Crank calls


My mum used to have an old fashioned telephone, in black, in the lounge. When I saw this today it brought back memories of being aged 4, coming home from playschool and secretly dialling random numbers as my mum prepared lunch. I used to love it when someone answered….and my mum never found out. Thank goodness there wasn’t itemised billing or I would have been rumbled.

Turning that dial gave me a taste for crank calling. A few years later my brother and I figured out a way to make the phone ring in the house, we would then speak on the upstairs phone and play crank calls on our friends. A friend recently reminded me that when he came to play aged 8 or 9 I called up my own house, pretended to be his mum and told him that I wasn’t going to pick him up and he would have to make his own way home. Apparently I let him sweat for quite a while before revealing it was actually me.

It didn’t end there. When I got to age of 13 I was still phone obsessed, so much so a friend and I called up random people to ask them an array of bizarre questions. We used to call up phone boxes just to see who answered. Not content with that we figured out codes and numbers of people in the States and preceded to phone and ask them what the weather was like over there and whether they had met the Beastie Boys or not.

Then one day we sat and thought about who we would really like to talk to. My friend fancied Don Johnson (actor from the 80’s). So we called up Universal Studios in the States pretending to work for a magazine. We said we wanted to interview Don Johnson for an article we were writing. We were given number after number, all rung on my mum’s landline. Until we got Don Johnson’s agent and then we bottled it.

Oh it was so much fun…until my mum got the bill and hit the roof.

A lock was installed on the phone but it didn’t stop me. My boyfriend told me a way to ‘dial’ numbers by pressing down the two little buttons where the receiver went. If you pressed them a certain number of times you could dial a number and it didn’t show up on the phone bill. I was dubious at first but it worked.

Eventually my phone obsession petered out and I moved onto other antics. Until my mum showed me the Phone Jacker app on her phone and preceded to make a few crank calls in front of me. Thankfully I have an archaic Nokia (or grandma phone) so I can’t use the app. But at least I know where I get my taste for mischief from.


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