Tuesday, July 18, 2006

unsolved answering machine mysteries

My friend Joe is currently experiencing a bit of head-scratcher. Or, rather, a completely apeshit bizarre quandary.

He received this voicemail at home:

"Hi Joe, it's your pesky great-grandmother. I tried calling your mom to see how she made out with Ilana, but since I got you on the line, give us a call, we are on pins and needles. We want to know how the [his last name]s are doing."

And then this one:

"Hi Joe, it's me again. I couldn't wait for Louis to get home, so call me and let me know how Ilana is doing. Tell [his wife] to eat something, and you too. Bye."

These are the facts of the case:

-If Joe had a great-grandmother, she would be, in his own words, like 130.
-Joe's mom passed away many years ago.
-Joe did have a grandfather named Louis, but he passed away years ago.
-Joe has a cousin Ilana, but hasn't spoken to her in about two years.
-Joe's wife, FlyingJ, is about to have a baby, which probably explains why she's being encouraged to eat something.
-The number didn't show up on caller ID, so there's no way to return the call.
-Joe's dad has no idea what the hell any of this is about.

Possible suspects:

-Long Story Short, who, having heard the facts of the case, quickly changed the subject to Joe's soon-to-be-born baby's toys. What could she be hiding?
-Professor K, who seems sweet and innocent. What lurks behind his carefully orchestrated facade of normalcy?
-FlyingJ, who has been a stay-at-home mom for the past day and a half. Has the change of pace caused her to psychologically implode?
-Jack Bauer, whose show is on hiatus. Is he filling his time by making strange calls to fans?
-Joe himself, in a sort of last act Fight Club-esque development. Who IS Joe, really?

I've decided to do my part and get all Nancy Drew on this. Here's a clip from my in-depth interview with Joe himself, soon to air on 20/20.

Red: Tell me: When urged by the voice mail woman, did [your wife] eat something?
Joe: She did not, but Joe did.
Red: Interesting. What did you select?
Joe: Bachman nutzels. Delicious.

It's unclear why Joe referred to himself in the third person, or why he selected nutzels when they probably have Baked Lays in the cabinet.

Today, the [Joe's last name] family still wanders the planet, uncertain of the origin of the messages. Are they from an actual relative? Or could they be... voicemails from the beyond? Draw your own conclusions, and we'll see you here next week on Unsolved Answering Machine Mysteries. I've been your host, Red Redaliciousness.

[Cue creepy music, fog, a serious expression on my face, and then me walking into the woods and slowly disappearing. How do we do that? Can we get the guys who worked on Field of Dreams?]

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