Raindrops on Roses It Ain’t

Recorded messages. The bane of polite society and not on my list of Favorite Things. I’m talking about those inane recorded messages you hear when you call someone and they don’t answer and they ask you to leave a recorded message of your own. I hate those. What I hate even more is hearing my own voice spouting that tripe.

If I sounded like Kathleen Turner or Lauren Bacall, I’d be recording messages all over the place. I’d be knocking on doors and strongly suggesting people let me record their messages for them. But I sound like a twelve-year-old girl who hasn’t spoken in a week and who now has to get up in front of a classroom of thirty other twelve-year-olds to discuss the mating habits of primates. Listening to some things is just painful and should not have to be endured.

Lucky for me, I happen to have a perfectly acceptable and serviceable recorded message on my home voice mail. Just because it was recorded by The Dog’s Favorite Person and just because he hasn’t answered that phone for more than four years now is no reason to erase a perfectly good message. After all, I never have to listen to it. I mean, c’mon, I never call myself. I know when I’m not there and, frankly, it didn’t take me all that long to figure out that calling myself when I’m not home is a waste of time. And if I am there, I don’t need to call me to talk to myself.

As far as I’m concerned, this is just not a problem.

But apparently everyone in the known universe who has my home phone number, and calls it on occasion, is increasingly upset and offended by this perfectly good message. To the point that I am damn sick and tired of hearing about it. So I might have to replace it.

But here is the problem. In my current mood, the new recorded message might sound something like this:

“Fine then, here it is. Happy now? Oh, and by the way, this is a reminder that I do not have Caller ID nor am I psychic, so if you want me to know you called, you’re going to have to LEAVE A MESSAGE. And if you choose not to do so, please do NOT call me in three days and complain that I never called you back, because I DID NOT KNOW you called me. I will have assumed those hang up calls were computers trying to convince me to refinance the lawnmower or buy a timeshare on Mars or donate blood to the local food bank. And do NOT whine at me via email that I must be ignoring you since I decided not to answer your calls and you don’t understand why I would be so cold and unfeeling when you’ve done nothing to deserve it and there is no reason for me to be angry with YOU, because if I didn’t answer the phone when you called it was for some REALLY GOOD REASON that had NOTHING to do with who you are, like maybe I was in the middle of writing a scene or making dinner or cleaning up cat yack or had my hands full of dirty dishes and couldn’t get to the damn phone which I do not carry on my hip by the way and sometimes I just don’t feel like talking to anyone and don’t believe it imperative to pick up that thing every time it makes a noise and sometimes I’m in the shower or taking out the garbage or brushing my teeth or maybe I’m out painting the town red and closing down the bars, but the point here is that I have NO IDEA who is calling until I pick up the phone and say “hello” and, damn it, for some really good reason I didn’t do that, did I? SO STOP POUTING AND WHINING AT ME. [beep]”

I’m not entirely sure, never having recorded one of these recorded messages, but I think there is a time limit and I’m pretty sure I’d be halfway through all that and get cut off. So I’d try again, only doing it faster, and get cut off about two-thirds of the way through, which would irritate me beyond the point which I agree to be irritated. So then the message would end up as an incoherent snarl sounding something like this:

“Either leave a goddamn message or stop effing calling me. [beep]”

Can’t have that. Mom would not approve.

So I’m asking for suggestions. Surely there must be some middle ground. I refuse to have one of those brain numbing messages that says, “You have reached the residence of the number you called. Please leave a message at the tone. [beep]” I’d sooner disconnect the thing. Which is sounding more and more like the most viable option.

What would you expect to hear if you called me and got a recorded message? I need help.


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15 responses to “Raindrops on Roses It Ain’t

  1. Mary E.B.

    I’m sometimes tempted to reduce my answering machine message to this terse comment:
    If it’s important, leave a message at the beep. If it’s not important, then why the heck are you calling?
    But then I take my crankiness and write it out instead. Much better outlet for venting.
    And hey, if you and McB are TOTW as far as Blogger is concerned, does that mean we can blame you two when Blogger acts up? Oh, cool.
    Look, there Blogger goes again. I don’t want to go formal! To quote the Bob: Argh.


  2. Margaret

    Y’know, since the caller has annoyed you already by having the nerve to call in the first place, then I say turnabout is fair play. (Ahem)

    “Hello, you’ve reached BCB. Please leave your name, phone number, job description, monthly income, age, weight, how many moles you have on your left side only, the mileage on your vehicle, conjugation of the verb “to lie” and why I would want to call you back.”

    That oughta do it.


  3. McB

    Actually its a good idea to have a male voice for your recording. If people hear a female voice the usually assume she lives alone. A male voice makes them think twice. Get your DS to do it next trip home if you really want to change it.

    And who the heck is EB? The only one I can think of is the handyman on Green Acres. And now, Mary EB, you are forever fixed in my mind that way.

    And FYI BCB and I are not resposible for Blogger. That’s just a vicious rumor started by people we pissed off when we side swiped them getting off the interstate going the wrong way last time. Just saying.

    currently playing multiple flying brick bats.


