The Sadness That Accompanies No More Crank-Calling

You really have got to feel for the children of today.

Because, as technology has improved over the decades, with Caller ID and Star-69 and tons of other telephone related technologies, the art of the crank-call has sadly gone the way of the dinosaurs. For the World’s children and their mischievous friends, crank calling is an art-form that is all but dead.

No longer, can children call someone and tell them they’re from the electric company…and that they’re working on the electrical lines today…and so if their phone rings not to answer it for it is just them [said children pretending to be from the electrical company] for fear of electrocuting the workers. No longer, can children THEN, call right back and let said person’s phone ring over and over and over again until someone answers it — prompting said children pretending to be electric company workers to let-off blood-curdling screams into the receiver.

No longer, can kids on the cusp of puberty call the opposite sex from their sixth grade class and talk to the object of their affection without saying who they are. Endless “C’mon now, who is this?” and “If you tell me, I’ll tell you…” dialogues can no longer be shot back and forth. No longer can anonymous vocal flirting go on. No longer can said opposite sex phone-partners tweak their flirting to the point of getting the crank-callers to actually believe that they want to know who they are, thus giving up sensitive identifying information, resulting in said crank-callers getting nabbed by the object of their affection’s parents [true story].

No longer, can kids dial aimlessly pretending to be someone they’re not, improving their improv skills and their people skills. No longer do children have the opportunity to practice thinking-on-their-feet.

With star-69, Caller ID, call blocking and something called “local stalking laws”, the art of crank-calling is all but gone. A mere memory in the brains of some of us. A mere speck on the timeline of communications history.

Cry out for the injustice, people. For that, I suspect, is the only way the innocence of our crank-calling childhoods will ever return to the rugrats of today.

11 comments on “The Sadness That Accompanies No More Crank-Calling

  1. monkeyinabox - February 22, 2005 at 11:55 am -

    Boy is that ever the truth. I guess if you’re into using payphones, you might be able to get away with it, but with caller ID no one will believe you (well maybe). I love listening to older Jerky Boys stuff and thinking of the days when you could do that sort of stuff.

    I remember back in highschool, one of my friends made a prank call when we noticed you could make a local call dialing F**K YOU. I’m sure *69 and caller ID have made that person’t life much better.

  2. meghan - February 22, 2005 at 1:10 pm -

    You seem to be overlooking your greatest skill; prank WRITING. Why does it have to be confined to major companies? Pick random people from the phone book with their addresses listed and write them detailed postcards from exotic locales using their names and faking some kind of relationship. Imagine how many people you’ll get in trouble this way!!! Now that’s comedy.

  3. Vivian - February 22, 2005 at 3:52 pm -

    (Nostalgic sigh) Those were the days…

    – Vivian, Lurker Extraordinaire

  4. Pauly D - February 22, 2005 at 3:58 pm -

    Meghan – you have a good point!

    The secret to keeping such fun alive is to…regress! Instead of crank calling on the phone, children can regress to lighting bags of poo on fire and throwing them on people’s doorsteps!

    Or, they could make prank-morse code messages! Just think, a seaboat captain gets the message that there’s an ASTEROID coming his way… Hahaha. Could be priceless.

    As for Vivian — keep the lurking going. Loving it.

  5. C(h)ristine - February 22, 2005 at 9:42 pm -

    oh, the loss of our reckless youth!
    i remember the days when seat belts werne’t required — standing up in the back seats, oblivious to the dangers of being thrown from the car.

  6. C(h)ristine - February 22, 2005 at 9:52 pm -

    also: *67

    and: Paris Hilton’s cellphone phonebook is in fresh release! Go at ’em.

  7. Pauly D - February 22, 2005 at 9:57 pm -

    Oh C(h), you are such a gossip-monger.

  8. Zombie Flyboy - February 23, 2005 at 3:47 pm -

    I blame it all on Pauley Shore. That guy ruined everything for everyone.

  9. Fully - February 24, 2005 at 6:17 am -

    In our town we called the local whorehouse madam and asked for the “Blue Plate Special” Then she would cuss us out for hours while we collapsed in a fit of giggles. As an adult, I remember the day she died. We told Irene Kelley stories for the entire day.

  10. C(h)ristine - February 27, 2005 at 11:16 am -

    I do love my gossip!

  11. On The Side - February 23, 2005 at 11:00 am -

    The Sadness That Accompanies No More Crank-Calling

    – The Sadness That Accompanies No More Crank-Calling (via Pauly D.)…

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