yesterday was the last day of the previous period of your life.

        After the beep you can tell me how it was, or leave some other,

        informative message.  Thanks.

        (Jack Webb voice:)  This is the city.  Lambertville, New Jersey.

        I work here.  I carry a tune.  I was changing my name to protect

        my innocence when I got a call about a 411.  It sounded like

        good information to me.  But I needed more.  A name and a

        number.  So leave yours and I'll return your call.  Or I can

        send you a FAX.  Nothing but the FAX, ma'am.  (Hum the "Dragnet"


        Knock, knock.  (Pause.  Caller thinks, "Who's there?")  Isn't

        that MY question?  (Pause.)  Please leave a message...

        Yo.  I ain't here at the moment.  Leave a message at that silly

        beep and I'll get back...  (Sniff, sniff...)  Hey, what are you

        cooking?  It smells good.

        I can't come to the phone now, so...  Hey -- that's a nice phone

        you have there.  Hey sugar, you call this number often?  I bet

        you have answering machines bothering you all the time...  Yes

        indeedy.  Why don't you give me a call sometime and we can

        listen to some old recordings...  I might even play my beep for


        (Ominous electronic background music:)  In honor of Halloween,

        I'm about to perform an unspeakable pagan ritual.  So please

        leave a message.  Unless you're a virgin, in which case, why

        don't you stop by?  SINT MIHI DEI ACHERONTIS PROPITII...

        --- science fiction ---

        Bridge, Kirk here.

        Starship Enterprise, Uhura here, can you hold please?  --

        Captain, there is a transmission coming in on hailing frequency

        seven, do you want it on screen?

        (Star Trek theme in the background:)

        (Voice 1:)  Room 17, the final frontier.

        (Voice 2:)  These are the messages of Chad's answering machine.

                    Its two semester mission:  To seek out your name and

                    your telephone number.

        (Voice 3:)  To boldly inform you to wait for the tone.

        Thank you for calling Starfleet Command.  No starships are in

        the quadrant at this time, so at the sound of the subspace tone,

        tell us your name, the planet you are calling from, and how many

        Klingons are attacking.

        (Bad imitations:)

        Picard:  Assume standard orbit, Mr. LaForge.  Sensor readings,


        Worf:  Scanning, Captain...  Strange...  No life-forms.

        Picard:  Recommendations, Mr. Data?

        Data:  Intriguing, Captain.  Perhaps we should simply leave a




        ASSIMILATED AT THE BEEP.  But we're not home right now.  So

        leave a message and we'll assimilate you later.


        Borg communications router.  Unit addressed unavailable.  Hails

        are irrelevant.  Messages are irrelevant.  You are irrelevant.

        Nonetheless, leave message if you wish.  Wait for indicative,

        high frequency, acoustic spike...  (Background:)  Error, error!

        Wishes are irrelevant.  Acoustic spikes are irrelevant.

        (Chekov's voice:)  Oh Keptin!  It was Khan!  He made us do

        things...  Say things we did not vant to say...  But we vere

        strong, Keptin!  Ve held out until ve heard the beep...

        Hello, you've reached 344-1312, the Apartment at the End of the

        Universe.  Please leave your message, name and number at the

        sound of the tone.  Keep your hands, feet, extremities, and

        obscenities inside the car at all times.  Enjoy your ride.

        (Darth Vader voice:)  Speak, worm!

        Alpha Centauri Space Station.  Commander Marlin can't come to

        the phone right now.  He's either saving the universe from some

        dread, unnamed peril, or perhaps taking a nappie.  Leave your

        name and number after the beep and he will return your call.

        A bubble in the space-time continuum has connected your line to

        a channeler in the 23rd century.  Any message you leave will be

        broadcast into the future.

        You have reached the offices of the planet Zarton.  All our

        agents are busy undermining the governments of the Earth and

        cannot come to phone at the moment.  However, your name and

        number can be left at the tone and a representative will gladly

        contact you shortly to arrange for your assimilation into the

        new order.  Long groblint the ultimate blenstron.

