Messages from the Beyond


Answering machine messages are more entertaining to me right now than anything on TV. The Kardashians can’t hold a candle to what’s coming in on my regular home phone.

We went to the Fort Lauderdale Art Museum not long ago and I became mesmerized by a piece called Karaoke Wrong Number which was a small TV screen mounted to the wall with a woman mouthing answering machine messages that had been left by strangers calling her at home at the wrong number. It was so freaking fascinating. I’ve since found out that this work, by artist Rachel Perry Welty, is somewhat well known and has been to Boston and New York and beyond. While all of the other art patrons, including my family, were checking out the regular art at the MAOFL, I sat and watched Karaoke Wrong Number all the way through. Twice. I think you had to be there.

Anyway, I am currently just as mesmerized by my Google voice mail transcriptions. Remember when I told you that we have a new phone system that is on par with the security surveillance at the National Archives. In its quest to be a multi-media extravaganza, it sends me email messages to my iPhone when I get a voice mail. So while I’m in line at Starbucks, I can see what calls I’m missing right at that moment.

Except the message transcriber must be in the robot slow class. He doesn’t quite get it right. My mother-in-law and I were recently at a music event in Tampa and during a break we read some of my messages and decided I needed to share them. If only to explain why we laughed through an entire jazz set.

Here’s a message from my brother-in-law Bob, who actually does like to golf, but maybe not as much as this message suggests. And the weather in Florida that day was not 7,580 degrees, I don’t care what anyone says. I mean, sure, it was hot, but not that hot.

“Just just before but I was calling. Bob and I, my mom 02 and she was gonna see what the weather was like, and I'm sure it's 7580. You know it's been zero my dear, Yes, this is a call from Hell, then, thank you from. My with the golf when I get golfing from a golf thing from. Yeah, I could give me one way ticket to gear up so you can call us back in a Campbell and go. Bryce bye bye.”

Here’s one from Mike that still has me concerned for Handeek.

“Hi Di, and it's mike. I hope things are going well for you and we have to all agreed. Now, there will be no newsletter and December, so that's really late but I would like to call I made for this week of the communications committee and I'm thinking that Wednesday evening and it's 7 o'clock and we're trying to keep it short. I'll send out an email a little bit here this afternoon but also some good news. Handeek leaving my husband. I've given up 500 dollar donation jail solve the cover the newsletter or however long that $500 less. So I think that's about the 6 about maybe four or five monthly payments. But anyway, I think them and I agreed to to to still pay for the Jenifer the issue, so I'll send you an email. Thanks very thing. I just want to get that word out to you about now newsletter this week. Okay, thanks.”

This one is from Mary Ellen, our financial guy’s assistant, although she calls my husband “Dad” so now I’m starting to look a little more closely at that relationship.

“Hi Dad, It's Tim, it's, Mary Ellen calling from D V D, and office Ameriprise and I was just calling to remind him of this conference call with the if it on Tuesday, January 12th at noon and they took him a call at that time. Okay, thanks very much and have a good day.”


This next one I think might be from me calling home. I have a vague memory of saying “It’s exhibits all day” or something similar. But I was not tired of walking around. I liked the walking around. And I can’t think of anything more dangerous than a rejected mom doctor.

“Hi Mom, I mean rejected mom doctor or tired of walking around. It's exhibits all day. So anyway, it was just calling to check in. I might try your cell so talk to you later. Bye.”

I hesitated to share these now, because I think there’s more to come. I’m reserving the right to tack fun voicemail messages onto the end of some future blogs. I won’t be able to help myself. Some things are just too funny to keep to yourself. And that, my friends, is what this blog is all about.

And now, watch this for a little taste of Karaoke Wrong Number.



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