52 thoughts on “Ring Ring Ring

  1. John, keep this under your hat, but Professor Shlupmeyer has demonstrated bargain basement FTL travel. It uses aluminum foil and Tuscan rigatoni. The professor has promised an exclusive interview to you, but you need to call him in the next twenty-four hours. Otherwise he’s going to trash the whole idea and drink himself into oblivion. His phone number is (click)

  2. Ummm….yeah. I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Saturday. So if you could just go ahead and do that…that would be great.

    Oh, oh, and I almost forgot. Ah, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too…

  3. “Hi, John. This is Gary over at Kresgy Motors and we found the problem with your car. The reason the seat won’t go back or down is there were a ton of bacon packages down there with all these Coke Zero cans packed in with ‘em. We were wondering if you wanted us tyo clear that out and clean the motor or just attach a little bag on the side of the minivan so you could just throw your trash out the side and still be environmentally conscious. Give us a call.”

  4. “Hi Mr. Scalzi, this is the City Parking Authority, informing you that you have 30 minutes to move your vehicle.”

    *BEEP*

    “Mr. Scalzi, this is the City Parking Authority, your vehicle has been towed and impounded. If you do not pick it up by Sunday afternoon, your car will be crushed into a small cube.”

    *BEEP*

    “Mr. Scalzi, this is Don’s Salvage. You have 30 minutes to claim your cube, or it’s going into the pile.”

  5. Dear Mister Skazlee,

    We’re calling to offer you a low low rate on a Citi Cthulhu Card. For a low introductory rate of 19.9% of your soul-which you know you aren’t using right now–you can transfer current debts to the Cthulhu Card, which will cause all previous deaths to be eaten in a most satisfactory way.

    If you’re interested in this introductory rate, please call us at 1-800-cthulhu to lock in now!

  6. Hello Mr. (computer generated voice) SGALZEY (/computer generated voice).

    We know that you’re a patriotic American and you only want what’s best for your country. In the interest of what’s best for your country, I want to encourage you to write, email, and/or phone all of your state’s delegates and Super delegates to the Democratic Convention and let them know that Hilary Clinton is your candidate. Never mind that you may have voted for Obama/not voted at all/voted for McCain. Clinton was promised the nomination 14 months ago and it wouldn’t be fair to take it away from her.

    Please do your part and coerce a delegate today.

    ::paid for by Democrats for the Democratic Way of Nominating Hilary ’cause this is her time, dammit::

  7. “Hi John! This is Mary from the “International Llama Lovers Society.” We were just confirming your participation again in this year’s “ILLS Love your Llama like you mean it” day.

    We’ll need you to bring the costume again along with the 6 inch glow sticks and rubber hoses.

    Thanks and can’t wait to see you!

  8. “Mr. Scalzi, it’s Athena’s principal. Your daughter set off the ‘Indepenent Thought Alarms’ three times this week, and we’ve already removed the colored chalk . Can you give me a call so we can set up a time to discuss this? Thanks.”

  9. “Mr. Szalzi this is Don from Citi Financial. It’s urgent that you call us back by 5 o’clock today in order that we can make arrangements to avoid further action on your account.

    Our number – as you well know – is 1800-CIT-FINA, please reference your account number when you call.”

  10. Hi, John. This is Jim Rockford. Can you tell me about these things called blogs? Angel says they’re good for business. (As if he’d know!)

  11. Hi John, it’s Stephanie from the clinic. Your results are in and the doctor would like to see you as soon as possible. And, um, could you please bring your editor too? And that circus clown you mentioned. Thanks. See you Monday. Oh, by the way, I’m a huge fan of your cats Gluggy, Backsliding Cat and Moose. Perhaps you could come in a little early and look at my little manuscript? It’s about BEEEEEEEEEEP

  12. YAY!! its Internet/Phone Tag… Poke Your it.

    i used to play phone tag with my parents just leave a voicemail then they cant reach you and they leave one lol on and on.

  13. Ruth, is that you? You sound different on the machine. This is Joan. Joan Kresgy. Ralph turn down the Victrola I’m on the party line. Sorry Ruth. Anyway, Mabel is having the hip thingy done Monday so if you want your casserole dish back you better get it today. Ralph I said turn that racket down! Oh, and Bess and Harry are moving into the home next week so we are all meeting for dinner at 3:30 at the Olive Garden. It’s going down to 75 today so bring a sweater. Oh, can you call me back with that mince pie recipe please. Thank You. Shalom.

  14. Ruth, its Joan again, if you can’t find the recipe for mince can you give me the one for the quince logs instead? Ralph is all backed up again and I think that might help.

  15. Hi Ruth, sorry to bother. Ralph just had a movement so ignore the pie recipe. Also we are changing Lunch to 3. Hazel doesn’t want to be out too late. If you don’t want to drive call Herbert. He can fit both of you in the Packard.

  16. Hi Ruth, in case you don’t have it Herb’s number in KLondike5- 1898. It may ring alot, he doesn’t have a fancy machine like you. And speak up when you talk. Tell him I said Hi. Give my best to the great-grandkids.