        Steve has been captured by a flying saucer and can't come to the

        phone right now, but if you leave your name, phone number, and a

        message, I'll have him call you back as soon as he gets away.

        Read all about it in next week's National Enquirer.

        Hello, this is Jim.  Unfortunately I can't answer the phone

        right now because I've just come back from the Mirror Worlds and

        I'm still made up of antimatter, so if I were to pick up the

        phone right now, the resulting energy release would make

        Hiroshima look like a wet firecracker.  So leave a message at

        the tone and I'll get back to you as soon as my component

        particles have been restored to their normal charges.

        --- brevity ---

        (Like a sheep:)  Baaaaaaa.

        I'm gone.

        Fred.  Message.  BEEP.

        (Klingon voice:)  ANSWERING MACHINE.  SPEAK.

        This is David.  Talk to me.

        You have reached 555-6238.  Why?

        This is you-know who.  We are you-know-where.  Leave your

        you-know-what you-know-when, and I'll...  You know.

        You have reached 234-1243.  This is an answering machine.  This

        is the nineties.  You know what to do.


        (Nike commercial voice:)

        You know what to do.

        You know how to do it.

        You know when to do it.

        So, JUST DO IT!

        You have reached the number you have dialed.  Please leave a

        message after the beep.

        This is a boring answering machine message.  Leave a message

        anyway.  (Useful to keep people from calling at odd hours to

        hear your latest exciting message.)

        (Classical music in background, slow stoned voice:)  Don't you

        ever wonder what life would be like?  ...

        (After being told by a friend that my greeting was too long:)

        This is Alan at 226-0477.  Jenny, this message is for you.


        --- miscellaneous ---

        (For Shakespeare lovers only:)

        So long as phones can ring and eyes can see,

        So leave a message, and I'll get back to thee.

        I am not home to talk to you,

        But please don't be a creep.

        Just leave your name and number,

        At the sound of the...

        (Dreamily:)  Dewdrop, in your pure fresh waters, let me wash

        these dirty hands of life.  (Roughly:)  Now, THAT'S what I call

        a message!  If yours is at least that good, maybe I'll call you


        Hi.  You've reached Vienna Farm.  If you want to take riding

        lessons, leave your number.  If you want information on boarding

        a horse, leave your number.  If you are a bill collector, TAKE A


        This is 234-3249, and no, it's not Pete's Pizzaria.  It's not

        the Credit Union either, and no one named Pam lives here.  You

        can leave a message though.

        (After getting many calls for Sherry, who used to live here:)

        You've reached Linda's office and I can't answer now.  If you're

        calling for Sherry, she can't answer either because I fired her.

        Hi.  Do you ever feel, like, your head is full of sand, not your

        regular loose sand mind you, but compacted sand, and there were

        like, I dunno, bugs or something jumping up and down on the

        compacted sand?  Well, sometimes I do.  Bye.

        Please leave us a message at the beep.  And remember:  It's not

        the quantity of the message that counts, it's the quality.

        Bullwinkle:  Hey, Rocky, somebody called while we weren't home.

                     Watch me pull their message out of this machine!

        Rocky:       Again?

        Bullwinkle:  Nuthin' up my sleeve...  PRESTO!  (Sound of vicious

                     dog barking, stops abruptly.)

        Bullwinkle:  Must have been a wrong number.

        Rocky:       Here's a chance for you to REALLY leave your message.

        (Recorded during a party:)


         yeah!!         we're having a party!!  come on over!           B

             mike's not home right now!!                Look out!       E

        Hey what are you doing?                Careful it might spill.  E

                                      Was that the phone ringing?       P

        (A friend was at a mutual friend's sister's house, and when she

        went out for beer, he changed her answering machine message.  In

        a loud, deep, gravelly, horror-film voice he recorded:)  Hi,

        this is Kathy.  I'm not myself right now.  If you leave your

        name and number, I'll get back to you when I'm feeling better.

        --- farewell ---

        These words are lovely dark and deep

        But I've got promises to keep

        and miles to go before I sleep

        So leave a message at the beep.

        Now I lay me down to sleep;

        Leave a message at the beep.

        If I die before I wake,

        Remember to erase the tape.