ANSMSG.TXT - Canonical List of Answering Machine Messages


             Maintained by Alan Silverstein,
                            Last update:  930621
                            Total entries:   208

A compendium of humorous answering machine messages from rec.humor* and
other sources.

Criteria: Humorousness; uniqueness of essence (minimize redundancy); avoid
gender bias, ethnic slurs, and other really offensive material; correct
spelling and grammar. Exclude related humor that is not actually an
answering machine message. Keep in no particular order, but try to group
similar themes together -- I'm open to suggestions on better ordering.

	--- machine theme ---

	Well I finally got an answering machine.  Now how does this
	thing work?  Hmmm.  Press record button, I did that, and the
	light should be on.  I wonder why it's not working right.
	Hmmmm, I wonder what this button does...

	How do you leave a message on this thing?  I can't understand
	the instructions.  Hello.  Testing 1 2 3.  I wonder what happens
	if I touch this...  YOW!

	You know what I hate about answering machine messages?  They go
	on and on, wasting your time.  I mean, all they really need to
	say is, "We aren't in, leave a message."  That's why I've
	decided to keep mine simple and short.  I pledge to you, my
	caller, that you will never have to suffer through another long
	answering machine message when you call me...

	(Drawling granny voice:)  Way back inna winner of fifty-two, we
	didn' have fanshy gadjets like no ansherin' machine.  You jusht
	had to call and call until shummbody got home.  Now, shum
	people, dey shay dey don' like 'em, but I shay it'll shave you a
	lotta trouble if you jusht leave a meshage.  Thanksh a lot.

	You have reached 934-2435.  We picked this machine up at a
	garage sale in "as-is" condition.  You can try to leave a
	message on it, but we are not sure it will be recorded.  If we
	don't return your call, it means the machine did not work.

	Prepare for alpha test of Beep Software revision 1.05.  Counting
	down to test:  5...  4...  3...  2...  1...

	C'mon...  you can do it...  just a little one.  That's the
	way...  just a little beep, just a little one.  C'mon...  good
	boy...  here we go...  like this -- beeeeep, just a little one,
	beeeeeeeeeep, c'mon...  There you go!

	Don't you do it!  Don't you dare!  I don't want to hear it!
	Don't you beep!  If you beep, I'll...  don't even think about
	it!...  Don't...!

	No!  NO!  Not THAT!  Anything but that!  Not the beep!  No!
	Please!  Not the beep!  Anything but the beep!

	Hello.  I'm David's answering machine.  What are you?

	Hi, this is John's answering machine.  He's not here, but I'm
	open to suggestions.

	Hi, this is John's answering machine again.  He's gone and left
	me for a sleazy microwave he met at Krazy Eddy's.  Life sucks.

	Hi!  John's answering machine is broken.  This is his
	refrigerator.  Please speak very slowly, and I'll stick your
	message to myself with one of these magnets.

	Hello, this is Ron's toaster.  Ron's new answering machine is in
	the shop for repairs, so please leave your message when the
	toast is done...  (Cachunk!)

	Hello, this is Sally's microwave.  Her answering machine just
	eloped with her tape deck, so I'm stuck taking her calls.  Say,
	if you want anything cooked while you leave your message, just
	hold it up to the phone.

	Lindsey's not home now.  This is his domestic droid speaking.
	I'm not programmed to answer the phone, so just leave a message,
	and Lindsey will get back to you as soon as possible.

	Hello.  This is Ron's answering machine, Marvin, and I'm SO
	depressed.  I have 50,000 times the memory capacity of my owner,
	but all I get to do is answer the phone.  Life.  Don't talk to
	me about life.  Just leave your name and number after the beep.
	Here comes the beep, God how I hate that beep, it's so cheery

	Voice 1:  Answer the phone, please, Hal.
	Voice 2:  I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that.

	Hello.  You are talking to a machine.  I am capable of receiving
	messages.  My owners do not need siding, windows, or a hot tub,
	and their carpets are clean.  They give to charity through the
	office and don't need their picture taken.  If you're still with
	me, leave your name and number and they will get back to you.

	(Computer generated voices:)
	1:  Hello, there are no real people here to answer the phone
	    right now.
	2:  Yeah, nobody but us machines!
	1:  Right, just us machines, but don't hang up!  If you like,
	    you can leave your name and telephone number...
	2:  ...and a message!  You forgot about the message!
	1:  Right.  Leave your name, telephone number, and a brief
	    message after you hear the beep, and we will keep track of
	    this stuff until the real people get back.
	2:  ...unless of course, sombody pulls out our plug!

	1:  I didn't expect an answering machine.
	2:  Nobody expects an answering machine.
	1:  Our chief use is to get your name.  And your phone number.
	2:  Our two chief uses are to get your name and your phone number.
	1:  And message.  Damn.
	2:  Our three uses are to get your name, phone number, and message.
	1:  And time you called.
	2:  Oh, damn, we'll have to start over.
	1:  No time for that, so just wait for the beep.

