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Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

I find my own answer to the following question a pretty compelling reason to never get arrested.

How many phone numbers do you know off the top of your head?

Let’s see here.

I can tell you my own phone number.  That’s probably a good thing.  I know my parents’ home number.  That’s normal.  I can call my mom at work and I can call my dad on his cell phone.  Reasonable.  In terms of real people currently in my life, that’s all I can tell you.

That’s it.

Other than that, the phone numbers still lodged in my brain are symbols of my (misspent) youth.

For example: I can put you in touch with Clover Lanes, the bowling alley near the house where I grew up.  Need to call the Putt-Putt Golf and Games (now Clubhouse Fun Center apparently?) on Jay Scutti Boulevard in Rochester?  Well then, I’m your man. Want to know the various numbers my 33.6 (!) kbps SupraExpress modem dialed and screeeeeched alongside in order to access the Internet before anyone knew or cared what Google or even Friendster was?  I’ve got you covered.

Not sure how helpful they would be in a moment of crisis.

As an added bonus, I also (awkwardly) still remember the numbers of most of the girls I dated in high school.  If I try, I can even channel some of the heart-wrenching anxiety I used to associate with those seven innocuous (to you!) digits.

Fortunately, though I remember their phone numbers, I am rid of my now-hilarious, anal-retentively numbered “Things to Talk About” lists  I had at the ready on more than one occasion.

To give you an idea, here’s an example of a Things to Talk About list:

  1. School
  2. Movies
  3. TV
  4. My Apparent Lack Of Self-Awareness
  5. How Horrifying This List Is Going To Seem In Retrospect

So, that’s the entire set of phone numbers I have memorized.

Not a single person — not even a single bowling alley! — within 400 miles.

I’m not sure if we can trace my (and probably your) ever-dwindling knowledge of numbers back to 20th century speed dial technology, or if this is a creature born primarily out of the cell phone movement; but either way our lack of attention to detail could leave us in a pretty tricky situation if we every find ourselves blackberryless in the back of a squad car.

Unless you want to explain to your parents what you were doing that night.

So, how many phone numbers do you know?

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