  17. “Thurston! Watt! Thurston! I think it’s ten thirty, we’re calling
    from Providence, Rhode Island. Did you find your sh*t? You gotta
    watch the motin’ Thurston, your f*ckin’ memory just goes out tha window.
    We couldn’t find it in the van at all, we wonderin’ if you looked in
    that trash can. When we threw out that trash, man, was the bag in
    your hand, did you dump it? Call later. Bye.”

  18. Hey John,

    We figured out how to make gold rust. We will be sending you the formula and expect prompt payment of remaining fee as soon as you receive this transmission. Remember to have your fillings replaced before creating the process.

    Thanks
    ggrewobont

  19. Mr. Scalzi, this is Annette from Tor Books’ accounting department. Mr. Scalzi, I’m afraid we’ve made an error on your previous royalty statements, accidentally overpaying you $234,076.32. If you could drop that in the mail as a cashier’s check by Tuesday at the latest, that would be fab.

    By the way, just wanted to let you know this error leaves you with a negative balance on your pending royalties, so we’ll send you a corrected statement to show the IRS. Happy deducting!

    Toodles.

  20. Hello, Mr. Scalzi. This is Victor Nielsen at the Town Zoning Office. We received your application earlier this week. No red flags yet, but since 500 foot radio telescopes aren’t covered by the usual body of regulations, we have some questions before making a final decision. We definitely need to talk to you, and if you want to bring your architect or your attorney, that’s up to you. Please call back to set up an appointment. That’s Victor Nielsen at Town Hall, extension 3004.

  21. Mr Scalzi, My name is Chief Squats Like Bear. Our tribe is exerting its rights to retake ancestral lands stolen from us by the US government; lands on which your homestead is unfortunately now located. If you refuse to cooperate in the relocation, the spirits of our ancestors will plague you, particularly if there are any smart, young girls in the house to aid in the manifestation. You’ve seen Poltergeist I’m sure. Do the right thing here Mr Scalzi. The Smart thing. We await your smoke signal.

  22. Oh John? This is the Internet. Just got your message. Sorry I’m getting back to you so late. It was one helluva night last night. Anyway, no problem if you’re taking the day off, became the Internet is, too. I need to crash and get some sleep for a while. Those Aussies really had me going for a while there. Nice guys, but boy can they burn the bandwidth. I guess I have to be back up by, oh, around 5pm EDT or so, in time for the online betting on the Preakness. It’s not worth it to annoy the cranky bookies.

    Anyway, that’s all.

    The Internet

    Oh, and I just wanted to give you a heads up. I’ll be down all day for unscheduled maintenance on the… *BEEP*

  23. Mr. Scalzi,

    This is Gus Thompson down at the post office. This is your third notification that the package you ordered came in and its been just sitting here since last Monday. We wish you’d come pick it up. I don’t know what it is, but it’s getting kinda ripe.

    So…uh…could you please come down and get it. Honest, I’ll even come in tomorrow if you let me know what time you can come.

    Really. We’d like you to have your package. Please?

    Well…O.K….By now.

  24. Hi, John. This is S.R. Hadden. I’m a reclusive billionaire living aboard ISS. I was calling regarding this cherry time-space hoopty I just had built outside of Mansfield. I was impressed by your CV, and I thought I might chopper you up for a whirl on the thing. It’s pretty cool. I can send someone to Vega and back in, like, no time.

    Well, sorry you’re not there. Guess I’ll try Geoff Landis.

  25. ohai! I was go to Daytin for bizness mtg and want to pay $1 millyun for xpert to teech me gud Inglish. No can haz u? Mebbee I can haz Charlie Finlay. kthxbai.

  26. We’re trying to contact Ms Gangly Salkizzy. We received her credit application, but are having some difficulty verifying some of the details.

    We have her employers listed as Mister Lop S. Ided and Mister C. Knotchang, however, we cannot find records for these individuals.

    Additionally, she has one dependent listed, Athena Skalizzy, however, she is already listed elsewhere as a dependent of a Mister John Skuzzli.

    If Ms Skuluzzy can get back with us as soon as possible, we’ll be able to finishing clearing up this paper work, and get her settled into her yacht as soon as possible.

    Please call us back at your earliest convenience.

  27. Hello…Domy-Nose ?
    Hello…
    I’d like to order a medium anchovies and a large sausage and bacon. My address is Stevenson Towers South room 639B. Call-back number is 815-753-0000. My roommate and me’ve really got the saturday afternoon stoner-student munchies, so if you hurry that along, I’d appreciate it…like, totally, dude.

  28. Scalzi? Jobs. Hey, sorry I missed you, man. We have a beta of a great new web widget we wanted you to test that, when you fire it up, automatically pulls down search results on your name from just about every database on the planet, including a bunch that are … well, let’s just call ‘em “classified.” I’m thinking of branding it “iEgo.” Kind of a “fun with redundancy” play on words, y’know?

