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January 3, 2005 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Jenny, from every block. The results of dialing 867-5309 for every area code in America. Now, no one else ever has to, "just to see."
posted by XQUZYPHYR (48 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
He missed the toll-free area code 877. It's disconnected or not in service. Yes, I called to check.

I hang my head in shame.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:38 PM on January 3, 2005


Someone needs a more interesting hobby.
posted by fenriq at 12:38 PM on January 3, 2005


I was pleased to see a reference to the aborted eBay auction of (212) 867-5309 from several months back. IIRC, bids went into the multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars before eBay shut it down.
posted by the_bone at 12:41 PM on January 3, 2005


Awesome post. I'm surprised more people don't request the number or get creative with it if they have it.
posted by spicynuts at 12:45 PM on January 3, 2005


“Wow, you’ve reached this recording because you’re a loser and have no life. You must be one of the many who has dropped out of school and is living on taxpayer money. Please hang up the phone, get a job, and make a contribution to society. Goodbye!”

The one thing that made this all worth it.
posted by drezdn at 12:50 PM on January 3, 2005


I don't know why I love this FPP, but I do.

Tommy Tutone: officially more relevant in the Internet era than Men at Work, Human League, and Quarterflash.
posted by blucevalo at 12:54 PM on January 3, 2005


I bid $250,000 on 202-867-5309, certain it was a hoax and would just disappear within hours.

Two days later, with requests for interviews and still the high bidder, I retracted my bid, nervous about tainting my unblemished eBay feedback. Later that day, all was forgotten.

Next, can we figure out who Jessie's girl is? Or how to get Eileen to come on? (ewww)
posted by sdrawkcab at 12:54 PM on January 3, 2005 [1 favorite]


Er, linky no worky for me. And I wanted to see this more than any other FPP today. :(
posted by u.n. owen at 12:57 PM on January 3, 2005


Hey, he didn't try the 911 area code.

(/kidding)
posted by devbrain at 1:06 PM on January 3, 2005


srdawkcab, I thought the song was Come on Eileen? Like bukkake before it was bukkake.
posted by fenriq at 1:10 PM on January 3, 2005


This is why movies all have that distracting 555 number.

Speaking of which, I love that commercial showing random acts of kindness where a woman finds her car scratched and a note under the windshield with 555-xxxx written on it. It kind of spoils the good samaritan effect.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:13 PM on January 3, 2005


Truly this is a service for humankind that has been performed. Don't know when I'll need this information, but it's comforting to know it's there.
posted by soyjoy at 1:16 PM on January 3, 2005


My two favorites:

519: “[Girl’s voice] Hello, you reached Jenny at 867-5309. I’d love to talk to you, leave me a message, but there has been a change in me. [Guy’s voice] I’m not Jenny, not Jenny so if you still wanna leave me a message, leave it at the end of the beep. Bye!”

612: “Hi this is Paul with Gavick and Sons Plumbing and we went into the bathroom the other day and saw Jenny’s phone number on the wall and we took it and now it’s our number. If you’re trying to get great plumbing service then give us a call at our main number at [Number], otherwise Jenny passed away [Has to wait?].


In Chicago, when the song was popular, one of the radio stations had the number. When you called it you got a recording of Tommy Tutone saying "Hi, this is Tommy Tutone. Thank you for listening to my hit single 867-5309/Jenny on [whatever the radio station was]. And whether your name is Jenny or not, I love you." (It's been 22 years so this is not exact. ; ) )
posted by SisterHavana at 1:16 PM on January 3, 2005


See, I was under the misapprehension that all 555 numbers were fake, but according to another snopes article (about a number in Alicia Keys' song "Diary"), most 555 numbers are active. I will henceforth be looking out for any movie numbers that aren't in the oh-one-hundreds range...
posted by natedogg at 1:18 PM on January 3, 2005


530: Mailbox full. Name is “fromasecretplace.com.”