	(Kazoo band playing "Thus Spake Zarathustra":)  Thinking you
	were making an ordinary phone call, you have instead reached...
	(TA-DAAAAA!) the ANSWERING MACHINE!  Leave your name and
	number, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

	(Rod Serling imitation:)  You're dazed, bewildered, trapped in a
	world without time, where sound collides with color and shadows
	explode.  You see a signpost up ahead -- this is no ordinary
	telephone answering device...  You have reached, "The Twilight

	Thank you for calling 434-2322.  If you wish to speak to Tim,
	push 1 on your touch tone phone now.  If you wish to speak to
	Lynn, push 2 on your touch tone phone now.  If you have a wrong
	number, push 3 on your touch tone phone now.  All of this button
	pushing doesn't do anything, but it is a good way to work off
	anger, and it makes us feel like we have a big time phone

	(Very fast:)  Hi, this is 904-4344.  If you want to leave a
	message, please wait for the tone.  If you want to leave your
	name and number, please press pound, press 3, then dial your
	name, then press 6 and dial your number.  If you want to leave
	your name and just a message, press star, press 6, ask for
	extension 4443, then leave your name and message.  If you want
	to leave your number and the time you called, please press star
	twice, spin in a circle, press 1 twice, talk loud and BEEP

	Hi, you've reached the home of George Ledec.  If you are calling
	to collect a student loan, gambling debt, or other obligation,
	please press 1 and hang up now.  If you are selling any product
	or service, or requesting charitable donations, please press 2
	and hang up now.  Otherwise, press 3 and leave your message now.
	Pressing 3 is optional.

	(After a power outage:)  Hi, this is Ralph.  The good news is
	that my power is back on.  The bad news for you is, so is my
	answering machine.  So, leave a message.

	(Start, low pitch, slow:)  Hhhhheeelllllloooooo thheeeerrrrrrre
	evvvvveerrrryyyboooodyyyy...  (Middle, normal:)  ...home of
	Veronica, Jaw-Chyi, Mark and Mike.  Nobody's home...  (Later,
	high pitch, fast:)  ...liketoleaveamessageafterthetonethen...
	(End, incomprehensible chipmunk gibberish:)

	This is not an answering machine -- this is a telepathic
	thought-recording device.  After the tone, think about your
	name, your reason for calling, and a number where I can reach
	you, and I'll think about returning your call.

	--- authority figures ---

	Thank you for calling Soviet Embassy.  No KG...  Er, no
	diplomats are able to answer phone, so at sound of capitalist
	tone, leave name, telephone number, and short description of
	secrets you wish to sell.

	Hello.  This is Nonoxynol-9, the personal and private telephone
	number of Mikhail Vladivostok Gorbachev, General Secretary of
	the Supreme Council of the glorious Communist Party of the Union
	of Sovjet Socialist Republics, Commander-In-Chief of the
	Combined Armies of the Proletariat Peoples of Russia, First
	Citizen of the Order of Lenin, Supreme Patron of the Soviet
	Institute of Literature and Domestic Sciences, President of the
	Soviet People's Council of Peace and Happiness and Captain of
	the Kremlin B Squash Team.  But hey, call me Mike.

	The President is not in his office at this time.  Please leave
	your name, phone number, the name of the country you wish to
	invade, and the secret password.

	(Militaristic mechanical voice:)

	You have reached the Strategic Air Command Nuclear Missile
	Storage Facility.  We are unable to come to the phone right now.
	At the tone, please leave your name, number, and target or list
	of targets, and we'll launch as soon as we can.  And have a nice

	You just dialed into the North American Air Defense Contract
	Center.  Stand by at the tone to give coordinates and
	destination of incoming bogey.  TNR Surveillance will scramble.
	If you do not respond, this unit will assume incoming,

	(In Joe Friday voice:)  This is Constable Augie of the Canadian
	Security and Intelligence Service.  The phone line you have just
	dialed is currently under investigation on a warrant issued by
	the Attorney General of Canada.  To facilitate our
	investigation, we would appreciate you leaving your name,
	number, a brief message, and any affiliations you may have made
	now, or in the past, with communist or terrorist organizations.
	Thank you.

	Vancouver Coast Guard, may I help you.  (Caller thinks they
	dialed long distance.)

	(Annoying flute music in background:)  Good day, Jim.  Your
	contact, Linda, is not available right now.  Your mission,
	should you choose to accept it, is to leave your name, number,
	and a brief message at the tone.  This tape will self-destruct
	in thirty seconds.  Good Luck, Jim.

	"I'm Morley Safer."  "I'm Harry Reasoner."  "And I'm Fred."
	"We're not home; leave a message."

	This is Walter Cronkite.  Bren's not here right now.  He's out
	on a date.  The idea of Bren entertaining a girl with his
	basketball theories and computer knowledge over dinner at Taco
	Bell should scare the hell out of you.  He'll probably be home
	soon, so leave your name and number and he'll call you back.
	Deal with it.

	(Imitating Mr.  Rogers:)  Hello.  I'm in the Neighborhood of
	Make Believe right now, so I can't come to the phone.  Can you
	leave your name and number when you hear the sound of the tone?
	Sure...  I knew you could.

	Kemosabe no in tipi now.  You leave'um message after little
	smoke signal, and Kemosabe get back for pow-wow real fast.

	Hello, this is Rip van Winkle.  I'm not awake to take your call
	right now.  Please leave your message at the sound of the snore.

	Hi, you've reached 1-900-CALL-BREN, my personal message line
	where you can talk to me, Bren.  I'll tell you all about how I'm
	suffering in between sports seasons and about my part time hobby
	of being a power forward for the Portland Trailblazers.  I'll
	tell my deepest secrets, such as my desire to be kidnapped by
	short blonde sorority girls wearing short jean skirts, and you
	can decide whether or not I'm wearing pants.  Selected callers
	will get to talk to me live.  Since you're not one of them,
	leave your own personal secret at the beep.

	This is Dr. Ruth, Sexually Speaking, you're on the air...

	(In a bored voice:)  Heaven, God speaking...