    Ah, well. I’ll try calling… Well, I guess any author would do, wouldn’t they?

  29. Hi Mom, I only get one phone call, so I hope you pick up! Pick up, Mom! Okay, fine. I’ll play along. Anyway…you know when I told you I registered the car? Yeah, so maybe I didn’t? And maybe those tickets you found in the glove box? Yeah, I might have thrown them away instead of paying them?

    We’ll laugh about this someday, I’m sure. Could you stop by the precinct on the west side of town and pick me up? And bring your checkbook?

    I love you! Don’t tell Dad!

  30. Beatrice, it’s Ronald. Pick up.

    Pick up, I said.

    Hmm, guess you really aren’t there. Have you heard from Patrick? I’ve been calling him all day because I found the car registration form stuck between some album covers. Do you know why he didn’t send it in?

    If you hear from Patrick, be sure to let me know. Call me.

  31. Hello? I’m trying to reach a John Scalvi.

    Mr. Scalvi, having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the Nigerian Chambers Of Commerce And Industry, I have the privilege to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $47,500,000.00 (forty seven million, five hundred thousand United States dollars) into your accounts. The above sum resulted from … beep.

  32. John, it’s John. I mean I’m you, but sixty years further along. Boy, those fellows down at Apple are doing a heckuva job on the time travel thing.

    So. Yeah – time is limited and this is one shot deal so .. on August 8, 2015 you need to … wha? My time is not over hey don’t push that*click*bzzzzzzz*

  33. Mr. Scalzi? Hi, it’s Beth down at the post office. Except we’re not at the post office anymore, not after what that thing did to Mr. Thompson. Anyway, remember that package? The one Mr. Thompson called you about. Uh, I think it ate him. No, seriously. He tried to pick it up to dispose of it, ’cause it was really stinking the place up, and this ginormous tentacle just whipped out of nowhere and there was a big slurping noise and then no one could find Mr. Thompson.

    So, uh, we’re all across the street from the post office with the sheriff’s department and the rescue squad. Only no one wants to go in. On account of it eating Mr. Thompson. And one of the Framer kids from across town, who was in to pick up their check. So, uhm, if you could come on down and claim your package, that’d be great.

  34. John, this is God. I need your stat-up of orcs by noon zulu time tomorrow. I just found out Cern is accelerating LHC testing, which means we have to work out the genetics and evolutionary development of a lot of species for the replacement universe sooner than we thought.

    Oh, Satan says he doesn’t mind being made a one-eyed god of the orcs, but he’s dammed if he’ll go around with a pig’s snout for a nose.

  35. Ah yes, good evening Mr. Scalzi, this is Sergeant Cornelius Peproni of the Sherriff’s office. We have here in lockup a package you recently received from the C. T. Hulhu Company. The items shipped are a danger to the public, hence why we took it into custody.

    At this point, two people have been killed by the contents of the package. As the purported owner of the package contents, you are responsible for the actions of said package contents. You’ll be receiving a court summons by hand delivery tomorrow morning.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter, Mr. Scalzi.

    *click*

    *BEEEEP*

    Mr. Scalzi, this is Sergeant Peproni again. A strange thing has happened. The pickup band I’m in happened to be in a jam session near where the package is being stored, and, per my deputies, the contents seem to have changed for the better.

    Sgt. Peproni’s Lonely Extra-Dimensional Hearts Pickup Band will be playing at Riverside Country Club & Flea Market on Tuesday at 3:34pm. Come on down!

    *click*

  36. Mr. Scalzi? Hi, this is Teresa frm the wrd bank. I’m calling yu tday because we have a full-scale wrd emergency, and are lking fr dnrs particularly f Type letters frm anyne wh can dnate. Yu’ve been a generus dnr in the past, and we hpe we can rely n yu t cme thrgh fr us again. Please call me back as sn as yu get back t make an appintment t dnate.

    And if yu knw any ther blggers wh cn dnt, pls hv thm cll s s well– w’r rnning t f vwls altgthr nw. f w dn’t gt mr dnrs sn, w’ll hve t tk drstc msrs.

    Thnks, nd hp t hr frm y sn.

  37. Hi, John, it’s J. Listen, I was wondering if you can do me another favor. Those Creation Museum people are pestering me again, and frankly, I don’t want to go. They creep me out.

    Since your last appearance there was so successful, could I ask you to go in my place? You can even call yourself “Jesus Scalzi.” I know. Blasphemy, but it’s not blasphemy if I put you up to it.

    If you could let me know when you get back, that’d be great. Gotta go. Satan and L. Ron Hubbard got us an early T time, and I want to try out my new driver.

  38. Hello? (breathing noises) Hello? Anyone there? (more breathing) Hello?

    (click)

    [This excerpt of the majority of my answering machine messages was brought to you by the telephone system. This current mishmash of POTS and digital switching, along with an interesting definition of "demarcation point" has led to the inability for many incoming calls to actually realize they are being recorded on any machine I try. I sort of like it.]

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