I was reading from the Uncle John's EXTRA LARGE Bathroom Reader to my husband. Yes, I read to my husband at night before he nods off. It's very 19th century. Aren't I a good husband! I mean, it's really a win-win. It gets me reading; something I don't do enough. And it sends him to LaLaLand. Anyways, the "Uncle John" series are compendiums of, oh what's the word? Miscellany, I guess. You know, little articles about everything from the history of bicycles, to the history of SNL, to the origins of unusual words...that kind of thing. The book is rather unwieldly. I mean, I have trouble holding on to it lying down, let alone while sitting on the commode. Not that I read on the commode; but let's not go there.
So, this one article was about the "Mojave Phone Booth." I had never heard of this particular piece of weird Americana. There was a phone booth out in the middle of the Mojave desert in California. Apparently it was some 15 miles from the nearest road and was put in place for miners or something to have a line to the outside world. Someone learned of it's existence in the early days of the internet and blogged about it, including the phone number. It went viral and people went in search of the booth and would then answer the phone if and when it rang; thus, connecting with a total stranger. Eventually, the booth became inundated with the curious. Due to humans trekking through protected land and causing environmental damage, the phone booth was removed. However, the phone number was not reassigned or cancelled or whatever it is that happens to old phone numbers. The number was printed in the Uncle John book, so I decided to call it...
I think the thing about it, is that you can get into someone's house (and head) via telephone.
So we called the number (I'm not going to give it out here, but you can easily find it on line).
The call went through. It was not a traditional ring signal; but more a series of electronic beeps. Finally a recorded female voice came on the line. It said something like: "This is a conference call; please select one through nine." I'm not making this up. I pressed the number one and it disconnected. I called again. I got the same message. This time I pressed nine. It clicked and then the same voice said: "There are no other callers on the line..." Joseph immediately made me hang up.
Which was fine by me. It was just too weird. Beyond creepy.
The next day I got a text from the number. The message was: "Do you want to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes?"
What the fuck?
I'm not making this up. Maybe this was some kind of Blair Witch style publicity for the movie The Mojave Phone Booth. Which is even weirder since that came out in 2006. I don't know and I don't want to know. I most decidedly do not want to find out the answer to that question. I blocked the number and deleted the text.
This was even weirder then the time I got an email asking me if I wanted to join that conspiratorial group that starts with an "I." I declined that one, too.
Back in the 70's, getting a Ouija board as a gift was pretty common. This "game" is still mass produced and sold. Why? I remember playing it when we were kids. Thankfully, in our house, it always ended up with: "You're pushing it with your fingers! This is stupid! Nothing's happening!" and then it went back into it's box and into the closet. Where it most decidedly belonged.
Now, you'll have to excuse me. I've got to find a ten story building so I can go play the Elevator to Another Dimension game.