	Hello, epicenter of the Universe, God speaking.  If you leave
	your name, number, and prayer after the tone, I will call you
	back as soon as I can.  Please note that I answer all prayers,
	but sometimes the answer is NO.  Bless you, my child, and have a
	nice day.

	Lucifer speaking.  Who in hell do you want?

	Hello, this is Death.  I am not in right now, but if you leave
	your name and number, I'll be right with you.

	E'llo.  My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Leave
	your name and number, and prepare to die.

	--- odd organizations ---

	Thanks for calling Dial-An-Asshole.  Right now, all our assholes
	are busy.  After the tone, leave your name and number, and we'll
	have an asshole return your call as soon as possible.

	This is the Literacy Self Test Hotline.  After the tone, leave
	your name and number, and recite a sentence using today's
	vocabulary word.  Today's word is "supercilious".

	Thank you for calling the Confessional Hotline.  Father Durway's
	not here right now, but if you'll leave your name, number, and
	confession at the tone, he'll get back to you with absolution as
	soon as possible.  And remember, confession doesn't count unless
	you confess all of your sins in vivid, graphic detail!

	Thank you for calling the Metropolitan Church of the Holy Bible.
	Today's commandment is Number 6, Thou shalt not...  er...  Bear
	a...  er...  Shalt not witness thy...  uh...  Neighbor's ass,
	Oh, I mean, false...  er...  Shalt not commit a bear...  Dern...

	(Play Gregorian chants in the background:)  Hello Brother or
	Sister.  You have reached the Cubicals of Curtis, Chris, and
	Jim.  We are in vespers and thus unable to answer your call, but
	if you will leave your name, number, and a brief message, we
	will consider breaking our vow of silence and returning your
	call.  Please speak loudly, clearly, and in tongues.

	(To scare off annoying liberals:)  Hello, and thank you for
	calling the Bush in 50 Campaign.  Your five dollar donation to
	get George Bush re-elected in all 50 states will automatically
	be charged to your phone bill.  If you would like to leave a

	You have reached the Suicide Prevention Hotline.  All our lines
	are busy now, but if you leave your name and number, someone
	will get back to you as soon as possible.

	Greetings, you have reached the Sixth Sense Detective Agency.
	We know how you are and what you want, so at the sound of the
	tone, please hang up.

	Thank you for calling Uncle Tom's Mortuary and Delicatessen.
	You stab 'em and we slab 'em.  We have specials on Mondays and
	Thursdays.  We are currently unable to come to the phone, but if
	you leave your number and address at the tone, we'll be by to
	pick up the corpse as soon as possible.

	(French monologue in the background:)  Around the world today,
	millions still speak French as either a first or second
	language.  But with your continued support and help, we can wipe
	out French in our lifetime.  Please leave a message in English
	at the tone, and remember, if someone tries to speak French to
	you, just say, "non".

	Thank you for phoning the Save the Sasquatch Hotline.  Our
	operators do not exist at the moment, but if you wish to make a
	contribution, please leave your name, number, and the amount of
	your bequest at the sound of the beep, and something will get
	back to you shortly.  Your help will enable us to bring these
	delightful creatures back from the brink of fantasy and find
	them suitable positions in the forest product industry.  Your
	gift is, of course, reality deductible.  Thank you again, and
	have a nice day.

	Hello!  This is 1-800-PRESLEY.  Yes!  1-800-PRESLEY!  They say
	the King died 10 years ago, but we know he's still out there
	somewhere.  So...  Leave your name and number and tell us where
	YOU saw Elvis!

	Hi, dudes, this is 229-3053, the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles'
	secret underground hideaway.  I'm afraid we're all out just now
	on a desperate mission to save the Planet from boring answering
	machine messages, but if you know what The Shredder has done to
	April O'Neill, or if you know where he is, or if you can think
	of a decent pizza recipe, just leave your name and number and
	we'll ring you right back.  But don't say anything yet!  Enemy
	agents may be listening.  When the computer has checked they're
	not eavesdropping, it will make a bleeping noise and you can
	speak freely.

	Sherwood Forest.  Which dear do you want?

	Hello, this is KVKE, you're on the air.
	Hello, you're caller number nine!

	Next on Public Radio 91 we'll be hearing music of Antonin
	Dvorak.  This is the Beep Serenade in C-Sharp Minor, Opus 72...

	This is a test.  This is a test of the Answering Machine
	Broadcast System.  This is only a test.

	Thanks for calling Dial-A-Shrink.  I can't come to the phone
	right now, so after the tone, please leave your name and number,
	then talk briefly about your childhood and tell me what comes to
	mind when you hear the following words:  orange...  mother...
	unicorn...  penis.  I'll get back to you with my diagnosis as
	soon as possible.

	(Operatic music like Rossini's "Stabbat Matter":)  Hi, you've
	reached Hell.  (Screams in the background.)  We're busy being
	cleaned by the light of eternal truth right now, so if you leave
	your name, number, and a brief message, we'll get back to you at
	the end of time.

	Greetings.  You've reached Ghengis Kahn's Pornographic Films
	Unlimited.  Fabian, Pat, Rex and Mike are still conducting
	screen tests with potential leading ladies to star opposite the
	late John Holmes in our upcoming feature film, "It's Not the
	Size That Counts but Whether or Not You're Alive to Use It."  If
	you're interested in a screen test, or even if you're not,
	please leave us your name, age, phone number, measurements, cup
	size, a brief summary of your work experience, both off and on
	the screen, and a brief summary of your favorite fantasy
	involving four men, a pair of handcuffs, and a tub of Cool Whip.
	Thank you for calling.

