Sunday, November 10, 2002


Someone got your number? Just punch `3-3-7'


The guy calls my voice mail seven times a day. His voice has been cut with a rusty blade. It's best friends with a carton of nonfiltered Camels. His voice talks too much.

"I read in the Enquirer this morning'' is how he begins every message. Oh, really? Where else might you be reading it, then calling me? The guy was born clueless.

He's a phone stalker. He calls so much, I know exactly when it's him. He inhales before speaking.

I'm guessing he's on an FBI list or two. I can't ignore his calls, because then my phone company mailbox fills up with his inhales, and I might miss someone important or mildly interesting.

I can, however, delete him by hitting the magic keys.


"You have seven new messages. First message, sent today at . . .''

Inhale. 3-3-7.

"Next message . . .''

Inhale. 3-3-7.

What a pleasure it is to eliminate this guy, to deposit his words into the high-tech trash, to leave them floating aimlessly in the great void, like space garbage, where they bother no one, especially me.


At the touch of two buttons I kick his illogic to its conclusion. First, I hit 3-3, which skips to the end of the message. Then, I send it rocketing into the vast unknown by hitting 7, which deletes the message. You are outta here, my friend.

The only problem with 3-3-7 is it can't be used more often. I don't know about you, but my days are filled with 3-3-7 moments. I had one Tuesday, as I was writing this. The phone rang. It was a recording.

"Hello, this is Sen. Mike DeWine. I'm calling to remind you . . .''


I wouldn't mind 3-3-7-ing The Kid Down the Hall five years into the future, when he'd be 21 and not know everything. I'd like to 3-3-7 the schools who get me to vote for tax levies, then nail me with "fees'' for everything from art supplies to yearbooks.

I'd aim the 3-3-7 wand at Winona Ryder and delete her. She ripped off a Saks for $5,000 worth of stuff, and the news shows are treating her like she's Kenneth Lay. Anyone who swipes Dolce and Gabbana shouldn't be newsworthy to anyone but Dolce. And Gabbana.

I'd 3-3-7 the Today Show. 3-3-7 that oily Pat O'Brien, who interviewed Eminem, who talked candidly of the tragedy of being rich and famous. 3-3-7 Eminem, too, yo.

3-3-7 and a side of duct tape to that guy who does the promos for NBC television shows. His breathy boosting of standard network crud makes him sound psychopathic. "Next on ER, I show up and fill all the IVs with cherry Kool-Aid.''

Can I get a 3-3-7 for people using cell phones on airplanes who say. "Hey! I'm on the airplane!''?

People who get the close-in spaces at the short-term lot. Who are these people? What do they do, circle for days until one opens up? I never get one of these spaces. A big 3-3-7 to lucky parkers.

Isn't this fun?

3-3-7 to servers who refill your coffee after you've merely blown on the brew. Who fill it so thoroughly you can't add cream and sugar, then fill it again when it's half empty, thereby destroying the critical cream-sugar mix.

People doing 50 in the passing lane. Trucks doing 50 in the middle lane. People who tailgate. If I can see your eyebrows growing together, you're too close. 3-3-7.

Sports 3-3-7s: Seat licenses, double bogeys, soccer nuts, NASCAR nuts, Bengals management and "good success." Stay tuned on Dec. 29, when Cinergy Field gets The Big 3-3-7.

Real-world 3-3-7s: Global warming (Golf in December. This is bad?), old age, Fields Ertel Road, election ads. A big, bald 3-3-7 to you, Dr. Phil, you condescending, moralizing schlub.

I could go on. But I'd like you to. E-mail me your personal 3-3-7s. I'll print them if I get enough. This accomplishes two things, both good: (1) you get some things off your chest; and (2) I get a column.


Conductor generates electricity
Church concerts tune in to the tango
Magician's monsters lurk in his `dungeon'
Writer-activist won't give up the fight
`Adoption Diva' shows the way
KENDRICK: Alive and well
Dance world gives standing ovation to Ballet Russe
Celebrity isn't overwhelming Mayer
Where to eat on Thanksgiving
Serve it this week: Blue Cheese
Get to it!