From Google:
From A Secret Place
Industrial Gothic music From a Secret Place, inspired by artists such as Billy Corgan, Ceven Key, J. Frede, Nine Inch Nails, Ohgr, Skinny Puppy, The Cure and linked ...

posted by me3dia at 1:21 PM on January 3, 2005


Armitage Shanks, they missed a really cool opportunity to get people to call somewhere and they used that crappy 555 stuff instead.

Bad marketing wonks there.
posted by fenriq at 1:29 PM on January 3, 2005


The RI number, 401-867-5309, is a plumbing company. They actually use the tune in their radio ads.
posted by chickygrrl at 1:35 PM on January 3, 2005


> They actually use the tune in their radio ads.

And on their contact page, thank goodness!
posted by SteelyDuran at 1:45 PM on January 3, 2005


The List of 555 Numbers.
posted by zsazsa at 1:49 PM on January 3, 2005


That song was the bane of my existence my senior year of HS. (yeah, fine, so now you all can figure out how old I am. )

Let's just say that I was not the kind of girl that guys would call.... (nor would any guy have dared to write my number on a bathroom wall - it just wasn't a safe thing to do.)
posted by jlkr at 1:56 PM on January 3, 2005


If I had a nickel for every time I played that godforsaken song in the 1980s, I could buy a pack of Little Debbie sugar do-nuts, a stick of beef jerky and a 16 oz. Coke on my way to rehearsal tonight.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:04 PM on January 3, 2005


Fair point fenriq. The problem with being clever is nine times out of ten, the reality is far funnier.

That 555- page is awesome, I just wish it was more searchable (like Simpsons-only).
posted by sdrawkcab at 2:22 PM on January 3, 2005


Hey, Jenny! I got It! Let's get physical in a land Down Under with our sunglasses at night.

(I really liked at the male/female transitions ... heh heh heh. Oh, and the 600s have the best sense of humor. Apparently.)
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:24 PM on January 3, 2005


You are all wrong, Jenny lives in Canada!!
posted by dov3 at 2:30 PM on January 3, 2005


You are all wrong, Jenny lives in Canada!!

That explains why she's so promiscuous.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:40 PM on January 3, 2005


You guys can have Jenny. I've had my eye on Angela.
posted by emelenjr at 2:44 PM on January 3, 2005


Legendary Dutch TV maker Wim de Bie did this with the Ry Cooder song. He called the number, and Ry actually answered, surprised that no-one had tried to call the # from the song before. Link features RA clip of the conversation (in English).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:51 PM on January 3, 2005


I want to know what's up with area code 666.
posted by alms at 2:53 PM on January 3, 2005


It was no surprise to me to see my favorite come from my home area code of 915:

915: “[Recorded woman] You have reached [Male voice] Jenny. [Recorded woman] Please leave your message after the tone.”
posted by kjh at 2:58 PM on January 3, 2005


Anyone ever try to call Candyman at 1-800 Sky Talk Pin 110279? Does anyone even remember Candyman?

I'm ashamed that I can recall the phone and PIN number after 13 years.
posted by fizz-ed at 3:02 PM on January 3, 2005


goodnewsfortheinsane: Nice crosslink! I don't think anyone tried to call Ry Cooder because his listeners generally would be in the "I have a life" demographic. ;) Also, last time I checked desperation is NOT a selling point in the dating market: the Jenny of lore is very much wanted, wheras Ry Cooder was clearly wanting. I love his Paris, Texas soundtrack though, but I digress.
posted by mosspink at 3:12 PM on January 3, 2005


This is what metafilter and the internet are for.