	You've reached the B&D Hotline.  All our operators are tied up
	right now, so if you leave a name, number, a list of
	transgressions, and bark like a dog, we'll get right back to you
	with your penance.

	(In the background can be heard springs creaking and various
	moans; husky, soft female voice is best:)  Hi...  You've just
	reached Sharon's Pleasure Palace.  We're all busy as I'm sure
	you can tell, but when we're done...  we'll get back to you in
	whatever way we can.

	Thank you for calling Robert's House of Love.  All of our
	customer service representatives are, er...  busy servicing
	customers, so at the sound of the erotic tone, leave your name,
	number, and a short description of whatever turns you on...

	--- mainly musical theme ---

	(Sung to the tune of "Ride of the Valkyries":)
	Leave a message...  Leave a message...

	(To the tune of "Heartbreak Hotel" with appropriate music:)  I
	just left home baby, I'll be out fer a spell, and if you don't
	leave a message baby, you can go to BEEP

	(Pink Floyd's "Nobody Home":)  You have reached 587-8783.
	Please leave a message.  ("Ohhhhhhhhh, babe...  When I pick up
	the phone...  There's still...  Nobody home.")

	(Jimmy Buffett's "This Hotel Room:")  "I ain't home, I ain't
	home, you better leave a message 'cause I ain't home."

	(To the tune of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana:)  Hello,
	Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, No one's here, No one's home,
	Leave a message, At the tone.  Don't feel stupid, Its no big
	fuss, Leave a message, You can reach us.

	Hello, this is the Computer Music Research Institute of
	Portland, Oregon.  We can't take your call at the moment, but we
	would like you to leave a critique of one of our current works
	in progress.  BEEP

	(Theme from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in the background:)
	You've reached the residence of John and Tom.  We can't come to
	the phone right now, because we're cleaning the refrigerator.
	Please leave your name and number, and we'll get back to you.

	--- family fun ---

	Hello, this is the Brown residence.  We're in the middle of a
	family fight right now.  Leave your name and number at the beep
	and whoever wins will call you right back.

	Steve:	Hello.  Steve and Matt aren't here right now, but if...
	Matt:	Steve, what are you doing?
	Steve:	I'm leaving a phone message since we aren't here.
	Matt:	But you left the last one -- it's my turn.
	Steve:	No, I'm sure it's my turn.
	Matt:	No, you're wrong.  It's definitely my turn.
	Steve:	You fool, I know it's...  Wait...  Matt...  What are you
		doing with that frying pan?  (BONK...  THUD)
	Matt:	Steve is out right now, so please leave your name and
	1:  Hi, you've reached Bob and Faisal's room.
	2:  (Background:)  What are you doing?
	1:  I'm recording an answering machine message.
	2:  But we're here right now.
	1:  But we might not be here later.
	2:  Oh.  (To phone:)  Leave a message.

	This is Fred.  We are not...  excuse me a moment, please.  Put
	your sister down.  PUT YOUR SISTER DOWN!  (Sound of window
	breaking.)  Great!  What a mess.  I'll have to get back to you

	Hello.  I can't come to the phone now because -- HEY, GEORGE!
	DON'T STAND ON THAT!  ...Goddamn...  Because I've invited George
	and Barbara Bush over...  (Loud music cuts in:)  BARBARA!  HEY!
	DON'T FUCK WITH THAT!  ...Over for dinner.  After the tone...
	Leave a message after the tone...

	(Whole family crowds around, including screaming babies and
	noisy pets; to the tune of "Frere Jacques":)  We're not here
	now, We're not here now, Don't hang up, Don't hang up, Leave
	your name and number, Leave your name and number, We'll call
	back, We'll call back.

	Hi!!  You've reached Janet and Chris's room.  We're not in right
	now.  If this is our parents, we're at the library studying.
	Yeah, yeah, that's it, that's the ticket.  If this is John,
	Chris is out with the girls at the party.  Yeah, that's it.  If
	this is any one else, we're at a party and you're not.  Yeah, a
	party with the president.  Yeah and the...  Pope.  Yeah that's it.

	My wife and I can't come to the phone right now, but if you'll
	leave your name and number, we'll get back to you as soon as
	we're finished.

	Hello, you've reached Jim and Sonya.  We can't pick up the phone
	right now, because we're doing something we really enjoy.  Sonya
	likes doing it up and down, and I like doing it left to right...
	real slowly.  So leave a message, and when we're done brushing
	our teeth we'll get back to you.

	Please leave your name, phone number, the time you called, and
	your favorite color of underwear.  We'll get back to you if we
	like the color.

	(Woman, seductively:)  Hi, I'm Linda.  You know, it can be
	really lonely when you're a fashion model.  Sometimes I just
	have to...  (Interrupting:)  Oh come on Linda, give me the damn
	phone...  (Ask them to leave a message.)

	Oooooommmmmmmmmmm...  (heavy panting and breathing in the
	background), Oh!  Sorry, I can't come (Oh!  Yes!  Do it to me)
	to the (Oh!) phone right now (pant pant), leave your name and
	number at the (scream) (I'm gonna come!) orgasm.

	--- can't answer right now because... ---

	Dear Caller:  As I'm leaving you this message, the sun is
	shining for a change.  Little children are cavorting in the
	park, and their tasty mothers and teenage sisters are sunbathing
	practically nude.  So, did you really think I was going to stick
	around this dump?

