Penn & Teller    PCC articles by Penn Jillette        Reprinted with permission.

April Fool's Phone - 3/6/93 - Answering machine

Hello, you have reached Thurman Computers. I'm sorry, our operator (we only have one) is busy right now. He or she (I said we only had one, but I meant one on each shift, so depending on what time of day it is, you might be getting Carol or you might be getting Ken, the guy with the turtleneck, although time of day isn't the only indicator because Carol only took this operator job so that she could take time off for auditions, even though, as far as I'm concerned if someone is really in show business they aren't in Northern California).

So... Carol or Ken is busy right now, probably trying to see if we finally have enough money to get an 800 number because many people have complained that with one operator they sometimes have to stay on hold for several hours (this is not saying that you will be on hold for several hours, you could be the exception - but you certainly have time to make yourself a cup of tea and turn on the television).

So how could we not have the money for an 800 number, and still have the money to R&D and produce a brand new super cheap laptop?

We don't.
We didn't.

All we are is an ad and a voice mailbox. There isn't even a Carol or a Ken... (They really started to live in your mind, though, didn't they? Didn't you start to care about Carol's acting career and couldn't you picture useless little Ken in his stupid little turtleneck? Huh? Now that's writing.) No one really works here - no one. We don't exist.

You've been had.

Hang up now and cut your loses, that phone bill is a ticking.

But first, let me go on record - I personally don't think it's funny that you had to pay money to make this call.

Almost all of your other inconvenience has me rolling around helpless with mirth. It's killing me. Ha ha ha - joke's on you.

It's around April Fool's and Penn Jillette, that's me, PC/Computing, that's my magazine, and someone very near to you have diddled you.

Have a nice day.

And try not to get caught next year.