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New Phone Number Blues

October 14, 2005

A friend of mine recently picked out the perfect phone number. He wanted one that spelled out a message like FIRE-GUY (which would really be FIR EGUY) and lucky for him, the number was available. So he snatched it up, paid the extra fee and now has the perfect phone number.

Or so he thought.

It seems that the number was used previously by someone who had a lot of friends. A lot of friends that would call in the middle of the night and collections agents who would call all day. He in essence paid money to buy the perfect number only to find he was in his own little hell. A hell of his own choosing.

This reminded me of a story that happened to my sister a few years ago. She moved into a new house and since it was in a different prefix, she got a new phone number. A number that was previously the Nintendo Games Help Line.


It seems that Nintendo moved from a phone number with an area code to an 800 number. It seems nobody considered the fact that Nintendo printed this number on console boxes, games, manuals, magazines, this thing was everywhere. After doing all of that marketing, they let the number go and my sister ended up with the number.

You might think that kids calling up at all hours of the day and night asking how to kill King Kanga might be a lot of fun, but its not. In fact, it's downright annoying. So my sister called up the phone company to get the number changed. Despite pleas, threats and intimidation, the phone company said they could do nothing. Numbers were re-assigned at random. The phone company explained my sister would just have to deal with the amazing amount of calls they were getting from kids all over the world.

Then I stepped in.

I would hang out at my sisters house quite a bit, so when the phone rang, I would answer it. if it was a friend, I passed to my sister. If it was a kid looking for help with Mario, I stepped up to the plate. First off, I asked them for their parents credit card number. I figured that would get the parents attention right away. Only, it didn't work nearly as much as I thought it would.

Later I started making fun of them for being too stupid to beat the game. Then I would ask for a credit card number and ridicule them even more.

Believe it or not, this did not do the trick. The phone company would not give out a new number

So I stepped up the ammunition.

I started asking the kids if they knew about the word, jism. I figured this should get parents outraged. And with enough outrage, Nintendo would get outraged and demand the phone company do something.

Then I started asking the kids where they lived. I asked them for their phone number. I asked for credit card numbers, if they were home alone. I told them I would come over and help them beat Mario if they did a favor for me. Basically, I would do anything that came to mind to get my sister a new phone number. It sounds sick, but hey, I was the child of a Republican household and I was going to do whatever I could to make parents angry or scared. I never retained a single bit of information. I didn't want it. I just wanted to have fun with this golden opportunity. I figured if I sounded like I might be a pedophile or a pervert, I might get someone's attention and get the phone number changed.

Finally, angry calls started to flood into Nintendo.

Finally, the phone company called and was happy to assign my sister a new number. No charge. A number that was brand new and never issued previously. The game was over and I was happy it ended because I was starting to wonder in the back of my mind if I was going to be arrested or something and I'm not so sure "I was trying to get my sister a new phone number" is the kind of stellar defense a prosecuting attorney would find funny and let me go for being a harmless rascal.

But to be honest, for that magical time when I was the anti-Nintendo support, I had a really great time!

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