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“What is this?” open thread

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008

Everything is late today because, frankly, I overslept. I was apparently way tired from my several-day tour of suburban legislative districts.

Anyway, I was finally finished writing and about to get everything sent when the phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but thinking it was a subscriber complaining that s/he hadn’t yet received the Capitol Fax, I answered.

Caller: “Is this NewsChannel 20?”

Me: “No, ma’am, it’s not.”

Caller: “What is this?”

Me: [Click]

Morning Shorts and everything else will be posted soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Levois - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:16 am:

    Phone scam?

  2. - South Side Mike - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:17 am:

    Back in Ravenswood, Rod snickers to Lucio, “Hey, what if we call him back to ask if he has Prince Albert in a can?”

  3. - Ahoy - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:20 am:

    Operator: Alexandria 911, state your emergency

    Caller: Well, it’s not an emergency but do you know why on one side at the damn drawbridge of 95 traffic is stopped for 15 minutes and yet traffic’s coming the other way across the drawbridge?

    Operator: Sir, are you calling 911 to complain about traffic? (pause)

    Caller: “[Expletive] you” (caller hangs up)

  4. - Irish - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:21 am:

    Rich, saw you on channel seven last night. You looked good, nice comment.

  5. - LEFTY - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:28 am:

    Rich: Do you ever write to your own blog using the name Irish?

  6. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:29 am:

    Operator: Springfield 911, state your emergency

    Caller: Well, it’s not an emergency but do you know why I got this morning’s copy of the Journal-Register, but that (expletive) Rich Miller hasn’t sent me my morning’s Capitol Fax news letter yet?

    Operator: Sir, are you calling 911 to complain about a news letter? (pause)

    Caller: “[Expletive] you” (caller hangs up)

  7. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:31 am:

    I used to have a phone number one digit different from that of a nearby multiplex movie theater. I can’t tell you how many times I got calls asking me what time certain movies started!

  8. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:33 am:

    Secret square-

    BTW, what are the times that “Saw V” is playing tonight?

  9. - Tired too! - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:34 am:

    Who can blame you Rich from being exhausted trying to get a response from the Farnham (43rd House) campaign -you cannot find him because he is too busy trying to dig himself out of this mess! hum………..I hope he is as tired as you are.

  10. - Greg - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:35 am:

    But how many times a day does News Channel 20 get misdials from your PO’d subscribers?

  11. - What planet is he from again? - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:39 am:

    Wait, you mean this isn’t NewsChannel 20’s website????

  12. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:43 am:

    At least you’re not getting calls trying to reach Jim Leach (who used to work at Channel 20)…

  13. - Da Phone - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:43 am:

    Did NewsChannel 20 expose Rod Blagojevich?

  14. - Heartless Libertarian - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:44 am:

    Me: Thank you for calling such and such (a liquor store).
    Caller: Hi, I have a refill for a patient.
    Me: Ma’am, this is a liquor store.
    Caller: Oh, I was trying to call walgreens.
    Me: Well, this place refills my prescriptions.
    Caller: *click*

  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:51 am:

    At least she didn’t ask to speak with Rick Pearson.

  16. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:51 am:

    Six, it’s been a while since I had that number… the movies I got calls about were ones like “Twister” and “Titanic.”

  17. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 9:58 am:

    Is the Pioneer Press truly a “leading newspaper”? ;-)

  18. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:12 am:

    Now if she had asked for Storm Center 20 or Storm Team 20 then….

  19. - Kevin Fanning - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:15 am:

    Almost spit my coffee out reading these today. This is great.

  20. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:15 am:

    Regarding Daley’s call for a million people in Grant Park on election night:

    I remember in ‘79 when Jane Byrne claimed 1.2 million people celebrated mass with Pope John Paul II in Grant Park. Some whiz kids from the University of Chicago did the math and found that to get that many people in the park, they’d all have to stand shoulder to shoulder — and be stacked four high on top of each other.

    In other words, about 250,000 people can be crammed into the park at any one time. That’s still a lot. And I saw on the news last night the city is making no plans for port-a-potties. I think they’ll have to reconsider that or it could be quite a spectacle on international TV.

  21. - Captain Flume - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:19 am:

    It’s an open thread so . . .

    I am now reading that more Dems than Repubs are doing early voting. News media is all over it. I did not know that voting information is available until after the polls are closed. So the election seems to be a foregone conclusion.

    There are loads of “news” stories about a half-hour Obama infomercial being broadcast tonight; yet I didn’t see twittering reportage prior to the latest Microsoft commercials or Viagra commercials, both of whose products have had far more effects on the daily lives of Americans than Sen. Obama (or Sen. McCain for that matter).

    I read on this blog, and elsewhere, that I am not choosing legislators with my votes, but rather they are choosing who votes for them.

    Polls are endlessly touted as truths, which in turn become self-fulfilling, and endlessly written about by “journalists” wanting to be relevant. But it is not the news media’s fault. Being objective means choosing whatever is the easiest to report and reporting it in the easiest way possible. It is probably impossible to be otherwise and still show your shareholders a profit.

    Maybe the best choice is not to vote on Nov. 4, as that act is now meaningless. The choices have all been made for me.

  22. - Anon - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:35 am:

    Mike Royko did a number of columns over the years about his area code (312) work number being identical to the phone company’s 800 customer service number, some of the calls he would get and the responses he would get when he complained to the phone company because of the volume of calls he received. As I recall, he claimed to have gotten them to change their number by asking the mis-dialers their name and cheerfully informing them that the phone company doesn’t service people of their ethnicity.

  23. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:37 am:

    I think they’ll have to reconsider that or it could be quite a spectacle on international TV.

    Or a “spectacle” on one’s shoes.

  24. - Ken in Aurora - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:43 am:

    How it should have been:

    Caller: “Is this NewsChannel 20?”

    Me: “It depends. Do you owe NewsChannel 20 money?”

    Caller: [Click]

  25. - taxmandan - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:44 am:

    “I used to have a phone number one digit different from that of a nearby multiplex movie theater. I can’t tell you how many times I got calls asking me what time certain movies started!”

    I think Krammer had a similar problem.

  26. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:48 am:

    When my oldest son was about three, he was watching a “Safety First” video starring Barney the Dinosaur. It taught kids what to do in case of fire — drop and roll, call 911, etc.

    I was in the middle of doing something in another room, while he was enjoying the video, singing the songs, all decked our in his firefighter’s Halloween costume.

    At one point the kids on the show were singing “Fire, fire, call 911.” I heard my son doing the same. Then, I heard our phone being put back down on its cradle.

    Just as I went to ask my son if he had indeed called 911 and yelled, “Fire, fire,” I could hear the sirens in the distance.

    I went outside and in a minute was met by two police cars, an ambulance and a firetruck at my door. I explained to the emergency personnel about Barney, and the video and the songs. They didn’t see the humor in the situation.

    Luckily, my son came outside in his firefighter’s costume, and they all left without saying a word.

    Years later, I ran into one of the cops at a bar. He told me that if my son had not come outside in his costume, they would have cuffed me, threw me in the can and taken quite a while to complete my paperwork.

    I liked Barney even less after that.

  27. - Captain Flume - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 10:50 am:

    Rich, you should have hung on instead of up. The caller might have been an advertiser you could have won.

  28. - jerry 101 - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 3:00 pm:

    Is this the website for NewsChannel 20?

  29. - jerry 101 - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 3:01 pm:

    wordslinger - thanks for the anecdote. It made my day.

    As did Anon 10:35

  30. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Oct 29, 08 @ 11:37 pm:

    CALLER: “What is this?”

    RICH: “Only the best durn political blog in the state.”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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