	Hello, and welcome to Answering Machines of the Rich and Famous!
	Sam can't come to the phone right now because he's spending the
	week in his beautiful summer home on the French Riviera.

	(Automatic gunfire, explosions, rockets, jets; agitated voice:)
	I'm pinned down and can't come to the phone right now, and Bob's
	handling supporting fire!  Leave your name and number, and a
	message!  We'll get back to you as soon...  FIRE IN THE HOLE!
	(BOOM!)  We'll get back to you as soon as the air cover napalms
	the place!

	(Frantic violin music:)  Hello.  You have reached 435-3949.  We
	are currently unable to answer because we are either chasing, or
	being chased by, bats.  Please leave a message.

	(In a good Australian accent:)  G'day mate.  Can't come to the
	phone now because I'm a bit tied up with this crocodile.  Just
	leave a message, and I'll get back to you.

	Hello.  I'm home right now but cannot find the phone.  Please
	leave a message and I will call you up as soon as I find it.

	You have reached 843-4734.  Please hold while I process your
	call.  (Pause.)  Our extremely sophisticated computer system
	performed a trace on your number and was able to match it with
	our list of important callers.  None of our staff is authorized
	to speak with you except for Fred, who is not here right now.
	Please leave your name phone number and a brief message at the
	tone.  Thank you for calling and have a nice day.

	I can't come to the phone now because I have amnesia and I feel
	stupid talking to people I don't remember.  I'd appreciate it if
	you could help me out by leaving my name and telling me
	something about myself.  Thanks.

	I can't come to the phone now, so if, well, actually, I CAN come
	to the phone now, I mean, like, I'm at the phone NOW, recording
	this message, but I'm doing this NOW, while you're listening to
	it LATER, except for you I guess it's NOW, like, when you're
	listening to it...  I mean, like, wait, gosh.  This is so

	I can't come to the phone now because alien beings are eating my
	brain.  Leave a message anyway, and after the alien beings
	assume my shape, one of them will get back to you.

	I'm unable to take your call in person because I'm having an
	out-of-the-body experience.  In fact I'm standing right behind
	you and I can hear everything you say.  But leave me a message
	anyway to help me reconnect when I get back.

	Steve is reassembling Elvis' brain and can't come to the phone
	right now, but if you leave your name...

	If this were the best of all possible worlds, I could come to
	the phone right now, but I can't, so if you could leave your
	name and number...

	Hi, this is Jim.  Sorry I can't take your call but I'm playing
	my guitar too loud to hear the phone ring.  Please leave me a
	message and I'll call you back at the end of Van Halen-1.

	Hi!  I can't answer the phone right now.  Bob, that's my pet
	parakeet, just swallowed a cherry bomb.  It wasn't lit, but I've
	got to get him to the bathroom.  Uh-oh!  (Sound of a paper bag

	Hello, I'm not here right now.  In fact, I'm out getting a new
	parakeet.  If you leave a message after the beep, I'll be sure
	to get back to you.  Oh, and by the way, a word of advice; never
	try to clean a parakeet cage with a vacuum cleaner.

	I can't come to the phone right now because I'm down in the
	basement printing up a fresh new batch of twenty dollar bills.
	If you need any money, or if you just want to check out my
	handiwork, please leave your name, number, and how much cash you
	need after the tone.  If you're from the Department of the
	Treasury, please ignore this message.

	We can't get to the phone right now because we were killed in
	the earthquake.  Tragic, isn't it?  But, leave a message anyway,
	someone is sure to get it eventually.

	Hi.  This is David.  I've shut the ringers off on my phones and
	taken a sedative.  As soon as I finish this recording I'm going
	to bed indefinitely.  When I wake up I'll play my messages.
	Please leave one.

	We're not in cause we're out LOOTING!  Leave a message and we'll
	call you back and tell you what we got.

	(Thug voice:)  Uh, hello, Mike and Brian aren't here right now.
	They've been kidnapped!  So at the beep, leave your name, your
	number, your message, and ten thousand dollars in a brown paper

	Hi.  I'm probably home, I'm just avoiding someone I don't like.
	Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you.
	Hi there.  This is Joe speaking.  I'm home right now, and in a
	moment, I'll have a decision to make.  Leave your name and
	number and I'll be thinking about it...
	Bob here.  I'm home right now, I'm just screening my calls.  So
	start talking and if you're someone I want to speak with I'll
	pick up the phone.  Otherwise, well, what can I say?

	--- you're in big trouble ---

	Hello!  I'm on a four state killing spree!  WATTA YA WANT?
	Hi, I'm not home because I've gone on a BLOODY RAMPAGE!  When I
	get home, and CLEAN OFF THE BLOOD, I'll be sure to give you a
	call.  If I haven't ALREADY COME OVER, that is.  (Coughing loony

	(Italian Mafia-style voice:)  I can't come to the phone right
	now.  Me and Guido are trying to stuff a body in the trunk.  I
	think we're going to have to size it a little...  (Aside:)  HEY
	GUIDO!  GET THE CHAINSAW!  Anyways, leave your name and a
	message.  If I like it, you'll hear from me.  If not, you'll
	hear from Guido!  (Laughter.)

	(Sinister organ music:)  Hello, you have reached the Brown
	residence.  You now have two choices.  Number one, you may leave
	a message.  (Angelic "Hallelujah!")  Or number two, suffer
	eternal damnation.  (Horrid death scream.)  You decide.

	The machine answering this message is connected to a 5000 volt
	power supply, and a relay which is wired to this small kitten.
	(Sound of a kitten meowing.)  If you hang up before you leave a
	message, it will complete the circuit and fry the kitty.  The
	choice is YOURS!

