TITLE: The Cool Color Club, Prank Calls and the Drive-Thru
DATE: 1/26/2005 11:09:00 AM
Moments from a night spent driving around Nashua with Tim.
First I told him the story of an exchange at work yesterday morning between one of the salesmen, who is very tall, our customer service manager, who is very short, me, and the receptionist.
Receptionist: Look, we (meaning the three people other than the salesman) are all wearing purple today.
CSM: No, I think of this as more pink...
Salesman: (faux-gay voice) Ooh, tomorrow, I think we should all coordinate? It would be faabuluth.
Me: Hey, you're wearing maroon, so you're clashing with the purple.
CSM: I still don't think this is purple.
Salesman: You're just jealous, cause you're not in the Cool Color Club.
(CSM and Salesman banter back and forth for a bit on this)
Salesman:...Look, you need to be at least three feet tall to be in the Cool Color Club.
Tim really likes those stories of workplace banter. He's a veteran of quite a few of them.
Speaking of which, he said, he had spoken with a former coworker / friend the other day that he hadn't spoken with in a while. I forget completely how we got to this subject, but we started talking about awkward phone call situations, like Tim calling this coworker up and getting, "FUCK YOU TIM! YOU RUINED MY LIFE! I TOLD YOU NEVER TO CALL ME AGAIN! *click*" or something...which then...somehow...morphed into a discussion of the time...
Gather round, kids, it's storytime.
A few years ago, I was having dinner with Steve down in Southeastern Mass., where he lived at the time, and I was going to return to Northeastern Mass., where I lived at the time, to hang out with Brandon and Tim (who used to be thick as thieves; we joked about them sharing a brain, and people still think they're brothers when they're together...they've been on a sort of hiatus from each other of late, but Tim says they've been talking more, recently, which led another friend of Tim's to exclaim excitedly, "Oh, so you two are getting back together!"). They were supposed to call me to solidify the plans.
I'll never forget it; Steve and I are walking toward the ATM, and then the Ruby Tuesday right next to it, and my phone rings. An unfamiliar number flashed on the screen. I picked up the phone. "Hi, is Jerome there?" said a fuzzy male voice.
"Uh, sorry," I said. "No one here by that name."
"Oh, ok. Sorry," said the voice.
"No problem," I said and hung up.
About a minute later, the same thing.
"Is Jerome there?"
"Um...you have the wrong number."
"I don't know--I think I do. Is there a Jerome there at all?"
"Uh, no. There's no Jerome here."
"Seriously. Put Jerome on the phone."
"Yeah, I'm looking for Jerome?"
(yelling now "Is Jerome there?!?!? I need to talk to Jerome!!"
I almost thought about not answering, but finally picked up the phone.
"Look, you asshole--"
"How the fuck do you know my name?!!?"
"Beth. It's Brandon. Beth!"
"What? Who? What?"
"It's Brandon. Beth. It's Brandon. Calm down."
"What the--IT WAS YOU THE WHOLE TIME!?!?!"
He got me good. No doubt about it. He completely had me--he called from his friend Justin's cellphone, and I don't know Justin too well, so that's why I didn't recognize the number. He didn't expect the "Jerome" thing to go beyond a momentary "Huh?" and then "Whatever, Brandon, you bastard." He figured I'd recognize his voice. Whoops. Turned out instead to be the most classic prank call ever in our group of friends, one we continually reference to this day. We even went so far as to pretend for a while that Jerome was a real person; he became a kind of group imaginary friend. Something was lost? Jerome has it. Something went wrong? Jerome's fault.
Tim and I once compared notes and found our visions of Jerome to be eerily similar. We both saw him as tall and skinny with dark greasy hair, dark beady eyes and a whispy mustache / goatee.
Jerome eventually fell in with another crowd, and last we heard of him, he's running a drug cartel in Lawrence. That kind of thing just wasn't our bag, baby.
So we were talking about that, and then we talked about ways Tim could have responded to his coworker on the phone in the hypothetical fantasy situation we'd already concocted (yes, this is how we usually entertain ourselves).
(Just so those of you unfamiliar with us can follow along, we're back at the part where Tim's coworker says, "FUCK YOU TIM! YOU RUINED MY LIFE! I TOLD YOU NEVER TO CALL ME AGAIN! *click*" or something.)
We then drafted the following rough script:
Hypothetical Tim: Well, you know, I just thought I'd call because I'm, uh...in jail right now. This is my one phone call, and...well...(ominously) I figured I wouldn't be seeing you for a while...
What did I do? Well, I really can't go into that. My attorney has advised me not to divulge the details. But um...okay, needless to say it involves the President. OhmyGodI'vealreadysaidtoomuch. *click*
"Tim." I said, pounding the steering wheel for emphasis. "This is, like, the best idea we've ever had. You need to find a pay phone and seriously do it."
"Yeah," Tim mused, "Cause a payphone would make a great 'clang' noise when you slam it down."
"Totally...it'd probably start ringing as you walk away."
"Then I could pick up and be all, (deep Michael Clarke Duncan voice) "YEAH THIS IS LEROY."
Suddenly I started to laugh. At first, I was laughing at what Tim was saying, but midway through the laugh it gained momentum that really wasn't congruent with the relative humor of our conversation.
"What's up...?" Tim was saying.
I kept laughing. I was laughing so hard I couldn't speak.
"Are you...? What's going on?" Tim was bewildered.
We were at the Wendy's drive through, ready to get our Dinner of Champions; we had just passed a sign that said "PICK UP WINDOW."
"You know that sign back there?" I finally managed to choke out.
"I thought it said Fuck-Up Window."
And then we had to stop the car and just laugh our asses off, while the Drive-Thru speaker went, "Welcome to Wendy's can I take your order?"