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  • Paul Davidson

The 5-5-5 Factor

In an on-going trend of WFME talking about phone-related topics, today I’d like to make a plea to the Television Networks and the Motion Picture Studios and the Home Video Producers and anyone else who creates a piece of visual-entertainment that we watch that involves someone on the phone talking. That plea?

Please, please, please, please, please — do away with the inane 5-5-5 numbers.

Yes, I get it. 5-5-5 is not a real prefix anywhere in the United States. Yes, I understand that we don’t want to use REAL PREFIXES because people with too much time on their hands might, oh I don’t know, call the number… But really, if the reason we safeguard real prefixes is because people out there may call the number to see if it’s actually Julia Roberts AS Erin Brockovich’s home phone number — well, we have a much bigger problem.

Stupid bored people.

Because really, aren’t the stupid, bored people the only people in this country who would watch a movie, hear Brad Pitt mention a phone number for George Clooney’s car-phone (as seen in the movie Oceans 12) and then go home and try ringing the big GC on his car phone just in case the Producers of the movie and George and his agents all decided it would be a really smart idea to use the real number of his real car phone from his real life in the film?

The last time there was chaos from a phone number was when the song “867-5309/Jenny” came out in the 80’s. I remember people would call the number in a myriad of area codes around the country and a bunch of people had put the song as their answering machine message. After hearing it once, people gave up on it. It was boring.

If the powers that be in media decided to do away with the ludicrous 5-5-5 phone number prefix law, I would be giddy with excitement in knowing that FINALLY I would be able to sit through a movie and never question the fact that I was watching a movie. There would be nothing to snap me back to reality — nothing that would take me out of the world of the movie… Except for bad acting or cameos, of course — which should also be outlawed. But if they could just make a phone call and give it a REAL PREFIX I would be extremely happy and satisfied.

I’d also probably be a tad curious.

Because you have to figure, if there were no longer any 5-5-5 prefixed-phone numbers in movies, you know that some Producer, sometime, would actually put in a real number in their movie sort of like their own secret-message to their friends and family.

And that would make me wonder.

Which would probably make me call the number after I had watched the movie just to check and see if, in fact, the number Brad Pitt mentions in the movie Oceans 12 is really George Clooney’s car phone number or just a fake car phone number. But I’d have to call. I’d have to know the truth or else I’d go crazy wondering. Which makes me think that, well… That 5-5-5 thing is probably a good idea.

You know. For stupid, bored people like me.

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