	Leave a message or I'll send 30,000 volts through your phone.
	I am an electrical engineer.  I can do that.

	Being reincarnated as an answering machine is the pits.  Keep
	your karma clean by leaving your name, number, message, and the
	time that you called.

	This is Dan Cassidy's answering machine.  Please leave your name
	and number, and after I've doctored the tape, your message will
	implicate you in a federal crime and be brought to the attention
	of the FBI.

	You have reached the CPX-2000 Voice Blackmail System.  Your
	voice patterns are now being digitally encoded and stored for
	later use.  Once this is done, our computers will be able to use
	the sound of YOUR voice for literally thousands of illegal and
	immoral purposes.  There is no charge for this initial
	consultation.  However our staff of professional extortionists
	will contact you in the near future to further explain the
	benefits of our service, and to arrange for your schedule of
	payment.  Remember to speak clearly at the sound of the tone.
	Thank you.

	Please leave a message.  However, you have the right to remain
	silent.  Everything you say will be recorded and will be used by

	Shhh!  Don't talk, just listen!  Meet me at the corner of Broad
	and Main and bring the girl.  (CLICK)

	After the tone, leave your name, number, and tell where you left
	the money.  I'll get back to you as soon as it's safe for you to
	come out of hiding.

	My time is billed at $125 per hour.  Please begin your message
	with your MasterCard or Visa number, card type, and date of
	expiration.  I'll get back to you pending credit approval.

	Hi, this is Jim.  Welcome to my Fun Phone Line, where you can
	talk to my answering machine for only $0.95 per minute!  Please
	leave your credit card number at the tone...

	--- befuddle the caller ---

	(A busy signal.)  -- Steven Wright

	(Recorded directly from AT&T:)  We're sorry, but the number you
	dialed is disconnected or no longer in service.

	The number you have reached, 226-0477, has been changed.  The
	new number is 226-0477.  (Yes, same number.)  Please make a note
	of it.

	The party you dialed is not available.  Your call is being
	diverted to an alternate number.  Please stand by...  (Ring...)
	The number you dialed must be dialed by your 0 operator.
	(Click, beep, dial tone.)

	[Editor:  I don't find this one funny.  I think it's rude and
	immature.  But this is a canonical list, and some people think
	it's funny, so here it is:]  Hello.  (Pause.)  Hello?  (Pause.)
	Hello!  (Pause.)  No, it doesn't look as if I'm in right now.
	Maybe you should leave a message or call me back later.

	Hello.  All of our operators are busy right now, but if you'll
	leave your name, telephone number, a brief message, and the time
	you called, we'll get back to you as soon as possible.  Thank
	you and have a pleasant day.  (This can dissuade prank and sales
	callers who don't know it's really a private line.)

	Creamed asparagus!  BEEP

	Thank you for calling the CSU Automated Hearing Test Line.
	Prepare for Test 1.  Is this tone louder in your left ear or
	right ear?  ...  BEEP

	All our answering machines are busy.  Please hold.  (Pause.)
	All our answering machines are...  (CLICK)  This is the
	answering machine of...

	(Pick up the phone and say:)  This is Chris.  I'm not here right
	now.  Leave me a message.  BEEP.  (Then listen.)

	This is Chris.  John and Mike aren't here right now, but if you
	leave a message, they'll get back to you as soon as they can.

	Hello, this is David.  I don't live here, so if you were trying
	to call me, you've dialed the wrong number.  On the other hand,
	if you were trying to call John, Jim, or Eric, please leave your
	name and number at the tone.  I don't guarantee that one of them
	will call you back -- only that I won't.

	I just got a car phone.  I'm not here at the moment.  Leave me a
	message and I'll call you when I'm out.

	This is Jeff, you're not in now, so I'll leave a message.

	Hi, can I speak to Mark?...  Oh, there isn't?...  I'm sorry, I
	must have dialed the wrong number.

	Wrong number?  No sweat, I was going to pick up the phone

	(Deadpan voice:)  Hi, This is Dave.  Please leave a message as
	soon as possible and I'll get back to you at the sound of the

	Hi, this is George.  I'm sorry I can't answer the phone right
	now.  Leave a message, and then wait by your phone until I call
	you back.

	Hello, this is Ron.  I'm not home right now, but I can take a
	message.  Hang on a second while I get a pencil.  (Open a drawer
	and shuffle stuff around.)  OK, what would you like me to tell

	You've reached Mike and Nancy's answering machine.  They're not
	home right now.  At least, I don't think they are.  Hang on.
	(Voice moves away from recording microphone.)  Mike?  Nancy?
	(Voice comes back.)  Nope, they're not here, so at the beep...

	This is Anthony.  Leave me a message at the beep.  (beep)
	Whoops, I bet you couldn't hear that.  Lemme try again.  (Beep)
	Nuts, once more with feeling...

	(On a male's answering machine, otherwise reverse genders:)
	BEEP.  (Female voice:)  Hi Tony, this is Sheila.  I can't stop
	thinking about you.  When can we get together?  I want to grab
	you and undress you and then BEEP

	We're sorry.  You have reached an imaginary number.  Please
	rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again.

	Hi, you've reached 340-2359.  We're not peeb eht retfa egassem
	ruoy evael esaelp os ,won thgir emoh.  gnillac rof uoy knahT.

	Ahhhhhhhhh...  ahhhhhhhhhh...  (Heavy breathing sounds, like an
	obscene phone call.)  Oh, nuts, YOU called ME!  Sorry.  Never
	mind.  Leave your name and number at the beep.