  4. Bryan

    I think you should say, in the sultriest voice you can conjure, “Hey, babe. I wish you had called earlier. If you leave a number, when I get back I’ll change into something more conmfortable and we can talk. Wait for me.”

    Then give me your number and tell me when you’ll be out.


  5. Bryan

    or “comfortable” if that’s easier to pronounce.

    And, after reading that again, I realize there is a certain freedom in knowing that your daughter thinks I’m imaginary.


  6. BCB

    [wiping the spray of caffeine-infused liquid off my screen so I can see]

    We might have a winner here, folks. Points awarded for sheer absurdity. Or something. LOL!

    There are moments lately when DD seems to think even I am a figment of her imagination. She believes it gives her a certain freedom… Have I mentioned she’s an optimist?

    Luckily, she only calls my cell phone.


  7. Mary without any middle initials

    Now I’ve got the theme from Green Acres in my head on an endless loop and Ican’ttakeitanymorepleasemakeitstop.

    Blogger won’t let me change the Google account, either. Has anyone else tried this? When I click on the “different account” link, I get redirected to another page, but there’s a bug that causes the page to keep re-directing on an endless loop, just like the Green Acres theme song. Is anyone else having that problem?



  8. Jennifer Talty

    Since I know you do not have caller ID I always leave a message which goes something like this “Stop ignoring me you twit and pick up the damn phone” if that doesn’t get your attention I just whine at you in e-mail which usually get me “Gee, Jen, I was in the bathroom you impatiant woman.” or “why do you always call me when I’m eating” or “I was in the bathroom.”

    I think you should let my middle child program your answering machine. I’m sure he’ll find somehting very entertaining for all those listeners that either they will have to leave a message (probably fits of laughter) or maybe they will just go “geez, who was that masked kid and where can I get one.”

    I know – I’m a bit off today. Driving straight home last night and getting in at five in the morning has pretty much done me in.


  9. Lindsay

    mary: yes! blogger keeps signing me in with my real name, not CB name. i have no clue why. blogger sucks.

    and heck, people are angry at me because it’s my mom’s voice on the answering machine when they call.

    though some friends and i were having a talk today and decided the Pink Panther song should now be sung whenever i enter a room, so maybe i’ll change it to that. except i hate when music plays.

    i like “if you’re calling me you obviously don’t know me very well because i HATE THE PHONE so you can leave a message but don’t expect much. have a nice day”


    “if you haven’t figured out what to do when someone doesn’t answer the phone, you should not be breathing. have a nice day”


    “You. Leave Name. Message. Phone Number. and go!”


    “figure it out yourself”


    “i am not psychic. leave your name and phone number or i will not get back to you”


    “what? what the hell do you want now?”

    ok, i could do this all day, and i’m going to be late so later.

    – OH


  10. Lori

    I’m probably the wrong person to give any type of advice in this area, as my previous messages have sounded something like this…

    “Yeah, I’m not answering my phone again, and I probaby won’t even call you back for a couple days, but if you decide to whine about this, I may never call you back.”


    “I hate this. You hate this. Why do we do this to ourselves?”


    “I don’t care if you leave a message or not because I probably won’t call you back anyway. It’s not you, it’s me. Really.”

    So you see. Not really an area of strength for me.

    ntjjh: The curse word often left on my voicemail as a result of listening to those messages.


  11. McB

    Lori said … “I hate this. You hate this. Why do we do this to ourselves?”

    I like that one.

    Hi Lori!! We miss you!


  12. jenb

    Just read “ex and the single girl” and liked what she used as her message –
    “Not here. Do your thing”.

    Not much else needs to be said.


  13. btuda

    I think the internet has some samples of some prerecorded messages too.

    On the male vs female voice on the machine thing, I have a single guy friend who put a woman’s voice on his machine. And I never fail to forget this when I do call him, so my message is always, “Who the heck was that?”

    I know this won’t help, but as the only person who never got any messages while living with two roommates, I took the opportunity to record this message: Hi. You’ve reached 555-5555. If this is Dave or family, she isn’t here so leave a message and she’ll call you back. If this is Mike or family, she isn’t here either so leave a message and she’ll call you back too. And if this is Fred, you’ve got the wrong number again. While we love the songs you leave on our machine, the person you are leaving it for isn’t getting them. Dial carefully. *Bleep*


  14. me

    No, Wait, ILSOMVPO.
    Snort. BCB, can I borrow the ones Bryan or Margaret came up with if you’re not using them? Of course, your “stop effing calling me” is also a classic. Except if I were to try to record any of these, the next time someone called me they hear “Hey Babe-hehehe snort HAHAHAHA wheeeeeze BEEEP”


  15. Scope Dope Cherrybomb

    Hate to say this Bcb but the comments are almost funnier than the post this time. LMAO on the suggestions. I don’t have any.

    Who is the person the dog likes best? if that message is pissing people off maybe you should keep it. It would eliminate some of the idiot calls. Just saying.