Are You Afraid of the Dark? Season 3 Episode 4: The Tale of the Phone Police

phone police
“What are you two yams talking about”- Annie

Tonight we are in for another as my future ex-husband Tucker is telling us a story, even though we had one 3 weeks ago, I am ready for a Frank or Betty Ann story myself, but whatever. Tonight Tucker is running late, but is it okay as The Gary has brought his cell phone to the meeting so Tucker can get the party started via the phone. Also this episode is the reason I no longer have a landline at home.

Anyway the night starts with Frank finally arriving and asking who is up tonight. Betty Ann (who must have created the rotation schedule or is just super organized) says “Tucker”. Kiki says “Where is your sweet little brother?” Frank says “You mean he isn’t here yet?, I knew that little puke was going to be trouble”  The Gary has a grin on his face, kind of like he is in on a secret. The Gary says “no worry he’s here.” Then his old school cell phone rings. I just want to point out this was during a time when cell phones were not common, in fact if movies have taught me anything only the rich and wall-street traders had cell phones. Also they were clunky and not smart at all.

They all kind of look at each other puzzled while the phone keeps ringing. Then Sam says “Am I missing something?”

90s-cell-phone
This is what The Gary’s cell phone looks like

The Gary finally answers the phone and says “Tucker?” Also Betty Ann and Sam seem happy when they realize it is Tucker calling The Gary. The Gary tells Tucker they are all set. The Gary then hooks up the phone to a speaker, I guess it is a speaker I am not sure at any rate he is able to voice conference into tonight’s meeting. Once hooked up Tucker says “Can everybody hear me?” Kiki and Sam both say “Yeah” and Kiki is somewhat confused. Frank still looks angry.  Tucker explains that the scariest thing in your home is probably a telephone (Betty Ann would disagree, she would say it is the attic).  Frank says “Say what?” Tucker continues “You might feel safe with your doors and windows locked, but all someone has to do is dial your number. You answer the phone and bingo their inside” (I hope Tucker knows that is not how phones work). Then Sam says “But it’s just through words.” Kiki still looks confused and kind of angry. Tucker says “Yeah but when you pick up that phone, you made a connection and it might lead to a place you don’t want to be connected too.” (yes like telemarketers trying to get me to switch my long distance). Tucker says to The Gary “You go the pouch?” The Gary says “All set.” Then Tucker submits his story as The Tale of the Phone Police.

Tucker2
It’s Tucker

We are introduced to Jake and Chris two best friends who love to make prank calls. They also look like the rejected members of the rap group Kris Kross with their baggy clothes. Jake and Chris are in the middle of a prank call when Jake’s older sister Annie comes in and ruins their fun. She scolds them for making the calls. Jake claims he was only trying to get a hold the their parents, but Annie knows better. Annie is in charge. Chris is the more sensible of the two and does not look comfortable making prank calls. Annie tells Jake that he is going to get taged by the phone police.

Annie than goes into the kitchen to pour herself a glass of what I can only imagine is green river (a lime flavored soft-drink), and tells Jake and Chris about the phone police. She tells them ” the phone has certain rules of operation. You don’t leave it off the hook. You don’t let it ring too long (what constitutes too long?) and you don’t make stupid calls like my blockhead brother.” Jake doesn’t believe her, so Annie tells them about Billy Baxter. Billy was making prank calls and then the phone police got him. Annie than pours out her green river drink into the sink, maybe it was expired. Jake still doesn’t believe Annie, she tells him it is true and nobody saw him ever again.

Jake grabs the phone book and looks up Billy Baxter, but it only has six number and he tells himself it won’t work. He dials the number and hears a guy on the other end yell “Help me.” over and over. Later that night, Billy Baxter calls Jake and begs him for help. Jake freaks out and unplugs his phone, but Billy can still call him.

The next day, Chris and Jake are walking by a payphone when it rings. Chris picks it up and it is for Jake. It is Billy Baxter again. The boys decide to go and talk to the phone company.

phone
I wonder if this is the electric company

Once at the phone company, Jake as the receptionist about the number and asks if it is foreign or something. The receptionist  says “it’s not foreign, its old and discontinued.” Jake says “It cant be, we just called it and got somebody.”  The receptionist says “You call this number and got an answer?” Jake replies “Well sort of, it was more like static but someone was there.” The receptionist tells them the records department is in the basement and that they can help Jake. She then triggers a silent alarm.

Once in the records department Jake asks the man behind the counter, who is the manger if he can give him information about the phone number, The manager smiles and tells Jake “We don’t get many of these, these days.” and invites Jake into the back. Chris is kneeling on the floor. The manager says to Jake “Using the phone to tell a couple of jokes eh? (he must be Canadian). Jake says “What?” The manager says “just stand right there young fella, well take care of ya.” Then the phone police come and arrest Jake and bring him into a cell.

police

Jake yells for help. Then the phone in his cell rings and it is Billy Baxter. He tells Jake that he cannot make outgoing calls and the phone only receives incoming calls. He also tells him it is pointless to yell for help as nobody can hear him. Then Billy hangs up.

Chris runs to Jake’s house only Annie has forgotten who Jake is, and now Jake is the legend not Billy Baxter. Annie says “I don’t know a Jake and I don’t know you. I’m going to call the cops.” Annie claims to not have a brother.

Chris looks up Jake in the yellow pages and calls the number. Jake tells Chris to hurry and he is scared. Chris has a plan to beat the phone police at their own game. Chris goes back to the phone company and makes a call to the receptionist and hangs up. He then calls Jake and puts a rubber band on the receiver.

Chris sneaks down into the basement where the phone company manager is yelling at Jake to answer the phone. When he gets up, Chris makes his move. Chris and Jake escape the phone police.  They escape through the They go back to Jake’s house and Annie remembers she has a brother again!

Tucker than sneaks up behind Frank and tells the others not to let Frank know and says “The End!” very loudly into my ex-boyfriend’s ears. This makes Frank jump up.  Betty Ann and Sam laugh when Frank jumps up. Betty Ann tells Tucker the story was excellent. Kiki tells him it was a great story. The Gary declares the meeting over and Tucker pushes redial on the phone, which makes The Gary’s phone ring and they all say “I’ll get it!” and The Gary and Tucker celebrate a good story. The Gary puts out the fire.

Moira’s Thoughts:

  1. This episode is the reason I do not trust phone companies.
  2. I wonder if Weird Al was inspired by this episode to write the song phony calls.
  3. I liked that Tucker used a cell phone for effect.
  4. Since both The Gary and Tucker had cell phones, one can assume they come from a well off family as cell phones were expensive in the early 90’s.

Let’s give it up for my future ex-husband Tucker and his story: The Tale of the Phone Police. Up next is our girl Betty Ann with a frighting tale about a doll house, that is right up next is the classic Betty Ann story: The Tale of the Dollmarker.

iphone SE
My current iPhone SE
IMG_1503
My phone case

I would like to interview *cough*Ross Hull or Raine Pare-Coull or Jodie Resther, *cough* I feel that if enough people tweet at them or Facebook them, and let them know about this blog, it can happen! Let’s make my dream come true!

Until next time … Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society I call this story: The tale of Moira’s Afraid of the Dark? (But not really) blog 4 of Season 3.

Photo credits: police and Jake  Giant phone   Tucker   title card  90’s cell phone   iPhone SE

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