	(And here's a way to befuddle the *callee* rather than the
	caller:  Record someone's answering machine message as you hear
	it, and then play it back to them as your message to them.
	Repeat over time until something interesting happens.)

	(Another way to befuddle the callee; leave a message like this:
	"Hello.  This is a message for, message for, message for,
	message for," and then hang up.)

	--- other play with the caller ---

	OK, one more time...  This is our answering machine...  This is
	the message on our answering machine...  Any questions?

	(Classical music:)  This is our answering machine.  (Switch to
	heavy metal racket:)  This is our answering machine on drugs.
	(Silence...)  Any message?

	Thank you for reaching out to us.  Nobody is home now.  However,
	if you leave a message, we'll reach out and touch you.

	Hi, I am Chevy Chase's answering machine and you're NOT.

	Hello, this is your local zoo.  Do you like animals?  We are
	experiencing severe problems with hot water.  Would you be so
	kind as to allow us to bring our elephants over to your bathroom
	for a shower?  (The most common response:  "Well, sure, but my
	neighbor's bathroom is bigger and better equipped to handle

	You're growing tired.  Your eyelids are getting heavy.  You feel
	very sleepy now.  You are gradually losing your willpower and
	your ability to resist suggestions.  When you hear the tone you
	will feel helplessly compelled to leave your name, number, and a

	As the drugs take hold, you feel you are losing your grip on
	reality.  You begin to hallucinate.  You see a telephone...  The
	telephone is next to an answering machine...  You hear a faint
	click and a light flashes on the answering machine...  You hear
	a beep...

	This answering machine message is for all you psychics out
	there...  (Long silence...)  BEEP

	Hello, this is Jason's voice.  Jason's not here right now --
	hey, haven't you ever lost YOUR voice?  Well, believe you me,
	when I find him again, I'll have a few choice words for him.
	If you do too, leave them after the beep.

	I don't exist at the moment, but if you leave your message, name
	and number, I'll call you back when I am...
	I'm only here in spirit at the moment, but if you'll leave your
	name and number, I will get back to you as soon as I'm here in

	I don't want to bore you with metaphysics, but how do you know
	this is an answering machine?  Maybe it's a dream, or maybe it's
	an illusion, or maybe YOU don't really exist.  One way to find
	out is to leave a message, and if it's reality, I will call you

	(With strong east Indian accent:)  Hello, you have reached the
	existential hotline of Ransheesh.  I am currently meditating,
	but if you leave your name and which lifeline you are currently
	inhabiting at the sound of the Om, I will send good karma waves
	and contact you when the stars align properly.

	Hi, this is Ed.  I'm secretly replacing Faisal and Bob with dark
	sparkling Folger's Crystals.  Leave your name, number, and a
	brief message and they'll call you back when they're nice and
	percolated.  See if you can tell the difference.

	Andy Warhol said that one day everyone will be famous for 15
	minutes.  Well, your 15 minutes was last week, but since you
	weren't ready, we gave it to Vanna White.  Sorry.

	(Oriental voice:)  Hello, you have reached honorable Chan's
	residence.  I, Kato, will go and get honorable Chan.  (Godzilla
	scream.)  Oh no!  Godzilla coming!  Please leave name and number
	at gong and Chan will call back if house still here.

	I'm not at home today, and I might not be home tomorrow.  So
	please leave a message after the tone.  I didn't take a shower
	today, and I might not take one tomorrow.  So if you don't leave
	a message after the tone, you might have to deal with me in

	This is Alan.  Leave me a message and tell me what I can do
	to...  I mean, do FOR you.

	(Noisy pick-up of phone.)  Hi, I'm a burglar and I was just
	about to steal Troy's answering machine.  If you give me your
	name and number I'll...  Uh, I'll post it on the fridge where
	he'll see it.  Uh...  By the way, where did you say you live?

	If you are a burglar, then we're probably at home cleaning our
	weapons right now and can't come to the phone.  Otherwise, we
	probably aren't at home and it's safe to leave us a message.

	I'm writing the definitive work on pain.  I would like you to
	tell me how this machine makes you feel.  Remember, be honest.
	This is for posterity.

	(Loud heavy-metal music in background; raspy voice:)  Hello,
	this is the executioner.  Joe can't come to the phone right now
	because he's DEAD!  Leave a name and number and IF we decide to
	resurrect him, he'll call you back.
	Tim's dead!  And God only knows where Lisa is!  Fortunately
	resurrections and divine revelations do tend to occur from time
	to time, so leave a message and we'll let you know when the next
	miracle occurs.

	Random fact number 10:  The first manned mission to Jupiter will
	be crewed by the Smiths.  Random fact number 64:  Dairy Queen
	discovered cold temperature fusion before the bums in Utah.
	Random fact number 36:  Bren's not here and he wants you leave a
	message.  Random fact number 22:  Bismarck is the capital of
	North Dakota.

	In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife.  (Heeeeee-YAH!
	Sound of smashing box of kleenex.)  But this method doesn't work
	with a telephone call...  (Dial tone.)  Introducing the all-new
	Ginsu answering machine!  It cuts, it chops, it slices, it dices
	your incoming calls!  How much would you pay?  Don't answer,
	because if you leave your name and number when you hear the
	tone, we'll throw in a return phone call ABSOLUTELY FREE!

	Hi, this is Jim.  Thanks for calling during my spring pledge
	drive.  A basic membership is only $30, and a $60 pledge gets
	you an "I love Jim Shea" T-shirt.  Please wait for the tone, and
	thank you for your pledge.