[this is good]
posted by tomplus2 at 3:46 PM on January 3, 2005


that ry cooder phone call is just great
posted by pots at 3:56 PM on January 3, 2005


I bid $250,000 on 202-867-5309, certain it was a hoax and would just disappear within hours. Two days later, with requests for interviews and still the high bidder, I retracted my bid, nervous about tainting my unblemished eBay feedback.

sdrawkcab, I did a similar thing when Amazon was auctioning off the first three Segways. I bid $61,000 for one, just so I could say I had. My story turns out happier than yours, though: I was outbid within an hour.
posted by Plutor at 4:13 PM on January 3, 2005


ditto on the ry cooder call.
posted by imaswinger at 4:16 PM on January 3, 2005


goodnews: funny as it is, there's no way that Ry Cooder thing can be real. I just can't believe some guy had sophisticated enough audio equipment in 1987 to clearly record his own voice while simultaneously recording an international phone call at that clear a quality, maintaining the integrity of what would be at that point analog tape for at least several years before computers that could digitize audio were commercially available, importing it to his computer, and converting it into RealAudio. "Cooder" comes out like a phone call on a modern-day radio show, and the caller has absolutely no background static or audio problems whatsoever- his Ps don't even pop. This was a studio job. Is there any other information about it?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:44 PM on January 3, 2005


I want to know what's up with area code 666.

A friend of mine has the 7-digits "266-EVIL".
posted by lodurr at 4:46 PM on January 3, 2005


O'Hare International Airport has a zip code of 60666.
posted by eriko at 4:56 PM on January 3, 2005


I want to know what's up with area code 666.

Here in New York, a limo service has the easy-to-remember number 212-666-6666.

My wife and I refer to it as "the car service of the Beast."
posted by enrevanche at 5:18 PM on January 3, 2005


I just can't believe some guy had sophisticated enough audio equipment in 1987 to clearly record his own voice while simultaneously recording an international phone call at that clear a quality, maintaining the integrity of what would be at that point analog tape for at least several years before computers that could digitize audio were commercially available, importing it to his computer, and converting it into RealAudio.

DAT was introduced in 1987, and while I agree it would have been prohibitely expensive to buy a first generation DAT tape, making a reel to reel master recording and then transfering to DAT a few years later would be no big deal.

As for recording both voices that clearly: you do it with an attachment to your phone that basically records based off the signal going up and down the cord, as opposed to an ambient mic that records the room. These types of recorders have existed since, basically, forever, and are very, very cheap.

Not saying it isn't a studio job, but just that I don't have much of a hard time imagining it being a 1987 recording.
posted by Bugbread at 5:41 PM on January 3, 2005


jlkr: Which area code was yours? ;)
posted by abcde at 5:49 PM on January 3, 2005


Back in the day, 313. ;)
posted by jlkr at 5:58 PM on January 3, 2005


I always thought that 555-1212 was *always* designated for local directory assistance to that exchange.

Here we have someone proving me wrong. Oh well.
posted by shepd at 5:58 PM on January 3, 2005


jlkr: So now it's "some kind of party place," not bad ;)
posted by abcde at 7:02 PM on January 3, 2005


The RI number, 401-867-5309, is a plumbing company. They actually use the tune in their radio ads.

The phone number used to be a freshman dorm room at Brown University, since Brown used a lot phone numbers with the 86x prefix. The girls in that dorm room presumably must have begged for another number after receiving hundreds of crank calls.
posted by jonp72 at 8:29 PM on January 3, 2005


I went to college in an 867- exchange back in the day. Never knew who had the -5309, and after reading this still don't... rats!

But fun post, XQ!
posted by jaruwaan at 4:01 AM on January 4, 2005


zsazsa: actually, this is the list of assigned 555-xxxx numbers and where they go, from the North America Numbering Plan Administration.
posted by chuma at 7:56 AM on January 4, 2005


XQUZYPHYR and bugbread - it was a studio job, in the sense that it was part of a radio show. I guess it was indeed recorded in the way bugbread described, using a telephone hybrid, which were widely used at that time (for phone-in contests, opinion shows etc.). The show was archived, as he writes in the first paragraph of the blog entry:

From the box of cassette tapes in the attic I fished a radio recording I had completely forgotten about.

Hope that clears things up a bit.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:32 AM on January 4, 2005


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