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For A Good Time, Call (Or Bid)
February 2, 2009 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Tommy Tutone's famous number is for sale on eBay.

Who here hasn't called, or considered 867-5309 in their area code to see if a girl named Jenny answered? One NY DJ used the number for his business and started getting calls immediately, though not always for new business. Now he's moving away and selling the number for more than $5,000.

Previously, on Metaflter: what happens when you call Jenny from your area code.
posted by sjuhawk31 (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
In fairness to the people who dial the number, it's a really great song.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:21 AM on February 2, 2009


Jenny, don't sell that number.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:22 AM on February 2, 2009


Rikki don't lose that number, you don't wanna call nobody else. Send it off in a letter to yourself.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:27 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize that the new portability regs actually gave you "ownership" of a number to the extent of commodification. So you can contact a phone company and tell them "I want you to give this number to So-and-So?"
posted by njbradburn at 11:27 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Reserve: $86,753.09
posted by sourwookie at 11:29 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


When he did answer a call three years ago, Potter found his own Jenny on the line.

"She had been using my number to give out to guys that she didn't like at bars," he said. "It was a bum phone number."


I have to admit, that's pretty cool. At the same time, it makes me feel really old that people young enough to not catch the joke/scam of the number are old enough to drink in bars.
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


that would be metafilter's own daninnj who was behind the number survey.
posted by gac at 11:33 AM on February 2, 2009


This must have been the big thing that spurred movie and TV stories to use those stupid 555-xxxx numbers. Works pretty well at destroying my suspension of disbelief.
posted by crapmatic at 11:35 AM on February 2, 2009


jonmc, that was my reaction. And the song was released the year I was born. Then again, you need to weigh in the fact that the number was probably given most times at a bar, and the combination of alcohol and the unfamiliar area code could make the number seem plausible.

I understand why it's a good number for advertising purposes, but who'd pay that much money to get called more than a dozen times a day by complete strangers?
posted by sjuhawk31 at 11:39 AM on February 2, 2009


jonmc, that was my reaction. And the song was released the year I was born.

I was 11. *hits sjuhawk with cane* (I have to admit, the song still holds up a nifty pop-rock single. I'm suprised, yet glad that some pop tart/boy band hasn't done a horrible dance-mix remake.)
posted by jonmc at 11:45 AM on February 2, 2009


At the same time, it makes me feel really old that people young enough to not catch the joke/scam of the number are old enough to drink in bars.

867-5309 was released in 1982. Twenty seven years ago.

Having given out this phone number before, I'd be willing to bet that after a six pack you wouldn't pick up on it if it was given as 867 Fifty Three Zero Nine.
posted by clearly at 11:47 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Who in their right mind would want to pay money for a phone number that gets 40 crank calls a day?! The mind boggles.

At the same time, it makes me feel really old that people young enough to not catch the joke/scam of the number are old enough to drink in bars.

Hey, I went looking for Twin Peaks at HMV the other day and the girl behind the counter had never heard of it. "What kind of music do they play?" she asked. When I told her it was a tv show she said, "Oh. Weird."
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:48 AM on February 2, 2009


Also, this song sucks and Jenny probably has VD.
posted by clearly at 11:50 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


For a good time, call Jenny. For real estate, call My Sharona.
posted by iviken at 11:51 AM on February 2, 2009


jonmc: "At the same time, it makes me feel really old that people young enough to not catch the joke/scam of the number are old enough to drink in bars."

You know, age should have nothing to do with it. People without basic cultural knowledge like this shouldn't be permitted into bars. The bouncer shouldn't check your ID, he should ask you to name at least one character other than the title character from the show MacGyver. Or make you recite the words to the Sesame Street theme song. Or ask you to name one of the musicians involved in The Day The Music Died.
posted by Plutor at 11:58 AM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


@Plutor:
1) Pete Thornton and Jack Dalton.
2) Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away, etc...
3) Richie Valens.

Now go get me a beer.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 12:08 PM on February 2, 2009


You know, age should have nothing to do with it. People without basic cultural knowledge like this shouldn't be permitted into bars. The bouncer shouldn't check your ID, he should ask you to name at least one character other than the title character from the show MacGyver. Or make you recite the words to the Sesame Street theme song. Or ask you to name one of the musicians involved in The Day The Music Died.

You are so right, but you forgot to leave out the part where everyone wears the same jacket and the only topics of discussion are "years as a Yale undergrad" and "reasons why I want to blow Thomas Friedman."

...Then again, if you cite Tommy Tutone as a must-know cultural phenomenon, I suppose the members only jackets could be made of denim...
posted by clearly at 12:13 PM on February 2, 2009


I don't know the words
to the second verse
I just make them up
as I go along
can you tell me all the words
all the words to Sesame Street?
posted by Chuckles at 12:23 PM on February 2, 2009


I'm still holding out for 555-0100, after the number of movies that one's been in, I'm never gonna be lonely again!
posted by quin at 12:26 PM on February 2, 2009


You are so right, but you forgot to leave out the part where everyone wears the same jacket and the only topics of discussion are "years as a Yale undergrad" and "reasons why I want to blow Thomas Friedman."

