Ask not for whom the beep tolls; it tolls for these


The standard answering machine message says, “You’ve reached Joe Blow. I’m sorry I can’t come to the phone right now, but if you leave your name, telephone number and a brief message, I’ll get back to you.”

Over the years, people have devised interesting, humorous and/or obnoxious messages. Assuming we had phone numbers for celebrities and sports icons, wouldn’t it be interesting to hear their voices on some of the following messages?

I think these are messages we’d love to hear.

n President Barack Obama: “Hello. You’ve reached President Barack Obama, president of the United States. I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now. It’s not easy taking calls while raising children and running a country, but I’m glad you called.

“If you want to be considered for a future cabinet position, please pay your back taxes first, call back and press 1. If you want to hear my sports predictions, press 2. If you want to invest in my children’s college education, press 3. If you’re a Democrat and want to express support for my policies, press 4. If you’re an open-minded Republican, press 5. On second thought, I haven’t met any of those, so forget that I mentioned that. Press 6 if you have a company that needs a bailout. Press 7 if you’d like a tour of the White House. If you want my autographed picture, press 8. If you have suggestions on how we can turn the economy around, press 9. If you have any complaints, call vice president Joe Biden because he doesn’t have enough to do.”

n Dick Vitale: “Hey, baby. Thanks for calling. You’ve reached the Dickie V. ‘legend in my own mind’ residence. I’m probably unavailable right now because I’m a PTTer — that’s Prime Time Talker, baby! If you want to hear me talk, and who doesn’t, just stay on the line. You wouldn’t expect my voicemail message to be less than five minutes, would you?”

n John Calipari: “You’ve reached new University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari. If you want to play for a winner and you have NBA talent, I’d like you to play at Kentucky. You, too, could soon earn millions of dollars, just like me. Graduating isn’t required. If you’re not a five-star recruit, hang up, don’t waste my time and go play somewhere else.”

n University of Kentucky Athletic Department: “Thank you for calling the University of Kentucky Athletic Department. If you’re a supporter of Kentucky basketball, please step up and pay your pledge so we can pay our new head men’s basketball coach John Calipari. We need your money because Calipari will make more coaching a single half at Kentucky than most college professors will make all year at their respective schools. We believe, like you, that winning is worth the price. Your sacrificial giving is appreciated.”

n Roy Williams: “This is Roy Williams, coach of the national champion North Carolina Tar Heels. I’m so happy for the Tar Heel nation. It’s an honor to lead this prestigious basketball program. If you’re a University of Kansas fan, I’m proud of your school, too. Whenever we don’t win the national title, I’m pulling for you to win it. Aw shucks, I hope you’ve forgiven me for leaving, but it’s really Dorothy’s fault. You know, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, who said, ‘There’s no place like home.’”


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