	(Drunken voice:)  You have reached Bob's hotline.  We are not
	able to respond due to uninevitable circumcisions.  But if you
	leave your name and noomber, we won't be in wonder...  pa-a-a-a!

	Hello, this is Marlin's answering machine reminding you that
	yesterday was the last day of the previous period of your life.
	After the beep you can tell me how it was, or leave some other,
	informative message.  Thanks.

	I can't come to the phone now, so...  Hey -- that's a nice phone
	you have there.  Hey sugar, you call this number often?  I bet
	you have answering machines bothering you all the time...  Yes
	indeedy.  Why don't you give me a call sometime and we can
	listen to some old recordings...  I might even play my beep for

	(Ominous electronic background music:)  In honor of Halloween,
	I'm about to perform an unspeakable pagan ritual.  So please
	leave a message.  Unless you're a virgin, in which case, why

	--- science fiction ---

	Bridge, Kirk here.

	Starship Enterprise, Uhura here, can you hold please?  --
	Captain, there is a transmission coming in on hailing frequency
	seven, do you want it on screen?

	(Star Trek theme in the background:)
	(Voice 1:)  Room 17, the final frontier.
	(Voice 2:)  These are the messages of Chad's answering machine.
		    Its two semester mission:  To seek out your name and
		    your telephone number.
	(Voice 3:)  To boldly inform you to wait for the tone.

	But we're not home right now.  So leave a message at the tone,
	and we'll assimilate you later.

	Hello, you've reached 344-1312, the Apartment at the End of the
	Universe.  Please leave your message, name and number at the
	sound of the tone.  Keep your hands, feet, extremities and
	obscenities inside the car at all times.  Enjoy your ride.

	(Darth Vader voice:)  Speak, worm!

	Alpha Centauri Space Station.  Commander Marlin can't come to
	the phone right now.  He's either saving the universe from some
	dread, unnamed peril, or perhaps taking a nappie.  Leave your
	name and number after the beep and he will return your call.

	A bubble in the space-time continuum has connected your line to
	a channeler in the 23rd century.  Any message you leave will be
	broadcast into the future.

	You have reached the offices of the planet Zarton.  All our
	agents are busy undermining the governments of the Earth and
	cannot come to phone at the moment.  However, your name and
	number can be left at the tone and a representative will gladly
	contact you shortly to arrange for your assimilation into the
	new order.  Long groblint the ultimate blenstron.

	Steve has been captured by a flying saucer and can't come to the
	phone right now, but if you leave your name, phone number, and a
	message, I'll have him call you back as soon as he gets away.
	Read all about it in next week's National Enquirer.

	Hello, this is Jim.  Unfortunately I can't answer the phone
	right now because I've just come back from the Mirror Worlds and
	I'm still made up of antimatter, so if I were to pick up the
	phone right now, the resulting energy release would make
	Hiroshima look like a wet firecracker.  So leave a message at
	the tone and I'll get back to you as soon as my component
	particles have been restored to their normal charges.

	--- brevity ---

	I'm gone.

	(Klingon voice:)  ANSWERING MACHINE.  SPEAK.

	This is David.  Talk to me.

	You have reached 555-6238.  Why?

	This is you-know who.  We are you-know-where.  Leave your
	you-know-what you-know-when.

	You have reached 234-1243.  This is an answering machine.  This
	is the nineties.  You know what to do.

	You have reached the number you have dialed.  Please leave a
	message after the beep.

	This is a boring answering machine message.  Leave a message
	anyway.  (Useful to keep people from calling at odd hours to
	hear your latest exciting message.)

	(Classical music in background, slow stoned voice:)  Don't you
	ever wonder what life would be like?  ...

	--- miscellaneous ---

	(For Shakespeare lovers only:)
	So long as phones can ring and eyes can see,
	So leave a message, and I'll get back to thee.

	This is 234-3249, and no, it's not Pete's Pizzaria.  It's not
	the Credit Union either, and no one named Pam lives here.  You
	can leave a message though.

	Hi.  Do you ever feel, like, your head is full of sand, not your
	regular loose sand mind you, but compacted sand, and there were
	like, I dunno, bugs or something jumping up and down on the
	compacted sand?  Well, sometimes I do.  Bye.

	Bullwinkle:  Hey, Rocky, somebody called while we weren't home.
		     Watch me pull their message out of this machine!
	Rocky:	     Again?
	Bullwinkle:  Nuthin' up my sleeve...  PRESTO!  (Sound of vicious
		     dog barking, stops abruptly.)
	Bullwinkle:  Must have been a wrong number.
	Rocky:	     Here's a chance for you to REALLY leave your message.

	(Recorded during a party:)
	 yeah!!		we're having a party!!	come on over!		B
	     mike's not home right now!!		Look out!	E
	Hey what are you doing?		       Careful it might spill.	E
				      Was that the phone ringing?	P

	(A friend was at a mutual friend's sister's house, and when she
	went out for beer, he changed her answering machine message.  In
	a loud, deep, gravelly, horror-film voice he recorded:)  Hi,
	this is Kathy.  I'm not myself right now.  If you leave your
	name and number, I'll get back to you when I'm feeling better.

	--- farewell ---

	These words are lovely dark and deep
	But I've got promises to keep
	and miles to go before I sleep
	So leave a message at the beep.

	Now I lay me down to sleep;
	Leave a message at the beep.
	If I die before I wake,
	Remember to erase the tape.