...Then again, if you cite Tommy Tutone as a must-know cultural phenomenon, I suppose the members only jackets could be made of denim...


Ummm...what the hell are you talking about?
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on February 2, 2009


If I tell you that 'members only' should be capitalized, does that make things any clearer?
posted by box at 12:39 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks, but I'm holding out for this number. :)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 12:43 PM on February 2, 2009


The Members Only part I got, box. I googled Thomas Friedman (I knew the name, had never read anything by him). The "years as Yale undergrad" part dosen't seem to make much sense in this context, either. I'm not sure what clearly's point is. My original comment was basically a self-effacing "wow, I'm getting old" joke, because as anybody my age can tell you, "867-5309/Jenny Jenny" was omnipresent on the radio and TV for awhile in those days.
posted by jonmc at 12:44 PM on February 2, 2009


I always call 6060-842. I'm waiting for you.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:47 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


*runs out to buy PA6-5000, loses breath*
posted by Ron Thanagar at 12:49 PM on February 2, 2009


Yeah, I'm not really sure what clearly's point was either, other than that it's hard to imagine a standard of cultural literacy without a kernal of top-down elitism to it. But that's probably not what s/he meant.

Also: You wanna call me up? Take my number down. It's 222-2222. I got an answering machine that can talk to you.
posted by box at 12:50 PM on February 2, 2009


Also also, I dunno is Members Only should be capitalized at all. Makes for a funnier mental picture, though.
posted by box at 12:50 PM on February 2, 2009


You are so right, but you forgot to leave out the part where everyone wears the same jacket and the only topics of discussion are "years as a Yale undergrad" and "reasons why I want to blow Thomas Friedman."

You totally do not want to blow Thomas Friedman. Trust me on this one. He has some strange growth on the side of his dick and his semen tasted suspiciously like urine.
posted by flarbuse at 12:53 PM on February 2, 2009


A friend's son did not believe or understand the popularity of said tune. To demonstrate, we randomly called our friends, right in front of him, from our age range, gave him the phone, and had him ask "What's Jenny's number?"

Six out of six. He just could not believe it.
posted by adipocere at 12:56 PM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Imagine if your phone number had been Beechwood 4-5789.

Seriously, I'm 26 and I don't think I've ever heard this Jenny song before in my life.
posted by paisley henosis at 1:10 PM on February 2, 2009


my favorite number from a song is 'tidewater-4 1009.'
posted by lester's sock puppet at 1:29 PM on February 2, 2009


BUtterfield 8, whipper snappers.
posted by xod at 2:20 PM on February 2, 2009


PEnnsylvania 6-5000.
posted by iviken at 2:39 PM on February 2, 2009


I used to live in an area of the UK with the code 01248, and it occurred to me that someone was going to get given 01248 163264 and probably not realise the significance/coolness (OK, the zero doesn't fit, but that gets omitted in international format).
I'm tempted to call it up out of curiosity, but the idea of possibly bothering some random stranger always puts me off.
posted by malevolent at 2:46 PM on February 2, 2009


588 2300 Empiiiiiiire!
posted by timsteil at 4:21 PM on February 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


634-5789. Not as pricey, but it's got much more soul.
posted by raysmj at 5:45 PM on February 2, 2009


I'd always heard the original area code was 408, but my google-fu is failing me. Hope me plzkthx!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:45 PM on February 2, 2009


The bouncer shouldn't check your ID, he should ask you to name at least one character other than the title character from the show MacGyver. Or make you recite the words to the Sesame Street theme song. Or ask you to name one of the musicians involved in The Day The Music Died.


Yeah, because that's the really important shit. If someone, anyone ever asks me a question about MacGyver as a precursor to entry to anything or anywhere I would repeatedly punch them in the face while spitting out a history lesson, any history lesson, to them. Maybe about the USS Indianapolis, or the factors that led to U.S. involvment in Vietnam, or the Battle of the Somme, or the Chemical Weapons Convention, or anything , whatever it is, no matter what it is, it would be more pertinent, relevant, and important than some pop culture trivia obtained by surfing Wikipedia.
posted by IvoShandor at 12:45 AM on February 3, 2009


Transylvania 6-5000

"Come forth and call 489-4608, and I'll be here."

And more:
"853-5937" by Squeeze
"236-6132" by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer
"777-9311" by The Time
"BIGELOW 6-200" by Brenda Lee
"Echo Valley 2-6809" by The Partridge Family
"555-GIRL" by Goin' Places
"Lonesome 7-7203" by Hawkshaw Hawkins
"(619) 239-KING" by Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper
"The Plow King Jingle" by Linda Ronstadt ("KL5-4796")
"42-3089 (Call My Name)" by Etta James


Related:
Dial M for Murder
0898 Beautiful South
Blondie, "Hangin' On The Telephone" (which is a cover)
posted by kirkaracha at 10:32 AM on February 3, 2009


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