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July 24, 2001

Here’s something for those who rely on answering machines to receive phone calls from time to time. You know who you are. Perhaps others may be interested, so everyone is welcome to read on. The following offers some clever, comical, even fanciful messages for those machines. I am told that all of these have been authenticated by the “world famous International Institute of Answering Machine Messages.” Maybe your personal message needs to be updated or refreshed. If so, feel free to select one of these as a substitute, or use them as a source of inspiration for something original. You can probably think of funnier messages. Anyway, hot off the internet by e-mail, here they are:

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

“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 at the office and don’t need their picture taken. If you’re still with me, leave your name and home phone number and they will get back to you.”

“This is not an answering machine – this is a telepathic thought-recording device. After the tone, think about your name, your number, and your reason for calling, and I’ll think about returning your call.”

“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.”

“Hi. This is John. If you are the phone company, I already sent the money. If you are my parents, please send money. If you are my bank, you didn’t lend me enough money. If you are my friends, you owe me money. If you are a female, don’t worry. I have LOTS of money.”

“A is for academics, B is for beer. One of these reasons is why we’re not here. So, leave a message.”

“Hello. If you leave a message, I’ll call you soon. If you leave a sexy message, I’ll call sooner.”

“Hi. Now YOU say something.”

“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.”

And the Number One actual answering machine message recorded and verified by the “world famous” institute is this:

“Hello. You’ve reached Jim and Sonya. We can’t pick up the phone right now because we’re doing something we really enjoy. We’re brushing our teeth. Sometimes we do it up and down, sometimes left to right. Leave a message, and when we’re through brushing, we’ll call you back.”

Now, if you buy into any of this, let me know. I’ve got some waterfront property on Laird’s Lake that I’d like to discuss. But please don’t call me at home. My answering machine is out of order.